Wyoming big game impacted by severe winter weather
With winter weather still blanketing the majority of Wyoming, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) has reported increased mortality for big game in some parts of the state. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold are common in the West; however, in Wyoming, this is the worst winter since 2017.
“Wyoming is used to tough winters, but it has been a while since we have had a winter where severe conditions were so widespread across the state,” said Doug Brimeyer, WGFD deputy chief of wildlife. “Wildlife managers throughout the state are acutely aware of the effects winter is having on big game populations.”
Increased mortality means that hunting season recommendations will be altered to accommodate the change in big game numbers, according to the agency.
“Game and Fish has a proven track record of adaptively managing the state’s wildlife through setting hunting seasons that take into account the challenging conditions wildlife face in the winter,” said Brimeyer. “The public is encouraged to attend their regional season setting meetings to learn more about winter loss in their areas.”
Meetings are scheduled for mid to late March.
As big game herds move to lower elevations in search of forage, WGFD stresses it’s important to be aware of herds as they cross roads and highways, noting that “slowing down by just 5 miles per hour can greatly increase a driver’s reaction time to avoid a wildlife-vehicle collision.”