Elk Season Extension Inquiries

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An increase in the number of elk season extension inquiries this November has prompted the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to reply that there are no season extensions planned.

Warm and relatively dry October weather in parts of the state hampered elk hunting in some hunt areas. “We get high years and low years of harvest, and the average of several years normally achieves overall harvest goals,” said John Emmerich, assistant Wildlife Division chief.

If harvest goals have not been met for a hunting season, the department examines several criteria when considering an extension: Will the lack of harvest be so far below average goals that achieving management objectives will be compromised? Will the lack of harvest cause significant harm to habitat or contribute to crop or hay damage?

At this time, the answer is no.

The Game and Fish designs relatively long general seasons and conducts late antlerless elk seasons, many still underway, which help alleviate the need for emergency extensions. “We design seasons to give license holders a reasonable opportunity to hunt and to allow for a desirable harvest,” Emmerich said. “In that framework, extensions are rarely needed.”

If an extension would be needed, the Game and Fish Commission would need to pass an emergency regulation, and the department would announce the new season through news releases, radio programs and mailings to nonresidents.

Big game hunters still looking for 2005 hunts are encouraged to consider late-season doe/fawn whitetail seasons in the Black Hills and Buffalo and Sheridan areas.