Wildlife habitat management areas will begin to open on May 1

CHEYENNE, Wyo. —The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has 44 wildlife habitat management areas (WHMAs) that provide crucial habitat for big game winter ranges. These areas are opening for the season, after being closed to minimize disturbance to wintering big game animals and other wildlife, while protecting habitat from resource damage. Several of the WHMAs will open on May 1.

“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,” said Ray Bredehoft, Wyoming Game and Fish habitat and access branch chief. “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.”

Bredehoft also asked the public to be cautious around wildlife during the spring when elk, deer, pronghorn, moose, and other wildlife begin to have their young and bears emerge from winter dens.

“For a lot of wildlife, May 1 will be the first time in months they see humans, so practicing safety is very important. Pack bear spray and stay alert,” Bredehoft said.

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.

Antler hunters should be aware that the closure to collect shed antlers on public lands ends 6 a.m. May 1 within the antler hunting area boundaries. Collect means to search for, locate, stockpile or possess shed antlers and ho ers and horns of big game animals on public land during the closed season. A violation of this regulation carries the same penalties as many other Game and Fish violations.

More details on antler collection regulations and maps are available on the Game and Fish website.

WHMA SEASONAL DATE TABLE

HABITAT AREAS NEAREST TOWN DATES AREA OPEN RESTRICTIONS GATE OPENING TIME
Forbes/Sheep Mountain Albany May 1 through Dec. 31 Area opens to human presence at 8 a.m. on May 1 Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Grey’s River Alpine May 1 through Nov. 30 Area opens to human presence at 8 a.m.on May 1 Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Wick/Beumee Arlington May 16 through Nov. 15 Only lands South of I-80 are closed. South gates will open at 8 a.m. May 16. Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Bud Love Buffalo May 15 through Dec. 31 Area opens to human presence at 8 a.m. on May 15 Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Sunlight Cody May 1 through Dec. 15 Area opens to human presence at 8 a.m. on May 1 Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Inberg/Roy (East Fork) Dubois May 16 through Dec 15. Area opens to human presence at 8 a.m. on May 16 Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Spence & Moriarity Dubois May 16 through Dec. 15 East Fork County Road and that portion east of the road is open all year. Gates will open at 8 a.m. May 16 . Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Whiskey Basin Dubois May 16 through Nov. 30 Closed to vehicles, only open to foot/horse traffic. Gates will open at 8 a.m. May 16. Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Medicine Lodge Hyattville June 1 through Dec. 31 Medicine Lodge Creek open to foot access for fishing. Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Renner Hyattville June 1 through Dec. 31 Lower portion remains open year round. Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Camp Creek Jackson May 1 through Nov. 30 Area opens to human presence at 6 a.m. on May 1 Gate will open at 6 a.m.
Horse Creek Jackson May 1 through Nov. 30 Area opens to human presence at 6 a.m. on May 1 Gate will open at 6 a.m.
South Park Jackson May 1 through Nov. 30 Area opens to human presence at 6 a.m. on May 1 Gate will open at 6 a.m.
Ed O. Taylor Kaycee May 15 through Dec. 31 Area opens to human presence at 8 a.m. on May 15 Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Red Canyon Lander May 1 through Nov. 30
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.
Half Moon Pinedale May 1 through Nov. 20 Area opens to human presence at 6 a.m. on May 1 Gate will open at 6 a.m.
Soda Lake Pinedale May 1 through Nov. 30 Area opens to human presence at 6 a.m. on May 1 Gate will open at 6 a.m.
Fall Creek Pinedale May 1 through Nov. 20 Area opens to human presence at 6 a.m. on May 1 Gate will open at 6 a.m.
Luke Lynch Pinedale May 1 through Nov 30 Area opens to human presence at 6 a.m. on May 1 Gate will open at 6 a.m.
Morgan Creek Rawlins May 1 through Oct. 31 Closed to motor vehicles, except BLM Road 3159; open to foot traffic during closure dates.
Pennock Mountain Saratoga May 1 through Nov. 30 Closed to vehicles only — open to foot/horse traffic. Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Amsden Creek Sheridan May 15 through Nov 15 Area opens to human presence at 8 a.m. May 15 Closed to motor vehicles Nov. 1-15 . Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Kerns Sheridan June 1 through Nov. 15 Area opens to human presence at 8 a.m. June 1.
Closed to motor vehicles Nov. 1-15.
Gate will open at 8 a.m.
Laramie Peak Wheatland May 1 through Jan 31 Laramie Peak is open all year except for Hay Canyon, Tony Ridge and Duck Creek Canyon areas which are closed from Feb. 1 through April 30 each year.
Pilot Hill Laramie May 1 through Jan 31 Gate will open at 8 a.m.

 

WHMAs OPEN YEAR-ROUND

HABITAT AREA NEAREST TOWN RESTRICTIONS
Ocean Lake Riverton
Sand Mesa Shoshoni
Chain Lakes Wamsutter
Grayrocks Wheatland
Jelm Laramie
Rawhide Lingle Vehicular access restricted to parking areas. ORV access not allowed.
Springer/Bump Sullivan Yoder Closed to motorized vehicles from Oct. 1 through Memorial Day weekend. ORV travel is not allowed.
Table Mountain Torrington Closed to motorized vehicles from Oct. 1 through Memorial Day weekend. ORV travel is not allowed.
Tom Thorne/Beth Williams Wheatland Closed to motor vehicles past reservoir from February through May 31; open to foot/horse traffic.

Gate will open at 8 a.m. June 1.

Yellowtail Lovell
Red Rim/Daley Rawlins Drifting snow closes most trails in early winter.
Red Rim/Grizzly Rawlins Drifting snow closes most trails in early winter.

 

PUBLIC ACCESS AREAS WITH SEASONAL CLOSURES

HABITAT AREA NEAREST TOWN DATES AREA OPEN RESTRICTIONS
Mexican Creek Lander Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 County access road closes on Nov. 22.
VonGontard Landing Jackson Mar. 15 through Nov 30 Weather may affect opening dates.
Pitcher/ Brokaw Arlington Aug. 1 through Dec. 31
Billy Miles/Carter Ten Sleep Sept. 1 through Dec. 31

 

About The Author

Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter who recently made Jackson home. Born and raised in Connecticut, she enjoys reading non-fiction, skiing, hiking, and playing piano in her downtime. She is most passionate about delivering and pursuing stories that directly impact the lives of individuals in the community. Her favorite aspect about living in Jackson is the genuine admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.

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