deer

Penny Preston

Chronic Wasting Disease spread into seven new hunting areas around the state in 2014. The slow-spreading neurological disease affects deer, elk and moose and causes weight loss, abnormal behavior and, eventually, death. Game and Fish tested more than 1500 animals this year. 

Communications Director Renny MacKay says although the disease continues to move into almost every county in the state, the new areas were no surprise.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking Fremont County residents to keep their dogs away from deer, moose and other large game. The county has seen an increase in dog and wildlife conflicts in recent weeks, and several deer were found dead.

Rene Schell is the Department’s Lander Information Specialist and says with big game on the move, it’s important not to interfere with their migration. Schell also says cities like Lander have had to ban wildlife feeding, because that’s led to additional problems.  

A computer error has left the Wyoming Game and Fish with nearly 700 leftover hunting licenses. The agency reported today that the error only affected a small percentage of online sales.

Jennifer Doering with Game and Fish says that website visitors who attempted to reserve group licenses didn’t see a confirmation screen after making their purchase. The result was that many people thought their sale had not gone through—so they tried again.

USDA photo by Scott Bauer

While deer numbers across the state of Wyoming may be down, Thermopolis has an urban deer population that seems to be holding close to steady and doing a lot of damage to yards and gardens.

For the third year in a row, the city has applied for and received a special permit from Wyoming Game and Fish that allows the police department to shoot a certain number of mule deer who have been calling Thermopolis home.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is pushing to allow baiting of big game animals to allow hunters to lure deer herds away from towns.

The Legislature's Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee is sponsoring a bill that would allow the state Game Commission authority to bait deer into places where they could be killed safely.

Sen. Bruce Burns of Sheridan is co-chairman of the legislative committee. He says towns in the region would take advantage of the new law to allow hunters to thin out the herds of whitetail deer.