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Wyoming's Winter - Carnage
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
standswittaknife 08-Mar-23
skull 08-Mar-23
wyobullshooter 08-Mar-23
Quinn @work 08-Mar-23
standswittaknife 08-Mar-23
Bowfreak 08-Mar-23
BULELK1 09-Mar-23
Bowfreak 09-Mar-23
JTreeman 09-Mar-23
cnelk 09-Mar-23
WYelkhunter 09-Mar-23
drycreek 09-Mar-23
Bowfreak 09-Mar-23
smarba 09-Mar-23
wytex 09-Mar-23
PushCoArcher 09-Mar-23
Mule Power 09-Mar-23
smarba 09-Mar-23
Quinn @work 09-Mar-23
PushCoArcher 09-Mar-23
KHNC 09-Mar-23
Mule Power 09-Mar-23
badbull 09-Mar-23
SBH 09-Mar-23
Bent arrow 10-Mar-23
SBH 10-Mar-23
WYelkhunter 10-Mar-23
KHNC 10-Mar-23
Ziek 10-Mar-23
7mm08 10-Mar-23
Muleysareking 10-Mar-23
cnelk 10-Mar-23
KHNC 10-Mar-23
wytex 10-Mar-23
Ziek 10-Mar-23
cnelk 10-Mar-23
bluedog 10-Mar-23
Muleysareking 10-Mar-23
Orion 10-Mar-23
WYelkhunter 10-Mar-23
Muleysareking 10-Mar-23
Ziek 10-Mar-23
Robear 10-Mar-23
scentman 10-Mar-23
midwest 10-Mar-23
RonP 10-Mar-23
BULELK1 11-Mar-23
BULELK1 11-Mar-23
midwest 11-Mar-23
wytex 11-Mar-23
08-Mar-23
Put this on the elk forum, but should probably be split between antelope and mule deer. One of my best friends lives up in Pinedale and showing me pics of the dead antelope and deer from the winter kill. Crazy bad this year due to snow, ice, then more snow. The crazy cold is freezing a lot to death as well. They've had some tough winters for sure, but this one sounds like one of the worst.

From: skull
08-Mar-23
I think you’re referring to this, I was just south Pinedale last fall pronghorn hunting beautiful area

PINEDALE -

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in collaboration with the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, is investigating a rare disease outbreak in pronghorn in western Wyoming. Game and Fish is estimating that approximately 200 animals have died since mid-February, centered around the southern end of the Mesa south of Pinedale. Preliminary lab results identify Mycoplasma bovis as the pathogen causing the mortalities.

Mycoplasma bovis should not be confused with Mycobacterium bovis that causes tuberculosis in cattle. They are two unrelated bacteria that cause very different diseases.

The source of infection of the M.bovis and the ability to predict the duration and the geographic distribution of this outbreak in pronghorn is unknown at this time.

“While reported M. bovis outbreaks causing mortality in wildlife are rare, this is not the first occurrence of M. bovis being linked to pronghorn mortalities in Wyoming,” said Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Disease Specialist Hank Edwards.

The first reported cases of pneumonia in pronghorn occurred during the winters of 2019 and 2020 near Gillette, involving at least 460 animals. Those outbreaks started at a similar time in mid-February and then tapered down by the beginning of April.

Game and Fish continues to monitor for this disease across the state. With the exception of the Gillette area, this bacteria has not been reported to be associated with significant mortality in other wildlife populations in Wyoming.

To date, this pathogen has not been shown to affect domestic pets such as horses, dogs or cats and is not considered a human health risk. Local Game and Fish personnel will periodically remove carcasses and euthanize dying pronghorn in relatively accessible areas when disturbance to other healthy wintering pronghorn is minimal to help reduce the prevalence of this pathogen on the landscape.

08-Mar-23
This winter has definitely been a tough one. Most of the state’s been hit with quite a bit of snow, coupled with long periods of extremely cold temps. To make matters worse, a large portion of the state dealt with drought conditions this past summer so available feed has been less than ideal. Antelope and deer have been hit the hardest, especially the youngsters. If we get any big late winter/early spring storms, it could get real ugly.

From: Quinn @work
08-Mar-23
Was just wondering about this. Finally have enough points to draw again in WY Antelope Unit 57 this year. I know it's bad in NW CO. Anyone have any info on how the lopes are doing NW of Baggs to Wamsutter? Winterkill, etc?

I plan on contacting the biologist for the area closer to the draw deadline as they will have had a chance to see the full effect of the winter by then.

08-Mar-23
Could be some of it for sure.. but mule deer are getting hit just as hard. Elk can be fed, and have been supplemented.

From: Bowfreak
08-Mar-23
The elk usually do just fine. The antelope and deer get crushed. My friend is Pinedale said it is bad and could get worse when you get that frozen crust on the snow. Like someone else said, the late snows that refreeze are really hard on them.

From: BULELK1
09-Mar-23
I sell quite a bit of stuff via KSL classifieds, and I meet in Evanston, Wyo to those that buy from Cokeville or Kemmerer of Rock Springs to cut their drive time and fuel cost.

Between roadkill from Echo Junction to Evanston and winter kill, it is elk, moose, deer and antelope.

Pretty dang sad to see,

Robb

From: Bowfreak
09-Mar-23
The elk usually do just fine. The antelope and deer get crushed. My friend is Pinedale said it is bad and could get worse when you get that frozen crust on the snow. Like someone else said, the late snows that refreeze are really hard on them.

From: JTreeman
09-Mar-23
My Rancher buddy lives just above the CO line between Walden and Saratoga. He said the deer and elk are getting slammed. He figures he won’t have any deer left by the spring. The amount of snow is just crazy.

The antelope don’t winter on him so much, so he doesn’t know them as well, but expects them to be decimated as well.

It is a bad sad deal in his area for sure. He says he’s never seen it so bad.

—Jim

From: cnelk
09-Mar-23
^^^^ Jim - 1-2ft of more snow is coming this weekend for that country.

Ive been snowmobiling into lakes up there and the snow amounts are definitely no joke this year. And the wind has been real bad also

From: WYelkhunter
09-Mar-23
I have lived here all my life and never seen anything like this, my in-laws who have had this ranch since 1930 (my wives grand mother still alive at 100) say they have never seen a winter as bad. The mountains have above normal snow pack but that is no big deal. It is the basins and winter ranges that are way above normal snow pack and the long term extreme temps we have had. We have 400% normal snow, none of it has gone a way like a normal winter, and even this last week the temps have been -15 every day here. Ice on the ground. deep snow and a hard crust on top of it. It isn't just certain places it is the whole state. Elk, deer and antelope are being found dead every where. More so deer and antelope.

From: drycreek
09-Mar-23
That’s so very sad to hear. I’ve always loved Wyoming, and damn near moved there several years ago. Sometimes I still wish we had. I was getting pretty long in the tooth to make that kind of move so reluctantly I shelved that idea. Probably for the best looking back. Some of my best memories are from bow hunting pronghorns in Wyoming.

From: Bowfreak
09-Mar-23
The elk usually do just fine. The antelope and deer get crushed. My friend is Pinedale said it is bad and could get worse when you get that frozen crust on the snow. Like someone else said, the late snows that refreeze are really hard on them.

From: smarba
09-Mar-23
This can't be true. I think they're actually dying from overheating due to global warming and all...

From: wytex
09-Mar-23
Quin better check on that area, I fear you need to hold those PP another year or 2, maybe 3.

From: PushCoArcher
09-Mar-23

PushCoArcher's embedded Photo
PushCoArcher's embedded Photo
My brother lives in Casper and said it's real bad especially west of Casper. Lots of dead antelope and deer this year. Be the first time in almost a decade I don't plan on applying for type 6 tags for antelope. Not that there'll be many tags left after quota cuts.

From: Mule Power
09-Mar-23
Opinions on the impact on mature bucks from region G that winter around Big Piney?

From: smarba
09-Mar-23
Dang, sad to see that.

From: Quinn @work
09-Mar-23
Those pictures are terrible. Ugh! I hope WY cuts the tags in lieu of the dollars.

I'm going to make a scouting trip before the deadline to apply.

From: PushCoArcher
09-Mar-23
Mule Power I can't attest to the impact in that area. But if you have the points I'd do it this year. It'll probably be easier to find a mature deer this year then in 3-4 years as winter kill effects the young and fawns more then mature healthy deer. Not to mention the uncertainty of the future who knows when 90/10 hits deer, price hike, or something unforseen.

From: KHNC
09-Mar-23
How has the hard winter affected whitetails? Do they seem to fare better than muleys in these conditions?

From: Mule Power
09-Mar-23
I was thinking the same thing. I do have the points and my plan since last year was to hunt it. Then winter came in late October and never went away. But I was thinking that it will have more of an affect a few years down the road when were missing a good percentage of a couple year classes. But this year although we’ll lose deer of all ages I would think (hope) that bucks that are in their prime or were getting there last year should fare as well as any.

From: badbull
09-Mar-23
Real bad news that I was afraid was the case. Those pics are hard to view.

From: SBH
09-Mar-23
Agreed, man that’s hard to see. Bummer.

From: Bent arrow
10-Mar-23
Hope all the states dnr use their head and reduce tags. Greed will probably prevail. It's hard to watch animals starve and suffer when things can b done. Wolves will eat on clowns who voted to introduce them when animals r gone.

From: SBH
10-Mar-23
Agreed, man that’s hard to see. Bummer.

From: WYelkhunter
10-Mar-23
"How has the hard winter affected whitetails?"

Lots of dead ones being found around our ranch.

From: KHNC
10-Mar-23
What part of the state are you in? I am planning a WT hunt in WYoming this November. More Central area as far as location.

From: Ziek
10-Mar-23
"Hope all the states dnr use their head and reduce tags".

Because that's what it would take. It seems most of you, even though you know the problem, wouldn't do the right thing and pass on a season or two.

From: 7mm08
10-Mar-23
What Ziek said.^^^ But, we all know the state will still sell the crap out of tags, mayb reduce a few as a token gesture, and people will gladly come and finish off the apocolypse.

10-Mar-23
Up here in north central Wy it is ugly. Any ridge that is blown off has deer and elk on them and they have long since eaten them off. The snow is fairly deep but the problem is the damn crust, a person can stay on top about 3/4 of the time while walking, coyotes can run like hell on top and the deer are easy to run down. The crust makes it almost impossible for a deer to paw through it and get enough nutrition to offset the effort it takes to get it. You watch, it will be business as usual with the WG&F with general licenses this year. The income trumps the resource.........Mike

From: cnelk
10-Mar-23
Ive already seen an Issue paper from WGF [sent to Landowners/Ranch Managers/Outfitters] that 2023 deer tags are already being reduced in a certain area.

From: KHNC
10-Mar-23
That is good news for sure! Smart move by DNR ^^^

From: wytex
10-Mar-23
Licenses will be reduced but folks still need to weight if their hunt is doable with numbers we are seeing.

From: Ziek
10-Mar-23
7mm08, If that's what you , and other hunters think of hunters in general, and rightly so judging by many comments on here, is it any wonder that anti-hunters and much of the general public see us the same way, and not as true "hunter conservationists" as we like to depict ourselves. Greed is greed, whether it's the wildlife managers trying to keep up income, or individuals that 'need' to go out and kill the last remaining critter after a brutal winter.

And for the record, male ungulates usually go into the winter in worse shape than much of the rest of the herd due to the stresses of the rut. But hey, don't voluntarily give them a break, go get yours.

From: cnelk
10-Mar-23
I remember way back in the day when I lived in N Minnesota, the DNR cancelled the entire deer season due the lack of deer

From: bluedog
10-Mar-23
"Stresses of the Rut"...

.aha! That must be why I'm in the shape I'm in in my advancing years.. (and it is cold and snowing outside)

10-Mar-23

Muleysareking's embedded Photo
Muleysareking's embedded Photo
Muleysareking's embedded Photo
Muleysareking's embedded Photo
There are about 25 muleys that go back and forth on this ridge over several days. They have been on that ridge for almost 2 months, over the top is flat and a lot of crusted snow for over a mile. Second pic is a fawn that the coyotes caught, I think I know where they have killed 5 but I can't get to them yet. Kind of a catch 22 deal, where if you scare the deer by going after the coyotes you might do more harm than good by pushing them into deep crusted snow......Mike

From: Orion
10-Mar-23
Ziek are you giving your season up?

From: WYelkhunter
10-Mar-23
"What part of the state are you in? I am planning a WT hunt in WYoming this November. More Central area as far as location."

Fremont county WY, Riverton/Lander

10-Mar-23
I believe the entire state has been clobbered, but if the deer where you are going to go have some rough country so that the snow might blow off or south slopes melt off or ranching operations where the deer get some hay/alfalfa consistently it might be better. We are on the Mt line here but will be going to Riverton in a couple weeks for our banquet and will know more then......Mike

From: Ziek
10-Mar-23
Orion. Yep. Where we hunt pronghorn near the WY border, I hear it's just as bad. We had tags there last year but had to turn them back in. We were hoping to go this coming year, but will just buy another PP instead.

From: Robear
10-Mar-23
For the bird guys out there, what will the impact be on the grouse? I was planning on a hunt for sage, spruce, and ruffed grouse this fall.

From: scentman
10-Mar-23
Back in the late eighties a friend and I hunted spring Turkey in Shinglehouse, PA, they had a record snowfall that winter... we measured browse to be 10 - 12 ft high on evergreens, the snow was so deep they could literally browse at snow level! The carcasses left was unbelievable, every 25 to 30 yds you could see 3 carcasses covering the melted snow... coyotes were not as prevalent as they are now... come to think we never saw a track... nature can be cruel.

From: midwest
10-Mar-23
Anyone know how the area on the east side of Flaming Gorge is faring?

From: RonP
10-Mar-23
i'm hunting elk in the snowies this year. i suspect they got snow if for no other reason than the name. :)

From: BULELK1
11-Mar-23

BULELK1's embedded Photo
BULELK1's embedded Photo
Joe, I'll be up in that area of the Grey's and Strawberry Creek in mid May before the close of Deer Appl for Wyo, I can reach out to ya with what I am seeing or Not seeing on my hikes.

Nick, it is lots of snow and windy cold in that area units on both sides of the border.

Myself, I'm going for G with 4 points as it seems the first year after a bad winter has more surviving Mature bucks but less fawn recruitment for following years.

Good luck, Robb

From: BULELK1
11-Mar-23

BULELK1's embedded Photo
BULELK1's embedded Photo
Another pic of that along the Wyo--Ut. border Nick.

Enjoy,

Robb

From: midwest
11-Mar-23
Thanks Robb!

From: wytex
11-Mar-23

wytex's embedded Photo
wytex's embedded Photo
For the bird guys out there, what will the impact be on the grouse? I was planning on a hunt for sage, spruce, and ruffed grouse this fall.

Mountain grouse should be fine , saw these sage grouse before the latest storms. Counted at least 37. No hunting in this area though.

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