Wildlife biologists and game wardens with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department conducted moose and elk surveys in the Sheridan Region in January and February. These surveys are conducted annually to gather information on current moose and elk numbers. The counts do not represent a definitive number of animals in a herd or hunt area, but rather give a representative sample of the population.
Moose: During surveys, moose are classified as bulls, cows or calves. These herd compositions or classifications provide information on calf production and survival as well as the proportion of bulls in the herd.
This year’s post-hunting season flight in Moose Hunt Area 34 was conducted via helicopter on January 31 which was later than in past years, due to unfavorable weather for flying earlier in the year.
A total of 46 moose were counted during the flight – eight bulls, nine cows, eight calves and 21 unknown. In 2018, 51 moose were counted during the annual survey, which was the highest post-hunting season moose count since 2008.
“The moose population in Hunt Area 34 appears to be fairly robust, with high counts the last two years,” said Buffalo Wildlife Biologist Cheyenne Stewart.
She also noted that 18 moose in Hunt Area 34 have been fitted with GPS collars as part of an ongoing habitat and movement study in the Bighorn Mountains and three of them were observed on this year’s flight.
A pre-hunting season survey of Moose Hunt Area 1 in the northern Bighorns was done at the end of August 2018. A total of 76 moose were observed – 16 bulls, 42 cows and 18 calves. This is a slightly higher number of observed moose compared to 2017, when 70 moose were counted.
Officials say Nebraska still tops for turkey
LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Game and Parks Commission officials say recent extreme weather events have not changed the state’s status as the best turkey hunting destination in the nation, but the conditions may have made the birds harder to access in many areas.
Because of closed roads, washouts and water damage in some areas of the state, the Commission encourages turkey hunters traveling from afar to research conditions to ensure their hunting spots are accessible by vehicle.
The Nebraska 511 Travel Information website shows which state highways have been closed or labeled with other vehicle restrictions. For information about accessing specific wildlife management areas, hunters can visit OutdoorNebraska.org/weatherclosures or contact a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission office. The Commission advises hunters to obey all road signs.
Sizable numbers of turkeys are still being observed across the state, including birds of the Merriam’s subspecies in northwestern Nebraska. While no significant losses of turkeys were reported from the flooding and blizzard, the birds’ locations and routines may have been altered in some places. For instance, the flooding may have caused some turkeys to move from the banks of flooded creeks and rivers and head for higher ground.