Sheep Herding in Sun Valley

November 18, 2012 12:00 a.m.  •  0 comments

A look into the daily life of a Peruvian sheep herder working in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Related story: Wolf Project shows promise for sheep herds, wolf packs

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Adrian Alvarado Baldeon pats his horse after de-saddling and watering it on Thursday, September 13, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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Peruvian Sheep Herder Adrian Alvarado Baldeon moves his heard through a canyon on Thursday, September 13, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho. Armed with a rifle, two herding dogs and two Great Pyrenees guard dogs, Baldeon is responsible for roughly 1,500 sheep.

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Adrian Alvarado Baldeon adjusts his saddle on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho. When Baldeon spends the night on the range with his herd, everything he takes with him must be able to fit on the back of his horse.

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Adrian Alvarado Baldeon laughs as he drives his sheep from the ridge where he beds them at night to river where he waters them in the morning on Thursday, September 13, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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During a break in herding Adrian Alvarado Baldeon feeds his two Great Pyrenees guard dogs on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho. The dogs are traditionally used to protect livestock from predators such as wolves. At night the Great Pyrenees patrol around the herd, sounding a deep bark when they notice anything out of place.

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Sporting a toothpick and a Diskman blasting Pearl Jam, Adrian Alvarado Baldeon smiles as he waters his herd on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho. The CD player is one of the few luxuries Baldeon can carry with him on horseback and he often listens to it while herding. At night, however, he typically sleeps without music, keeping his ears open to any sound that seems out of place.

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As dusk settles in, Adrian Alvarado Baldeon works his way through sage brush to the top of a ridge where he hopes to bed his sheep for the night, on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho. The mountainous terrain in Sun Valley often makes it impossible for Baldeon to ride his horse, so he typically leads it up hills.

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Before getting some sleep, Adrian Alvarado Baldeon uses his phone to reach his family at his home in Huancayo, Peru, on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho. Baldeon typically likes to bed his sheep down at a point high enough to increase his chances of getting enough cell reception to contact his home.

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Adrian Alvarado Baldeon’s sheep are bathed in starlight and a photographer’s headlamp as they bed down on a ridge on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho. The ridgeline affords a tactical advantage against predators, forcing them to advance uphill to get to the sheep.

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“Treinta-treinta,” or .30-30 rifle in hand, Adrian Alvarado Baldeon patrols near where his sheep are bedded down after he was awakened by barking from one of his guard dogs on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho. Predators are a constant danger to sheep herds. On this night wolves could be heard howling in the distance. When wolves would howl, Baldeon would fire a shot into the air as a non-violent deterrent.

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Adrian Alvarado Baldeon is silhouetted in early dawn sunlight as he moves his herd down the ridge and to a nearby stream where he plans to water them on Thursday, September 13, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho. Baldeon’s daily life typically involves moving his herd to a ridge at night, and then back down to a stream to water them during the day.

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Sun Valley bikers out for a morning ride pause to take in Adrian Alvarado Baldeon and his sheep dogs as they water sheep on Thursday morning, September 13, 2012, in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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