The early word from the Wyoming Game Fish and Parks Department is that hunters can look forward to a good season for big game animals in southeast Wyoming. According to the Department's 2019 Hunting Forecast for Laramie Region, most big game numbers are looking strong for the fall, and bird numbers should be comparable to last year.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • The majority of pronghorn herds in the Laramie region are either increasing or stable, with 90% at or above population management objectives. This is a positive trend compared to the substantial decrease in pronghorn numbers that the region experienced from 2010-2013.
  • Most mule deer populations in the Laramie Region are below management objectives, with combinations of habitat quality, disease and unfavorable weather conditions likely hindering growth.
  • White-tailed deer populations appear to be increasing across the region based on harvest data and landowner observations. White-tailed opportunity was increased in most areas for the 2019 season.
  • Most elk populations in the Laramie region are above management provides good opportunities for hunters to harvest elk, especially those with permission to access private land.
  • The Laramie Peak Bighorn Shep Herd continues to offer trophy quality rams, with outstanding harvest success (2018 = 100%). Substantial moisture during spring and summer yielded strong forage production. Officials anticipate that robust food availability will likely lead to increased offspring survival, along with notable horn growth. However, Sheep licenses will not be available for the Douglas Creek and Encampment River Sheep Herds this year.
  • Sage grouse populations are predicted to decrease this year.

    Forest grouse hunting should be similar to the 2018 season, though cold conditions during the 2019 nesting and brooding seasons could lead to lower productivity.

  • Populations of pheasants and sharp-tailed grouse in the eastern portion of the region have increased since 2013. Similar to forest grouse, hunting for these species should be comparable to the 2018 season.
  • Cotton-tailed rabbit numbers increased dramatically in 2016 in the Laramie region. Hunters should find pockets of abundant rabbits, but overall anticipate more challenging hunts.
  • Turkey populations appear to be stable or increasing throughout most of the region. Sportspersons should expect hunting similar to the 2018 season.
  • For ducks, prairie Canada including Alberta where the majority of Wyoming’s migrating ducks come from was very dry and production will be low.  Overall, production and the fall flight are expected to be lower than last year.
  • Generally, Canada goose numbers across the state are driven by winter conditions, and there should be plenty of geese around should the weather cooperate.

Read the entire report from Wyoming Game and Fish HERE.

For more comprehensive info about hunting in Wyoming - check out the Department's Wyoming Hunt Planner.

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