2005 License Choice Changes for Moose & Bighorn Sheep

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As the Feb. 28 application deadline approaches, prospective moose and bighorn sheep hunters are alerted to changes in license availability for 2005.

On the south side of Yellowstone National Park, moose areas 7, 14 and 32 have been closed by the Game and Fish Department for 2005 and 2006 to conduct an extensive study on population demographics and survival to get a better understanding of recent population declines.

On the east side of the YNP, areas 11, 12, 13 and 31 have been further combined into one area after being managed as two areas last year. The change is also due to a declining moose population and to allow the few hunters more area to spread out.

The antlerless licenses in areas 30 (south tip of Wind River Range) and 37 (west side of Tetons) have been eliminated for 2005 due to declining populations.

On the west side of the Big Horn Mountains, the moose licenses for areas 42 and 43 were split after being managed together last year. After setting seasons very conservatively in the areas initial open seasons, the G&F believes the population is sufficient to allow separate seasons in each area.

Bighorn sheep areas 18 and 21 near Saratoga and Encampment are being closed this year due to a lack of mature rams. Although bighorn sheep recruitment is low in these areas, the G&F hopes to reopen the hunt areas in upcoming years.

A new bighorn sheep season is also being added in southeast Wyoming. Area 19 type 2 licenses will allow hunters to harvest a ram in the area south of Wyoming Highway 34 or the Sybille Canyon Road. Although the area offers some nice rams, it is almost entirely private land and trespass fees or hiring an outfitter will be