BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Wildlife officials say a summer survey indicates the number of bighorn sheep in western North Dakota remains steady.

However, Game and Fish biologists are worried about what they call a significant decline in the number of adult rams.

Biologist Brett Wiedmann says the survey showed a minimum of 299 bighorns, unchanged from last year and only 17 percent below the record in 2008. But he says the number of rams was down 11 percent from last year and down 21 percent from the 2009 ram record.

Wiedmann says officials need to figure out why the ram population is declining despite reductions in hunting licenses.

Game and Fish issued four hunting licenses this year, the same as last year. The season is Oct. 25-Nov. 7.

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