Wyoming Game and Fish Altering Hunting Season After Severe Winter | Big Horn Basin Media

Wyoming Game and Fish Altering Hunting Season After Severe Winter

Written by on April 11, 2023

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is actively monitoring the impacts of the harsh winter on big game populations across southern, central, and western Wyoming. As a result of extreme winter impacts, Game and Fish wildlife managers have made significant adjustments to hunting season proposals in many areas of the state.

Wildlife managers evaluate forage availability, disease prevalence, and winter mortality when formulating hunting season recommendations.

Initial season proposals were presented during public meetings around the state in March. After considering the ongoing impacts of winter and the overwhelming public concern, wildlife managers modified their recommendations in areas with extreme winter mortality. A new set of draft regulations will be posted online and presented to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission during its season-setting meeting on April 18.

“As we have seen this week, we are still experiencing extreme winter conditions and significant wildlife mortality in many areas of the state,” said Game and Fish Chief Game Warden Rick King. “The department may make additional regulation changes for the Commission’s considerations up until the time we present them. Our 2023 season proposals will reflect a very conservative approach.”

Game and Fish is closely monitoring big game distribution and can seek an emergency regulation to delay the opening of the antler collection season to protect big game on winter ranges.

Modifications are highlighted in yellow in the draft regulations below.

Fewer licenses will be available in nearly every hunt area for pronghorn and deer. In addition, doe & fawn hunts will be eliminated entirely in areas where herds have endured the highest mortality.

The public is invited to attend the season-setting Commission meeting on April 17-18 in Casper. A virtual option is available. The full agenda is available on the Game and Fish website.

By signing up for the Game and Fish Hunting Update, hunters can stay informed on the upcoming hunting season and winter impacts.

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