By AVERY HOWE
Staff Reporter 

Deer, antelope populations down, season changes proposed

 

March 30, 2023



“At least in my district, mule deer, antelope, and now we’re seeing a little bit of white-tails – the population is probably the lowest that I’ve ever seen,” said Worland Game and Fish Wildlife Biologist Bart Kroger at a public meeting at Washakie County Fairgrounds on Monday, March 27.

Wyoming Game and Fish biologists from the region held a public meeting on Monday to go over proposed changes to the 2023 hunting seasons of antelope, deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat, upland game bird and small game, migratory game bird, bison and turkey. Comments from the meeting were recorded to be represented at the state level, with all public comments due by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 29.


Kroger reported that the Copper Mountain pronghorn herd experienced a 60% population decline since 2018. The 15-Mile herd saw a 50% decline in the same time period. “We had a real good harvest between 2016 and 2019, and ever since then, we’ve cut back on tags. We had a real low fawn production, which didn’t help that population, but in 2022 we had an increase and hopefully that will start to bring the antelope back.”

Southwest Bighorn mule deer populations have also taken a hit, with a 40-50% decline since 2016. Harvest in the area has been reduced by 70% since 2017, with record-low hunter success between 2020-2022. Basin and Owl Creek mule deer herd groups saw similar declines. Chronic wasting disease prevalence, recorded over a three-year average, sat near 15% for the herds. Kroger noted that fawn survival would ideally be higher to see population growth.


Greybull Wildlife Biologist Sam Stephens pointed out that despite a harsh winter, so far survival seems optimistic in terms of collared deer. “Uniquely for us, on the west slope of the Bighorns, our survival has been good so far.” Out of 76 collared deer in the region this year, Stephens reported one mortality. “We know that we see a peak in mortality in April and May, but so far, it’s a pretty good sign.”


Proposed Changes:

DEER

Hunting Area (HA) 27 proposed an additional general season from Dec. 1 – Dec. 15 for doe or fawn white-tailed

HA 37 proposed Type 1 quota reduced from 75 to 50 antlered deer

HA 37 and 39 Type 3 changed closing date from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15 with quota increased from 50 to 100 white-tailed

HA 37 and 39 Type 8 changed closing date from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15 with quota increased from 50 to 100 doe or fawn white-tailed


HA 40 proposed Type 3 and 8 changed opening date from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15

HA 41 Type 6 quota reduced from 150 to 100 doe or fawn within one-half mile of irrigated land

HA 51 Type 8 quota increased from 150 to 200 doe or fawn white-tailed

HA 116-118 Type 8 quota increased from 175 to 200 doe or fawn white-tailed

HA 119 Type 2 quota decrease from 75 to 50 antlered deer

HA 122 general season on antlerless deer on private land removed

HA 124 general season changed from any deer to antlered mule deer or any white-tailed

HA 127 Type 3 closing date changed from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15, quota increased from 25 to 50 white-tailed


HA 127 Type 8 quota increased from 75 to 100 doe or fawn white-tailed

HA 128 Type 1 quota reduced from 75 to 50

HA 157 Type 1 quota reduced from 300 to 100

HA 157 Type 3 quota reduced from 200 to 100 white-tailed

HA 157 Type 6 quota reduced from 200 to 25 doe or fawn

HA 157 Type 8 quota reduced from 350 to 200 doe or fawn white-tailed

HA 164 Type 6 opening date moved from Oct. 25 to Oct 1., quota increased from 25 to 50 on doe or fawn within one-half mile of irrigated land

HA 164 Type 7 removed

ANTELOPE

HA 78 Type 1 quota reduced from 150 to 125 any antelope

HA 78 Type 6 closing date moved from Nov. 15 to Nov. 30

HA 81 Type 1 quota reduced from 275 to 200 any antelope

HA 81 Type 6 quota reduced from 200 to 150 doe or fawn

HA 82 Type 1 quota reduced from 200 to 175 any antelope

HA 82 Type 6 quota reduced from 200 to 175 doe or fawn

HA 110 Type 1 quota increased from 125 to 150 any antelope

HA 110 Type 6 quota increased from 50 to 75 any antelope

HA 114 Type 1 quota reduced from 75 to 50 any antelope

HA 114 Type 2 removed on any antelope on irrigated land east of Worland Airport Road and south of U.S. Highway 16

HA 114 Type 6 closing date changed from Oct. 24 to Oct. 30 for any doe or fawn within one-half mile of irrigated land

HA 114 Type 7 season changed from Oct. 25 – Nov. 30 to Nov. 1 – Dec. 15 on any doe or fawn within one-half mile of irrigated land

HA 114 Type 8 removed on doe or fawn on irrigated land east of Worland Airport Road and south of U.S. Highway 16

More changes, as well as how to submit comments, can be viewed by visiting wgfd.wyo.gov/get-involved/public-meetings.

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2024

Rendered 02/29/2024 13:08