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Guy’s TOP 5 Picks for Wyoming Antelope 2022

The antelope hunting last fall produced some of the poorest results in recent memory statewide. With a three-year drought as the main contributing factor the hunting was very tough for big bucks in the Cowboy State. As a result, the state has continued to cut and slash tag quotas in nearly every region of the state in a desperate effort to compensate for massive declines in antelope numbers. With nearly 10,000 fewer buck antelope tags up for grabs and a corresponding increase in nonresident applicants versus only three short years ago, the draw odds are going to be tougher than ever this year. 

A slight ray of hope has emerged over the past 90 days however. A very mild winter has blessed the remaining antelope herds with good condition going into the spring and summer months. Add to that the fact that our spring has been somewhat mild, but cold with slightly above average moisture and we may be on track for not only a decent horn growth season but possibly even the beginning of a rebound in our antelope populations. 

If prior history is any indication, Wyoming does tend to grow some very large bucks on the heels of a large die off like we have seen over the past three years. Given the current weather and improved habitat conditions, with a little help this summer could find us on the cusp of a decent year for good bucks for those who manage to draw a tag for the 2022 fall season. 

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Mule Deer vs. Whitetail – Wyoming To Split Tags?

Disclaimer: This is a personal article written by Jaden Bales and is not a reflection of any views, beliefs, or perspectives of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation.

The Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce is a year into tackling the Cowboy State’s thorniest wildlife management issues. When they meet monthly in Casper, you can be sure there will be controversial topics discussed, like the 90/10 allocation change for the Big 5 species, and making the Big 5 once-in-a-lifetime. However, at the April Wildlife Taskforce meeting, the members did agree to something that held wider support; to recommend a split in mule deer and whitetail deer licenses.

What does this mean?

First, it’s important to understand the current situation with deer licenses. Currently, all pricing and tag types for deer are controlled by one license – a deer license as set in law. Early in the creation of Wyoming’s game and fish department, there were very few whitetail deer, save for the northeast corner of the state.

As a result, all regulations have been built around this singular license with sub-types created by the WGFD and separate general seasons with bag limits like, “antlered mule deer or any whitetail deer.” As of 2022’s regulations, there are 15 hunt areas with general hunting opportunities for mule deer and an additional any-whitetail deer season that usually runs Nov. 1-30 with a rifle. Additionally, there are 61 different type-3 any whitetail licenses and type-8 doe/fawn whitetail licenses totaling 16,275 specific whitetail licenses given out by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

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Eastmans’ Subscriber Tips – Public Land Elk Tips

GUEST AUTHOR: Wes Reidhead

The following excerpt is a golden nugget for hunting heavily pressured public land elk by Arizona hunter and Eastmans’ member, Wes Reidhead. This excerpt was taken from Wes’ account of his son’s successful AZ, DIY elk hunt. To view the full story become a TagHub member today! 

Proven, High-Pressure, Public Land Elk Tactics

                 Many of the public land success stories that I hold dear stem from personal experiences on my own hunts or while hunting with friends and family on public land. These hunts were successful, not because we always harvested our quarry, but because I was able to learn so much from the animals themselves. I would like to share some highly effective tactics that have worked for me while hunting public land over the span of 30 plus years. 

                 Many of the states out West have lots of public elk hunting acreage in units that contain lower semi-desert areas, don’t overlook the lower elevations, even though it doesn’t fit your typical high mountain elk habitat. Scout for water to sit and remember that you’re hunting wary, public elk. If you use a tree stand, ensure plenty of back cover is available and if you use a ground blind, spend some extra time to brush it in. 

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Conservation Vs. Preservation: A Stark Difference!

Photo Credit: Mike Eastman

Do you know the difference between Conservation and Preservation? Yes, there is a difference and it’s stark! 

“In the words of our founder Theodore Roosevelt, “Conservation means development as much as it means protection.” Aldo Leopold said, “Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” Gifford Pinchot said, “Conservation means the wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of man.”’ (Cummins, 2022)

The above quote was taken from the Summer 2022 issue of Fair Chase, The Official Publication of the Boone & Crockett Club in the issue’s Conservation Policy Column regarding the current federal administration’s America The Beautiful Initiative. I just happened to run up against the article and the one from the Buffalo Bulletin, linked below, on the heels of a whirlwind tour of Wyoming, interviewing experts in the game and fish department, wildlife organizations and the energy industry, all stakeholders in the conservation initiatives playing out in Wyoming and across the West. 

Each of these folks acknowledged a difference between conservation and preservation but I’m taking it a step further in this op-ed… Preservation is an aspect of conservation, NOT a separate entity. They are inextricably linked and work together to achieve a goal. 

Unfortunately, there are too many preservation groups masquerading as conservation groups on the landscape today. It’s no different than falsely referring to poachers as hunters. It’s more than just wrong though, it’s misleading and ultimately harmful to the credibility of legitimate conservation groups such as The Boone & Crockett Club, Pope & Young Club, TRCP, RMEF, Mule Deer Foundation, Ducks Unlimited and others. 

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Review: Swagger Bipods QD Shooting Sticks

Ike Eastman reviews the QD shooting stick system by Swagger Bipods. The last two years Ike has hunted off of these bipods, harvesting antelope, deer and elk with ease. This hybrid system was built with Quick Adapt Technology making these sticks more compact and lightweight. They are available in two sizes; 42 and 72 inches, for shooting positions from seated to standing.


The post Review: Swagger Bipods QD Shooting Sticks appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Army Paratrooper Killed By Bear

Big brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the forest / Photo by: byrdyak

The fatal mauling of Staff Sgt. Seth Michael Plant by a female brown bear on Alaska’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson late last week serves as yet another stark reminder of just how tenuous life in the backcountry can be. Staff Sgt. Plant was killed while scouting an area of JBER for future land navigation courses. He reportedly ventured too close to a den that the sow and her cubs were inhabiting when she sprang upon him and one of his companions. Plant was pronounced dead upon reaching the hospital and an unidentified surviving soldier was released with non-life threatening injuries. 

Condolences from all of us here at Eastmans’ Hunting Journals to the friends and family of Staff Sgt. Plant, you are in our prayers. 

While bear attacks, both fatal and non-fatal, are exceedingly rare overall, (68 people hospitalized between 2000 & 2017 in Alaska & 13 fatalities across North America since 2020) people who work and recreate in bear country face dramatically increased risks of mauling and/or death. Therefore, we once again urge anyone venturing into bear country (black, grizzly or both) to understand the risks, educate and train yourself and those around you in bear avoidance measures and safety protocols. I personally would urge all who wander into the vast and breathtaking spaces that North America’s bears call home, to know how to use, train with and carry both bear spray and firearms, whether they be long guns or handguns. 

One of SSG Plant’s companions was able to bring bear spray into the fracus which seemingly deterred the mother brown bear from continued aggression and likely saved the injured soldier’s life, regrettably after Plant sustained his fatal injuries. 

Another point that this unfortunate incident reminds me of pertains to a question we here at Eastmans’ get all the time… “I’ve got “X” number of elk points in Wyoming. Where should I apply?” 

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Review: Apex TSS shot shell by Apex Ammunition

This review features the Apex TSS shot shell by Apex Ammunition and the 3 inch Turkey TSS also from Apex Ammunition. Eastmans’ Scott Reekers patterns the 3-inch and 3 1/2-inch turkey loads before heading out on a spring turkey hunt.

The post Review: Apex TSS shot shell by Apex Ammunition appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) remains prevalent across much of Colorado and continues to negatively impact deer, and to a much lesser extent, elk populations. To date, CWD has been detected in 40 of 54 deer herds, 16 of 43 elk herds and 2 of 9 moose herds. Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) continues to study CWD and just released some interesting info on their CPW News Release site entitled: “CPW presents results of mandatory testing for chronic wasting disease at May Commission Meeting in Sterling” (small town in NE CO).

Map of CWD infection rates in harvested adult male deer in Colorado, 2017-2021.

(This CWD deer map, and the elk map below, are also in the 2022 Colorado Big Game brochure.)

At the May CPW Commission meeting in Sterling, CPW Terrestrial Programs Supervisor Matt Eckert provided an update to the Commission on the agency’s CWD mandatory testing efforts. From 2017-2020, CPW focused mandatory testing on deer because deer have the highest disease infection rates and greatest need for disease management. During this time, CPW examined CWD levels across all 54 deer herds. A variety of management methods have been utilized around the state since mandatory testing began. When infection rates are greater than 5%, wildlife managers have utilized tactics such as:

Reducing population or densityReducing male/female ratio (males tend to have double the infection rates of females)Changing the age structure (4- to 6-year-old bucks tend to have the highest infection rates)  


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Review: Element Turkey Gun by Weatherby

This Eastmans’ review features the Element Turkey Shotgun by Weatherby Inc. Hunter Scott Reekers patterns this lightweight turkey gun and tests it out on a spring hunt. This gun features Mossy Oak Bottomland camouflage and it’s practically invisible!

The post Review: Element Turkey Gun by Weatherby appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Wyoming Couple Guilty Of Deer Baiting

Michael and Teresa Rinehart along with 30 of their clients have been pinned to a poaching investigation that began in 2011 by the Shoshone and Arapaho Fish and Game and was concluded with assistance from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 

The Rinehart’s have been found guilty of Lacey Act violations and Wyoming Game and Fish violations due to the baiting of deer and subsequent illegal harvest of deer on their property adjacent to the Wind River Indian Reservation. $60,000 in fines have been issued and the Rineharts face suspended hunting privileges as well. Their 30 “clients” from 11 different states also face various charges. 

Now for my take… I can’t stand people like this. People who use and abuse our state’s wonderous resources to make a buck by calling themselves “outfitters”, all while giving legitimate guides and outfitters a black eye. People like the Rineharts are nothing more than poachers, plain and simple. They should also be treated as such. I don’t think $60k is enough of a fine and don’t get me started on self-supervised probation and suspension of hunting privileges. The Rineharts and others like them need to serve jail time and once they get out, community service, lots of it! 

Until we are willing to get tough on poachers, incidents such as this will continue. Enough is enough, we need stringent and severe, codified poaching sentencing guidelines. Anybody want to help me draft a proposal? I’m all ears.

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Is poaching worth it? The saga continues…

Photo by: harrycollinsphotography

We recently hit this topic and covered a case that was quite thoroughly prosecuted and the results were a tougher than “normal” sentence being served. For more information you can read up on their article here. Part two of this story covers a higher profile case. In which a father and son duo shot and killed a sow grizzly in east Idaho not far from Yellowstone. Jared Baum of Ashton, Idaho plead guilty to shooting the sow near the Little Warm River in Fremont County, Idaho. 

Jared’s so-called story made a weak attempt to make light of the incident. He stated that he thought he was shooting a black bear and mistakenly killed the grizzly. However, there was no open season for black bear at the time and whether he mis-identified it or not is meaningless to his case. IDFG recovered the bear’s carcass half submerged in the river and found a bullet right away. After further investigation there were 12 bullets removed and some partial fragments as well. To top it off the sow had a known den site nearby at which IDFG officials discovered a deceased male cub. The cub died from starvation as his mother never returned to the den. 

We have previously asked the question, does the crime fit the punishment? The answer in many cases has been no. However, in this case we can yet again see the tables are turning. Jared Baum was sentenced to 30 consecutive days in jail, 3 years of probation, $2,500 in fines (PLUS court fees) 10k in civil penalties and the icing on the cake… a lifetime hunting ban in 48 states! BOOM! Now, that stacks up to a pretty stiff punishment. 

Does the punishment finally fit the crime? Well, what do you think? It definitely fits well in my opinion. As for the father, Rex Baum, he also plead guilty and will spend 3 days in jail, pay $1,000 in fines (plus court fees) $400 in civil penalties and a 10 year hunting ban in 48 states! Rex played a much smaller part and therefore was given a lighter punishment. 

Share your thoughts! Be safe, shoot straight and God bless! -J.B.

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Utah Wildlife Board Decreases Deer Permits In 2022


PC: Tanner Greenfield


Mule deer across the West have been struggling for several years and 2021 was no different. Drought is the number one factor in why deer are on the decline. Habitat conditions have been poor and feed has been minimal, which leads to does that don’t fare very well through the winter, ultimately leading to poor fawn survival. Extreme drought has been affecting the central and southern part of the state for over three years now and that is where we are seeing these tag changes implemented. 

The current management plan calls for 405,000 deer statewide and there are currently an estimated 305,700 deer this year. General season permits will be cut the most, down to 73,075, which is nearly 1000 less than last year. Antlerless deer permits are what impact the population the most so there will be 300 cut from the pool statewide. Management buck deer, and premium limited-entry deer will stay the same as last year at 45 and 184 respectively. Limited-entry deer permits were cut by 50. The DWR is confident that these cuts will help maintain the deer herd with hopes for a wetter year and improved conditions going into 2023. 

Elk on the other hand are affected less by drought but some units were cut and others were increased. Specifically in the northern part of the state where the drought hasn’t been as bad. Limited-entry bull elk permits will increase by 80 total in 2022, while antlerless elk permits were cut by about 300. General spike and general any bull elk permits stayed the same at 15,000 and 17,500 respectively. The reason for the increased tag allocations for elk have mainly been to address private landowners complaining about depredation issues where elk populations are above their objectives. 

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The Ultimate Hunting Video


Watch over fifty hunting kills in twenty minutes! Elk, mule deer, moose, axis deer, mountain goat, and more crammed into one video.

The post The Ultimate Hunting Video appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Arizona Deer Hunt Changes

Changes are on the horizon for Arizona archery deer hunters. Beginning this year the Arizona Game and Fish Department will establish a maximum harvest threshold for each unit and require mandatory harvest reporting. Once the harvest threshold is met the unit will be closed at sundown of the following Wednesday for the remainder of the year. This new strategy was developed with the help of the Arizona Bowhunters Association to maintain over-the-counter opportunities while managing harvest. 

Under the previous management strategy, as harvest in each unit increased, the hunt structure was incrementally reduced and eventually converted to a controlled draw. The catch was that harvest reporting was completely optional. This meant that the harvest data being used was largely interpolated from the information voluntarily submitted. Under the new format the department will have more and better data to utilize in management decisions.

What this means for Arizona’s archers is that their ability to hunt specific units is guaranteed . . .until it isn’t. Most units offer three different seasons available via the OTC archery tag: a week season beginning in August, another in December and 4 weeks in January. With the new structure if a threshold is met during the first week of the August season then it would close on Wednesday of the second week and no hunt will occur during December or January.

Historically, the December and January hunts overlap the rut and provide the most ideal hunting opportunities in the state at a time when other state’s seasons are winding down and winter storms are ramping up. For those who have made a tradition out of escaping the wrath of a northern Winter this new structure adds a wrinkle to the planning process, especially during the first year of implementation. However, like any other change, this will open up opportunities for those who carefully evaluate the process, plan well and remain flexible.

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Corner Crossing Updates: Limited Use of Video Evidence

Exclusion of the body cam footage earlier this week looked like a severe body blow to the defense. It looked even worse when the judge in this corner crossing case let it be known that definitions for air space in relation to Wyoming law would be sent with the 3 man, 3 woman jury for consideration during deliberations. The deliberations lasted a mere hour and a half and all 4 Missouri men walked out as NOT GUILTY men.

The jury found that the prosecution had not presented evidence that the 4 hunters who had taken 2 elk and one deer on their 2021 hunt were not guilty of trespass or even the alternative theory of trespass to hunt. 

This case has drawn attention due to the 5 million acres of public land that are technically land locked but could be accessed through “corner hopping.” A Gofund me page was established with a goal of $30,000.00 and that figure was well exceeded at a whopping $71,160.00. Sportsmen from across the United States have donated to this fund in hopes that it will help establish a precedent down the road to make the practice of “corner hopping” explicitly legal rather than the gray area that it seems to be now.   

While this case has not set precedent because the language of the law on the books in Wyoming defines air space as belonging to the landowners of the properties where the corners meet. 

So what say you? The federal civil case is next and I’m sure that there will be plenty of discussion around what will happen in that case. There will also now certainly be discussions in Wyoming at least regarding the language of the law about corner crossing and air space. Where that goes will certainly be interesting. We encourage you to write letters to your state legislators if you are a Wyoming resident to let them know how you feel about the law either way.  

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Leica’s New Geovid Pro Range-finding Binos

This review features Leica’s Geovid Pro 10×32 range-finding binoculars. These compact binos were built with mountain hunting in mind. The built-in Applied Ballistics software, Bluetooth connectivity and Leica’s Class 1 laser make these binos a powerful tool for close and long range shots. Eastmans’ Hunting Journals Scott Reekers breaks down all its feature and tests out its bluetooth capabilities with Leica’s Ballistic app and Basemap.

The post Leica’s New Geovid Pro Range-finding Binos appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Montana: Moose/Sheep/Goat Update

Photo By: Mike Eastman

With the Montana Moose, Sheep, Goat deadline fast approaching I want to take a look at the status of each species over the past 10 years and what the strong and weak points are now for 2022. 

Let’s start with moose. They have been proven to be a relatively fragile species in Montana and the numbers of tags allocated for them in Big Sky country has steadily been declining the last 10 years. In 2011, 443 moose licenses were authorized for hunting. 2011 was about the middle of the decline of moose in Montana which really started in the early 2000s when wolves really took off across the state, not to mention the ever growing grizzly bear population. 

Moose are found throughout the state but the western half is the core of moose habitat in Montana. In 2021, there were 326 total moose licenses allocated. That is a decline in 117 over the last decade. Which doesn’t seem like a lot but, but that reflects ¼ of the population vanishing across the landscape. Overall, the largest decline has been in Region 3 and studies have shown it is because of a heart worm. Regions 1 and 2 have experienced slight declines as well with Region 4 on the uptick. That’s right, populations have been on the uptick in north-central Montana where calf survival has been the best. 

Biologists have noted that moose seem to be doing better in newer habitats like Regions 4 and 6 that didn’t historically hold moose compared to moose strongholds that have held moose for several decades like Regions 1, 2, and 3. Also Region 6 has been on the uptick which is the highline all the way into eastern Montana. I suspect moose are trickling in from the West, North, and the East making for an interesting moose hunt in wide open country. 

There are 9 tags available in Region 6 for 2022. The vast majority of moose units drawing odds are 1% or less with a couple touching the 2% chance area. Yes, bonus points do play a role, but due to the fact there are so many applicants, those points really have little effect on your chances to draw a tag. For example, I have 21 nonresident moose points. Last year there were 14 tags drawn by nonresidents. Those points are squared and for the majority of the tags I still have less than a 7% chance to draw a tag and if I am any bit selective on what area I apply for with decent trophy quality, I still have less than a 5% chance to draw a tag. Imagine what your odds are if you have less than 10 points! It’s 2% or less with 10 points for most tags available. For residents it’s a different story. Since Montana allocates 90% of its licenses to residents there were 312 available last year and if you are holding 10 points you will have 5% or less odds to draw a tag. Most of the coveted areas will have 2% or less odds. If you have 5 or less points you have less than 1% chance. 

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WYOMING- Winter Range Update, May 1st, 2022

What a difference a few days can make. With two big spring storms in the rear view and one more yet on the short-term horizon, the moisture situation in Wyoming has improved drastically over the past ten days. We can now say, this spring has been much more wet that last year’s spring so far, which is a much-needed slice of good news. 

The statewide snowpack is now estimated at just shy of 98% of normal levels, a drastic improvement over the paltry 79% we saw only two short weeks ago. With yet another storm on the horizon near the end of April this should for all intents and purposes put us “over the top” to a normal snow pack year in most regions of the state. 

As it sits now, the Black Hills (140%) region and the Northern Bighorn Mountains (111%) are well above 100% of normal snow pack levels. The two regions which were suffering the most as drought areas only a few weeks ago I might add. This welcome improvement all happened in one single spring storm that lasted the better part of an entire week. Add to that the fact that many of the largest mountain ranges in Wyoming are now at or above historic snow levels. The ranges of the Bighorn Mountains (105%), the Laramie Mountains (101%), the Wind River Range (101%) and the lower Absaroka Range (102%) are all slightly above their bench mark snow levels. The crucial ranges of the Teton (89%), Salt (94%) and Wyoming (92%) ranges are slightly below but there is still time for late spring weather to top off these ranges due to their historic tendency to get pounded by snow in the month of May at the highest of elevations. 

Suffice it to say, we are now in very good shape when it comes to spring run-off, reservoir levels and spring green up conditions for wildlife. 

As for herd conditions, I believe our original predictions are in even better shape at the possibility of coming true at this point. For antelope, I would look at the historic areas of the Red Desert and upper Sweetwater units as being possible big buck producers for this fall. Those would be areas in the 50s, 60s and 90s in unit numbers. I personally like antelope hunts in areas 53, 57, 58, 60, 92 and 96 to be very solid bets for this fall’s hunting season. 

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New Mexico – No More Non-Resident Tags?


The New Mexico hunting regulations go by four-year rule cycles with the NM Department of Game & Fish, (G&F) calendar year beginning April 1, 2022 thru March 31, 2023 for the current hunting season. Of interest, is the fact that this year is the end of the current rule and the public comments for the next rule cycle are now open.

With that being said, there are organizations and individuals that are voicing their opinions to anyone that will listen. Of primary concern are the license allocations to non-residents for bighorn sheep and the current ePlus system for private landowner vouchers for elk. The NM Wildlife Federation, (NMWF) recently led the charge to eliminate non-residents from being able to apply for ANY Bighorn Sheep tag in NM. Their argument is that the current regulations require an 84/6/10 split of licenses for all big game species by hunt code. What this means is that if there are 100 tags allocated for the draw for a particular species, 84 percent of the tags would go to residents, six percent would go to non-residents and 10 percent would be allocated to outfitters. The NMWF has always fought to eliminate the 10 percent that is allocated to the outfitting industry with false claims that these are for non-residents thus creating 16 percent of the allocated tags to non-residents. This is not true, because residents have the same opportunity to apply through an outfitter as non-residents do and, in many cases, have better odds.

Because none of the current bighorn sheep ram hunts have more than 5 tags by hunt code, the argument by the NMWF is that all of these should go to residents by following the 84/6/10 split. The way that the current structure is set up by the G&F is that all of the Rocky Mountain ram tags and the Desert ram tags are pooled into one hunt code for each. This creates a pool of 26 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep ram tags and 24 for the Desert bighorn sheep. This structure now allows for the 84/6/10 spit. The NM Attorney General’s office recently reviewed the challenge brought forth by the NMWF via a NM State Representative and their opinion ruled in favor of the G&F advocating that the current process for bighorn sheep is lawful and is not violating any laws or policies. This is clearly a win for non-residents but the battle is not over until the next rule cycle has been established, and the NMWF has not given up the fight and is putting pressure on the NM Game Commission to provide one hunt code for each hunt area thus eliminating the pooling of tags into one hunt code. 

With the current rule cycle open, the NMWF has been and is still pushing the Commission to open the ePlus system for private land vouchers for elk to change the process. The G&F and the Commission currently have no intentions of modifying or changing the process and have not opened it up for discussion. Under the current system, landowners have to apply to the G&F for their elk voucher allocations and based on a survey(s) by the G&F, the vouchers that are allocated are based on ranch size and habitat improvements for wildlife. This process evolved over time many decades ago when elk were doing destruction to landowner’s properties and the G&F would have to pay for the destruction. Under the current system, if elk are doing damage to private property, that landowner has the option of requesting a voucher as compensation for the destruction caused by elk. The argument by the NMWF is that the current system is taking away the opportunities for elk tags for residents, even though many residents purchase landowner vouchers every year. Part of the argument is that the wildlife belongs to the State and not the landowners. While true, there would be no hunting opportunities if landowners choose to close their properties to hunting. 

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Mapping Migration Corridors Provides the Foundation for Science-Based Management and Conservation

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently published a 2022 “Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States, Volume 2” Scientific Investigations Report. The 156-page report goes into detail on how ungulates such as elk, deer and antelope must migrate seasonally and the impact rapid human growth across much of the western United States has had on their migration routes. 

Wildlife managers and biologists use global positioning system (GPS) collars to document seasonal migrations with great precision, allowing researchers to visualize year-round movements of ungulates. Tracking datasets often reveal migrations to be longer, more diverse, and more expansive than previously recognized. Among other things, research revealed a growing human footprint is limiting animals’ ability to undertake seasonal movements with increasing threats from roads, urban areas, and other man-made blockages to historical migratory routes (Lendrum and others, 2012; Sawyer and others, 2013;). The picture that emerged from this body of research is seasonal migration is a behavior essential to the health of many herds but is increasingly threatened for many ungulates throughout the United States (Kauffman and others, 2018; Tucker and others, 2018)

Many state wildlife agencies across the west have been collecting GPS tracking data revealing a wide diversity of migrations. In 2018, USGS forged a collaboration with participating western states to map ungulate migration corridors and winter ranges from 42 herds across 5 Western states. This was later expanded to include migrations and seasonal ranges from an additional 65 herds across most western states. Because such maps can identify key landscapes the majority of animals move through, they can be used to readily identify both existing and potential future barriers to movements and the conservation solutions to mitigate such threats (Kauffman and others, 2021)

The post Mapping Migration Corridors Provides the Foundation for Science-Based Management and Conservation appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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