Cody – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is proposing changes to 2019 deer hunting seasons in the Upper Shoshone mule deer herd (Hunt Areas 110-115) and the Clarks Fork mule deer herd (Hunt Areas 105, 106, 109).
The 2019 proposals take into consideration biological data, harvest data, historical hunting season structures and diverse feedback received at recently held public input meetings in Cody and Powell and other public outreach efforts conducted last summer. The proposed changes will now go through the regular season setting process and public comments can be submitted to Game and Fish online, in writing at a local meeting or by mail through April 1.
Wildlife Biologist Tony Mong said both herds have undergone severe population declines due to tough winters and poor fawn production and recruitment. Game and Fish began implementing changes to the seasons last year by reducing doe harvest opportunity to maximize the ability of the herd to rebound and four-point antler restrictions to reduce buck harvest.
The 2019 proposed changes are intended to further decrease buck harvest to address future hunt quality and number of bucks. “Essentially, we are trying to shorten the time frame in which hunt quality and the number of bucks in this herd will be impacted while the population rebounds,” Mong said.
In the Clark’s Fork herd, Game and Fish proposes to reduce the general season by seven days in hunt areas 105 and 106 and reduce limited quota licenses by half in hunt areas 105, 106, and 109. “The reduction in days should reduce buck harvest and protect the low number of migrating bucks in that herd,” Mong said. “We also decreased the potential of harvesting migrating doe deer in hunt area 105 after they potentially mix with resident deer