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29 Wyoming Wildlife Habitat Management Areas close each winter to minimize stress on animals, forage

(Wyoming Game and Fish)

CASPER, Wyo. — Winter closures are implemented annually on 29 of Wyoming’s Wildlife Habitat Management Areas to protect animals and their winter ranges, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

“Seasonal closures are essential for minimizing stress-causing disturbances to wintering deer, elk, bighorn sheep and other wildlife,” Ray Bredehoft, habitat and access branch chief for Game and Fish, said. “Closures also reduce the human and recreational impacts to the forage, which supports the wildlife on their winter ranges.” 

Closure dates vary, with a number of WHMAs already closed to human presence and closures pending for others. Game and Fish provided tables indicating closure dates for each WHMA, noting that “closures are for any human presence unless otherwise noted”:

WHMA CLOSURE DATES

HABITAT AREANEAREST TOWNDATES AREA CLOSEDRESTRICTIONS
Forbes/Sheep MountainAlbanyJan. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence.
Greys RiverAlpineDec. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence.
Wick/BeumeeArlingtonDec. 1 through May 15Only lands south of I-80 are closed. Vehicles restricted to FS-111 for access to the Forest Service boundary, otherwise closed to human presence.
Bud LoveBuffaloJan. 1 through May 14Closed to human presence. 
SunlightCodyDec. 16 through April 30Fishing along Sunlight Creek is open year-round.
Inberg/Roy (East Fork)DuboisDec. 16 through May 15Closed to human presence
Spence & MoriarityDuboisDec. 16 through May 15East Fork County Road and that portion east of the road is open year-round. The rest of the WMA is closed to human presence.
Whiskey BasinDuboisDec. 1 through May 15Closed to vehicles only. Open to foot/horse traffic.
Medicine LodgeHyattvilleJan. 1 through May 31Lower campground portion is open year-round. Turkey hunting allowed in lower portion during the seasonal closure.
RennerHyattvilleJan. 1 through May 31Upper portion closed to human presence. Lower portion remains open year-round.
Camp CreekJacksonDec. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence.
Horse CreekJacksonDec. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence.
South Park JacksonJan. 1 through April 30Closed to vehicle traffic Dec. 1 through April 30. Signed area open to foot traffic Dec. 1 through Dec. 31. Closed to all human presence Dec. 31 through April 30.
Ed O. TaylorKayceeJan. 1 through May 14Closed to human presence. 
Red CanyonLanderDec. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence
SunshineMeeteetseJan. 1 through May 31Closed to human presence after cow hunting season ends.
Half MoonPinedaleDec. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence. 
Soda LakePinedaleDec. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence. 
Fall Creek PinedaleDec. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence. 
Luke LynchPinedaleDec. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence. 
Black ButtePinedale Dec. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence. 
Morgan CreekRawlinsNov. 1 through April 30Closed to vehicles only. Open to foot/horse traffic
Pennock MountainSaratogaDec. 1 through April 30Closed to vehicles only. Open to foot/horse traffic. 
Amsden CreekSheridan Nov. 1 through May 14Closed to vehicles. Open to foot/horse traffic Nov. 1 through Nov. 15.
Amsden CreekSheridanNov. 16 through May 14Closed to human presence.
Kerns SheridanNov. 1 through May 31Closed to vehicles. Open to foot/horse traffic Nov. 1 through Nov. 15.
Kerns Sheridan Nov. 16 through May 31Closed to human presence. 
Laramie PeakWheatlandFeb. 1 through April 30Laramie Peak is open all year except the Hay Canyon, Tony Ridge, and Duck Creek Canyon areas, which are closed to human presence from Feb. 1 through April 30 each year.
Pilot HillLaramieFeb. 1 through April 30Closed to human presence.

WHMAs OPEN YEAR-ROUND

HABITAT AREANEAREST TOWNDATES AREA CLOSEDRESTRICTIONS
Ocean LakeRiverton  
Sand MesaShoshoni  
Chain LakesWamsutter  
Cottonwood Draw/GrayrocksWheatland ORV access prohibited.
Jelm Laramie Vehicular access is restricted to parking areas. ORV access prohibited.
RawhideLingle Vehicular access is restricted to parking areas. ORV access prohibited.
Springer/Bump SullivanYoder Closed to motorized vehicles from Oct. 1 through May 15. ORV access prohibited.
Table MountainTorrington Closed to motorized vehicles from Oct. 1 through May 15. ORV access prohibited.
Tom Thorne/Beth WilliamsWheatland Closed to motorized vehicles beyond the reservoir from Feb. 1 through May 31. 
YellowtailLovell  
Red Rim/DaleyRawlins Drifting snow closes most trails in early winter.
Red Rim/GrizzlyRawlins  
Sand CreekSundance  

PUBLIC ACCESS AREAS WITH SEASONAL CLOSURES

HABITAT AREANEAREST TOWNDATES AREA CLOSEDRESTRICTIONS
Mexican CreekLanderJan. 1 through Aug. 31County access road closed Nov. 22.
Mule Creek RanchLaramieFeb. 1 through Oct. 14HMA Permission slip required.
VonGontard LandingJacksonDec. 1 through March 1Weather may affect closing and opening dates.
Pitcher/BrokawArlingtonJan. 1 through July 31ORV access prohibited.
Cater/Billy MilesTen SleepJan. 1 through Aug. 31 
Coco Belle VanMeerendonkJacksonDec. 1 through April 14Closed to wheeled motorized vehicles. 

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