Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Ask Game and Fish


August 8, 2019

Q: “What causes antler deformities?”

A: What makes some big game animals different is also what can make them desirable. Antler deformities — most common in white-tailed deer, mule deer and elk — occur because of injury, hormone imbalances or genetics. Antler deformities can take a variety of forms. Melted antlers look like a candle dripping with wax; club antlers can have large knobs or clubs growing off the main beam; and there are also cactus or spike antlers that have points in all directions off the base and burr.

One common reason for antler deformities is when a buck or a bull injures its pedicle — the base where the antler grows from the skull. This can happen when males fight and clash antlers. If the pedicle is injured, the antlers that grow the next spring may have an abnormality, and it will continue growing that way from year to year when the buck or bull sheds its antlers.

Antlers are also susceptible to injury while in spring velvet, when a hair-like membrane covers new antlers. Injuries to the velvet are less permanent, and that deformity likely won’t return the next year.

Hormone imbalances can also cause atypical antler growth. Low testosterone, disease or injury to the testicles can affect hormone regulation. That can, in turn, result in antler differences. Genetics can also play a role and sometimes cause a group of related animals to have similar antler deformities. These abnormalities can return year after year.

Antler deformities don’t typically indicate an animal is unhealthy, barring special circumstances that can be caused by disease.

Submitted by Teal Cufaude, Saratoga wildlife biologist

Q: “Should I buy a daily or 12-month fishing license?”

A: Whether you should purchase a daily fishing license or a 12-month license depends on how much you are going to fish the next 12 months. A 12-month license is valid from the day you purchase through that date the following year.

Residents: If you are going to fish one to six days you should purchase daily licenses; but, if you are going to fish seven or more days you should purchase a 12-month license.  As a resident, a daily license costs $6 a day while a 12-month license costs $27.

If you do not already have a conservation stamp, you are required to purchase one with your 12-month license for $12.50, which brings your 12-month license total to $39.50.

Nonresidents: If you are going to fish in Wyoming one to three days, you should purchase daily licenses, or if you are going to fish four to five days you should purchase the five-day license. But, if you are going to fish six or more days you should purchase an annual license.  

As a nonresident, you are able to purchase a daily license for $14 a day, a five-day license for $56, or a 12-month license for $102. If you do not already have a conservation stamp you would need to purchase one with your 12-month license, bringing your 12-month license total to $114.50.  

Whichever license you decide to purchase you’ll get to enjoy Wyoming’s wonderful fishing opportunities!

Submitted by Lydia Decaria, License Section

Q: “How do I apply for hunter management area permission slips?”

A: This is the perfect time to think about hunter management areas (HMA). Annually, applications for permission slips open the second Monday of July; that was July 8 for 2019. To access the 993,233 acres of land enrolled in the HMA program, you will need to first apply for permission slips through the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website. Here are the steps:

1. After making sure you have your hunting license and vehicle information handy, navigate online to HMA webpage. On this page you can see lists of access areas, view interactive maps, download ranch rules and smartphone-ready GeoPDF maps, as well as the link to “Apply for Permissions Slips.” 

2. Next, you’ll enter your first and last name and birth date exactly as it appears on your hunting licenses. The first time you log in, the system will also verify your address. You will then be asked to enter your vehicle and email contact information. You may enter as many vehicles as you would like, or if you are using a rental, there will be an option for that as well. If you need to update vehicle information at a later date, log back in and select the “Update Profile” link near the top right of the page. The email address is used to share important changes regarding your HMAs.

3. After logging in and completing your profile, click “Apply for Permission Slips.” A listing of all your current hunting licenses, each with the available options for HMAs will display. The “All Hunter Management Area Information” button will show a brief description of all HMAs available for each particular license. To apply, select the desired slip from the list in the drop down menu and click “Apply.” After confirming your choice, you will be able to download or print copies of the current ranch rules and map. Unlimited or first-come-first serve permission slips will be available to print immediately.

4. The application period for draw permission slips will close at midnight the first or third Monday in August; for 2019 that’s Aug. 5 and Aug. 19. Draws will be conducted the following day and you will be able to see draw results by logging back into the system on Aug. 8 and Aug. 22 and clicking on “View Your Hunter Management Areas.” 

It is very important to first apply for the permission slip you want the most, as permission options may disappear from your profile once another is selected. Many hunt areas allow application for only one HMA or limited permission slip to maximize the opportunity for the greatest number of hunters. 

Submitted by Jason Sherwood, Laramie Regional Access Coordinator


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