Sheridan Region wildlife habitat management areas begin opening in May

Wildlife Habitat Management Areas (WHMAs) in the Sheridan Region remain closed to human presence to protect wintering big game from disturbance, but will begin opening in mid-May.

The Game and Fish Department manages five WHMAs along the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains – Ed O. Taylor and Ellis near Kaycee, Bud Love outside of Buffalo, Amsden Creek outside of Dayton and Kerns near the Montana state line. These areas were acquired by the Game and Fish Commission to provide habitat for wintering elk and other wildlife. 

The Ed O. Taylor, Amsden Creek, Ellis and Bud Love WHMAs are scheduled to open at 8 a.m. on May 15. 

The Kerns WHMA is scheduled to open at 8 a.m. on June 1.

The Sheridan Region is outside of the area affected by the emergency extended closure of the shed antler and horn hunting regulation, so WHMAs will open as planned on their standard dates and times.

Access to these areas for any reason is prohibited until the opening days and times. Anyone found violating the closures may be cited.

The public should be aware that there may be temporary road closures on Ellis or other WHMAs to prevent resource damage.

Recreationists are asked to give plenty of distance to and avoid stressing any big game animals they may encounter. 

Please note: Lands enrolled in the Department’s Walk-In and Hunter Management Area programs are always closed to shed antler hunting. These areas are privately-owned lands enrolled by the landowner specifically for hunting or fishing of designated species during designated times of the year. They are never open for hiking, biking, shed antler hunting, horseback riding or other recreation without the explicit permission of the landowner.

WHMAs in other areas of the state have varying opening dates and times. Please check the Game and Fish website for current information on opening dates.

Additionally, some U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands may have seasonal closures or regulations in place.  More information on these lands can be found online or by calling local USFS or BLM offices.


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