Fall Hunting Forecast for South East Wyoming
Fall hunting season 2020 is quickly approaching, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has released a hunting outlook for southeast Wyoming
Beginning with the pronghorn populations, the Game and Fish Department stated that as herds in the north and east, including Iron Mountain, Meadowdale, Hawk Springs, and Dwyer have declined the past four years, the Game and Fish reduced licenses in hunt areas 11, 34 and 103. Along with this, Hunt Area 38 Type 6 licenses will open a month later than usual on November 1. There are decent buck populations in the herd, but older bucks will be difficult to locate.
The herds in the Medicine Bow and Elk Mountain regions have experienced above-average losses. Hunters in this area may notice decreased numbers
Regarding mule deer, the Game and Fish department states that the populations in the Sheep Mountain, Platte Valley, and Shirley Mountain herds are stable to slightly increasing.
The season was lengthened by four days in the Sheep Mountain herd to align buck ratios with recreational management guidelines, thus providing hunters with additional opportunities.
Buck ratios remain high across the Platte Valley.
Unfortunately, poor fawn production and high chronic wasting disease have continued to suppress populations in the Goshen Rim and Laramie Mountian herds. Hunters may struggle to find older deer, and should be prepared to hunt harder than normal if they are looking for a trophy buck.
The Game and Fish have given a more optimistic report on elk populations, which have remained above the objective. There will be ample opportunities throughout the region for hunters. Hunters should also be prepared to pursue elk in areas that are a distance from well-traveled roads and trails, given hunting pressure on public land.
The Game and Fish states that bighorn sheep hunting should be excellent throughout the Laramie region. Hunt Areas 18 and 21 are open for the 2020 season following closure in 2019. The typically 90% success in the Douglas Creek, Encampment River, and Laramie Peak herds is expected for the 2020 season.
Game and Fish anticipates excellent moose hunting opportunities in the Snowy Range herd.
Finally, regarding the greater sage grouse, the Game and Fish anticipated that the 2020 season will be similar to last year, with the exception that the open day has been moved to the third Saturday in September. Hunt area 1 covers most of the state and is open September 19-30, and a three-day season in northeast Wyoming has been set for September 19-21 in hunt area 4.
Sage grouse numbers will likely remain similar or slightly lower than that observed in 2019, and hunters should expect similar success.
For more information on the 2020 fall hunting season, please follow this link here.