Wyoming Game and Fish forecasts successful hunting season

FILE (AP)
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Cheyenne, Wyo. - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is forecasting a successful hunting season as a result of the mild winter and successful management techniques.

The mild winter and the moisture helped the growth of plants, which provides food and shelter for Wyoming’s wildlife. Increased fawn survival, especially for mule deer and antelope, is pointing toward population growth statewide. Sage grouse populations are seeing notable increases as well. This is only a snapshot of the 2016 season predictions; Game and Fish released its entire hunt forecast today.

“We at Game and Fish hope that all of the people heading into the field this fall have a safe and enjoyable experience,” said Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott. “We thank you for carrying on the hunting heritage that is so important to this state and for your role in managing wildlife so it is here for future generations.”

Overall, the health of big game animals is improving. Biologists have seen improved and survival rates for young elk, deer and pronghorn this year due to a mild winter and some specialized management for hunting. Much like last year, elk numbers are still above objective statewide and hunter success has been high the last few years.

Mule deer, pronghorn and moose numbers have been declining, but the last couple of years that trend has slowed or reversed. Still, for the 2016 hunting season Game and Fish biologists recommend to remain conservative with license allocation. But those with licenses should see quality animals in the field. Small game and bird hunting, especially sage grouse and cottontail rabbits, should also be good this year. For more about hunting in Wyoming visit our website. https://wgfd.wyo.gov/hunting

“The last few years have seen hunter success levels continue to be at among the highest in the region. This should be another incredible year if you are looking to fill up your freezer and make memories with friends and family,” Talbott said. “The quality of animals and variety of species in Wyoming make hunting here an unforgettable experience”

Sportsmen and sportswomen provide 75-80 percent of the funding to manage all of Wyoming’s wildlife. To learn more about hunting in Wyoming, read the Game and Fish Monthly Hunting Update.