As most of you heard by now we have had a wet late spring and early summer in much of Wyoming and Montana. And when I say wet it has been wet, I mean to that of disastrous proportions. Montana has been affected the most as excess water from rains and runoff in Rock Creek has destroyed the entire town of Red Lodge, Montana. Highway 89 south of Livingston to Gardiner has seen catastrophic results to record setting Yellowstone River flows. Roads were washed out, bridges gone, and multiple houses swept away. The north entrance to Yellowstone is closed indefinitely and the entire park is closed at this time until conditions improve. The effects will surely be felt all the way down the Missouri River to the east where flooding will continue throughout the spring as many areas seem to be getting plenty of rainfall. The power of freestone rivers (without dams) are jaw dropping and uncontrollable. Of course many of the largest rivers in the western United States have dams on them that can hold back such devastating power and harness the power of water to make electricity. After seeing everyone affected by this recent natural disaster, including people I know, I now have a new respect for hydroelectric dams and how important they are across the country.
As the cool and wet summer continues, snowpack continues to be high and most areas in Wyoming were well over 100% for the year and Montana is not far behind. Before traveling out West do your homework on road reports and closures as many landslides and flooding has occurred that have affected smaller areas.
The prairie is in excellent condition this year. Lots of green and lots of rain, which will make for excellent antler growth and fawn recruitment unless something else crazy happens! Does this mean that all areas will produce bucks and bulls to their maximum potential? Probably not but this year will be as good of a year as any after coming off a mild winter and wet spring to produce some excellent animals in 2022. It’s hard to predict if the summer will be hot and dry for us here but I do know there is a lot of snow in the high country still so I expect things to be green and lush well into August and September in the high country with a lower fire danger than we’ve seen in years passed.