Anytime the winter range in western Wyoming gets the 30/30 as I call it (thirty inches of snow and -30°F temperatures) bad things usually happen. For those who don’t live in the area, it might be news to you that we’ve already had one 30/30 event this year. Last week, Bondurant, Wyoming got hammered with a thirty-inch blizzard followed by a week long -30°F deep freeze. At this point, there is no way to assess the damage if there was any, but it certainly couldn’t have helped the deer and antelope at all. I am somewhat fearful of what the remainder of the winter might bring over the next four months.In the past few weeks, I have been getting pounded with email questions from guys asking my advice on where to apply in Wyoming for deer and antelope. My response has been somewhat the same, just hold your horses pard – we don’t know what the winter might deliver to us just yet.This scenario is one of the primary reasons the Wyoming Game and Fish staggers the draw deadlines for deer and elk. Elk are much hardier animals when it comes to wintering conditions. It takes a very substantial winter event to kill off an elk herd. It’s a running joke around the office that you could place three lone cow elk on the North Pole in October and come back in June to three cows and three calves – just ask any rancher out West.However, deer and antelope are a completely different story altogether. The Wyoming Game and Fish drops their deer and antelope draw deadlines on March 15th so the biologists can assess the winter damage before setting the quotas. My advice is to sit back, do the homework and wait until March before we actually commit to an area because nothing is worse than burning a bunch of preference points on an area that had a winter kill disaster.
Make sure you review the MRS section in the Feb/Mar 2013 issue of EHJ before you apply for a Wyoming deer or antelope tag.
Good luck in the draws and keep hunting hard!
Editor-In-Chief – Eastmans’ Hunting Journals