(Lander, Wyo.) – The Lander Regional Office of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department is in the midst of taking information from hunters as staff prepares to set next year’s seasons. Last night a group of Lander residents visited with G&F to hear about issues they experienced this year and suggestions for addressing those problems.
G&F held a similar meeting in Dubois last week, and the final one of the batch is Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at the Fremont County Library in Riverton.
Deer numbers continue to be a lead concern for Fremont County hunters. Much discussion surrounded lack of large bucks, and slim amounts of white tail deer in some areas. G&F Biologist Stan Harter said white tail and pronghorn antelope experienced a larger-than-normal hit by common viruses.
One solution mentioned, besides altering season lengths or license amounts, would be to study mule deer habitat more carefully to learn why some apparently good looking stands of habitat are being skipped over.
Several people were opposed to G&F granting large party permits in areas where there are limited amounts of licenses available. Some expressed a desire to see residents get bonus points when drawing for special areas to give residents more of a bump above nonresidents.
With regard to elk, some said they saw great quality bulls in the Lander area.
One group suggested limiting the number past-shooter licenses given to the One Shot Antelope Hunt each year. Instead of giving a flat amount every year, it was suggested the amount be altered annually based on the total number of licenses available.
Hunter ethics was a large discussion with at least one group. Over-use of technology, wounding animals with arrows or long-range shots without pursuing them, and driving ATVs off-road were all listed as problems that the hunting community at-large needs to address.