MISSOULA, Mont. — Around 805 sheep will be settled on the northern hills of Missoula, and they're on duty. The herd's job is to keep noxious weeds under control.
The sheep will graze the land around the north hills and Mount Jumbo.
Since the herd is three times bigger this year, hiking areas will be closed to dogs through July 10.
Missoula Parks and Recreation officials said livestock dogs will be patrolling the area to keep the herd safe and might see other dogs as predators and attack them.
"If you see the sheep, steer clear of them. They're generally not on the trail. Take a photo. Take a peek. And then go on your way," said Jeff Gicklhorn with Missoula Parks and Recreation. "Try not to approach them, because the herding dogs and the guard dogs will potentially see someone as a threat. They won't attack people. But they are trained to attack predators including dogs."
The herd will cover around 1,600 acres over the next two weeks.
Signs will be posted in advance to warn hikers when the sheep and livestock dogs move to the next area.