Photo Credit: Kevin Phillips

Calling All Predator Hunters!

By Dan Pickar

As spring progresses the snow melt is uncovering more and more bad news for big game populations out West. The worst winter the region has seen in 40 years has resulted in 80% antelope mortality, 50% deer mortality and 20% elk mortality in some of the hardest hit areas in Wyoming and Utah. A predictable result which is occurring is the slashing of tens of thousands of tags for antelope and deer. 

State game and fish offices want to do more and double down on all aspects of preserving herds this year. Utah began the year with passing an open season on mountain lions with the intent to help the mule deer population recover a little bit. Montana is currently working on increasing mountain lion harvest quotas in the western part of the state. Wyoming is now considering raising harvest quotas for mountain lions and black bears for the same reason. Black bears are especially hard on calves and fawns the first few weeks of their lives and play a huge role in mortality of the herd. Lions are lions, they can kill a young or adult deer, elk, or antelope with ease, whenever they want, no matter where they are. 

Any way we can help out our fawns and calves after this devastating winter I’m for and I will be out hunting bears this spring in Montana and Wyoming trying to do my part. How about you?

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