Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks could be calling on hunters to eradicate a specific herd of bighorn sheep this year.
An isolated bighorn sheep herd located southeast of Dillon, Montana are the subject of an eradication discussion. The herd, made up of 30-40 sheep, have been identified as carriers of a certain bacteria that increases the likelihood of pneumonia transmission to other sheep populations.
The department of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) are considering measures to eliminate the infected population, one of which would involve hunters participating in the aggressive pursuit of this specific population.
Intended results include the complete eradication of the infected herd and then the transplant of 40-50 healthy sheep from source populations. If the hunter-led control measures fail to harvest each sheep the FWP would take steps to complete the cull.
Tentatively, the unlimited over-the-counter licenses would be available for residents at $125 and for non-residents at $750. Though, at this time, the hunter-involved measure is out for public comment only, the commission to decide the fate of the sheep herd in hunt unit 315 will meet on July 9th to finalize their decision.
A spokesperson for the FWP advised that any direct comments or questions regarding the potential actions be addressed to the Region 3 office located in Bozeman, Montana. The email available for comment is [email protected] and the phone number is (406) 994-4042. For additional information regarding Montana management practices or licensing check out the FWP website.