Pinedale – As winter storms continue to move into western Wyoming, local Game and Fish Department field personnel are monitoring all wildlife closely and wish to keep the public up to date on impacts. Significant snowfall and cold temperatures during the month of February, have resulted in severe conditions on winter ranges throughout the Pinedale Region, causing concern among wildlife managers.
“At this point it remains difficult to predict how bad the mortality rates will be,” said Pinedale Region Wildlife Supervisor John Lund, “But we will likely see above-average mortality in some areas, mostly among mule deer and pronghorn fawns if conditions do not improve quickly.” Officials are also asking people to avoid stressing any wildlife they encounter in the coming weeks, as any additional stress might make a difference in whether some animals survive the winter or not.
Despite the hard winter, wildlife officials are urging residents to refrain from feeding wildlife to “help” them through the winter, as it typically does more harm than good. Feeding can result in increased potential for disease transmission, as well as conflicts with people, pets and traffic due to high densities of animals in a small area. For more information on how to properly live with wildlife you may contact the Wyoming Game and Fish Department office at 1-800-452-9107 or 307-367-4353 in Pinedale.