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People come out to see the sheep migration as the flock crosses Highway 55 in Eagle

Posted at 2:29 PM, Apr 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-20 16:29:01-04

EAGLE, Idaho — The sheep migration is an example of living history as this migration has taken place all the way back to the 1880s. However, rancher Frank Shirts is one of the few who make the annual pilgrimage into the high country.

Every spring Frank Shirts and his crew drive the flock up into higher elevations where the flock will graze all summer long. They will make the trek back in the fall before winter hits.

The sheep nearing Highway 55

However, this migration takes the sheep through Eagle and the sheep have to cross Highway 55 and people come out to see this example of Western heritage.

"It was so cool and I’m so glad I came out here to see it," said Cathy Bowie, who moved to the Treasure Valley from Atlanta, Georgia a few years ago. "I feel like it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

People love to watch the sheep

People lined Highway 55 and the side streets on Saturday morning to watch the crew cross the highway. They did it very quickly this year as the sheepdogs kept the flock on the move.

“You know you could really tell that they were aware of their job," said Betty Baker, who watched the crossing for the first time. "There were two dogs right at the back that were going after the lambs to keep them moving, it was a lot of fun."

The sheep dogs help herd the sheep across the highway

The sheep will be moving through the foothills so people need to be aware that they could encounter the flock. Ranchers ask the public to give them space, dismount off their bikes near the herd and leave the sheep dogs alone because they have a job to do.