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Sunday, September 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Hunters may be tapped to kill off Montana bighorn herd

Montana bighorn ram sports horns broken in battle for breeding superiority during the December mating season. ©Jaime Johnson (Jaime Johnson)
Montana bighorn ram sports horns broken in battle for breeding superiority during the December mating season. ©Jaime Johnson (Jaime Johnson)

HUNTING -- Montana officials want to use an aggressive public hunting campaign to kill off a diseased herd of 30-40 bighorn sheep in the Tendoy Mountains southeast of Dillon.

State wildlife commissioners on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a plan to remove the Tendoy herd beginning this fall and restock the area with about 50 healthy wild sheep, the Associated Press reports.

Over-the-counter hunting licenses would cost $125 for residents and $750 for non-residents.

If hunters do not kill all the sheep, state officials said they would be removed by aerial gunning and other means.

Bighorn sheep in the Tendoy Mountains experienced major die-offs due to pneumonia in 1993 and 1995. Officials say the population was augmented three times but still struggled to rebound, likely because some surviving sheep were carriers of bacteria that causes pneumonia.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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