2005 Hunting Season Meeting March 28
Season changes proposed for next fall
March 18, 2005
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department invites the public to participate in the 2005 big game season setting process by attending one of the public meetings scheduled throughout the region. Game and Fish biologists and wardens will be on hand to discuss data collected this winter and the resulting season changes being proposed for next fall. This year public meetings will be held in Thayne and Pinedale, with the formal season setting meeting to be held in Jackson.
Wildlife managers are concerned about declining numbers of bull elk seen in the Afton elk herd. "This year we counted just 8 mature bulls per 100 cows," said Thayne Wildlife biologist, Gary Fralick. "This is the lowest we've seen since the 1980's for this herd. We'd like to see that number get into the upper teens." As a result, managers are proposing to shorten the hunting seasons in Elk Hunt Areas 89 & 90. Wildlife managers are also concerned about a declining overall number of elk at the Greys River feed ground in recent years.
Both the Jackson and Sublette moose herds continue to show similar declining trends in moose numbers and a further reduction in hunting pressure is being proposed for both herds.
In the Jackson herd it is planned to close the hunting season in Moose Hunt Areas 7, 14, and 32 in the Teton Wilderness north of Moran. In the Sublette herd, it is proposed to reduce the number of permits by a total of 85.
On a positive note, the Palisades mountain goat herd continues to increase and expand it's range into Wyoming's Snake River Range north of Alpine. Wildlife managers counted over 120 goats in Wyoming during their late summer aerial survey in 2004. It is being proposed to increase the number of permits for this herd from four to eight. "This goat herd has steadily been expanding into Wyoming from Idaho for the past twenty years," says Fralick. "Wildlife managers in Idaho reported similar robust numbers, so we feel pretty good about offering an additional four permits for this hunt area."
In addition to the 2004 big game seasons being proposed, the Game and Fish Department will discuss a proposed regulation identifying the way hunters must dispose of harvested deer and elk carcasses in areas known to contain Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The proposed regulation is similar to the voluntary recommendations the Department has been suggesting since 2002.
Under the proposed regulation, those who harvest a deer or elk in an area known to have CWD will have two options. Hunters can leave the head and spine at the site of the kill or they can field dress the animal, take it home for processing, to a Wyoming taxidermist, game processor, or CWD sample collection facility, as long as the head and spine are disposed of in an approved landfill. Because CWD affects both deer and elk, the proposed regulation will apply to all specified areas in Wyoming where CWD has been found in deer and/or elk.
To learn more about the status of big game herds and the 2005 hunting seasons being proposed for the Jackson/Pinedale Region, plan to attend one of the upcoming public meetings in the region. There will be open houses held in Thayne and Pinedale followed by the formal season setting meeting in Jackson.
March 28 - Pinedale Fire Hall, 7:00 pm
March 29 - Thayne Elementary School Gymnasium, 7:00 pm
The meetings will begin with a presentation at 7:00 pm, followed by an open house format allowing one-on-one conversations with local Game and Fish personnel.
The formal season setting meeting will be held in Jackson at the Nugget Room of the 49er Inn on March 30 at 7:00pm.
For further information, contact the Jackson Game and Fish Office at 307-733-2321 and 1-800-423-4113 or the Pinedale office at 307-367-4353 and 1-800-452-9107. The G&F supports the Americans with Disabilities Act. Anyone needing auxiliary aids to attend this meeting should call a number listed above. Every effort will be made for reasonable accommodations.