Whitetail deer and mule deer don’t mix well.
The two species have overlapping habitat throughout the West, yet whitetail deer are the dominant species and often replace the more reclusive mule deer. Although the Cowboy State isn’t known for giant whitetail bucks like Kansas and Iowa, there are good number of whitetails with impressive antlers and it appears that drawing tags in Wyoming may get easier.
Jim Schell of Rough Country Outfitters offers a great hunt each fall and loves to rattle in big bucks in early November. The rut occurs in mid-November, like most of the northern tier, and whitetail hunts have the ambiance of Western adventure with plenty of rolling plains, mountains, and pronghorn antelope nearby. Daniel Xu summarizes the Wyoming situation in this OutdoorHub post.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials are proposing offering doe-fawn licenses in areas of the state’s northwest in a bid to halt the expansion of whitetail deer, which are moving up from the Teton Range and putting pressure on the area’s mule deer population. According to the Jackson Hole News and Guide, biologists are seeing a decline of mule deer in the west slope of the Tetons, where the whitetails have moved in.
“A lot of the folks were really concerned with the loss of mule deer and are asking us to consider white-tailed licenses,” Game and Fish regional wildlife coordinator Doug Brimeyer said at a recent public meeting in Jackson Hole.
Brimeyer indicated that wildlife officials will be looking at expanded hunting opportunities next December, but steps are already being taken to reduce the whitetail population.