JACKSON, Wyo. (KIFI)-In coordination with the opening of the shed and horn collection season, the Jackson Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest has issued a special order. It allows access to critical winter range at 6 a.m. on May 1.
That aligns with the opening time of the National Elk Refuge and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission’s antler collection statute.
The special order defines winter travel restrictions for the Jackson and Blackrock Ranger Districts, designed to protect wintering wildlife and their habitat from the disturbance caused by over-snow vehicles and human presence.
The order will support access to these specific areas, lifting winter travel restrictions at 6 a.m. May 1.
When visitors enter closed winter range, they can cause animals using the area to become stressed or flee to new locations. This retreat requires animals, especially ungulates like deer, elk, and moose, to use energy stores they need to survive. This leads to a weakened condition, which can have a direct effect on the animal’s ability to defend itself, making it more susceptible to predation and disease. Additionally, these stressors can lead to future reproduction problems which can adversely affect the overall population size.