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North Dakota’s Bighorn Sheep Season Returns This Fall

bighorn sheep
Travis Smola

North Dakota hunters will again have a chance to hunt bighorn sheep. 

After a year off, North Dakota hunters will once again have the opportunity to hunt bighorn sheep this fall.

The bighorn sheep herd was hard hit two years ago, when bacterial pneumonia resulted in many sheep dying off in the state’s 300 animal herd. Although the infection is still affecting some sheep, the Associated Press reports the population has rebounded enough for hunts to resume.

“Overall, the population appears to be doing pretty well,” State Wildlife Chief Jeb Williams told reporters. “In certain areas, there was a lack of reproduction, but in other areas there was reproduction. Now the waiting game begins to see if those lambs are actually recruited into the population.”

Last year’s cancellation of bighorn sheep season was the first in over 30 years after some three dozen bighorn sheep died from the bacterial infection in 2014.

Like many other places in North America, the hardest part will probably be actually getting a license to hunt the animals. Hunters can apply for the bighorn sheep lottery and see the projected season dates online on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website.

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North Dakota’s Bighorn Sheep Season Returns This Fall