Winter has been hard on Western Wyoming wildlife and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is worried about both pronghorn and mule deer.
In addition to the harsh winter conditions, biologists Managers are also working with the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory to investigate a rare disease outbreak in pronghorn south of Pinedale.
Since mid-February, between 250-300 pronghorn carcasses have been retrieved Game and Fish field personnel.
It is estimated that more than 500 pronghorn have died from the disease.
Game and Fish personnel say a growing number of animals are now showing signs of dying from malnutrition and the effects of a long, hard winter.
Between the effects of pneumonia and the severe winter, scientists are expecting a significant pronghorn die-off in the Sublette herd.
As a result, there could be significant reductions in pronghorn hunting licenses available next fall.
And while mule deer haven’t been affected by disease outbreak, they are also going to suffer significant winter losses.
Wildlife biologists won’t be able to get an accurate count on the winter kill in western Wyoming until the snow melts. But Game and Fish managers say there are going to be big losses and hunters can expect a much more conservative hunting season next fall.
The deep snow has also caused moose and other wildlife to show up in developed areas in Teton County in recent days and Wyoming Game and Fish officials are asking residents in Jackson and surrounding communities to be mindful around the animals.
The Jackson Game and Fish office has received dozens calls from concerned citizens about moose and other wildlife in local neighborhoods or commercial areas.
They have advice on how to avoid problems.
Kyle Lash, South Jackson Game Warden for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, says that it really is a matter of simply being aware, giving animals plenty of room and controlling your dogs
They say, never crowd or surround an animal, and always allow the animal an easy escape route.
Always control pets while walking them, and make sure there are no wildlife around before letting animals out of the house.
Keep an eye out for fresh signs of wildlife, such as tracks or scat on trails, pathways, or around houses.
Carry and know how to use bear pepper spray as a defense.
View and photograph animals from a distance.
Drive cautiously and be especially watchful for moose during times of low light. Moose and other animals can be difficult to see at night.
Above all, do not feed wildlife.