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Wyoming Outdoor News

Boysen enhanced water project results in temporary water shutoff


Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Contact: Dan Marty, 307-876-2796

Due to the installation of an enhanced drinking water system to the Tamarask and Brannon campgrounds, as well as the Headquarters area at Boysen State Park, no water will be available to the public in those areas during the next week.

This project will help ensure that safe and clean water will be available to the park’s visitors in the future.

The current shut down of water affects the Brannon Fish Cleaning Station and the Trailer Dump Station.

These closures are tentatively expected to remain in effect until Memorial Day weekend or possibly longer. No water hydrants will be open in the affected area to fill trailers until work is complete.

Persons wishing to fill trailers with water can do so at the Lower Wind River, Upper Wind River or Tough Creek campgrounds.

 

 
STUDY FINDS ELK MAY BE ABLE TO ADAPT TO CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE

 

CHEYENNE – (WGFD).....A ten-year study conducted by the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department suggests that the effects of chronic wasting disease (CWD) on elk populations may not be as devastating as once believed.

Research has shown that genes play a role in elk susceptibility to CWD. Some elk have genes that prolong the time between exposure to the CWD prion, the infectious agent of CWD, and the onset of the disease. These genes become dominant over many decades, greatly reducing the impact of CWD on the population. Elk with these genes live longer even when heavily exposed to CWD and therefore have more opportunity to reproduce than elk with other genes.

Some people have feared that winter feedgrounds for elk would concentrate the disease resulting in much higher incidence of CWD.

“This study model essentially represents the worst-case scenario that would face feedground elk,” said Dr. Terry Kreeger, retired state wildlife veterinarian for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “We predict a genetic shift over several decades favoring genes that prolong the incubation time of CWD resulting in elk populations that are able to persist in the face of the disease.”

Scott Edberg, Deputy Chief of the Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Division states, “It helps to know that based on this research, if CWD should become established on feedgrounds, we won’t see a devastating effect on populations as many have feared. This research also looked at how hunting would affect populations, and it appears, Game and Fish would still need to have hunting seasons to manage elk populations even if faced with CWD on feedgrounds.”

The full study was published in an issue of Ecospohere, an online, open-access, peer-reviewed scientific publication of the Ecological Society of America and can be accessed at http://www.esajournals.org/doi/full/10.1890/ES14-00013.1

 

HABITAT IMPROVEMENT PROJECT NEAR SOUTH PASS

LANDER – (WGFD).....A large habitat enhancement project has kicked off this fall in the South Pass area near Atlantic City. The work is a collaborative effort between Wyoming Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Forestry Division, Fremont County Firewise, Popo Agie Conservation District, and private landowners.

The project will occur over the next ten years with the potential to treat several thousand acres of land. The primary focus will be on regenerating aging aspen stands where natural forest succession to conifers is progressing. Other goals of the project include reducing wildfire risk through removal of fuels, and improving shrub, riparian, and stream communities to benefit wildlife.

Aspen communities provide a multitude of benefits that include wildlife habitat, livestock grazing, water storage, and firebreaks. However, across the Intermountain West aspen have declined due to fire suppression and reduced active forest management, disease, over browsing, and drought to name a few. Aspen are a shade intolerant species that often flourishes after disturbance such as fire or timber harvest and this project will use these techniques to remove conifers where it will benefit aspen and adjacent shrub communities.

Over the past year almost $350,000 has been secured for the project that will begin on USFS land on Roundtop Mountain and the upper Beaver Creek drainage. Contributors include the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Wyoming Governor’s Big Game License Coalition, Popo Agie Conservation District, Shoshone National Forest Resource Advisory Committee, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Habitat Trust Fund. It should take roughly three years to complete the first phase of the project on USFS land before moving onto phase two on adjacent BLM land.

“We’re excited to get work on the ground and believe it’s a project that will benefit many interests and user groups of the South Pass area,” says Nick Scribner, Game and Fish aquatic habitat biologist.

For more information about this project and how you can participate, please contact Scribner at 307-332-2688.

 
 
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION DONATES TO GAME AND FISH ACCESSYES PROGRAM
 
 
CASPER –The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) recently donated $45,000 to the Wyoming Game and Fish AccessYes program to secure access for hunting and fishing across Wyoming, through the Private Lands Public Wildlife (PLPW) Access Program. This is the largest single donation to AccessYes.
   “RMEF is an outstanding partner and supports a variety of wildlife related projects in Wyoming. A dollar does not go very far these days, but it will open thousands of acres of land to hunting and fishing access. Sportsmen will see many acres become available to them with this amazing RMEF donation,” says Scott Talbott, director of Game and Fish.

In Wyoming, RMEF Chapters raised $1,524,844 in 2013 alone, landing them number one in the nation for raising funds. The organization is dedicated to ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and the hunting heritage. “RMEF has worked with Game and Fish on numerous projects involving everything from conservation easements to brucellosis and wolf management,” says Talbott.

“We are grateful for RMEF support and thank them for this generous donation,” says Matt Withroder, regional access coordinator.

Funding for AccessYes comes from several sources, primarily conservation stamp sales, donations and restitution payments. Hunters and anglers also have the option of donating to the program when they purchase or apply for a license. Sportsmen donations can only be used for purchasing easements for Hunter Management Areas and Walk-in Areas.

AccessYes donations go directly to the access program and every $1 donated provides access to 4.2 acres of land.

In 2013, the PLPW Access Program provided more than 2.8 million acres of access for hunters and anglers. This includes 1,090,708 acres on Hunter Management Areas, 687,517 acres in Walk-In Hunting areas.

For more information, visit the Game and Fish web page at wgfd.wyo.gov under the PLPW Access Program or contact the Casper Game and Fish office at (307) 473-3400(307) 473-3400


 
Ask The Game and Fish

Q. What are the laws for bowfishing for nongame fish like carp and suckers?

A. It is legal to take nongame fish with archery equipment and no license or permit is required. A listing of game fish species is found on page 5 of the fishing regulations. Fish not defined as game fish are considered nongame fish and carp and suckers fall into that category.

Q. Since the minimum age for hunting big game is 12, can an 11-year-old apply in the drawing for a license?

A. Yes they can. Eleven-year-old youth can apply in the drawings for big game licenses as long as they will be 12 years of age when they are hunting.

Q. Are there any secrets that will help me draw my antelope license?

A. There really aren’t any secrets, but an understanding of drawing odds in different areas may help. In general, public land areas are much more difficult to draw than private land areas. It is not unusual to have three or four residents apply for every license in popular public land areas. For nonresidents, odds may be 10-1 or worse depending on preference point totals. Odds of drawing are almost always improved in private land areas, but keep in mind permission from landowners must be obtained to hunt private land. A listing of drawing odds from previous years can be found on the Game and Fish website http://wgfd.wyo.gov.

Q. What are the legal weapons for turkey hunting?

A. Wyoming regulation provides that shotguns, firearms using centerfire cartridges, muzzleloading arms or firearms of .22 magnum caliber may be used to take turkeys. Bows and arrows and crossbows are also permissible.

Q. My nonresident friend missed the elk drawing. Can he still get a license?

A. Possibly. After the resident elk drawing late June, there are always some areas, which are under subscribed. These areas will be listed at that time on the Game and Fish website http://gf.state.wy.us. Licenses that are leftover will be available July 10, on a first-come, first-served basis for full-price licenses, and July 17 for reduced-price cow/calf licenses.

Q. Is it legal to hunt big game with a shotgun?

A. Yes, it is as long as you are using shotgun slugs. Wyoming law allows big game hunting with any firearm that has a barrel bore diameter of at least .23 of an inch and chambered to fire a centerfire cartridge of not less than two inches in overall length including a soft or expanding point bullet. A shotgun, when using slugs for ammo, fits all of these criteria. However, buckshot or other shotgun loads are not legal for big game hunting because they fire multiple projectiles.


Q. Is it legal to use a .22 handgun or rifle to hunt grouse?

A. Yes … as long as the species you are hunting are blue or ruffed grouse. These species may be taken with a number of weapons including handguns and rifles. For Wyoming’s other grouse species, sage and sharp-tailed grouse, shotguns and archery equipment are the only legal weapons that may be used.

Q. Are mechanical broadheads legal for archery hunting?

A. Yes they are as long as they provide a one-inch cutting width. Wyoming law specifies that “Broadheads of arrows or bolts must be of sharp steel and have a minimum cutting width of one (1) inch.” A complete description of legal specifications for archery equipment is found in the archery section of the big game regulation.

Thanks to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for the info!

Wyoming Game & Fish Website

Questions? Comments? Info? Email Ray