Wyoming Deer Population:  An estimated deer population of 312,500 in 2022 with 242,500 mule deer and 70,000 whitetails.  A major die-off from the hard winter of 2022-23. The population is down from 374,200 in 2021, 490,000 in 2015, and 607,000 in 2020. A harsh 2018-19 winter reduced populations.  The deer population was trending higher after three mild winters into 2016, but a very harsh winter for 2016-17 west of the continental divide resulted in very low fawn survival.  Also an EHD die-off.  A total population of about 645,000 in 1991.  A peak mule deer population of about 580,000 in 1991. The 2023 Forecast

Wyoming Deer News

$28M Crossing Project Planned On Deadly Highway For Wyoming Mule Deer April 18, 2024 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

... Hundreds of mule deer are killed along a 25-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 26 ... It’s hoped that $2.7 million in private money can be raised by July. That should help snag a federal grant to cover the remaining balance ...

Two Wyoming agencies debut their plan to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions around Dubois April 16, 2024 Wyoming Public Media

... The proposed mitigation plan includes adding three new overpasses and an underpass to help separate animals from the roadway. It also calls for improving already existing underpasses and removing vegetation so motorists can better see deer from farther away...

Conservation groups press for big game habitat exclusions in federal solar energy initiative April 15, 2024 Wyoming Tribune Eagle

... The Bureau of Land Management’s proposal to expand its Western solar energy initiative should be modified to carve out big game migration routes and critical wintering habitat in Wyoming, according to several conservation groups...

Wyoming learning from 'state of the art' mule deer study April 8, 2024 Billings Gazette

... new technology. Solar-powered ear tags are being attached to fawns and rutting males. So far, 40 of the units have been deployed, 20 on adults that also had a GPS collar and 20 on juveniles. The nice thing about the ear tags is that as fawns grow, and the size of their neck changes, there’s no worry about a constricting collar...

Yellowstone research reignites debate over wolf-generated trophic cascade April 7, 2024 The Spokesman-Review

... The results of a 20-year study in Yellowstone ... In 1995, wolves were reintroduced... By 2003, the elk population plummeted ... “We conclude that the restoration of apex predators to Yellowstone should no longer be held up as evidence of a trophic cascade in riparian plant communities of small streams on the northern range,” ...

For these mammals, migration is a means of survival April 1, 2024 Wyoming, High Country News

... Deer 255 didn’t need a name. Between 2019 and 2022, four animated videos of her 240-mile annual trek from southwest Wyoming to central Idaho — the longest one-way mule deer migration ever recorded — racked up almost 4 million views online. Her collar number became synonymous with marathon feats...

$30M Wildlife Crossings To Target Wyoming Highway ‘Slaughterhouse’ March 31, 2024 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

... a new $30 million wildlife crossing project will be built on a stretch already known as a “slaughterhouse” for antelope and deer...  thousands of dead deer and antelope ...

Court rules against BLM on oil and gas lease sales March 28, 2024 Wyoming, Gillette News Record

...  the court said the BLM’s lease plans did not sufficiently account for risks to wildlife, namely sage grouse and mule deer, both of which are negatively impacted by oil and gas development, studies have shown...

Wyoming Game and Fish Commission Approves Feedground Management Plan March 26, 2024 Game and Fish News

     The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voted to approve the department’s Feedground Management Plan, the result of a four-year collaborative process. Regional wildlife managers will now be tasked with developing adaptive Feedground Management Action Plans with local stakeholders.

New elk harvest record set by Wyoming hunters March 26, 2024  Wyoming Game & Fish Department News

... Elk populations have thrived in Wyoming over the last two decades. Wildlife managers estimate the elk population in the Cowboy State to be about 109,000 ...  according to the latest elk harvest survey report. During the season, hunters spent more than 480,000 recreation days in the field and harvested nearly 29,000 elk ...

Wyoming Game And Fish Proposes Unlimited Elk Tags To Cut Down On Gigantic Herds March 23, 2024 Cowboy State Daily

... The draft season proposals are available online.  “In many areas, Type 8 elk licenses are being proposed with some additional restrictions,” Ball said. “For instance, some hunt areas may have a restriction of ‘private land only’ or ‘valid off national forest.’” ...

Wyoming Wildlife Getting Used To New Network Of 9 Underpasses In Lincoln County March 23, 2024 Cowboy State Daily

... The $15 million Dry Piney wildlife underpass system was built primarily with mule deer in mind... There were as many as 150 wildlife collisions reported on that section of highway every year ...

Wyoming Elk, Antelope Adapt Better To Housing, Energy Developments Than Mule Deer March 18, 2024 Cowboy State Daily

... Wyoming, elk and antelope are more likely to adapt to avoid humans. Mule deer on the other hand are too stubborn to move and will keep their migration routes... Research was conducted around Cody, Pinedale and along big game migration corridors in the Red Desert...

Game and Fish Commission approves Feedground Management Plan March 18, 2024

Wyoming Game and Fish Department - State of Wyoming

... “This is not a plan to shut down elk feedgrounds. The Feedground management plan provides a long-term roadmap and a suite of adaptive management options that may be utilized for each feedground,” said Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik. “Not all feedgrounds are the same ...

Governor's Big Game License Coalition allocates $1.8 million for conservation projects

Wyoming Game and Fish Department March 18, 2024 State of Wyoming

... A total of 78 projects that benefit the committee’s five priorities were funded. Funds were generated through the sale of the Wyoming Governor's complimentary big game licenses in 2023.  The coalition allocates funds for various wildlife conservation projects through committees that focus on wildlife species-specific initiatives: elk, mule deer ...

Idaho Man Sentenced to Probation and Ordered to Pay $6,100 for Illegally Collecting Antlers in Wyoming March 19, 2024 Wyoming, K2 Radio

... for attempted unlawful transportation and sale of illegally possessed wildlife ... illegal shed antler collecting...

‘Unrestricted hunting’ out, market value in, as elk damage payments bill advances February 29, 2024 Wyoming, Buffalo Bulletin

... HB 60 ... Grass lost on state land grazing allotments would no longer be eligible for compensation, and the revision added that eligible landowners must permit “reasonable” hunting opportunities on their property... Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership also emailed ... this bill disincentivizes the partnerships we need to effectively address elk overpopulation in Wyoming while costing [Game and Fish] and Wyoming sportspeople millions of dollars...

Wyoming Range mule deer population declines after severe winter of 2022-23 February 29, 2024 Wyoming Game & Fish Department

... Wildlife biologists estimate the current herd number to be about 11,000 animals —  a considerable decline from the February 2023 estimate of 30,000 individuals..,

Rare 'Frankendeer' Crossbreeding No Threat To Wyoming Mule Deer February 24, 2024 Cowboy State Daily

... Mule deer-whitetail “frankendeer” hybrids are extremely rare, but not unheard of in Wyoming. They generally aren’t good survivors ... probably fewer than “the single digits” of the percentage of the deer population in any given area ...

Wyoming Game and Fish elk feedground plan walks tightwire of social, disease issues February 24, 2024 Billings Gazette

... To lessen the chances that disease will spread on feedgrounds, the department may shrink elk populations through hunting. In some places, this may mean a reduction to the point where the herd can subsist without a feedground. Another tactic is to spread out feed to disperse the animals, or to move feeding areas. The duration of the feeding season could also be cut...

Wyoming Whitetail Deer: Are They A 'Noxious Weed,' Or Do They Belong? February 20, 2024 Cowboy State Daily

... “Lewis and Clark noted the whitetail deer all up the Yellowstone valley on their Corps of Discovery ... We can assume that the migration of the whitetail was up the Yellowstone gallery forest of cottonwood then up the Bighorn tributary to the Wind River and subsequent valley. At any rate, the deer was here at the time of western white expansion.” ..,

Game and Fish releases updated draft of Wyoming Elk Feedgrounds Management Plan following public comment period February 20, 2024 Wyoming Game and Fish News

     The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has released its final draft of the Wyoming Elk Feedgrounds Management Plan with the public and will present it before the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission at its meeting in Pinedale March 12-13 for its approval. The draft plan, which can be found on the Elk Feedgrounds: A Challenge We Can Take On web page, is designed to guide the department’s overall and long-term approach to elk management as it pertains to the 21 Game and Fish-operated elk feedgrounds in western Wyoming. 

Wyoming Legislators Propose Separate Seasons for Whitetail and Mule Deer to Aid Conservation February 16, 2024 NewsBreak Original

... This legislative move aims to provide targeted management strategies to support the struggling mule deer populations, while accommodating the growth of the whitetail deer numbers across the state... with mule deer numbers declining and whitetails increasing in various regions of Wyoming...,

Even With $2000 Elk Tags, Hunters Still Want To Hunt In Wyoming February 10, 2024 Cowboy State Daily

... There was a dip in nonresident applications for special draw elk tags this year, possibly because of the price hikes, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department...  some nonresident elk tags scraping the $2,000 mark ...

Wyoming's Second-Deadliest Highway For Deer Gets Wildlife Crossing January 30, 2024 Cowboy State Daily

... As many as 40 deer a month were being struck and killed along that stretch of I-25 ... a wildlife crossing, which uses fencing to funnel animals toward safe underpasses, is about 60% complete and could be finished by this summer...

CWD detected in new Wyoming deer hunt area January 29, 2024 Wyoming Game and Fish Department

... The disease was confirmed in a buck mule deer in December.  Deer Hunt Area 90 is in the Lander Region and is bordered by deer hunt areas 36, 89, 97, 157 and 160 — all of which are CWD positive..,

Wyoming's latest coyote-killing plan results from brutal 2022-'23 winter January 29, 2024 WyoFile

... Last winter killed most of western Wyoming’s mule deer... Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved a $200,000 sum requested by wildlife managers to supplement existing aerial gunning of coyotes in western and south-central parts of the state ...

They are few. They are fat. They are Western Wyoming's deer. January 26, 2024 WyoFile

... The 7-year-old doe survived a harrowing winter that killed off more than 70% of the female deer that researchers were monitoring in the Wyoming Range ... This winter has so far been mild, but if it turns into another severe one, they’d be likely to survive...

Wyoming’s deer factory — the Black Hills — is emptier than ever January 23, 2024 WyoFile on MSN

... In the fall of 2021, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department documented one of the worst EHD epidemics on record. In places, it was every bit as deadly as the winter of 2022-’23, which killed upwards of 60% of collared adult deer and over 70% of adult collared pronghorn in some swaths of western Wyoming.. Mule deer numbered an estimated 13,500 in the Black Hills Herd after the 2022 hunting season, down from a recent high of over 32,000 in 2017 ..,

Game and Fish Commission invests more dollars in mule deer initiative January 22, 2024 Wyoming Game and Fish Department - State of Wyoming

... The Commission voted to allocate $504,000 to improve mule deer habitat for 10 herd units across the state. This will be leveraged with partner funding for a total impact of $4.38 million...

Elk management in Wyoming January 22, 2024 Wyoming Game and Fish

... The Wyoming Game and Fish Department estimates the population of elk in the Cowboy State to be about 109,000. In some areas of the state, the population increase has caused damage issues for private landowners, and over the last five years elk damage claims have increased by 42 percent statewide..,

Hunters Worried As Huge Die-Off, Disease Decimate Wyoming Mule Deer Herds January 17, 2024 Cowboy State Daily

... Wyoming’s mule deer population plunged from an estimated 409,000 in 2017 to 243,000 in 2022, and last winter’s huge die-off and disease have further decimated herds, which has left many hunters worried... In 2012, Wyoming had an estimated 376,000 mule deer, and roughly 409,000 in 2017...

CWD-positive deer near Bondurant January 12, 2024  Wyoming, EIN News

... Wyoming Game and Fish Department first confirmed the presence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Wyoming’s Deer Hunt Area 154 near Bondurant this past September, from a hunter-harvested buck mule deer. A second CWD-positive buck mule deer was confirmed in this hunt area in late November 2023..,

CWD detected in new Wyoming elk hunt area January 9, 2024 Wyoming Game and Fish Department

... The disease was confirmed in a hunter-harvested cow elk in late December 2023.  Elk Hunt Area 28 is in the Lander Region and is bordered by Elk Hunt areas 127 and 98 where CWD was detected in 2022 and 2021..,

This Winter Looking Less Deadly Than Last For Wyoming Mule Deer January 3, 2024 Cowboy State Daily

...  when that snowpack melted, it dumped much-needed moisture into the land. And that was followed by ample rains throughout the spring and early summer... “When a lot of juveniles die over the winter, the moms are going into that next year really fat and happy,” Merkle said. “We’ll probably see a really high survival rate this winter ..,

Powder River/Pumpkin Buttes Mule Deer Study 2023 Prepared for: The Wyoming Game and Fish Department 

... Cause of death was determined for 41 of the 65 mortalities. Vehicle collisions (26%) and disease (chronic wasting disease [CWD, 11%] and epizootic hemorrhagic disease [EHD, 8%]) accounted for nearly half of all mortality (Fig. 12). Interestingly, these main mortality sources had clear spatial patterns, where 76% (n=13) of deer-vehicle collisions occurred in the Interstate 90 study area, 71% (n=5) of CWD mortality occurred in the DeSmet/Highway 14/16 study area, and 100% (n=5) of the EHD mortality occurred in the Interstate 90 study area..,

Winter so far has been mild but is it enough for Deer and Antelope? Wyoming Game and Fish Has the Answers December 27, 2023 Wyoming, Local News 8

... Winter of 22-23 was filled with lots of snow and cold ...  Western Wyoming lost probably half of the pronghorn and mule deer herds due to the extreme winter... the half of the herd that did survive, the does didn't give birth to new fawns... it's going to take several years for them to rebound..,

CWD Detected in Elk Near Pinedale December 27, 2023 Wyoming, SweetwaterNOW

... Chronic wasting disease was recently confirmed in a new hunt area near Pinedale ... found in a cow elk in Elk Hunt Area 92, which has a small border with Elk Hunt Area 98, where the disease was detected in 2021.., 

How to decimate a mule deer herd: A case study in Wyoming December 21, 2023 WyoFile

... Death is inevitable for the mule deer that cross the interstate here in the Powder River Basin with any frequency. “... none of the animals figured it out,” said Hall Sawyer, an ecologist who studied three segments of the Powder River and Pumpkin Buttes mule deer herds for the "They tried a few times and they’re dead.”...

Plea Agreements Reached in Campbell and Johnson County Poaching Cases December 19, 2023 Wyoming, Sheridan Media

... The investigation and subsequent plea agreement resulted in more than $137,000 in fines and restitution among three individuals... multiple wildlife violations for all three suspects were discovered dating back to December of 2018, including eight buck mule deer and one bull elk taken out of season or wantonly destroyed...

CWD detected in new Wyoming elk hunt area December 11, 2023 WGFD News

... The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed the presence of chronic wasting disease in Elk Hunt Area 122. The disease was detected in a hunter-harvested cow elk in early November.  Elk Hunt Area 122 is in the Casper Region and is bordered by three areas where CWD was previously detected..,

Three Deer Bucks Running Around Sheridan With Christmas Lights In Their Antlers December 8, 2023 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

... “We are aware of three deer with lights entangled in their antlers. There is also one deer that has remnants of a soccer net entangled in its antlers,” ...local office of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department ...

Outrage in Wyoming erupts over public-land auction December 6, 2023 Mountain Journal

... Wyomingites have been resolute in their opposition to selling the state-owned parcel... The land is a vital migration corridor for elk, moose, big horn sheep antelope, pronghorn and mule deer traveling into and out of the national park...

WYDOT receives $24.3 million federal grant for Kemmerer wildlife crossing project December 4, 2023 Wyoming Game and Fish News

... The grant will be used for the Kemmerer Wildlife Crossing Project on U.S. Highway 189 in southwest Wyoming. The project will consist of five underpasses, one overpass and fencing improvements along a 30-mile stretch between Evanston and Kemmerer...

Deer rescued from ice in Green River on Sunday December 3, 2023 Wyoming, Rocket News

... The game and fish department requested GRFD use its Swift Water Rescue Team (SWRT) to save the deer. Upon arrival, the SWRT began retrieving the deer with a nebulus emergency flotation device...

Good Samaritans Save Young Mule Deer Caught In Electric Fence November 30, 2023 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

...  his antlers became helplessly entangled in an electric fence...  two Wyoming men ... using wire cutters to free the nearly exhausted buck from the wire. After it’s freed, the buck springs up and runs away ...

CWD detected in new Wyoming elk hunt area November 24, 2023 Wyoming Fish and Game Department

... The disease was detected in a hunter-harvested bull elk in early October.  Elk Hunt Area 58 is in the Cody Region and is bordered by two areas that previously detected CWD in elk..,

Wildlife documentary shows how large ungulates migrate far beyond Grand Teton National Park November 21, 2023 Wyoming Public Media

... A film called “Animal Trails: Rediscovering Grand Teton Migrations” highlights how mule deer and pronghorn travel from Grand Teton National Park to winter ranges across Idaho, Wyoming, and the Wind River Reservation. It documents how the animals depend on habitats almost 200 miles away from the park’s boundaries...

Montana Land Board signs off on 328-acre Lower Yellowstone acquisition November 21, 2023 Montana Free Press

... A statement from Gianforte’s office said the acquisition will open access to 2.2 miles of Yellowstone riverfront and support multiple game species, including mule and white-tailed deer ...

Yellowstone increases CWD monitoring after it was discovered in the park for the first time November 15, 2023 Wyoming Public Media

... chronic wasting disease ...  has been spreading across Wyoming since the 1980s, and about 10 to 15 percent of the mule deer near Cody already have it... Yellowstone said it’s stepping up testing and monitoring efforts ...

Zombie Deer Disease: Everything To Know About Chronic Wasting Disease After Yellowstone Confirms First Infection November 15, 2023 Wyoming, Forbes

... Officials at Yellowstone National Park and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department on Tuesday confirmed a case of CWD in an adult deer buck found near Yellowstone Lake. The discovery marks the first time the disease has been found in the national park, one of the most visited in the country. As “there is no effective strategy to eradicate” CWD once established ..,

Historic die-off at Wyoming elk feedground prompts management changes November 13, 2023 Wyoming, WyoFile

 ...1,733 elk being fed every morning on top of feces-filled ground in the feedground’s flat valley floor... “in early February I could tell we were going to see a hoof rot outbreak here.” ...  Nearly half of the calves counted on the Horse Creek Feedground last winter died... 

After achievements in Wyoming, USDA expands big game conservation program November 13, 2023, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

... deer, pronghorn, elk and other big game species in Wyoming face a number of obstacles that complicate their historic migrations, from housing development and energy extraction to recreation and roadways... Migratory Big Game Initiative ... works with farmers and ranchers to fund conservation on private working lands...

CWD found in elk south of Cody November 6, 2023 Wyoming, Cody Enterprise

... chronic wasting disease south of Cody ... in a hunter-harvested bull elk in early October... Elk Hunt Area 58 overlaps with Deer Hunt Area 113 where the disease also has been detected..,

Johnson County Busting At Seams With Elk, But Not Much Deer November 5, 2023 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

...  booming elk herds ... Meanwhile, the county’s legendary gobs of whitetails have been knocked back severely by disease. But they’ll probably recover, whereas mule deer might be in longer-term trouble ... this fall  ... An outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) – or blue tongue disease — hammered whitetails herds..,

Cameras on collars give scientists intimate view of natural world November 2, 2023 Wyoming,  WyoFile

... Cameras tucked under their necks give a unique, up-close perspective... "we can look at some of the decisions that these individual animals make, and then tie that to things that we do have, like more remote data on survival and reproduction and if they are successful in raising fawns.” ...

Migrating mule deer will move unhindered on Bridger-Teton National Forest October 31, 2023 Wyoming, Local News 8

... a special order creating a seasonal recreational closure near the outlet of Fremont Lake ...  known as the “Fremont Bottleneck.” This bottleneck is a top concern for mule deer managers, as this narrow segment of the migration route is critical for the passage of an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 mule deer each fall and spring...

Western Wyoming's big buck country sees slowest hunt in 30 years October 25, 2023 Jackson Hole News & Guide

... The winter of 2022-23 was a killer unlike any biologists had ever seen for Wyoming Range mule deer and pronghorn in the adjoining Green River basin. Roughly 3 in 4 adult pronghorn died, and the mule deer death rates were nearly as bad: 70% mortality in does and 60% for bucks. Virtually all the 2022-born fawns of both species perished..,

CWD detected in new Wyoming elk hunt area October 25, 2023 Wyoming Game and Fish News

     The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed the presence of chronic wasting disease in Elk Hunt Area 58. The disease was detected in a hunter-harvested bull elk in early October.  Elk Hunt Area 58 is in the Cody Region and is bordered by two areas that previously detected CWD in elk. 

Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Mule Deer Study October 19, 2023 Jackson Hole Radio

... The winter of 2022-23 was harsh, resulting in significant losses for mule deer, particularly in central and western Wyoming. For example, in the Wyoming Range herd, all 100 collared juveniles succumbed to the challenging winter conditions..,

Mule Deer Monitoring Project provides valuable information on winter mortality and movement October 16, 2023 Wyoming Fish and Game Department

... A five-year, groundbreaking project by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to study mule deer in the Cowboy State is underway. This project, which started in late 2022, takes a deeper data dive by researching six areas considered critical for mule deer management: abundance, composition, data management, survival, herd health and harvest management. One of the primary research questions the project hopes to address is abundance — how many individual mule deer are in each of the state’s herds...

$15 Million Wildlife Underpass Project Near La Barge Dedicated On Thursday October 12, 2023 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

... Darin Westby, director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, said the Dry Piney Wildlife Crossing Project cost $15 million and includes nine underpasses, 33 miles of fencing, 2 miles of new road and “an amazing amount of partnership and cooperation.”...

Wyoming Wildlife Crossings Saving Money and Wildlife October 10, 2023 Laramie Live

... The state has identified 240 projects to reduce vehicle-wildlife collisions. WGF said underpasses are proven to reduce these collisions:   Seven underpasses and 8-foot-high fencing along a 13.5-mile stretch of Wyoming Highway 30 west of Kemmerer resulted in an 81% reduction in deer-vehicle collisions after three years...

CWD detected in new Wyoming deer hunt area October 9, 2023 Wyoming Game and Fish

...  The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed the presence of chronic wasting disease in Wyoming’s Deer Hunt Area 154. The disease was detected in a hunter-harvested buck mule deer in September.  Deer Hunt Area 154 is in the Jackson Region and is bordered by three areas that previously detected CWD in deer ...

Researcher paints broad picture of wolf-prey interactions with Jackson Hole Study   October 8, 2023 Wyoming, Billings Gazette

... “We have learned that wolves decrease the population size of their prey … sometimes. After wolf reintroduction, some elk population sizes decreased, others remained stable and others increased ... wolves change the behavior and distribution of their prey … sometimes..."  the study

Deer population trends point upward October 5, 2023 Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune

... “Like everywhere, we have population of deer is a fraction of what it used to be; however, I think relative to the last five years, the population in the Big Horns is probably on a bit of an upswing,” ... Parts of southern and western Wyoming, meanwhile, saw survival rates of approximately 30%..,

Dry Piney wildlife crossing project complete October 4, 2023 Wyoming Game & Fish Department 

... The project includes nine underpasses and 17 miles of 8-foot tall fencing on both sides of U.S. Highway 189 to encourage big game, primarily mule deer and pronghorn, to use the underpasses and avoid wildlife-vehicle collisions... This section highway has one of the highest wildlife-vehicle collision rates in Wyoming ...

Feed the wildlife September 17, 2023, Casper Star-Tribune

... Many deer in towns around Wyoming survived because people were feeding them ... weather forecasters say the upcoming winter will be just as bad as last year’s winter...

Wyoming Hunters Giving Up Deer Tags Catching On Across The Nation September 16, 2023 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

... The Let a Deer Walk program started by a Wyoming hunter has gained fans all over the country, as people praise the idea of hunters giving up their deer tags this year so herds can recover from a devastating winter... Nearly 1,200 hunters turned in their tags, and roughly $43,000 was raised for wildlife conservation...

Killing more lions may not help mule deer. Wyoming OKs it anyway. September 15, 2023 Wyoming News

... Game and Fish’s large carnivore supervisor, Dan Thompson, spoke candidly ... “Killing more lions isn’t going to bring back mule deer,” ... supported by a nearly decade-long research project examining the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Herd. Winter mortality and habitat conditions are much more influential factors for the herd than predation ...

In Teton County, Game and Fish will pay for hunters' carcass disposal September 13, 2023 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News & Guide

...In a bid to keep chronic wasting disease from spreading, and unattended carcasses from attracting grizzlies, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will pay for the disposal of hunters’ carcasses in Teton County this year...

Video Below:  Wyoming Mule Deer Survey, September 10, 2023.  Mule deer have been in the discussions of many big game hunters over the past years; their status in recent years seems to be growing along with the number of folks who like hunting them.  Every so often, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department surveys Wyoming mule deer hunters to get their views and opinions on how mule deer are being managed in Wyoming.  Last month Game and Fish, in collaboration with the University of Wyoming, initiated an online deer hunter attitude survey of Wyoming resident deer hunters. 

Game & Fish Reports Compensation for Wildlife Damage to Crops Nearly Equal to Compensation for Damages to Livestock September 6, 2023 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

... Under state law, the Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WG&F) is required to compensate for property damages by big and trophy game and game birds.  Last year WG&F spent $2.8 million for its damage program, with $1.5 million spent paying claims, with the balance spent on prevention and handling of damage problems...

Killing more lions to boost Wyoming deer draws scant support September 5, 2023 WyoFile

... Comments came in from across Wyoming and the country, mostly opposing a proposal to target 50% more mountain lions in areas where mule deer sustained sky-high winter mortality...

Hundreds Of Wyoming Hunters Turn In Tags To Save Devastated Deer Herds September 1, 2023 Cowboy State Daily

... Nearly 1,200 Wyoming mule deer will have better odds of surviving another year, because that’s how many hunters turned their tags in for the Let a Deer Walk program.  Nearly $43,000 for wildlife conservation was also raised...

Hundreds Of Wyoming Hunters Turn In Tags To Save Devastated Deer Herds September 1, 2023 Cowboy State Daily

... Nearly 1,200 Wyoming mule deer will have better odds of surviving another year, because that’s how many hunters turned their tags in for the Let a Deer Walk program.  Nearly $43,000 for wildlife conservation was also raised...

Wyoming 2023 Hunt Forecast  August, 2023 Wyomng Game and Fish Department

... in the Casper Region ... Mule deer populations have decreased or remained stable throughout the region over the past several years, with all populations being well below established objectives. Mule deer adult and fawn survival continues to be poor, which can be attributed to past summer droughts and habitat conditions, disease in some herds and predation... White-tailed deer populations experienced substantial die-offs in 2021 in much of the Casper Region due to a severe outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease..,

Did Wyoming's Rock Star Deer 'The King' Survive Winter? Nobody Knows August 22, 2023 Cowboy State Daily

... A huge Wyoming mule deer buck, called “The King” by his fans has garnered a huge social media following over the past few years. But it’s not known whether he survived this winter’s massive die-offs...

Game and Fish gears up for more CWD monitoring August 21, 2023 Wyoming Game and Fish

... “Game and Fish is requesting samples from herds we’ve not addressed in a while, where we are trying to get a significant sample size so we can accurately determine what the CWD prevalence is in these herds,” said Jessica Jennings-Gaines, Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor... Learn how to take a sample by watching a how-to video ...

USGS Study Finds the Early Mule Deer-and the Late Ones-Get the Herbs August 21, 223 Wyoming, sierrasuntimes

... The study used movement data from 72 adult female mule deer over a 10-year period and found that deer in the study started migration 70 days before to 52 days after the wave of spring green-up ... Early deer took a more leisurely time, traveling slower and spending more time on layovers. Late deer put the hustle on and spent less time on layovers ...

One 'tool' in the 'toolbox' – a deep dive on conservation easements in Wyoming August 18, 2023 Wyoming Public Media

... “When I first came up the road as a little kid … there was literally 1000s of mule deer in this area.” ... that’s not the case now ... the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation basically bought the development rights to his ranch to preserve the land for wildlife...

Despite Having Fewest People, Wyoming Piles Up 8th Most Roadkill August 18, 2023 Cowboy State Daily

... wildlife officials estimate that as many as 85% of the roughly 6,000 yearly animal collisions here involve mule deer... Particularly in more densely populated areas in the Midwest and East, pressure from hunters can send deer fleeing toward roads. That means they dodge bullets and buckshot, only to be killed by front bumpers and grills...

2023 Wyoming hunt forecast August 14, 2023 Wyoming Game and Fish

     In the Casper Region mule deer populations have decreased or remained stable throughout the region over the past several years, with all populations being well below established objectives. Mule deer adult and fawn survival continues to be poor, which can be attributed to past summer droughts and habitat conditions, disease in some herds and predation...

CWD increasing in state deer, elk herds August 8, 2023 Wyoming,  Powell Tribune

... In one herd, the prevalence rate is calculated at 65% in mule deer bucks and there are concerning increases in infected elk ... The disease, which typically kills infected animals within two years after initial exposure, now occurs in 34 of Wyoming’s 37 mule deer herds, and 15 of the state’s 36 elk herd units ..,

Game & Fish Says Ending Elk Feeding In Wyoming Would Be Bad Idea July 26, 2023 Cowboy State Daily

... “Managing elk through feedgrounds” has been the policy in western Wyoming for nearly a century, he said. So abruptly ending it could throw things into chaos, he said. If any changes are to be made, they must be done incrementally over time and with a broad base of support among all the stakeholders ...

Don't Fence Me In: The Greater Yellowstone Coalition Helps Animals On The Move July 23, 2023 Wyoming, National Parks Traveler

... the Greater Yellowstone Coalition ... While deer, elk, moose, bear and bighorns spend their summers in the high country, they need to move down from the snowy peaks to a winter range, which often is on a working ranch or private property. While some ranchers are glad to see them, there are economic impacts, like broken fences and damaged haystacks. But now there seems to be a solution. Local and national funding is paying landowners to host these animals...

Game and Fish explains draft elk feedground management plan and looks for public input July 21, 2023 Wyoming Public Media

... Elk feed grounds actually started way back in 1912. We had some bad winters in 1910 and 1911, where a lot of elk died... turning down the feedgrounds would affect the livelihoods of a lot of people, particularly ranchers. What we want to do is reduce the elk’s reliance on feedgrounds...  a draft plan ...

2022 CWD testing results July 19, 2023  Wyoming Game and Fish Department

     The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Laboratory tested 6,701 samples from big game animals for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in 2022. Testing was completed earlier this year on samples that were submitted from across the state. CWD was not detected in 5,875 samples and 826 samples were positive.

Wyoming's 2023 Winter was a Wake-Up Call for the Rock Spring's Field Office July 14, 2023  Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

... the Wyoming Range ... Roughly 70% of collared does, 60% of collared bucks, and all collared fawns in the herd succumbed to the worst winter in decades... The BLM is in the process of revising the management plan for this field office and we expect to see a draft proposal out for public comment this year...

Many support mule deer 'bottleneck' closure July 13, 2023 Wyoming, Pinedale Roundup

... The quarter-mile bottleneck portion, where deer squeeze between residential development and Fremont Lake, has been recognized for decades as a problem area along the fall and springtime migration route ...

Wyoming Hunter, Rancher Don't Want Game And Fish To Curb Elk Feeding Program July 13, 2023 Cowboy State Daily

... There has been growing concern that the concentration of elk at winter feedgrounds has increased the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among elk...  draft management plan for the elk feedgrounds...  this winter, the Game and Fish established an emergency elk feeding ground in the Star Valley area to keep hungry elk there from plowing through fences and gorging on ranchers’ haystacks...

When the Woods Get Noisy, the Animals Get Nervous July 8, 2023 Wyoming, Wired

... Judging by an initial analysis of last summer’s data, large groups of mountain bikers were the most likely to cause animals like mule deer and elk to flee. Smaller groups of mountain bikers and hikers talking also triggered a response... new study, currently underway in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest ...

G&F Releases Draft Elk Feedgrounds Plan for Public Review July 5, 2023 Wyoming Game and Fish Department

... The draft plan, which can be found at Elk Feedgrounds: A Challenge We Can Take On , is designed to guide the department’s overall, long-term approach to elk management as it pertains to the 22 Game and Fish-operated elk feedgrounds in western Wyoming. A one-page summary highlighting the main points of the plan is also available online...

Moose On The Loose In Laramie Gets Darted, Taken To Snowies July 3, 2023 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

... A young bull moose wandered into Laramie early Monday and was tranquilized by game wardens ... The moose was taken to the Snowy Range Mountains and set free...

Wyoming Should Have Fed Starving Deer, Says Retired Wildlife Official June 29, 2023 Cowboy State Daily

... The man who supervised supervised the Game and Fish’s elk feeding program for 33 years told Cowboy State Daily that tens of thousands of mule deer could have been spared from starving to death this past winter if they’d been artificially fed..,

State seeks to kill 50% more lions in hard-hit deer range June 15, 2023 Wyoming, WyoFile

... boost its mountain lion hunting quotas by approximately 50% in two western Wyoming mountain ranges where mule deer populations were decimated by winter.  ...  winter that killed roughly two-thirds of all adult deer in the region..,

Winterkill Wiped Out Deer & Antelope Herds, But Wild Horse Population Is Exploding June 15, 2023 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

... “We are not seeing the same level of mortality (among mustangs) that other ungulates are seeing,” ...  there are an estimated 8,181 mustangs roaming across roughly 5 million acres in 16 herd management areas that the BLM oversees in Wyoming ...The agency’s target population is 3,725 horses..,

Mule deer killed near Rock Springs, Wyo., tests positive for chronic wasting disease June 14, 2023 Wyoming, Billings Gazette

... in the Green River region and is part of the Sublette mule deer herd where CWD was first detected in 2017. The area is bordered by six CWD-positive areas: 92, 96, 98, 100, 132 and 138...

Wyoming Range Winterkill Far Worse Than Thought: 80% Of Adult Deer & Nearly All Fawns Dead June 13, 2023 Cowboy State Daily

... As many as 80% of the adult deer in that region might have died and this year’s crop of fawns was essentially wiped out, Wyoming Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik said Tuesday.  The Wyoming Range mule deer herd is one of the most prized herds in the West. Going into winter, it was thought to number about 30,000 ..,

What’s in store for the devastated Wyoming Range Deer Herd? June 9, 2023 WyoFile

... “We’ve been studying not just this animal, but we studied her mom and we studied her offspring,” Lasharr said. “We knew what the family was doing. Now they’re essentially gone from the population.” ...  This spring’s fawn crop would also likely struggle after being born to mothers in terrible shape. More adult deer would die, too ..,

Wildlife health lab tests more than 6000 CWD samples in 2022 June 5, 2023 Wyoming Game and Fish Department - State of Wyoming

...  The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Laboratory tested 6,701 samples from big game animals for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in 2022. Testing was completed earlier this year and samples were submitted from throughout the state. CWD was not detected in 5,875 samples and 826 samples were positive. Some samples submitted were not testable...

Wyoming spends record $4.2 million to kill coyotes, other predators June 1, 2023, WyoFile

... In the wake of this year’s especially deadly winter for pronghorn and mule deer, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is separately planning to provide yet more funding for coyote killing. Following the hard winter of 2016-’17, the agency spent $100,000 on aerial gunning over deer fawning grounds. That effort claimed 177 coyotes..,

Wyoming gray wolf population remains stable at objective May 15, 2023 Wyoming Fish and Game News

... Wyoming’s gray wolf population continues to meet all management goals, according to the 2022 Wyoming Gray Wolf Monitoring and Management annual report by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and partnering agencies... As of Dec. 31, 2022, at least 163 wolves and 12 breeding pairs reside within the wolf trophy game management area (WTGMA), where Game and Fish focuses management. The wolf population for Yellowstone National Park and Wind River Reservation is at least 108 wolves and 18 breeding pairs, respectively. An additional 49 wolves were documented in the seasonal WTGMA and predatory animal areas outside Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Reservation, bringing the total minimum population in Wyoming to at least 338 wolves...

Grants help fund wildlife migration corridor work in Montana, Wyoming May 13, 2023 Independent Record

... “The conservation projects funded this year by the Western Big Game Seasonal Habitat and Migration Corridors Fund will make great strides toward protecting species including pronghorn, mule deer and elk during their annual migrations and enhancing the rangeland habitats they need to survive and thrive,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ...

1,500 Big Game Carcasses At Sublette County Landfill Could Be Just The Beginning Of Gruesome Winterkill Tally May 10, 2023 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

... This year, winter’s withdraw is uncovering the sheer magnitude of suffering and death the vicious season brought upon big game herds, like a murder’s obscene secrets finally laid bare..,

BLM to Conduct Prescribed Fires in Sublette and Lincoln Counties May 10, 2023 Wyoming News Now

... This prescribed fire is part of the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Habitat Project, which was developed as part of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wyoming Range Mule Deer Initiative in 2011. The project will reduce hazardous fuels and improve vegetation conditions in crucial mule deer winter range, transition range, and fawning ranges...

Wyoming Hunters Sitting Out Deer Season To Support Herds Devastated By Winterkill May 5, 2023 Cowboy State Daily

... the “Let a Deer Walk” program ... Hunters who buy or draw a deer tags for the fall 2023 seasons can skip the hunt. Instead, they can mail in their tags by Aug. 1 as “entry tickets” for an Aug. 15 prize drawing... more than $100,000 in prizes donated so far ...

Habitat is critical for wildlife to survive harsh winters like the one we just had April 30, 2023 Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune

... As their space dwindles, though, their numbers fall... Roughly 20% of adult female pronghorn and mule deer die during an ordinary winter, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. As of April, closer to half of adult female pronghorn and one-third of adult female mule deer collared by the agency had succumbed this year ...

In winter's wake, lions, bears and coyotes could be in the crosshairs April 28, 2023 Wyoming, WyoFile

... Wyoming wildlife officials are considering slashing populations of three native predators in an area where a hard winter has cratered mule deer survival rates... After the big winter of 2016-’17, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department spent about $100,000 of hunting and fishing license funds on shooting coyotes from aircraft on mule deer fawning grounds ..,

Shed antler and horn collecting postponed on designated lands until 6 a.m May 15 April 25, 2023 Wyoming Game and Fish News

... A map of the affected land is online and the boundaries are detailed within the emergency regulation... “Big game animals have experienced a tough winter and are highly vulnerable to human-caused disturbances, such as being moved around by people on the landscape gathering antlers,” ...

Thriving elk, struggling deer: Coincidence? New research suggests not April 24, 2023 Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune

...  “In this situation, with deer and elk ... We may not be able to have robust, large populations of elk and robust, large populations of deer.” ... University of Wyoming ecology professor Kevin Monteith ... data out of this lab that show a distinct inverse correlation between the amount of body fat female muleys gain during the summertime and their proximity to elk ...

Wyoming Range mule deer deaths rising April 20, 2023  Pinedale Roundup

... About 30 percent of the does in the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Herd had died by late March ... In the two weeks that followed, another 20 percent of the adult female deer in the Wyoming Range succumbed to starvation and other winter stressors ...

Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approves 2023 hunting season April 20 2023, Wyoming Game and Fish News

... As a result of severe winter impacts, Game and Fish wildlife managers made significant adjustments to hunting season proposals in many areas of the state and proposed an overall decrease of 10,290 antelope licenses and 4,410 mule deer licenses. The finalized season information will be available on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website and Hunt Planner in May..,

After Massive Wyoming Big Game Winterkill, Some Hunters Worry Predators Will Decimate Herds April 18, 2023 Cowboy State Daily

... The commission on Tuesday afternoon voted unanimously to consider raising kill quotas for predator hunting seasons in the areas suffering the worst big game winterkill, mostly in central and southcentral Wyoming...

Almost 200,000 Antelope And Deer Dead From Winter Kill. Can We Foresee Such a Headline? April 15, 2023 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

...  Our outdoors reporter Mark Heinz is not ready to write such a number. It is not an official estimate, but a number I’ve speculated ... Recent estimates pegged the number of pronghorn antelope in Wyoming to be about 450,000 and deer at about 380,000 (70,000 whitetail and 310,000 mule deer), prior to this die-off..,

Rare 'inverted' snowpack magnified winter's heavy toll on wildlife April 13, 2023 Wyoming, WyoFile

... Bottom-heavy snowpack lingering long into spring was widespread in Wyoming. And so were consequences for wildlife like mule deer and pronghorn, which starved to death by the thousands... Gary Fralick, who manages the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Herd, said there’s no doubt in his mind that winter 2022-’23 has been the harshest for wintering deer of his 30-year tenure..,

Migrating mule deer compensate en route for phenological mismatches - Nature Communications, 2023

... we study a population of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in Wyoming that lack reliable cues on their desert winter range, causing them to start migration 70 days ahead to 52 days behind the wave of spring green-up. We show that individual deer arrive at their summer range within an average 6-day window by adjusting movement speed and stopover use ...

Nature is cruel; we shouldn't be April 13, 2023 Wyoming, Pinedale Roundup

... Fifty percent of adult mule deer between Pinedale and Rock Springs died this winter, along with 90 percent of fawns, according to Game and Fish director Brian Nesvick... The Wyoming Range mule deer herd consisted of some 30,000 animals when the snow started to fly. At least 35 percent of the 128 collared Wyoming Range does are now dead, along with 90 percent of the herd’s 92 collared fawns..,

Wyoming Deer News and Information Archive by Topic:  Population and Management, Deer in the News, Disease, Suburban, Transportation 

Wyoming Deer:   2023 Wyoming hunt forecast.  In 2024 deer are recovering from a harsh 2022-23 winter with emergency feeding for elk, but adult deer mortality nearing 80% in some areas with few fawns surviving.   The state estimated 242,500 mule deer post-hunt in 2022 using a new mule deer population model.  An estimate in the press put the 2022 whitetail population estimate at 70,000 white-tails for a total of 312,500 deer.  Drought, harsh winters, and disease resulted in stable to lower mule deer populations in 2022

Data and Analysis for the Chart Below

The deer population estimates in the chart above are from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.  The data.  No whitetail estimate was made for 2000 to 2002 so whitetail hunting data trends were used to make an estimate for this period.  The 2021 whitetail population is also from hunting data.

The 2022 Forecast. As a result of rough winter conditions in 2020-21, reduced mule deer licenses for the 2021-22 hunt to support the population.

An early onset harsh winter in 2019-20 increased mortality.  Also a hard, late 2018-19 winter with three-quarters of the fawns dying from starvation in the southwest.  Reduced mule deer tags for 2019 to support the population.  In 2019 populations hadn't recovered from the 2016-17 winter. 

A mild winter and wet spring allowed the deer herd to recover into 2018 after the severe winter of 2016-17 west of the continental divide reduced deer populations, mortality rates close to 25 percent in the Wyoming Range.   Good deer survival in other areas, but an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease.  Applications for deer hunting far exceeded available licenses in 2018.  From about 1988 to 2019 the mule deer population fell by 31 percent.

Low fawn survival going into 2017 from a harsh winter.  The 2016 Hunting Forecast provides details. Deer populations were generally somewhat up in 2015 and 2016 after three mild winters that resulted in good fawn survival.  Good rainfall in 2016. 

Deer populations were in fair shape in the north. Mule deer populations are up in the central part of the state but down in the west.  White-tails numbers are up in the Black Hills, but still down in some other areas from the 2014 EHD outbreak.  Mule deer antler restrictions were lifted in many regions. Mule deer populations are up in the Green River area and the northern Big Horn. Populations down in the southern Bighorn Basin from habitat decline, weather, and disease.  Follow the Wyoming Migration Study

The harsh winter of 2013-14 reduced the herd.  A severe outbreak of EHD in 2012 reduced white-tail populations.  A total population of about 578,000 in 1991. Mule deer populations in Wyoming have been on the decline since the late 1980s. According to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies mule deer populations "declined by an estimated 168,000 (31 percent) since 2000. After the 2011 hunting seasons, it was estimated there were 376,000 mule deer in the state."   The 2010-11 winter was harsh on deer in the west with fawn mortality up to 75 percent.  Deer populations in the south fell by 30 percent over five years into 2011 with habitat and energy development as a key factors.

A population estimate of 52,000 whitetails in 2009 and 47,000 in 1990.

About 544,000 mule deer in the year 2000. Harsh winters in 1978-79, 1983-84 (resulting in a population crash), and 1992-93, reduced populations.  The deer population for the decade into 2010 hovered around 450,000 to 500,000.  A peak mule deer population in 1991 estimated by the state at 578,000 and an estimate at 586,300.

Chart below from the 2016 Range-Wide Status of Mule and Black-tailed Deer, Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (page 30).  "Throughout Wyoming, mule deer populations have declined by an estimated 181,000 (33%) mule deer since 2000. After the 2014 hunting season, it was estimated there were 364,000 mule deer in the state."

Mule Deer Population 2000 to 2014

A study as part of the Mule Deer Initiative explored why mule deer are not reaching their population goals. Reasons include drought, development, chronic wasting disease, and poor fawn production which has declined by about 20 percent in the 25 years prior to 2012. To sustain hunting, the herd needs about 66 fawns per 100 does, but the ratio has been below that from 1990 into 2012 when it was at 63. As a result, the state was about 35 percent below objective its deer population objectives.  Reduced stands of mahogany, a crucial winter food supply, contributed to the mule deer population decline.

Some deer migrate 170 miles in the Wyoming range. Over hunting on public land, habitat loss and fragmentation, and energy development are all thought to be contributing causes of the decline. Mule deer populations are generally in better shape on private land. Antelope populations have been on a steady decline over the last few years.  

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was first identified in 1978 in deer at the Wyoming Fish and Game Department’s Sybille wildlife research facility.  It was first identified in wild deer in 1985 and elk in 1986.  In 2016 CWD was moving west toward Yellowstone.  A recent study concludes that "diseased whitetail east of Casper are declining 10 percent a year, and face extinction within half a century."  In 2019 there were 16 new positives for Chronic Wasting Disease and 131 testing positive out of 7,000. In 2020, 829 positives from 6,496 deer, elk, and moose samples. In 2021, 831 positive cases out of almost 7,000.  By 2022 some areas had 45 percent infection rates with 12.3% positives among all deer testing with 826 positives out of 6,701 tested.  As of 2023 CWD was in 34 of the 37 mule deer herds and the first case was detected in Yellowstone National Park.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).   A severe 2021 outbreak outbreak in the Arvada area as well as areas near Douglas, Laramie and Cheyenne.  A 2023 outbreak around Johnson county.

History:  Deer and elk were abundant in Wyoming but excessive, unregulated hunting dramatically reduced their numbers as well as those of other big game.  A  military exploration party entering Yellowstone in 1875 found the bison, elk, deer, and pronghorn had been hunted nearly to extinction.

The mule deer population was about 50,000 in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but a series of bad winters and hunting pressure reduced the population to about 30,000.

The state writes in their 2021 WAFWA (p. 44) report that "Mule deer populations throughout Wyoming have declined since the early 1990s. It is apparent, given declining production of mule deer fawns starting in the late 1980s, populations were responding in a density-dependent fashion to decreasing habitat availability and/or quality."  More history.


Elk  A January, 2024, estimated population of  109,000.  A 2022 estimate of 74,900 elk.  Supplemental feeding by the state began in 1910.  About 90,000 in the early 2000s and more than 110,000 in 2022.

Moose populations are generally in decline with an exception of the Snowy Range herd.


Wolves  As of  December 31, 2022, there were a minimum of 338 wolves in the state, consistent with the management plan.  At least 314 in the state at the end of 2021.  At least 544 in 2015.  The last wolves in Yellowstone were killed in the 1920's then reintroduced starting in 1995.


Mountain Lion  In 2023 mountain lion hunting quotas were increased by approximately 50% in two western Wyoming mountain ranges after a winter that devastate deer in the region.

Wild Horses, an estimated 8,181 mustangs in 2023 roaming across roughly 5 million acres in 16 herd management areas that the BLM oversees in Wyoming.

The Stop Poaching Tip Line is 877-WGFD-TIP. 

Other useful links:

University of Wyoming's Mule Deer Migration Assessment

- Wyoming Migration Initiative. Advancing the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of Wyoming's migratory ungulates by conducting innovative research and sharing scientific information through public outreach.