The Game and Fish office in Lander has recently received a number of reports of conflicts between dogs and deer, antelope and moose in the Lander and Riverton areas. In one case a deer may had to be put down due to its injuries from a dog.
Wildlife are moving to their lower elevation winter ranges with increasing snow depths on the Wind River Mountains. Animals are seeking forage and becoming more concentrated and vulnerable this time of year. In addition, people are getting out recreating on the same winter range. This increases the chances of conflicts between people, dogs and wildlife.
Stan Harter, Lander Wildlife Biologist says, “We’ve seen increased numbers of wildlife, especially mule deer and pronghorn, along roadsides throughout Fremont County and as winter progresses the stresses placed on these animals makes it very important that we do our part to reduce conflicts with wildlife.”
Wildlife officials are asking residents to be wary and exhibit patience when encountering wildlife. South Riverton Game Warden, Brad Gibb says “One thing we know is that dogs on the loose are going to eventually get into trouble. And generally, ungulates are not going to pose a threat to anyone as long as we give them their space, control our pets around them and so on. However, if an animal is charging people or posing a threat, we want to know about it and will respond.”
Wildlife, such as moose and occasionally deer, can be potentially dangerous. Here are some tips to help avoid a conflict:
- Always control pets while walking them and make sure there are no wildlife around before letting animals out of the house.
- Always allow an animal an escape route.
- Never crowd an animal or surround it.
- Look for tracks or other signs of animals on trails, pathways, or around houses.