2014 Landowner of the Year - Sheridan Region

Landowners: Steve and Judy Washut

The Washuts live on approximately twenty four acres of agricultural land south of Sheridan in an area dominated by dispersed residential development and a robust white-tailed deer population. As this area made the transition from open land to rural subdivisions and small tract properties, the ability to control deer numbers with traditional hunting became extremely difficult. The close proximity of homes, animal confinement facilities, public roads and other infrastructure made the concern for firearm safety paramount.
The Washuts raise alfalfa in the summer and allow hunters to harvest approximately 60-80 white-tailed deer each fall on their seven acre alfalfa field. One year the harvest was approximately 100 deer.  This unparalleled harvest of deer per acre has aided the Game and Fish Department’s deer management objectives and has provided significant recreational opportunities to resident and nonresident hunters.
The Washuts regularly host visually and mobility impaired hunters. A shooting bench is provided and this arrangement provides an excellent opportunity for physically challenged hunters to harvest deer.  Young hunters or those new to the sport also find a home on the Washut property. A number of these new hunters have harvested their first deer there, perhaps preparing them for future hunting experiences.
Because of their willingness to try innovative management techniques and their outstanding contribution to hunting opportunities and deer management, Steve and Judy are deserving recipients of  the Sheridan Region’s Landowner of the Year award.              

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