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Eye in the sky to determine what Big Game they have-:bowdown:

Game and Fish using helicopter to survey big game herds

GREEN RIVER-Deer classifications are underway in the Green River Region and Wyoming Game and Fish Department wildlife biologists and game wardens will be using a helicopter to count southwest Wyoming deer herds. Classification counts are how the Game and Fish estimates the number of fawns and bucks in the deer herds and it can easily be done in a short amount of time from a helicopter.

"If you are hunting on a late elk license please be aware that local biologists and game wardens will be in the air classifying deer tentatively the week of December 7," said Mountain View Wildlife Biologist Jeff Short. "Because we have some late elk hunts going on we want hunter to be aware of the helicopter surveys. We will also work hard to avoid flying the survey on the opening weekend for the late elk hunt in areas 102 and 104, which is December 5 and 6, or the last two days of the season. There are also late hunts going on in hunt areas 106 and 107. There is also a possibility that the helicopter survey may fly over the Knight Ridge Hunter Management Area and a couple of hunting walk-in access areas."

By using the deer fawn ratios, managers can monitor how fast a population is growing or perhaps decreasing. The number of bucks tells managers how the herds are holding up to our current hunting pressure and harvest. Wildlife managers look at the number of yearling bucks in the herd as a measure of how fawns from last year fared over the past winter.

"Our flight schedule is always weather-dependent," Short said. "Also, weather plays a huge role in how big game animals survive the winter. We could see an above average winter mortality of mule deer if this winter turns out to be very cold and with heavy snowfall. We will know more about how many animals were lost in the spring, when we conduct the deer mortality surveys the first weekend in May."

For more information please call the Green River Region Game and Fish Office at 307-875-3223.
~WGFD~
 

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and..................already looking for input for next year from hunters......

Casper Region WGFD Information-gathering Meeting on Hunting Seasons

CASPER - The Casper Regional Office of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is once again inviting you to attend a public big game post hunting season listening session. This meeting will be held gather public feedback from this past hunting season and to get public recommendations and ideas regarding future hunting seasons.

"We want public input prior to beginning our process of formulating next year's hunting season proposals," said Justin Binfet, Game and Fish Wildlife Management Coordinator for the Casper Region. "Essentially, we will be asking interested hunters to express their ideas and opinions regarding their antelope, deer and elk hunting experience and what they would like to see going forward."

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the Casper Game and Fish office, 3030 Energy Lane. The emphasis will be on antelope, deer and elk hunting seasons.

"This will be a working meeting and we want to encourage maximum public participation. We will simply be gathering public input on big game hunting seasons in the Casper area. We are here just to listen to hunters and to provide clarification for any questions that may arise," said Binfet.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department supports the Americans with Disabilities Act. Every effort will be made for reasonable accommodations, contact the Casper Game and Fish office at (307) 473-3400.

~WGFD~
 
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Discussion Starter #5
and a good video on "Mule Deer- Saving the Icon of the West".

 

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Newsletters- good reads..........

https://wgfd.wyo.gov/WGFD/media/content/PDF/Regional Offices/Jackson/2016_Jan_Jackson.pdf

http://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WYWGFD/2016/01/21/file_attachments/481887/SN+January+2016+date+Dec+2015+activities-FINAL+pdf.pdf

"Bell Jet Ranger helicopter was used to conduct a winter moose survey in Hunt Area 34 west of Buf-falo. The survey was done to gather information on current moose numbers and herd composition. Herd composition, or classification surveys, provides information on calf production and survival as well as the proportion of bulls in the herd. A total of 24 moose were counted and classified during the survey, including 9 bulls, 9 cows and 6 calves. These totals compared to 33 moose in 2014 and 32 moose in 2013. The lower counts this year could be due to a combination of lower moose numbers and a lower detection rate. Moose often occupy conifer habitat adjacent to willow habitats which makes them difficult or impossible to observe. Survey results and other data will be used when setting the 2016 fall hunting season. Management direction has strived to de-crease moose numbers to a level compatible with available habi-tat. Willow habitat is generally in poor condition, thereby provid-ing reduced moose carrying capacity."
 

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Game and Fish Commission to consider ungulate migration corridor strategy in January

At its meeting next week the Commission will consider potential advances in migration corridor conservation.

1/21/2016 11:54:02 AM

CHEYENNE - The migration corridors of ungulates like mule deer, pronghorn and elk in Wyoming are some of the longest in North America. Over the past several years, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other researchers have continued studying the migration of big game animals and, with its Commission and partners, Game and Fish has highlighted the need to conserve the documented routes. At its meeting next week the Commission will consider potential advances in migration corridor conservation.

The upcoming meeting is set for January 28-29 at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's headquarters in Cheyenne. The meeting will also be live-streamed on the Internet. Learn more and watch here. During the meeting the Commission will hear the Department's proposed strategy for conserving big game migration corridors. The proposed strategy has been revised since the first presentation in November. "The updates we made to our migration corridor strategy are based on a compilation of Commission feedback, public input and stakeholder collaboration," said Scott Smith, Deputy Chief of the Wildlife Division.

The proposed strategy the Commission will consider includes four actions developed to conserve migration corridors. The full proposal is available for the public to view on the Game and Fish Commission website. The strategy has been reframed to include proactive measures to conserve migration routes by examining potential threats and having the Department review and comment to partners on a case-by-case basis.

(Wyoming Game and Fish (307) 777-4600)

- WGFD -
 

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Meeting results-

Game and Fish Commission charts strategy to conserve ungulate migration corridors

The Commission also voted to make one-time investments in wildlife and infrastructure

1/29/2016 2:44:29 PM

CHEYENNE - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department spent several months working with the public and stakeholders to develop a strategy for conserving ungulate migration corridors. The culmination of that inclusive process was a vote by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to adopt the strategy. Migration corridors are considered vital under Commission policy and the vote adds key components of corridors, bottlenecks and stop-over areas, to this classification.

The migration corridor strategy includes proactive measures to conserve migration routes by examining potential threats and having Game and Fish and partners review and comment on projects on a case-by-case basis.

"We really appreciate the time and resources that people and organizations across Wyoming put into helping create this strategy," said Scott Talbott, Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "The strategy will help us identify the ways we can conserve migration corridors, which are vital for conserving mule deer, elk and pronghorn."

The migration corridors of ungulates like mule deer, pronghorn and elk in Wyoming are some of the longest in North America. Over the past several years, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other researchers have continued studying the migration of big game animals and, with its Commission and partners, Game and Fish has highlighted the need to conserve the documented routes.

At the meeting this week the Commission also established the policy of setting aside a six month reserve in its operating fund.

"This is a good business practice and ensures we are stewards of the funds that come from sportsmen and sportswomen," said Commission President Charles Price. "Past conservative budgeting combined with increased revenue from the sale of guns, ammo and fishing licenses created the opportunity for us to make important investments for wildlife and the public."

The Commission directed the Department to further examine the costs and options for building a new facility in Laramie to safeguard fish health and do forensic work on wildlife related crimes. This would also be home to the regional office.

The Commission also asked for the development of options to invest in Wyoming's wildlife:

  • Address threats to wildlife from diseases including chronic wasting disease.
  • Shore up infrastructure, such as at the Cody regional office.
  • Create more opportunities for education and hunter and angler recruitment, including potential upgrades at the Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp near Dubois.
  • Conserve key habitat, including migration corridors.
The next Commission meeting is March 22-23, 2016 in Rawlins.
 

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and......

Grizzly bear management report available

The 2015 Annual report, Grizzly Bear Management, Capture, Relocations, and Removals in Northwest Wyoming, is now available

2/1/2016 11:25:59 AM

CHEYENNE - The 2015 Annual report, Grizzly Bear Management, Capture, Relocations, and Removals in Northwest Wyoming, is now available on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website. The report includes the total number and relocation area of each grizzly bear relocated during the previous calendar year. Game and Fish relocates and removes black and grizzly bears as part of routine management operations.

During 2015, Game and Fish captured 45 grizzly bears in 51 capture events in an attempt to prevent or resolve conflicts. Most human-bear interactions and conflicts in Wyoming are the result of bears seeking unnatural food in association with people and property, close encounters with humans, or when bears kill livestock. The majority of captures were lone grizzly bears of all age classes, but two family groups were also captured. Twenty-four (47%) of the 51 capture events were in Park County, 16 (31%) in Sublette County, 7 (14%) in Fremont County, and 2 (4%) in Teton County.

"Relocation of grizzly bears reduces the chance of property damage, reduces the potential for bears to become food conditioned, allows bears to forage on natural foods and remain wary of people, and provides a non-lethal option when and where it is appropriate," said Brian Nesvik, Chief of the Wildlife Division.

Grizzly bears are relocated in accordance with state and federal laws, regulations and policy. More about how the Game and Fish manages grizzly bears in Wyoming is available online. Game and Fish also continues to educate the public about how to proactively live and recreate in bear country to avoid conflicts. That program is called Bear Wise.

(Wyoming Game and Fish (307) 777-4600)
 

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Wyoming using infrared imaging on their Elk

Example of a picture at 3,000 feet.



An infrared image of elk in a forested area along the Snake River north of Jackson, taken from approximately 3,000 feet elevation.

JACKSON- Counting wildlife is rarely easy, but some situations prove more challenging than others. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in its constant effort to get the most accurate wildlife counts, recently employed using infrared cameras to count elk from the air along the Snake River corridor between Grand Teton National Park and the town of Wilson.

Game and Fish biologists and wardens have long believed this segment of the Jackson Elk Herd is rapidly growing, but it has been difficult to get a good count in the area because it is dominated by private land with many homes, making access limited from the ground. Traditional aerial surveys have also proven difficult because a dense tree canopy, of both cottonwood and conifer trees, greatly reduces visibility. Plus, wildlife managers generally do not conduct low elevation aerial surveys in such areas to avoid disturbing private homeowners.

The infrared aerial surveys are able to be flown at a relatively high elevation, approximately 3,000 feet in a fixed-wing aircraft, yet still detect animals through thick vegetation. The infrared camera shows heat signatures given off by the animals. The new technology is now being used to survey hard-to-detect wildlife including a variety of big game species, large carnivores and even sage grouse.

In 2011, despite the limited access and difficult counting conditions, Wyoming Game and Fish managers conducted an elk survey along this section of the Snake River and counted approximately 600 animals at that time. The recent infrared survey resulted in a count of 840 animals. Even with the new technology, almost certainly some animals were missed, although managers believe the survey detected at least 90 percent of the animals present. The results of the survey basically confirmed what wildlife managers suspected, that there is a significant number of elk, probably between 900-1,000 animals, occupying this Snake River corridor. This high number of elk, coupled with the fact that this segment is producing calves at approximately twice the rate as the rest of the herd, causes concern for wildlife managers.

Controlling the growth of this segment of the Jackson Elk Herd is always going to be challenging since many of the elk are found on private land where hunting opportunities are limited. The only other two opportunities to apply hunting pressure on these elk are through the Elk Reduction Program in Grand Teton National Park during their migration or on the National Elk Refuge. To date, hunting has not proven effective at slowing the growth of this segment of the herd and managers predict it will continue to grow and make up a larger portion of the entire Jackson Elk Herd.

The overall population objective for the Jackson Elk Herd is 11,000 animals. The population of the herd has been estimated at or near this target number for the past several years, despite the growing segment along the Snake River. This has only been possible by a slower growth rate being realized in the other segments of the herd to the north and east. State established herd objectives are periodically reviewed. The population objective for the Jackson Elk Herd is slated to be reviewed and discussed publicly in the late spring of 2016.

There is also an established target number of 5,000 elk utilizing supplemental feed on the National Elk Refuge as outlined in the Jackson Bison & Elk Management Plan. The number of elk being fed on the National Elk Refuge has been above that target number in recent years and is likely being influenced by this growing segment of elk along the Snake River and in southern Grand Teton National Park. Again, hunting to curb the growth in the southern portion of the Jackson Elk Herd is critically important to maintaining balance within the entire Jackson Elk Herd.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Their continual goal of improving their resources is an ongoing process.......

 

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Nice Idea!!!

Three 'Coffee with a Warden' opportunities in February

Interested public to several 'Coffee with a Warden' opportunities throughout the Lander Region in February.

2/4/2016 3:30:10 PM

LANDER - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department invites interested public to several 'Coffee with a Warden' opportunities in February.

Date Time Location Wardens
Feb. 11 7:30-9:00 am Lucky Duck Café, 204 N Main, Pavillion Gibb and Beecham
Feb.13 8:00-10:00 am Kai Espresso, 109 S. Main, Hudson Frude
Feb. 27 8:00-10:00 am Split Rock Café, 2297 Hwy789, Jeffrey City Joseph, Gibb and
Herman

Each of the wardens will be available on these mornings to host the open platform. In addition to discussion topics the public brings, Wardens Teal Joseph, Brad Gibb and Dillon Herman will be available with a laptop to assist those with their online license applications this year in Jeffrey City.

Lander Game Warden, Brady Frude says, "This program is great for folks who want to come down and just have a conversation. It gives me an opportunity, in a neutral setting, to hear about what's going on locally. Being new to the area, I benefit even more from these talks than from public meetings or contacts made while patrolling, because here there isn't an agenda or any specific points I need to get across and I can be open to whatever topics come up."

This opportunity is as much about getting to know the game and fish personnel and them getting to know you, as it is dealing with fisheries and wildlife management and law enforcement issues. We encourage all those interested to attend.

For more information, contact Frude at 307-332-2704, Beecham at 307-856-4982 or Joseph at 307-328-0313.
 

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Some updates on population studies-aerial surveys playing a role-

"Kemmerer Game Warden Chris Baird (far left) and Mountain View Wildlife Biologist Jeff Short (immediate left) fly with pilot Dennis Charney to finish up the big game classifications on local winter ranges. Short and Baird observed many bulls during the flights. Short said "It was a good year for adult bulls." *Read more about the big game winter surveys on page 2."

"Mountain View Wildlife Biologist Jeff Short, with the help of Kemmerer Game Warden Chris Baird and Cokeville Game Warden Neil Hymas, completed the West Green River elk herd surveys and the Lincoln moose herd surveys. Short reported, "For elk, we observed the cow: calf and bull: cow ratios were good-at 34:100 and 36.6:100. Our total sample size was 2,970 elk. Some good mature bulls were seen. " "When we flew the Lincoln moose herd survey we observed that the cow: calf and bull: cow ratios were good-at 42:100 and 38:100. Total moose sample size was 331 moose." On a cautious note, Short said, "The winter conditions are heavy out here and I am concerned that this could turn into a bad winter for wildlife. Some deer mortality is currently occurring, especially fawns, throughout the region."

"Kemmerer Game Warden Chris Baird and Mtn. View Wildlife Biologist Jeff Short coordinated on an exciting survey technique for ungulates. "This was part of an assignment from the Moose Working Group, in cooperation with the Governors Big Game License Coalition," Baird said. "The survey was conducted in the Lincoln Moose herd in hunt area 26. Hunt area 26 was chosen to explore this technique because of its diverse winter moose habitat types that should be comparable to other herd units across the state." Owyhee Air was contracted to use their high definition infrared camera technology to survey for moose while WGFD personnel surveyed from another helicopter. The main objectives were to compare the current traditional survey method to infrared technology. Baird and Short are still working on sorting thru a lot of data and look forward to reporting back to the moose working group"

http://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WYWGFD/2016/02/16/file_attachments/500268/GR+Newsletter+Publication+28FINAL.pdf
 

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Love their involvement in the field-

Wildlife biologists and game wardens count big game animals at different times of year based on when they are most visible and can be classified as males, females and juveniles. This gives managers a picture of not only how many animals there are, but how the population is trending: increasing, stable or decreasing. This information helps managers design hunting seasons that will keep the population at the established population objective. Winter is the best time to count and classify most big game, and especially elk since most elk in the Pinedale and Jackson regions attend winter feedgrounds, making them relatively easy to count. All of the game wardens, biologists and other regional personnel chip in to count the elk as it is a big job. Most elk herds in the in the Pinedale Region remain at or above the desired population objectives after an average to light harvest this past hunting season. Most big game populations saw little change from last year. Consequently, Pinedale wildlife managers do not plan to propose significant changes to any of the big game hunting seasons for 2016. Managers will present all the current big game numbers along with their proposed hunting seasons at upcoming public meetings scheduled for 6-8pm, March 14th at the Marbleton Town Hall and March 16th at the Pinedale Game and Fish office.

http://content.govdelivery.com/atta...file_attachments/501876/2016_Feb_Pinedale.pdf
 

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Jackson area..........

Winter is typically the time when wildlife managers conduct their big game surveys because animals are concentrated on their winter ranges, making them easier to count. Counts are conducted from both the ground and the air. Managers not only count the total number of animals, but also classify them as males, females and young of the year. The Jackson elk herd is the largest in the state at around 11,000 animals and the annual count always generates a lot of interest, from both the public and the media. The National Elk Refuge winters the largest concentration of elk in the herd making it both impressive and challenging. It is usually an interagency effort involving some 20 people to complete. This year, there were approximately 7,300 elk counted on feed on the National Elk Refuge, with another 3,400 or so counted on the Gros Ventre feedgrounds, adjacent winter ranges and the Buffalo Valley, bringing total counted to 10, 700. The population is estimated at 11,200 elk.

https://wgfd.wyo.gov/WGFD/media/content/PDF/Regional Offices/Jackson/2016_Feb_Jackson.pdf
 

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and.....another project working to improve their resources.

Biologists to launch landmark study of Greater Yellowstone mule deer migrations

In mid-March wildlife researchers will launch a landmark study to map mule deer migration corridors over the entire eastern portion of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

2/18/2016 11:00:00 AM

CHEYENNE - In mid-March wildlife researchers will launch a landmark study to map mule deer migration corridors over the entire eastern portion of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It will be one of the largest collaring efforts ever conducted in Wyoming, focused on multiple herds and spanning an area from the Wind River valley to the Bighorn Basin.

The study is a unique collaboration between the Wyoming Migration Initiative, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and The Nature Conservancy. Researchers and managers increasingly recognize the importance of intact migrations for healthy, abundant mule deer herds.

The mapping project will document in detail the migration corridors of several key herds that have never been the focus of the latest tracking technology. All 90 animals captured will be fitted with "real-time" GPS collars that send data back to researchers every three days. That represents a vast improvement over previous GPS studies that required researchers to recover dropped collars to download the data after one to three years.

The study targets deer in five separate herds near Cody, Meeteetse, Dubois, and Lander. A second collaring effort to bolster sample sizes on these same herds will occur in 2017. Individual mule deer will carry the collars for up to two years, gathering movement data from two cycles of spring and fall migration.

The real-time data from these collars allow researchers to do something new for wildlife research in Wyoming: They will share what they learn with the public as collared deer make their migrations through one of the wildest areas of the continental United States.

From late March through mid-summer the collaborators will post maps of these migrations weekly on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #wyodeer.

Matthew Kauffman, Wyoming Migration Initiative director and zoology professor at the University of Wyoming, says the study is timely. It follows on the recent decision by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission's to define additional aspects of migration corridors as "vital" habitat.

"In order to plan for these migrations across the many habitats they require, you need to have detailed maps of the critical corridors and stopover areas, and knowledge of where the obstacles are," Kauffman said. "This study will help Game and Fish, other wildlife researchers and conservation groups pinpoint potential trouble spots and specific conservation opportunities, and that should benefit Wyoming's struggling mule deer herds."

Since 1990, mule deer populations in Wyoming have declined 36 percent due to various factors including weather, habitat, competition, predation, and disease.

In response, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department created the Mule Deer Initiative, an effort to stop the decline and work towards growing the herds again.

"The Wyoming Mule Deer Initiative is a long-term endeavor to conserve an iconic species," said Daryl Lutz, Game and Fish's wildlife management coordinator for the Lander region. "It is not easy work and our Commission has committed to invest significantly in mule deer. This study is another way for us to advance conservation with many partners."

The study may also help game wardens focus anti-poaching enforcement surges to specific areas of winter range.

The Nature Conservancy of Wyoming is a key collaborator in the study. For decades the nonprofit has preserved big-game winter range through conservation easements along the eastern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

"This part of the GYE is a critical area for our land conservation, and protecting big game migration corridors has become a priority for TNC Wyoming," said Holly Copeland, TNC ecologist in Lander. "Since detailed maps of these corridors don't yet exist, we were keen to partner with WMI and WGFD to do the research that can guide our work to conserve these critical corridors."

For decades scientists have suspected that mule deer in the region migrate in surprising ways, perhaps ranging from the Tetons to the eastern edge of Greater Yellowstone near Cody. Pioneering biologist Olaus Murie wrote of similar movements in 1929.

Hunters, taxidermists, and timber harvesters in Dubois have also seen clues of local deer spending summer near Jackson Hole or Yellowstone Lake. Tracks left in snow in the Mt. Leidy area hinted at a possible migration east over the Continental Divide to Dubois or the Cody area.

While few details existed on such routes, a recent study conducted by Grand Teton National Park biologist Sarah Dewey indicates such migrations could be very impressive.

Dewey collared deer near Jackson Lake during summer. At least one deer ranged west to the Idaho border, then made its way east to Dubois. Other Teton deer wintered on the South Fork of the Shoshone River, just outside of Cody.

Dubois Game and Fish Warden Brian Baker spotted a collared mule deer doe in the town of Dubois this winter, which he suspects was part of Dewey's study.

"We know some of the mountain passes that migrating elk are using, and there is no reason to think that deer couldn't use a lot of these routes," Baker said.

In Lander, Game and Fish warden Brady Frude and biologist Stan Harter hope the study will show how deer move in the foothills east of the Wind River Range.

A deer collared in the 1980s at Beaver Rim south of Lander migrated around the south end of the Wind River Range to Boulder, Wyoming, Harter said. That's a distance of about 100 miles over South Pass.

Arthur Middleton, a WMI researcher and study collaborator who recently completed a comprehensive map of elk migrations in Greater Yellowstone, sees the mule deer study as another step toward the long-term goal of mapping all ungulate migrations in Greater Yellowstone. "Ungulates are the lifeblood of this incredible ecosystem," Middleton said.

Wyoming is home to the longest-known mule deer migration in the lower 48 states, a 150-mile journey that stretches from the Red Desert to the Hoback. The trek ranges from lowland sagebrush steppe in winter to lush mountain ridges in summer.

Mule deer evolved these iconic seasonal migrations to maximize their search for the best forage, a highly effective survival strategy in Wyoming's harsh climate.

"I think deer are going lots of places that will surprise us when we see their actual movements," Dubois warden Brian Baker said. "I am really interested to see where these deer go."

The study is funded in part by the Knobloch Family Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the Bole and Klingenstein Foundation, Wyoming BLM, Wyoming Governor's Big Game License Coalition, Muley Fanatic Foundation, and the EA Ranch of Dubois.

Follow along on Twitter with #wyodeer using @wyokauffman @GregNickersonWY and @WGFD,www.migrationinitiative.org, or WMI Facebook and WGFD Facebook.

Photo: In March 2016 the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Game & Fish Department and the Nature Conservancy of Wyoming will launch a landmark study of mule deer in the eastern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The project will involve collaring and releasing 90 deer to map their migration routes, similar to the research shown in this 2014 photo. (Mark Gocke photo/Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

(Wyoming Game and Fish (307) 777-4600)

- WGFD -

https://wgfd.wyo.gov/News/Biologists-to-launch-landmark-study-of-Greater-Yel
 

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Discussion Starter #17
and more aerial surveys in the Jackson area..........

2/26/2016 11:18:12 AM

JACKSON - This video clip shows what it's like for Game and Fish biologists to count and classify animals from the air. They are classified as calves, spikes, mature bulls and cows.


and......
2/26/2016 9:18:52 AM

CODY - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will conduct six open-house meetings throughout the Bighorn Basin and one final meeting in Worland to discuss 2016 hunting season proposals for game birds and big game.

During the open houses, Game and Fish personnel will be available to discuss the proposed 2016 hunting seasons for local hunt areas. A formal meeting, during which statewide seasons may be discussed, will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 21 at the Washakie County Fairgrounds in Worland. In addition to hunting season proposals, herd unit population objectives for the Beartooth Mountain Goat herd, (hunt areas 1 and 3), Badger Basin and Bighorn Antelope herd (hunt areas 79 and 80), Medicine Lodge Elk herd (hunt areas 41 and 45) and Shoshone River Deer herd (hunt areas 121, 122 and 123) will be discussed.

Wildlife Management Coordinator Tim Woolley said that public input is valued and an important part of the season setting process. "We encourage the public to take this opportunity to participate in wildlife management by attending a local meeting," Woolley said. "To accommodate those who can't attend a meeting in-person, online commenting forms and other related information will be posted under the public meetings tab at wgfd.wyo.gov."

Meetings are scheduled for:

March 10 Powell, Park County Fairgrounds 6-8 p.m.
March 14 Cody, Big Horn Federal Bank 6-8 p.m.
March 15 Greybull, Town Hall 6-8 p.m.
March 15 Meeteetse, Senior Center 6-8 p.m.
March 16 Thermopolis, Big Horn Federal Bank 6-8 p.m.
March 17 Lovell, Fire Hall 6-8 p.m.
March 21 Worland, Washakie County Fairgrounds 6-8 p.m.

Written comments may be submitted at the meetings, online, or by mail to: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Attn: Regulations 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604. Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, March 25.

The State of Wyoming supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Every effort will be made for reasonable accommodations by contacting the nearest Game and Fish office.

(Tara Hodges 307-527-7125)
 

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Several Plans in Place including Habitat Improvement plans-30 Page report

Goals and Actions Under this SHP, the following actions will be pursued over the next five year period ending December 2020. These actions are relatively specific and can be readily evaluated as to whether they were completed or not. Appendix 1 also contains these actions along with a more comprehensive listing of additional, less-specific actions and operating guidelines.

Goal 1.Conserve and manage wildlife habitats that are crucial for maintaining terrestrial and aquatic wildlife populations for the present and future.  Reinstate WGFD funding for property acquisition to a level commensurate with historic levels to acquire property rights and management agreements.  Complete 12 instream flow filings.  Identify watersheds with existing high levels of connectivity that allow aquatic wildlife upstream and downstream passage.  Identify important wildlife movement corridors and stopover areas.

Goal 2. Enhance, improve and manage priority wildlife habitats that have been degraded.Use habitat biologists, contractors and other resources to inventory, assess and prepare management recommendations within areas selected for regional mule deer initiatives.  Statewide, collect at least two reference reach data sets from B, C and E stream types for determining departure from stable stream form and for designing stream channel restorations.  Populate a Rivermorph file with reference reach data sets and share among stream restoration practitioners.  Collect and summarize long-term annual water temperature records on two streams per region.  Collect fish passage data at man-made obstructions on streams throughout the Green River and Bear River drainages.  Populate and share the Fish Passage database with internal and external partners.  Use the fish passage database to identify priority barriers and connectivity issues.  Refine protocols for vegetation monitoring within important habitats.  Ensure that agency funding for habitat projects through the Department's Wildlife Trust Fund is maintained at least at the historic level of $1.2 million annually.  Assign personnel and resources to fully implement this plan.  Ensure at least one Department employee attends each WWNRT meeting and shares notes with pertinent Department employees.  Maintain the WGFD - NRCS MOA through annual meetings and coordination.  Utilize the Wyoming Migration Initiative to prioritize big game migration corridors regionally and statewide.  Remove barriers to wildlife movement.  Assess beaver restoration options in the Green River drainage utilizing the Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool (BRAT).  Apply BRAT statewide as appropriate. 14  Prioritize cheatgrass infestations statewide for treatment.

Goal 3.Increase wildlife-based recreation through habitat enhancements that maintain or increase productivity of wildlife.  Develop or enhance three to five new community fishery ponds.  Increase habitat complexity and provide local fish cover by adding used Christmas trees to Boysen and Ocean Lakes.

Goal 4.Increase public awareness of wildlife habitat issues and the critical connection between healthy habitat and abundant wildlife populations.  Provide an annual report for the commission, partners and constituents highlighting major habitat accomplishments completed by WGFD and partners. Provide the report to media and post it on the WGFD web site.  Promote at least three habitat improvement projects in each region through internal and external publications, including news releases and e-newsletter, and field tours with local media and citizens.  Include at least one aquatic habitat-related news item in annual angler newsletters.  Promote the X-Stream Angler Program to achieve 100 applications for certificates.

Goal 5.Promote collaborative habitat management efforts with the general public, conservation partners, private landowners and land management agencies.  Utilize Mule Deer Initiative participants and interested members of the public to plant key shrub species in important habitats.

https://wgfd.wyo.gov/WGFD/media/content/PDF/Habitat/Strategic Habitat Plan/SHP2015_Final.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Lots of effort and Money being used to help Mule Deer Populations out West and in Wyoming-here is good information on how much effort is being used to help the Populations in Wyoming-Love the "effort" and studies being done and utilized.

Statewide Mule Deer Initiatives
Please join the Wyoming Mule Deer Initiative and help secure the future of Wyoming's mule deer.

During the last couple decades, those who appreciate mule deer have reported seeing fewer. This is real. Mule deer populations are in decline across western North America. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is committed to conserving wildlife for the enjoyment of residents and visitors, and that includes doing all we can to reverse the downward trend among mule deer.

Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for the decline in mule deer populations. Mule deer will likely never return to the population peaks of 50 years ago. However, the success of efforts to stop mule deer declines in Wyoming will depend on public involvement. Mule deer are integral to maintaining the diversity and abundance of Wyoming's native species for generations to come, and you canmake difference.

Working together provides the best opportunities to improve conditions for mule deer.

To initially focus efforts the Wyoming Game and Fish Department identified herd units statewide for increased public participation in their future management. To share your thoughts or get involved, call your local contact and/or click on the links below:

Jackson/Pinedale - Doug Brimeyer: 307-733-2321

The Wyoming Range and Sublette

Cody - Tim Woolley: 307-527-7125
Owl Creek/Meeteetse

Sheridan - Lynn Janhke: 307-672-7418
Upper Powder River

Green River - Mark Zornes: 307-875-3223
Baggs

Laramie - Corey Class: 307-745-4046
Sheep Mountain

Lander - Daryl Lutz: 307-332-2688
Green Mountain and the South Wind River

Casper - Justin Binfet: 307-473-3400
Casper Hunt Area 66

To read the Mule Deer Initiative, click here or open this publication (Mule Deer Initiative Booklet) and the fact sheets below.

And follow this link for even further information: muledeerworkinggroup.com

Wyoming Mule Deer Public Working Groups
Public Working Groups Information

Recommendations for Managing Mule Deer Habitat in Wyoming
Recommendations for Managing Mule Deer Habitat in Wyoming
2012 Wyoming Mule Deer Hunter Attitude Survey
This study was conducted for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to determine mule deer hunters' opinions on the quality of mule deer hunting in Wyoming and their opinions on season structure and hunting regulations.

2012 Wyoming Mule Deer Hunter Attitude Survey

Mule Deer Winter Feeding Information
Mule Deer Winter Feeding

Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Mule Deer Fact Sheets

Relationships Among Mule Deer and Their Predators
Understanding Mule Deer and Winter Feeding
Highway Effects on Mule Deer Movement and Survival
Competition Between Mule Deer and Elk
Carrying Capacity - How Many Deer Can We Have?
Understanding Mule Deer and Antler Point Restrictions
Antlerless Mule Deer Harvest
Illegal Harvest and Mule Deer Populations
Urban Mule Deer Issues
Translocation of Mule Deer
Understanding Mule Deer Migration
Understanding Mule Deer and Fencing

Mule Deer: Saving the Icon of the West

Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Mule Deer Working Group
Critical Review of Antler Point Regulations
2013 Mule Deer Working Group Activity and Accomplishments
Statewide Mule Deer Initiative

Additional Mule Deer Links
Muley Fanatics Foundation
The Mule Deer Foundation
Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Mule Deer Working Group

Link-
https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Habitat/Statewide-Mule-Deer-Initiatives
 

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Discussion Starter #20
More research being done......they constantly are evaluating their Big Game Species to enhance their natural resources........

Assesing Elk Health

This month, Jackson and Pinedale Region brucellosis program personnel were busy capturing elk using both corral traps and chemical immobilization from feedgrounds to continue long term brucellosis seroprevalence trend data, and to deploy GPS collars and VITs on/in elk for brucellosis investigations.

A total of 557 elk were handled this winter, including trapping 498 animals on Greys (Alpine), Dell, Fish, Scab and Muddy Creek feedgrounds, and darting 59 elk from the feedsled on other State feedgrounds and the National Elk Refuge. Totals of 48 collars and 17 VITs were deployed.

In total, 334 yearling and adult cows were bled this month; serologic assays are currently underway at the WGFD Vet Lab in Laramie. Additionally, brucellosis personnel spent considerable time visiting with elk feeders to ensure low density feeding (Below, Soda Lake feedground) was occurring on select Target feedgrounds. Low density feeding has been shown to reduce contacts with aborted fetuses by 66-75% and is an extremely easy method to directly reduce brucellosis prevalence among elk attending feedgrounds, and indirectly reduce risk of brucellosis spillover into livestock.

Other info-
https://wgfd.wyo.gov/WGFD/media/content/PDF/Regional Offices/Pinedale/2016_Mar_Pinedale.pdf

Moving Moose. Bighorn Surveillance.......constantly doing research and working and understanding what they need to improve....

https://wgfd.wyo.gov/WGFD/media/content/PDF/Regional Offices/Jackson/2016_Mar_Jackson.pdf
 
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