JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Despite a lack of snow, wildlife managers have already started putting out feed for elk in parts of northwest Wyoming.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is distributing hay in areas to draw elk away from private lands.

Game and Fish Regional Supervisor John Lund, who oversees the Pinedale area, says the idea is to keep the elk from eating feed intended for cattle on private ranches.

Mid-December is usually when snow in the high country gets deep enough that operations begin on Game and Fish's 22 feedgrounds.

The average onset of feeding on the National Elk Refuge, where elk get alfalfa instead of hay, is the end of January.