The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 11 - 11/10/99
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Group Convened To Manage Antelope
Antelope attract attention from nearly 30,000 hunters, many more wildlife watchers, and now even increased scrutiny from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Like it formerly has for sage grouse, mule deer and bighorn sheep, the G&F has convened a working group to better manage antelope in the Equality State.
Low fawn production in some specific areas combined with the slow recovery of isolated herds from the 1992-93 winter were major reasons prompting the G&F to form the group. The G&F is also hoping to learn more about species dependent on sagebrush, like antelope and sage grouse.
Wyoming boasts a population of over 400,000 pronghorn with over 40,000 hunting licenses offered in 1999, generating over $3 million in G&F revenue. In pursuit of antelope, hunters will inject over $14 million into the Wyoming economy this year.
"Although the financial importance of pronghorn is large to the state and department, the ecological value of our 48 antelope herds is greater still," said Bill Rudd, G&F wildlife management coordinator in Green River and co-chairman of the group. "We sometimes take them for granted here in Wyoming because they are so numerous, but we shouldn't forget that Wyoming supports most of the world's pronghorn."
In the first year, Rudd said the group plans to rewrite the G&F pronghorn technique manual, offer guidance on a fawn mortality research project, and compile and analyze statewide antelope information.
"Wyoming's antelope are a resource of worldwide importance, and one that warrants some increased attention from our department," Rudd said. "In some cases there may be trends that can't be readily seen unless looked at across the entire state or even over the entire range of a species."
The group will meet at least twice a year.
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