BOZEMAN (AP) – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is proposing an unusual plan to eliminate a bighorn sheep herd and start again.
Big game chief John Vore proposed a series of actions Thursday that would set the stage for killing off the bighorn sheep herd in the Tendoy Mountains south of Dillon along the Montana-Idaho border that includes shooting the herd and using some for research.
The agency transplanted wild sheep into the Tendoy Mountains in 1985, where they thrived until 1993 when the herd numbered about 200. That’s when the first of two die-offs occurred, and the herd is now limping along with about 50 sheep.
The herd’s population has been stunted by a 1997 pneumonia outbreak. Predators, competition and poor habitat also share the blame.