The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says the combination of fires and drought this season is taking its toll on wildlife in the state.
Tom Ryder is the assistant chief of the Wildlife Division. He says larger animals are usually able to escape fires and relocate in surrounding areas. But he says this year, because of the drought, there’s not always enough forage to go round in those surrounding areas.
“Given the fact that this has been one of the most significant droughts in the last hundred years, we anticipate some additional mortality,” Ryder said.
He added that Game and Fish hasn’t documented much additional mortality yet, but they have noticed that fewer young animals are surviving this year than usual.
Ryder says future herd sizes could shrink as a result, and if that happens, the Game and Fish Department will likely issue fewer hunting licenses.