SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department Sheridan Regional Office will hold a 2019 hunting regulation meeting June 6 at 6 p.m. Regulation changes will be discussed as well as mountain lion, gray wolf and furbearer seasons.
There are several proposed changes in each chapter that hunters should be aware of. The changes are highlighted for easy viewing and a statement of reason is provided for each proposed change. The draft regulations can be found online at wgfd.wyo.gov/regulations.
Proposed changes to local mountain lion regulations include a reduced quota in Hunt Area 23 and a change of boundaries between hunt areas 15 and 23.
“We believe the boundary change would better reflect the biology of mountain lions and their prey on the east slope of the Bighorn Mountains,” Buffalo Wildlife Biologist Cheyenne Stewart said. “Our hope is the boundary change will direct more targeted lion hunting efforts to areas of Hunt Area 15 where we have persistent livestock depredation issues.”
Mountain lion seasons in Wyoming operate on a quota system. The season closes when the mortality quota has been reached or on the season end date. For the past several years, the mortality quota for Hunt Area 23 has been 20 animals. This year’s proposed change reduces the quota to 15. In the previous three-year season cycle, the quota has not been reached during the season.
“Even with reduced harvest numbers, there was a shift toward younger-aged animals and fewer trophy males harvested,” said Stewart. “The goal of reducing the Hunt Area 23 quota to 15 lions is to stabilize local mountain lion densities, which should increase the age structure of the population and provide higher quality hunting opportunities.”
Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials encourage anyone interested to review the proposed regulations and provide comments, all of which will be forwarded to Game and Fish commissioners prior to their meeting July 18-19 in Rock Springs.
Comments can be submitted in writing to: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, ATTN: Regulations, 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604. Online comments can also be submitted through the Game and Fish website at wgfd.wyo.gov/Get-Involved/Public-Meetings
The deadline for submitting public comments is 5 p.m. on June 17.