CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming Game and Fish officials are asking residents to be aware of and show patience with wildlife that often show up in developed areas during the winter months. Personnel have received several phone calls about wildlife collisions as well as near misses throughout the state, and an overall increase of wildlife in more heavily populated areas.
“With such early and deep snows in the area, all kinds of wildlife are moving to lower elevations this year and often into more developed places. We usually don’t expect to see these animals in our neighborhoods, our fields or on our highways,” wildlife biologist Stan Harter said.
In particular, elk and deer around Lander are making frequent movements across surrounding highways. They have been active around Willow Creek Road and WY 28/US 287, between Lander and Milford along US 287, and between Lander and Hudson on US 789.
Game and Fish officials are also asking motorists to be wary and exhibit patience to avoid collisions with wildlife.
“Wildlife are frequently using area roadways this time of year and can be hard to see in low-light situations,” Harter said. “We really need to slow down and give ourselves plenty of braking distance, especially on potentially slick roads.”
Game and Fish offers these tips to reduce conflicts with and stress on our wildlife this winter:
- Be especially watchful during times of low light
- Look for tracks or other signs of wildlife on trails, pathways or around houses
- Never crowd an animal or surround it
- Always allow an animal an escape route
- Always control pets while walking them and make sure there are no wildlife around before letting animals out of the house
- Consider carrying bear spray as a defense
- View and photograph animals from a distance
- Do not feed wildlife