more WHMA's Kerns Wildlife Habitat Management Area
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Kerns Wildlife Habitat Management Area

The Kerns Wildlife Habitat Management Area is 12 miles northwest of Parkman in the Big Horn Mountains and provides crucial winter range for about 800 elk.  This area of 4,995 acres was acquired between 1949 and 1970.

The area consists of foothill benches separated by deep canyons, with elevations up to 7,400 feet.  The higher benches are covered with grasses while the ridges and canyons have ponderosa and limber pine.  The lower areas support dense stands of shrubs, including chokecherry and serviceberry.  These plant varieties produce berries in the fall and provide habitat for wild turkeys, grouse, small mammals, black bears and mountain lions.  At least 30 elk and 100 mule deer summer in this area.

There are many hunting opportunities here.  If you like to watch birds, there are more than 80 species.  There are opportunities to view and photograph wildlife and the beautiful scenery.  The Little Bighorn River is located in a cool canyon where you can escape the summer heat and enjoy fishing for rainbow trout, brown trout and whitefish.  You can fish for cutthroat and brook trout in West Pass and Elkhorn creeks.

Hiking opportunities are numerous, but vehicular access is limited.  Direct access to timbered U.S. Forest Service land is available, but roads are rough and not recommended for cars.  Established trails leading up to the Little Bighorn Canyon make hiking as well as fishing popular along the river.

Access roads in the Little Bighorn Canyon pass through private and federal lands where the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission has acquired easements, including portions of the Crow Indian Reservation and land owned by the State of Montana.  Be advised: Wyoming hunting and fishing licenses are not valid on the Crow Indian Reservation or in Montana.

 Kerns is closed each year to vehicles November 1 - May 31 and to human presence November 16 - May 31.


 Last Modified: November 13, 2013