Snow Sheep


Snow sheep, (Ovis nivicola), wild sheep belonging to the subfamily Caprinae (family Bovidae, order Artiodactyla), which is distributed throughout the mountain regions of eastern Siberia.

The grayish brown coat is accented by a small patch of light hair on the buttocks.  The wooly winter coat is a light, milky coffee colour.  The fronts of the legs are dark chocolate brown, while the rear edges may have whitish markings.  A dark band, which runs across the nose between the eyes and muzzle, contrasts greatly with the bright white rostrum.  The ears are small and dark grey in colour.  The horns, found in both sexes, are considerably lighter than those of the related Bighorn sheep, with up to 35% less horn substance.  Growing to 89 cm / 35 inches long in males, the horns curl backwards, downwards, and upwards around the ears, corkscrewing outwards in old males as the horns begin their second revolution.  While the base of a male’s horns may be up to 38 cm / 15 inches in circumference, those in females are significantly thinner and shorter, curving backwards in a sabre-like fashion.

Body Length: 140-160 cm / 4.6-5.3 ft.
Shoulder Height: 95-112 cm / 3.1-3.7 ft.
Tail Length: 10 cm / 4 in.
Weight: 60-120 kg / 132-264 lb.



The snow sheep is a well adapted mountain dweller – extremely agile and nimble, and able to move quickly over steep, uneven terrain.  Within bachelor herds, a dominance hierarchy is formed based primarily on horn size.  These hierarchies remain relatively stable, even in the breeding season, with larger males getting the majority of the mating rights.  However, if two males have approximately equal sized horns, the dominant/subordinate relationship is decided in combat.  Facing each other from a distance, they run towards each other with heads lowered, rearing up and crashing their horns together in an attempt to throw their rival off balance.


Snow sheep is distributed in Eastern Siberia, it also can be found in the mountains of Kamchatka, in the Koryak Upland, in Chukotka, in the mountains of the Verkhoyansk mountain range, in the Stanovoi Range, the Stanovoi Plateau and the north of the Yablon Range.


Methods of hunting permitted for use:

  • stalking,
  • using wheel transport,
  • ambush hunting,
  • corralling,
  • using hunting dogs

Permitted hunting tools:

Hunting firearm with a rifled barrel of caliber not less than 5 mm (but not more than 10 mm) and a seating distance of at least 39 mm (using a caliber of 5.6 mm for a rim-fire cartridge is permitted only for hunting musk deer); hunting fire smooth-bore long-barreled arms, including threaded length no more than 140 mm (only using bullet cartridges); hunting firearm combined weapons (smooth-bore and rifted gun), including with rebarreling and auxiliary rifled barrels; cold bladed hunting weapon.



It is an object of hunting due to its tasty meat and fur skin.