Wildlife managers actively monitoring winter impacts

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Wyoming Game and Fish Photo

Wyo4News Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

CHEYENNE, WYOMING — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is actively monitoring the impacts the harsh winter is having 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. 

When formulating hunting season recommendations wildlife managers evaluate forage availability, disease prevalence, and winter mortality. 

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 the big game distribution and has the ability to seek an emergency regulation in order to delay the opening of the antler collection season to protect big game on winter ranges.

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.

Hunters can stay informed on the upcoming hunting season and winter impacts by signing up for the Game and Fish Hunting Update