Game and Fish is trying something new to help reduce stress on wildlife during spring land openings
Photo of Spence and Moriarity WMA courtesy of Tom Toman, RMEF

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will open some Commission-owned lands in the Dubois area one day early to random draw recipients.  

Over the past several years Game and Fish personnel have observed several concerning trends as spring antler hunting grows more popular across Wyoming. In the Dubois area, Spence and Moriarity Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Kirk Inberg/Kevin Roy Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA) are no exception. 

“Our primary concern is the impact on wildlife. We have had numerous reports and observations of wildlife-elk, deer, moose, wolves, bears-becoming quite stressed due to the sudden appearance of large numbers of antler hunters and vehicles. These groups of wildlife are often pushed between groups of antler hunters/vehicles throughout the day rather than moving off the WMA/WHMA to desired and open locations,” said Habitat and Access Supervisor Brian Parker. “Further, Game and Fish has also witnessed intense competition  between members of the public and an overall “landrush” mentality to see who can get out there first.”  

Because of these concerns, Game and Fish will be trying a new early-access permission slip in the Dubois area. From April 13-April 30, anyone may apply for a free permission slip through the Game and Fish Access Yes program to access these areas on May 15. 

Twenty-five permission slips will be randomly issued by May 3, allowing the recipient to take one motorized vehicle and up to three additional occupants into the Spence and Moriarity WMA and Kirk Inberg/Kevin Roy WHMA human presence closure area a day early to hike, fish and/or collect shed antlers. 

More detailed information can be found on this webpage by selecting the Spence and Moriarity WMA or Kirk Inberg/Kevin Roy WHMA and then clicking on “Additional Information.”  Applications may be submitted online on or after April 13 and more information, application instructions, and detailed rules can be found on the Hunter Management Area application page soon.

These areas as well as the other Commission-owned lands in the Dubois area will open to the public as they always have at 8 a.m. on May 16th.

“We are trying something different and although it may not be perfect, we hope to see reduced wildlife conflicts as well as fewer individuals competing to access these areas at the same time,” said Lander Region Wildlife Supervisor Jason Hunter.

For more information please contact Brian Parker or Jason Hunter at 307-332-2688.
Brian Parker 307-332-2688

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