Regional Offices > Cody Region > Cody Region News > Wildlife habitat management areas in the Big Horn Basin begin to open

Wildlife habitat management areas in the Big Horn Basin begin to open

April 24, 2020
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Sunlight WHMA to open May 1 at 8 a.m.

Cody - Within the Big Horn Basin, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has five wildlife habitat management areas (WHMAs) that provide big game winter range and other benefits to wildlife. These areas are opening in May and June, after being closed to protect key winter habitat. 

“Seasonal closures minimize stress-causing disturbance to wintering deer, elk and other wildlife. The closures also reduce the human and recreational impacts to the forage, which supports wintering wildlife,” Ray Bredehoft, Wyoming Game and Fish habitat and access branch chief said. “We appreciate the public’s cooperation to help animals make it through the winter and we are excited to open up these lands for the public to enjoy.”

Game and Fish asks the public to be cautious around wildlife during the spring when elk, deer, pronghorn, moose and other wildlife begin to have their young.

Users are reminded to stay on designated travel routes, obey all signs and camp in designated areas where required. If roads become too wet due to spring moisture, users are asked to try and avoid traveling those roads to reduce resource damage.

WHMAs will open at  8 a.m. on the designated opening date.  Yellowtail WHMA near Lovell is open year-round.

As of April 24, 2020 any nonresident visitors must quarantine for 14-days upon arrival to the state, following Gov. Mark Gordon’s directive. Visitors are expected to know and comply with all state and local health orders and directives.


Sunlight Cody May 1 through Dec. 15 Area opens to human presence at 8 a.m. on May 1
Medicine Lodge Hyattville June 1 through Dec. 31 Medicine Lodge Creek open to foot access for fishing.
Renner Hyattville June 1 through Dec. 31 Lower portion remains open year round.
Sunshine Meeteetse June 1 through Nov. 30 Closed to motor vehicles year round — open to foot/horse traffic. Will remain open while big game seasons are open.

- WGFD -

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