State wildlife officials have approved a plan to issue elk-kill permits to landowners in southern Montana as part of an effort to reduce the spread of disease to cattle.
Thursday's action by Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners applies to the 2014-2015 season. It will allow up to 250 elk to be taken by permitted landowners and hunters during "dispersal" hunts. Hazing also could be used at times to keep elk away from cattle.
The aim of the elk management plan is to keep infected elk away from cattle to prevent the spread of the disease brucellosis. Cows infected with brucellosis can prematurely abort their young.
Quentin Kujala with the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks says the plan represents a reasonable approach.