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PECOS, N.M. - The Department of Game and Fish plans to trap and move 40 to 50 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the Pecos Wilderness beginning Sept. 22. This is an effort to reduce bighorn populations in that area.

"We need to get some animals off the mountain for the benefit of the habitat," said Darrel Weybright, big game manager for the Department's Wildlife Management Division. "There are too many sheep in the Pecos now. The herd remains very healthy and we want to keep it that way."

About 16 bighorn sheep will be sent to Arizona to complete an exchange agreement with that state for desert bighorn sheep. The Department captured 16 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep from Wheeler Peak and sent them to Arizona in July. The remainder of the sheep captured next week will go to the San Francisco River and Turkey Creek in the Gila area and possibly the Manzano Mountains.

"We hope to enhance the herds on the San Francisco River and Turkey Creek," said Weybright. "They are doing fair, they are more than stable."

There will be trapping activity at the north and south ends of Trailrider's Wall, Pecos Baldy Lake, Joe Vigil Lake and Willow Creek Campground. Hikers, campers and other recreationists can expect to encounter helicopters in the Pecos area beginning Sept. 21, as well as drop nets and personnel from the Department, the U.S. Forest Service and volunteers involved in the trapping operation. The public is welcome to observe but is asked to stay clear of the trapping activity for their safety and that of the animals and trap personnel.





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