JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming wildlife manager have counted fewer elk and bison this winter on the National Elk Refuge near Jackson than in past winters.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department and refuge staff counted about 6,580 elk and 160 bison on Feb. 18.

Game and Fish biologist Aly Courtemanch says elk were scattered around Jackson Hole.

She believes that elk got stuck in some areas by snow that came quickly, noting elk have been seen wintering out in some areas where they have never been seen before.

The Jackson bison herd was also predominantly out in far-flung places it usually abandons during winter.

Both elk and bison that winter away from feedgrounds likely die at higher rates than artificially fed animals, especially calves.

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