In the Jackson Region, northern portions of the Sublette pronghorn herd include Hunt Areas 85 and 86. Although hunter success is good, Hunt Area 85 (Gros Ventre) offers very limited hunting opportunities. There will only be 15 licenses offered for the season. Hunt Area 86 (Hoback) has seen an increase in pronghorn during the past several years. However, hunter access is limited and the majority of the hunting opportunities are located on private lands in the Boundurant area.
Overall, pronghorn hunting in the Bighorn Basin is going to be tougher than previous years due to extended drought causing a reduction in pronghorn numbers and seasons designed to reduce numbers to address agricultural damage on private lands. All pronghorn populations in the southern Bighorn Basin which include the Copper Mountain herd (Hunt Areas 76, 114, 115) and the 15-Mile herd (Hunt Areas 77, 83, 110) are below target population objectives. Hunting seasons in these areas are going to be fairly conservative to either maintain or promote
population growth. Damage on private lands from pronghorn in cultivated crops have subsided in recent years; therefore, the 2014 hunting season will have fewer doe/fawn licenses in most hunt areas. In addition, Type 1 and 2 license quotas will be reduced in Hunt Areas 77, 110 and 114.
Prolonged snow cover and several sub-zero cold snaps last December, January and February had negative effects on these pronghorn herds. Hunters should expect conservative seasons for the next several years to allow these herds to increase. In Hunt Area 80, both buck antelope and doe/fawn licenses have been reduced to allow this herd to grow. Hunt Areas 78, 81, and 82 should have similar seasons to 2013 and hunting should be good. Near Greybull, we suspect hemorrhagic disease also impacted overall numbers of antelope. We are seeing fewer antelope associated with private farm land so doe/fawn hunters may have to hunt a little harder. Hunters with a Type 1, any antelope license should be pleased with the quality of buck antelope this year. Greybull Warden Bill Robertson said, “Buck quality is as good as I have seen it for several years and likely due to good spring forage conditions.”... (see entire report below)