The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has released their hunting season forecast for regions across the state. The forecast gives hunters and idea of what to expect during the upcoming hunting season.

The following is the hunting forecast released the Game and Fish for the Laramie Region.

Good moisture this past year has resulted in improved habitat conditions resulting in increased fawn production of pronghorn and good body condition of the animals. Many of the region’s pronghorn herd units are still below their population objectives as a result of the severe winter of 2010-11 and the 2012 drought. Pronghorn licenses were reduced across the Laramie region for the 2014 seasons due to the decrease in pronghorn populations. As a result, hunting should be good for those who were able to obtain a license this year.

Much of the land in southeastern Wyoming is privately-owned, which limits access in some hunt areas. New in 2014, Hunt Areas 38, 39, 40, and 104 have been combined into Hunt Area 38. Additionally, Hunt Areas 34, 35, and 36 have been combined into Hunt Area 34. Pronghorn hunters are encouraged to review their 2014 pronghorn regulations prior to going afield.

Hunters should expect to see similar deer hunting throughout the Laramie Region compared to last year. Mule deer herds across the region experienced good over-winter survival rates. Additionally, increased precipitation this past spring and summer has improved habitat and will contribute to good body condition, increased fawn ratios, and increased antler growth in bucks. The increased fat reserves from the better habitat conditions should improve mule deer over-winter survival.

White-tailed deer hunting in southeast Wyoming should be good, especially for hunters with access to private land. White-tailed deer populations seem to persist and remain healthy over time, with sporadic reductions occurring due to EHD. Hunters are encouraged to review the 2014 deer hunting regulations because there have been changes in hunt areas, season dates, and limitations in the Laramie Region. Hunt Areas 15, 16, 55, 57 have been combined into Hunt Area 15. The Sheep Mountain (Hunt Areas 61, 74, 75, 76, 77) mule deer hunting season will run from Oct. 1 – Oct. 7, and remains a general season hunt with a 3-point or better restriction.

A majority of the elk herds in the Laramie Region are above their population objectives and should provide hunters with excellent hunting opportunities. Elk populations across the region have high bull ratios (greater than 29 bulls: 100 cows) and productive calf ratios (greater than 30 calves:100 cows), demonstrating healthy elk populations with plenty of bulls available for harvest. Hunters should read regulations, as some seasons have changed from the 2013 season. Areas 5 and 6 have been combined into Hunt Area 6. In some hunt areas, hunters may be able to purchase up to three licenses.

Elk have learned to avoid areas with high hunting pressure, but plenty of good elk hunting should be available away from well-traveled roads and trails. A few Public Land, Private Wildlife Hunter Management Areas provide access opportunities in the region but, as with other species, access to private lands is limited in many areas. Hunters should plan ahead for places to hunt.

Hunters pursuing deer and elk in the Snowy Range or Sierra Madre Mountains should be aware of the ongoing pine beetle epidemic that has resulted in the deaths of millions of lodge pole and ponderosa pines. Hunters are advised to avoid dead trees when choosing a camp site. It is also a good idea to have access to a chainsaw.