Greybull Area Wildlife Biologist Tom Easterly said that normally, the habitat management area closes to motorized vehicle traffic Dec. 1 to minimize disturbance to wintering elk, deer, and other wildlife.
“This year, the road through Dry Fork of Medicine Lodge Canyon will remain open to vehicle access through Dec. 25 to allow hunters to retrieve harvested animals and remove camps,” Easterly said.
“The Medicine Lodge elk herd is over population objective and by allowing motorized access into the WHMA, we hope to increase harvest of cow elk in Hunt Area 41,” Easterly said.
Easterly said that the hunting season for Elk Hunt Area 41 type 4 and type 6 licenses reopens Dec. 14 and runs until Dec. 22.
“Medicine Lodge WHMA can be accessed through Medicine Lodge State Park on a rough two-track road through Dry Fork canyon. Snow and loose rocks may make this a dangerous travel route so only four-wheel drive vehicles with chains should attempt to travel the road,” Easterly said.
The other access route to the WHMA is from Paintrock Road (#17) on the Bighorn National Forest. The Forest closes road #17 to wheeled, motorized access on Dec. 15 each year due to an agreement with Wyoming State Trails to manage snowmobile trails.
The vast majority of the hunt area is public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Hunters are reminded that travel across BLM land is restricted to established roads.