Wyoming Deer Hunting Overview

Wyoming has long been on the short list of states one should consider when talking about a mule deer hunt.  Mule deer can be found throughout the entire state, though in pockets of Eastern Wyoming whitetails outnumber mule deer.  In general, Wyoming’s mule deer densities are greater than Utah’s, and about on par with Colorado’s.   Though the mule deer populations in most Western states have experienced significant declines since the 1980s, Wyoming is still one of the great strongholds.

As our least populous state, resident hunting pressure is generally minor and unlimited general tags are available for a majority of the units.  However, the best places to hunt are completely limited.  Wyoming does not have a preference system for residents to acquire those limited tags, but they offer an unlimited general tag. 

Yellowstone Grizzly Population Hits New High

The number of brown bears in Yellowstone continues to grow. This year officials are putting the population at 603 bears which is the highest level in decades. According to a USA Today article:

Our population is strong, our counts of females are high," said Chuck Schwartz, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist who heads the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. "Right now, all indications are we haven't turned into negative trajectory."

More Dam Goats

A few months ago several pictures of ibex "grazing" on an Italian dam started circulating. Like with any such widely circulated photos, there were many errors in the description of the pictures. National Geographic has a more detailed story about Adriano Migliorati the photographer behind the pictures, the name of the dam, and why the goats are out on the dam surface in the first place.

Animal Rights Group Pushes For More Coyotes

Valley Forge National Historical Park has a deer problem with an estimated 1277 deer in the 3500 acre park. The high deer count has lead the park (like other National Parks) to bring in sharp shooters to reduce the numbers, currently the plan is to bring the head count down to around 185. That was the plan at least until the Pennsylvania chapter of Friends of Animals filed a lawsuit to stop the deer shoots.

According to the Washington Post, the lawsuit contends that park officials did not fully consider the role of natural predators - specifically coyotes - in maintaining a stable deer population. The Friends of Animals even came up with a campaign called the Coyote Coexistence Initiative to help promote the idea of coyote introduction to the park.

Montana Bill Seeks to Remove Federal Wolf Management

The Missoulian has an article up about a new wolf bill that will be introduced to the state Legislature. State Senator Joe Balyeat, a Republican from Bozeman, plans to try again at passing a wolf management bill that he introduced in 2009. Its a powerful piece of legislation that directly takes on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) under the 10th Amendment.

“It’s still a 10th Amendment exercise to wrest control of wolves out of the hands of the federal government,” Marbut (a co-author of the bill) said. “It has been the traditional function of state police power to manage and regulate wildlife within the state. Only in recent times has there been construed authority for the feds to manage wildlife. When the Endangered Species Act has been argued in court, the claim for authority the feds make is the commerce clause. But how many wild wolves have you seen sold across state lines? The answer is zero.”

Hunter Takes Record Florida Gator

Florida has a new record alligator thanks to Tres Ammerman. Mr. Ammerman's gator was taken on Lake Washington and measured at 14 feet and 3 inches. Florida Today has a nice write up about the hunt and the hunter.

Being the final night of the season, Ammerman had only until one hour after sunrise Nov. 1 to snag a gator. He was hunting with his nephew T.J. Schaus and friend Sam White.

Mountain Lion Attacks Car?

Some strange photos over at KRTV Helena Montana. According to the brief story a cougar attacked a parked Mazda causing a considerable amount of damage. From the photos it appears that the mountain lion chewed on and tore up the lower bumper/grill body panel as well as leaving numerous tracks on and around the vehicle.

Grizzly Chasing Bison Photo: The Back Story

Over the last few months there has been a photo of a badly injured buffalo running from a brown bear down a street circulating around by email, websites, and social networks. Like other "viral" photos there seemed to be more than a few explanations of what happened before and after the photo. Finally we can get the correct story, has an article running about Alex Wypyszinski the photograph behind the shot.

The sight of such an injured bison alone is rare, but what Wypyszinski saw next was once in a lifetime.

Welcome to "The Western Hunter" Blog

Hi, my name is Mark Richman, and I'm going to be writing The Western Hunter Blog, a new feature here on  I just wanted to take this first opportunity to introduce myself and give you an overview of what I'll be covering here in the future. 

Montana Hunters Kill Wolf in Self Defense

Two hunters were surrounded by six to eight wolves when trying to pack out an elk kill in the Flathead Valley region of Montana. According to initial reports the hunters shot into the air to spook off the wolves and eventually abandoned the elk kill. When trying to vacate the area, the hunters were followed by the wolves and one wolf was killed.

The Missoulian has an article up on the incident. From the article:

After making lunch and drawing the horses nearer to the meat to begin loading the elk quarters in a pannier, Appleby said his horse, named "Shotgun," spooked. When he turned around, he saw between six and eight wolves "running at us 30 to 40 yards away," according to a written statement he filed with FWP.

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