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Counting sheep: South Dakota accidentally OKs Bighorn hunts for thousands

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Counting sheep: South Dakota accidentally OKs Bighorn hunts for thousands

South Dakota fish and game officials must be feeling sheepish.

Some 2,000 hunters were mistakenly sent emails saying they were successful in obtaining tags to hunt the state’s rarest of big game – the Bighorn Sheep. The problem is, only two such tags – which have been known to fetch as much as $400,000 at auction – were supposed to be awarded. The mistake was quickly cleared up, but not without disappointing a lot of hunters, who thought they had a rare shot at hunting a prized trophy.

Scott Simpson, a spokesman for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, told FoxNews.com that roughly 2,000 applicants were inadvertently sent an email saying they were successful in drawing a bighorn sheep tag. The erroneous emails were caused by a “computer glitch,” Simpson said, and the individuals never received the tags because officials soon caught the mistake. Scott said about 4,000 South Dakota residents applied for the tag. He also said the state auctioned off a tag for the first time this year. John Dagel, of Watertown, S.D., bid $102,000 for it – money Simpson said will go toward programs that preserve the sheep and their habitat.

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