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Don't Block Water Access by Wildlife

07/09/2012

GREEN RIVER - Due to the severe drought conditions, wildlife managers with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are asking people not to camp directly next to water holes so wildlife can get much needed water.

“With drought conditions possibly reaching extreme levels this summer and fall, we are encouraging hunters and campers NOT to set up campsites directly on top of springs and other water sources,” Rock Springs Game Warden Dave Hays said. “Most of the hunters and campers don't even use the water source, but they sure can prevent the wildlife from coming in and getting some badly needed hydration.”

“If these dry conditions persist, water sources (springs, guzzlers, small streams, and stock ponds) will become fewer and farther between in Wyoming,” Hays said. “Wildlife could have a tough time finding water. Adults and newly born young will have to travel farther for water and compete with other wildlife and livestock for waterholes. By not camping on top of these waterholes, wildlife will have a better chance of surviving this drought period.”

Hays said drought conditions often bring more wildlife in town in search of food and water. Hays said that animal control officers as well as the Game and Fish have received calls about more deer and antelope in town and that motorists should be especially alert for animals feeding alongside or crossing roadways.

Hays recommends that hunters and campers camp away from well established game trails that lead to waterholes. “Think about where you are going to put your camp,” Hays said. “You don’t need to camp on a spring or near a stock pond if you’re not going to use that water. Recognize that wildlife will seek water in the early morning and evening hours and lay down during the hot daytime periods. Respect their need for space and don’t follow wildlife as they move away. Finding adequate forage in this drought period will also be a challenge for wildlife.”
(Contact: Lucy Diggins (307) 875-3223)

-WGFD-

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