March 12, 2013
Helicopters Move Bighorn Sheep Clear of ND Highways
By Chad Love
Wildlife biologists are using helicopters to relocate bighorn sheep away from highways in western North Dakota's booming oil patch.
From this story in the Grand Forks (ND) Herald:
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently deployed a helicopter crew to capture and relocate 12 bighorn sheep in an effort to reduce road-kill incidents along a heavily traveled stretch of U.S. Highway 85 north of the Little Missouri River near the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The highway in the heart of western North Dakota’s Oil Patch has become one of the busiest roads in the state since the start of the oil boom.
According to Randy Kreil, wildlife division chief for Game and Fish in Bismarck, the helicopter crew already was in western North Dakota capturing mule deer for a study on the impact of oil development on the deer. But after a half-dozen incidents of bighorn sheep, including three mature rams, being killed along Highway 85 since 2010, the decision was made to capture and move the sheep to a safer location.