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Wednesday, September 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Diseased bighorn herd in Montana cropped 50 percent by hunters

A bighorn sheep ram sits on a ridge above Soda Butte Creek in Yellowstone National Park. (Associated Press photos / The Spokesman-Review)
A bighorn sheep ram sits on a ridge above Soda Butte Creek in Yellowstone National Park. (Associated Press photos / The Spokesman-Review)

HUNTING -- In a state-endorsed effort to eliminate disease-prone wild sheep, hunters in Montana have harvested about half of a bighorn herd in the Tendoy Mountains.

The wild sheep in the Tendoys southeast of Dillon have experienced major die-offs due to pneumonia twice in the last 25 years.

Attempts to augment the population by bringing in healthy sheep have been unsuccessful.

The intentions to use hunters to kill off the herd were proposed in June.

The Independent Record reports that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has approved a plan calling for total elimination of the herd to end the illnesses. So far hunters have harvested 18 bighorn sheep since hunting began Sept. 5 for bow hunters and Sept. 15 for the general season.

There are between 30 and 40 animals in the herd.

Once the population is removed, officials plan to restock the area with about 50 healthy animals.




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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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