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Big game surveys help set Wyoming hunting guidelines

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Wyoming Game and Fish

JACKSON, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK)-Wyoming Game and Fish wildlife managers are conducting big game counts through the winter, while animals are more concentrated on their winter ranges. Managers count the totals, but also classify them as males, females and young-of-the year in order to track the population. The data helps set targets for 2020 hunting seasons.

This year, managers say the Jackson elk herd is near its population objective of 11,000 animals. As a result, 2020 hunting season proposals are likely to be similar to 2019.

There were more moose calves observed this year than in recent years and there were more calves as well. Observers also found six sets of twins. The 306 animals in the Jackson moose herd encouraged wildlife managers.

After a devastating winter in 2016-17, the Wyoming Range deer populations are still uncertain. A relatively moderate winter may have eased up adverse impacts this year.

Wildlife managers believe 2020 deer hunting proposals will likely be similar to the past several years. Antler point restrictions have been in place in Pinedale and Jackson region deer hunt areas for a recommended three consecutive years.

The Jackson region is again planning to offer a hunting season for mountain goats in Hunt Area 4 on the west side of the Teton Range outside Grand Teton National Park. The Type A license will not count toward the once-in-a lifetime restriction for all other mountain goat licenses. Officials don't know yet how many licenses will be offered.

Public meetings to discuss the game surveys and hunting season recommendations are scheduled March 25 at the Thayne Elementary School or March 26 at the Jackson Game and Fish office. Both will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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