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The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has 43 wildlife habitat management areas (WHMAs) that provide big game winter range and other benefits. These areas are opening for the season, after being closed to protect key winter habitat. Several areas open 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,” Ray Bredehoft, Wyoming Game and Fish habitat and access branch chief said. “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.

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 while some WHMAs open at 8 a.m. and other public lands may open at 12 midnight, no one is permitted to collect antlers until 12 noon on May 1 within the antler hunting area.

Any nonresident visitors must quarantine for 14-days upon arrival to the state, following Gov. Mark Gordon’s directive.

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