Hunting seasons topic of meeting

by nathan oster

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will conduct on open house meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 25 at Greybull Town Hall to discuss proposed hunting season recommendations for 2013.

Game and Fish hosts open house season-setting meetings so individuals may talk directly with the wildlife biologists and game wardens responsible for managing big game.

Tom Easterly, the wildlife biologist based in Greybull, said several changes the elk, deer and turkey hunting seasons in the Big Horn Basin are being considered.

One proposal calls for a longer hunting season in Elk Area 41, where the focus continues to be reducing the herd population. “In the past we had one split in there — but for this coming year we’re proposing a little longer break and a second split, which will enable us to run the season into almost Chistmas.” Easterly explained that the breaks create periods of less disruption, which in turn create more favorable conditions for hunters when the season reopens.

Another proposal would create additional elk hunting licenses in different areas around the Big Horns and a longer cow season in Elk Area 40.

For deer, Easterly said there is a proposal to merge some hunt areas.  “If people are curious, they can come to the meeting and see what the maps look like and where the merging has occurred,” he said.

The turkey hunting proposal may be the most significant change, Easterly said.  Instead of having to apply for licenses, hunters would be able to pick them up at any G&F license selling agents.

“It’s a pretty major change and we expect to be getting a lot of comments on it,” Easterly said, adding that the earliest the change could take effect is in the spring of 2014.

A formal open house meeting, during which statewide seasons may be discussed, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. March 27 at Big Horn Federal Bank in Cody.

Written comments may be submitted at the meetings or by mail to: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Attn: Regulations 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604. Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, April 1. All written comments are given to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission for its review.