Wyoming Outdoor Expo Goes Digital

Save the date May 6-8

Wyoming Outdoor Expo Goes Digital

CHEYENNE – Celebrate and learn about Wyoming’s outdoors and wildlife with the Wyoming Outdoor Expo, held May 6-8 online. This year, the Expo features livestreamed presentations and tons of ideas on how to explore nature and recreate outside. The state’s largest outdoor education event, hosted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and numerous partners, is the official kickoff to summer, and gets kids, families and outdoor-lovers ready for the warmer weather. While the event isn’t in-person due to COVID-19 precautions, Expo promises a healthy dose of fun.

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Wyoming: annual Grizzly Bear Capture Report Available

CHEYENNE – The 2020 Annual Report of Grizzly Bear Management Captures, Relocations and Removals completed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is now available on the department website. The annual report is required by state statute and quantifies management actions by the Game and Fish in relation to grizzly bear conflict resolution in Wyoming outside the National Parks and Wind River Reservation.

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Wyoming: Ban on Federal Oil and Gas Leases Could Limit Wildlife Mitigation Efforts


CHEYENNE – A ban on new sales of federal oil and gas leases could have negative impacts for Wyoming’s wildlife. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has analyzed potential effects on the state’s wildlife in response to Governor Gordon’s Executive Order Directing State Agencies to Determine Impacts of Federal Oil and Gas Lease Ban. Most of all, a ban of new leasing on federal lands could restrict the ability of Wyoming’s state wildlife agencies to work with proponents to avoid and minimize impacts to fish and wildlife.

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Wyoming Nonresident Hunting Booklet Available

Coming in early January will be the Wyoming updates.
The new 2011 Wyoming Nonresident Hunting Booklet is now available here:

Big Game Tags Still Available in Wyoming

Even though most big game seasons have already come and gone, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports that some areas are still open and have licenses available for residents and nonresidents.

For deer, the area with the most licenses is nonresident Region A (hunt areas 1-6) in the Black Hills area in the northeast portion of the state. More than 700 nonresident Region A licenses are available for that area as well as numerous reduced price doe/fawn licenses that may be purchased in addition to the regular price licenses that allow the taking of a buck.  Residents can hunt that region with a general license.  The season in Region A opens Nov. 1 and runs through Nov. 30 in hunt areas 1-3, and until Nov. 20 in areas 4-6.  For type 6 doe licenses, hunt areas 1-6 are open until Nov. 30.

Other nonresident regions with licenses remaining include Region J in the southeast and Region M in north central Wyoming.  Seasons in these regions vary with the individual hunt area but some areas still have open seasons until Oct. 31 while others are open until Nov. 4 for general license holders.

Antelope seasons in the northeast overlap many of the deer seasons in the Black Hills.  Antelope areas 1-5 are open now and will close on Nov. 20.  Antelope hunters should also be aware that seasons in many other areas in northeast Wyoming still have licenses available with most seasons staying open until Oct. 31.

Many of the licenses are in areas that are predominantly private land.  Hunters are advised to check with the Game and Fish if uncertain about land status or access in the area they plan to hunt.

For elk, a number of areas still have antlerless licenses available and for hunters holding general licenses, many areas in the western part of the state will be open Nov. 1 for antlerless elk hunting once the season allowing the taking of bull elk closes.

Hunters can check regulations for seasons that are still open and the Game and Fish Web site http://gf.state.wy.us for license availability and season dates in the various hunt areas.  Hunters can also call the WGFD at (307) 777-4600 for more information.

Wyoming Seeks to Understand Moose Declines

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking moose hunters to provide information on their hunt and have their harvested animal examined to help wildlife managers better understand the decline of moose populations in Wyoming.

Green River wildlife management coordinator Mark Zornes says that many moose populations throughout the world are declining, especially southern populations (including Shiras Moose in Wyoming). To accommodate the observed decline, Zornes says Wyoming has dramatically decreased moose licenses in recent years and more must be done to better understand and potentially affect this decline.

“No single cause has been identified for these worldwide declines,” Zornes said. “Increased parasite loads and disease are associated with slight temperature increases throughout the range of moose from Wyoming to Norway and Sweden.

Several recent moose mortalities in western Wyoming have been linked to the presence of the parasite Elaephora schneideri, commonly called carotid artery worm. Mule deer are the normal host for this parasite and suffer no ill effects. However, the parasite can be fatal to other big game animals, including moose. This parasite restricts blood flow to the brain and extremities, causing ear tip and nose tissues to die, and ultimately can result in the death of the animal. We have also documented cases of keratoconjunctivitis (pink eye) and one case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in moose.”

In an effort to better understand the prevalence and distribution of these diseases and parasites in Wyoming moose, successful hunters are asked to bring their harvested animal to a WGFD Regional Office or field check station for sample testing. Hunters are encouraged to bring the entire head (skull plate can be removed) out of the field with them for sampling at a check station or regional office.

“If you intend to have a trophy moose mounted by a taxidermist, a WGFD employee will pick the head up at the taxidermist after it has been caped,” Zornes said. “Please call the nearest regional office and let the office manager know which taxidermist you are using. We will call the taxidermist and request the head be held until it can be picked up.”

Check stations are run throughout the state on opening days and weekends during many big game seasons. Hunters are required to stop at every check station they encounter and department personnel can collect samples at these locations.

However, if a check station is not encountered, or a field check is not made, hunters are asked to bring their moose head to the most convenient WGFD regional office. Hunters are asked to call first to ensure that someone will be available to take biological samples upon arrival.
(Contact: Lucy Diggins (307-875-3223)

3,000 Doe-fawn Licenses Available

Sheridan, Wyo. (AP) – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department plans to issue 3,000 licenses to hunt deer in an area near Sheridan this fall.

The department says recent mild winters and a high reproduction rate for deer mean more opportunities for hunters. The purpose is to reduce the deer population so they do less damage to livestock forage and wildlife habitat. Deer also can be a hazard on roads and highways.

The licenses apply to Hunt Area 24 outside Sheridan. Hunting season begins Sept. 1 and ends Dec. 20. Hunters who buy the licenses will be allowed to kill up to four does or fawns.

Wyoming Added 50,000 Acres To Walk In Hunting Areas


Wyoming hunters will have more than 50,000 new acres of walk-in access to private lands this year and four new Hunter Management Areas that offer hunting for big game including elk, deer and antelope as well as a variety of upland bird species, waterfowl and small game and predators.

The complete list of 2009 Hunter Management and Walk-In Areas is now available on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Web site. The list includes hundreds of thousands of acres of public access available throughout much of Wyoming.

In all, Wyoming’s Hunter Management and Walk-In Area programs provide access to more than two million acres of public and private lands.

Of note this year are the addition of four new hunter management areas and more than 50,000 new acres of access added to the 700,000 acres already provided through the Walk-in Area program.

The new Hunter Management Areas (HMA) are found in Johnson, Carbon, Albany and Hot Springs counties and are provided courtesy of agreements with PacifiCorp, M&M, McFarlane and the Little V-H ranches. The new acreage provided through the Walk-In Area program includes terrain in several counties, mostly in eastern Wyoming.

“These companies and landowners should be commended for their key role in the good stewardship of these lands,” Gov. Dave Freudenthal said. “As we all know, particularly in the eastern half of our state, access is a prized commodity. We understand that these folks don’t take granting access lightly, and we sure appreciate their willingness to participate in this program which provides such an important benefit to the hunting public.”

Public land access coordinator Matt Buhler said the Game and Fish thanks PacifiCorp and other landowners for their contributions to habitat, sound wildlife management and hunter access.

“The hunter access program is only successful thanks to the efforts of companies like PacifiCorp that own large acreage of land and the many private ranchers and farmers who also participate in the program.” Buhler said. “We have been greatly encouraged by the reception we have received from private companies and landowners to provide places for people to hunt. The amount of access has been increasing every year and it is those who own the land that deserve the credit.”

Buhler said Hunter Management Areas differ from Walk-In Areas in that a permit must be obtained to hunt. “To use one of the 44 Hunter Management Areas, a physical permission slip can be obtained on-line or at Game and Fish offices,” Buhler said.

Details on obtaining HMA permits and accessing some of the 850,000 acres available through that program can be obtained by calling (307) 777-4600 or on the Game and Fish Web site. A listing of ranch rules and the license types that are valid in each of the Hunter Management and Walk-in Areas is also available on the Web site. Hunters should be aware that rules governing use of HMAs can vary with the different areas.

“In some of the areas, permits are unlimited,” Buhler said. “In others, they are limited and a drawing is held to issue the Hunter Management Area permits.” Hunters can begin applying for most HMA permits on July 14.

Walk-In Areas provide hunting opportunity for big game including elk, deer and antelope as well as a variety of upland bird species, waterfowl and small game and predators. The Walk-in Atlas lists the species that can be hunted within each area and the dates when individual walk-in areas can be accessed. Printed copies of the Walk-in Area Atlas will be available in August.

The Walk-in Program is funded to a large extent by the Game and Fish Department’s AccessYes Program through contributions of anglers and hunters usually at the time of license purchase and application.

Get more information here.

Elk Foundation Grants to Benefit 15 Wyoming Counties



MISSOULA, Mont.—Fifteen counties in Wyoming are slated for wildlife habitat conservation projects using $352,547 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Albany, Bighorn, Carbon, Converse, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta, Washakie and Weston counties.

Additional projects have statewide interest.

“Our volunteers across Wyoming helped drive the 2008 fundraisers that made these grants possible. This is where Elk Foundation banquets, auctions and other events transform into on-the-ground conservation work, and it’s part of the payday for supporters who are passionate about giving something back to the outdoors,” said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.

Elk Foundation grants will help fund the following Wyoming projects, listed by county:

Bighorn County—Prescribe burn 300 acres of juniper and mountain sagebrush to improve forage for elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer, sage grouse and antelope in BLM Devil’s Canyon area.

Carbon County—Continue efforts to secure 1,561-acre conservation easement on a private ranch containing elk habitat surrounded by subdivision and energy developments; prescribe burn 2,775 acres to improve elk winter range in Medicine Bow National Forest Big Sandstone area; thin and prescribe burn to improve habitat in Sierra Madre/Little Snake River area of Medicine Bow National Forest; clean ditches and install 1,500 feet of pipeline to improve and expand irrigation and forage on elk winter range at Pennock Mountain Wildlife Management Area; install wildlife friendly fencing and water troughs at two springs to improve use by livestock and elk in BLM Romios Spring area.

Converse County—Using prescribed fire, restore grasses, forbs, aspen and water availability for elk and other wildlife on the North Laramie Range (also affects Albany, Natrona and Converse counties); sponsored deer/antelope hunts with Paralyzed Veterans of America; sponsored Wyoming State 4-H Shooting Sports Competition for about 500 youths competing in pistol, rifle, archery, muzzleloader and shotgun skills.

Laramie County—Install three fence-exclosures around spring water sources to restore riparian areas for elk along BLM North Crow Creek area.

Lincoln County—Utilize biological and chemical control mechanisms, control weed infestations to enhance forage for elk in Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Natrona County—Thin and prescribe burn encroaching conifer and sagebrush to improve aspen communities and forage for elk in Bates Creek watershed; remove overgrown conifer on 215 acres of curl leaf mahogany habitat in BLM Lost Creek area.

Park County—Support research project to study elk migration timing and routes in relationship to private lands, and study habitat use by elk and wolves in Absaroka Mountains.

Sheridan County—Thin 200 acres of encroaching forest to improve elk habitat in Bighorn National Forest; install weed-catchers to enhance structural support for beaver dams, which will restore stream morphology and riparian meadows along Big Willow Creek in Bighorn National Forest.

Sublette County—As part of a continuing stewardship project, thin overgrown forest to restore aspen and grasslands habitat for elk and other wildlife on privately owned, publicly accessibly timberlands.

Statewide—Sponsor Hunting and Fishing Heritage Expo, firearms handling and shooting clinics for youth and women, and Access Yes programs with Wyoming Game and Fish Department; newspaper advertising across Wyoming to celebrate RMEF achievements in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day; radio advertising to build public awareness of RMEF achievements.

Sweetwater County—Develop water source with solar power to ensure water for livestock, elk and other wildlife on BLM lands.

Teton County—Prescribe burn 3,264 acres of elk winter and transition range to improve forage and aspen along Lower Gros Ventre area in Bridger-Teton National Forest; provide funding for “Don’t Poach the Powder” campaign to help protect elk winter range near Jackson Hole (also affects Lincoln County); sponsored Great Elk Tour at Jackson Hole Elk Fest.

Uinta County—Prescribe burn 455 acres of conifer slash to open habitat for aspen and grasslands habitat preferred by elk in Wasatch National Forest.

Washakie County—Thin 800 acres of juniper encroachment and restore sagebrush and grassland on elk winter range in BLM Rome Hill area.

Weston County—Seed 100 acres of native grass in a cleared, aspen regeneration project area for elk and other wildlife in Parmlee Canyon.

Partners for 2009 projects in Wyoming include Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.

Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 380 conservation projects in Wyoming with a value of more than $36.3 million.

Partnership Reaches $1 Million in Conservation for Wyoming



MISSOULA, Mont.—A partnership between the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has reached the $1 million mark in projects for elk, other wildlife and their habitat in Wyoming.

Trust funds are generated by a tax on oil exploration in Wyoming. A nine-member, governor-appointed board of directors administers contributions to groups like RMEF.

Since 2006, the Trust has supported Elk Foundation habitat projects such as prescribed burns, aspen restorations, water developments and more. Eleven counties in Wyoming have benefitted including Big Horn, Carbon, Converse, Crook, Hot Springs, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sublette and Weston. Most of the work has enhanced Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands.

Additional funding commitments to RMEF have expanded the slate of projects for 2009.

Trust Executive Director Bob Budd said, “Habitat-based groups like the Elk Foundation are highly effective in a variety of ways, from building support for conservation to actually putting the torch to invasive conifers. We really enjoy seeing the passion of sportsmen translate to better habitat on the landscapes of Wyoming. It is an honor for us to work with this great organization.”

RMEF supplements Trust contributions through its own granting program, which is based in banquets and other fundraisers held across Wyoming. Partners like the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are often involved, too.

Jack Blackwell, vice president of lands and conservation for the Elk Foundation, said, “Bob Budd and everyone at the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust are among the most engaged people that we work with. Under board chairman Delaine Roberts’ leadership, they carefully review each project application and at least one board member visits every project to build their understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish. It’s very rewarding when they provide support and enable us to accomplish our mission. As an organization, we can’t thank them enough.”

At an April meeting, Blackwell and RMEF colleagues presented plaques recognizing the successful partnership with Budd and the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust.