2013 Wyoming Hunting Season Preview
The outlook for the 2013 Wyoming hunting season appears very positive. When snowpack in early April was at just three-quarters of normal, drought conditions looked imminent. But several late spring storms brought welcome moisture to Wyoming. By the end of April, the statewide snowpack average jumped to 100 percent of normal. In fact, Amsden Wildlife Habitat Management Area near Dayton opened two weeks later than normal due to above average snowpack.
The combination of a relatively mild winter and heavy spring moisture brings good news for Wyoming’s wildlife populations. Our big game herds seem to be in excellent condition going into the 2013 summer season. While unpredictable weather always provides challenges, we should see good numbers of healthy, mature bucks and bulls as we head into the fall hunting seasons.
However, even with the late moisture brought by April snowstorms, conditions will still be relatively dry across the state as summer temperatures dry the landscape. By the end of August and into September, herds will naturally drift into areas with better grazing or browsing conditions, and of course water availability. Hunters, whether in pursuit of antelope, mule deer or elk, will be wise to pay close attention to the quality of feed and the accessibility of water as the season wears on.
While dry conditions are a perennial struggle here in the mountain west, we are excited about the overall outlook for the coming hunting seasons. After a couple of very hard winters and then an extremely dry year in 2012, this season is shaping up to be a great one. We expect deer, antelope and elk herds to follow more typical patterns this season. And after a substantial runoff of snow from the high country, our big game herds should have no trouble packing on summer weight, producing some great trophies this season!