BILLINGS — 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.
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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