American pronghorn antelope

WY Game and Fish Commission sets 2016 Hunting Seasons

More opportunities for deer and antelope this fall.

pronghorn bucksThe Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has approved the 2016 big game hunting seasons. This means the public can now look at the final details related to hunting season dates and quotas for Wyoming’s big game, wild bison, small game, migratory game birds, fall turkeys and upland birds.

The approved regulations increases the number of hunting licenses this year for deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and antelope. Though in the Pinedale region there was a slight decrease in deer licenses and in the Jackson region there was no change.

“We are excited about the hunting opportunity available to sportsmen and sportswomen this year,” said Commission President Carrie Little. “We thank the public for all of the interest and comments we received and believe their thoughts were incorporated to shape these hunting regulations.”

The public had expressed a desire for conservative hunting seasons for mule deer. The population of mule deer has declined over the last two decades, but is stable to increasing throughout Wyoming this year.

After several years of record harvest for elk, there was a slight decrease in the number of elk hunting licenses that will be issued, predominantly those decreases are in the Cody, Green River, Pinedale and Jackson regions.

“Game and Fish presented the best science to the public about population trends and what we heard back is that Wyoming people care so much for wildlife. Sportsmen and sportswomen want healthy populations of big game, even if that means fewer hunting licenses in some areas. What passed this week reflect good stewardship of the public’s resource,” said Scott Smith, Deputy Chief of the Wildlife Division.

Here are the statewide changes approved this week:

Antelope +4220
Mule deer +1550
White-tailed +1970
Elk -1465
Moose -35
Bighorn Sheep +8
Mountain Goat +8

Another matter was a change to the regulation related to using aircraft with the purpose of spotting and taking a game animal. The regulations now state that no person can fly between August 1 through January 31 of the following year with the intent of spotting, locating and aiding in the take of game.

The Commission also approved an update to the state’s Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan. CWD is a prion-disease that impacts deer, elk and moose.

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