CHEYENNE - Cutting antelope licenses by nearly 25 percent and continued liberal elk hunting highlight the proposals for Wyoming^s 2001 hunting seasons.
Deer recommendations generally reflect 2000 seasons but with increases to doe/fawn licenses in some private land areas. Due to harsher than average winter near Baggs, the popular area 82 is proposed to be antlered deer only with the season reduced from 15 to 13 days and will run Oct. 1-12.
Hunters and anyone else interested in the upcoming seasons are encouraged to attend a season-setting meeting where the proposals will be presented or mail a comment to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
"The reductions in antelope licenses are the result of the 2000 drought and a more severe winter in some areas," said Harry Harju, G&F assistant Wildlife Division chief. "Due to the poor nutritional quality of shrubs and decreased forage, much of Wyoming had miserable fawn recruitment last summer and increased winter mortality."
The G&F is suggesting cutting 9,500 antelope licenses, including 5,000 doe/fawn tags. Last year there were 38,400 antelope licenses sold in Wyoming.
He also reports the G&F is proposing separate limits for Hungarian and chukar partridge. Hungarian or gray partridge would be five daily and chukars four.
Here are some of the more noteworthy regulation changes the G&F is proposing for the 2001 season:
§ A slight overall increase of 20 moose licenses statewide.
§ Increasing bighorn sheep quotas by four licenses in areas 4 and 7. Closing the season in area 22.
§ Adding 200 licenses to nonresident regions D and M.
§ Extending the turkey season to Dec. 31 in areas 3,5 and 7 and opening the season earlier (Oct. 1) in the Black Hills, area 1.
"Although hunting seasons are at least a few months off, now is the time to air your opinion about the upcoming seasons," Harju said. "Although hunters are more likely to comment if they don^t like a proposal, it helps us gauge public opinion if hunters would also comment when they support a recommendation."
Wyoming^s proposed big game, game bird and waterfowl seasons will be explained and discussed at these final regional meetings beginning at 7 p.m.:
April 2 Green River Green River G&F Office
April 3 Casper Casper G&F Office
April 3 Cheyenne National Guard Armory
April 3 Jackson Snow King
April 3 Riverton Fremont County Library
April 3 Sheridan Sheridan College Presentation Hall W136
April 4 Worland Washakie County Fairgrounds
Comments about the proposed hunting seasons will also be accepted through April 5 by writing: Regulations, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604. Copies of specific season proposals are available by writing the same address.
All comments presented at meetings and received by mail will be presented to the G&F Commission before they establish 2001 hunting seasons at their April 16-17 meeting in Casper. The commission will also accept public comments at their meeting.
Anyone who requires auxiliary aids to attend a meeting should contact the nearest G&F office. The G&F supports the Americans with Disabilities Act. Every effort will be made for accommodations.