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2 rams killed in MT

Oak

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It wouldn't take much to lose the incredible resource in the Breaks.

http://missoulian.com/news/state-an...cle_f45602ab-508c-57b6-9c59-5d827e30a3c5.html

GLASGOW (AP) – State wildlife officials killed two young bighorn rams after they were spotted near domestic sheep south of Malta, more than 20 miles from two nearby bighorn herds.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Scott Thompson removed the sheep on June 24 over concerns that the domestic sheep could have been exposed to pneumonia that can decimate a bighorn herd.

In the Tendoy Mountains near Lima, the state plans to remove an entire herd, and later restock the area with healthy bighorns. Other recent bighorn sheep die offs resulted in the closure of hunting districts until the herds recover.

FWP says the meat was donated to local families and the horns will be used for educational purposes.
 

3xwt

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It will be a sad day if/when the sheep in the Breaks catch pneumonia.
 

Rocky176

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I just read the article "Cleaning the Slate" in the current issue of Montana Outdoors. In 2010, 640 bighorns died in the East Fork Bitterroot from pneumonia. I had to read that part twice just to fully comprehend what is happening. Very sad to me that this is happening to such a majestic animal. I have never hunted sheep but I am always in awe for the men and women who do. It looks like Fish & Game are going to sell over the counter tags for the remaining 30 - 40 sheep in the Tendoys, then restock the area with sheep from other herds.
 

tjones

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Did Montana Outdoors say "In 2010, 640 bighorns died in the East Fork Bitterroot from pneumonia."?

Around 250 is an all time high for that population. It usually hovered around 200.
 

Randy11

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Did Montana Outdoors say "In 2010, 640 bighorns died in the East Fork Bitterroot from pneumonia."?

Around 250 is an all time high for that population. It usually hovered around 200.

I would assume they meant that's what we lost state-wide in 2010? That would sound about right...
 

LopeHunter

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If 5% of a sheep population can be hunted with ram tags annually, then for every 100 bighorn that die off in these episodes...5 tags were lost. Even if you start over with transplanting sheep in a year or two to seed a fresh herd, mature rams are usually not part of the transplant so you will wait year for new hunts. In addition, unless the sheep were transplanted from a region at full carrying capacity, you also robbed Paul to pay Peter so tags fell in that region.

Unfortunately, the issue is not whether the world record class Breaks will have a die off but rather when the die off will happen as long as domestic sheep (and maybe goats, llamas, ??) make contact with wild sheep and wild sheep decide to wander around then bump into a neighboring wild herd. Surviving sheep seem to carry the ability to infect sheep when rub noses with years after surviving. So, not if, but when.
 

Rocky176

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It exactly says in the article 640 died in the east fork bitterroot, Bonner, upper and lower rock creek and anaconda herds.

I should have copied the whole sentence. Sorry.
 

tjones

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It exactly says in the article 640 died in the east fork bitterroot, Bonner, upper and lower rock creek and anaconda herds.

I should have copied the whole sentence. Sorry.

That sounds right, thanks for the clarification. That's a whole lota sheep.
 
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