|Although November and December temperatures have been colder than normal, desired elk harvest has been less than hoped for in some locations which has prompted the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to extend elk seasons for several limited quota licenses in the Cody and Pinedale areas.
John Emmerich, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's wildlife management coordinator in Cody, reports that antlerless elk harvest is below objective because the elk migration from Yellowstone National Park and Shoshone National Forest wilderness areas only recently began.
In the Cody region, an extended season of January 15-31 has been added for limited quota license holders in the Crandall, Sunlight, Rattlesnake Mountain, Heart Mountain and both North Fork and South Fork of the Shoshone areas. Hunt areas include 51-57, 59, 65 and 121.
Near Pinedale, the season has been extended from January 1-31 for area 98 license types 1, 2 and 6 for antlerless elk only in that portion of the area between the East Fork River and Silver Creek.
"This extension is in an area where the elk are causing haystack damage," said Scott Edberg, G&F game warden supervisor in Pinedale. "The extended season hopefully will ease damage problems while providing some recreation to hunters."
Edberg says the extended season is private land, but ranchers are readily granting permission when asked.
Emmerich and Edberg alert hunters the extension applies only to limited quota licenses. No general license seasons have been extended. Type 1, or limited quota any elk seasons, have been lengthened for several hunt areas, but hunters will be restricted to antlerless elk in the extended season.
Area 57, 58 and 59 limited quota elk hunters can receive free access slips to the G&F's South Fork and Carter Front hunter management areas by visiting the G&F Cody Office 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on January 6 or 20. When enrolling, hunters will need to provide hunting license information, plus the make, model and license number of their hunting vehicle. Hunters can have a friend sign them up, as long as they can provide the needed license and vehicle information. Hunters who previously were issued Carter Front or South Fork HMA access slips for the 2000 season are not required to sign up again.
"The bottom line is that with lack of snow this fall in the Cody area, harvest goals have not been achieved," Emmerich said. "We need to extend the seasons to give hunters more opportunity and hopefully get more harvest, because the herds are above their objective population."
Elk hunters are alerted the extensions apply only to licenses that have not been filled.
For more information about the season extensions, contact the G&F in Cody (800) 654-1178, or (307) 527-7125 outside Wyoming, or the Pinedale office at (307) 367-4353.
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