BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials are seeking public comment on proposed guidelines for elk hunting outside of the existing archery and rifle seasons.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials are considering so-called shoulder seasons for elk that would be held before or after the general hunting season.

The goal is to reduce elk numbers in areas where herd populations are above the state’s objectives.

Landowners have pressured officials to increase elk hunting opportunities as a way to lessen damage from the animals to fences and crops and to reduce the chances of disease transmissions to livestock.

Comments on the proposal will be taken until August 10.

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Online:

Elk season proposed guidelines: http://1.usa.gov/1fv6Lq1