Deer Forecast-West

For trophy-class Wyoming mule deer, the area to draw is Unit 128 near Dubois, where a late hunt produces some monsters. But Region G in west-central Wyoming near the Idaho border is also a good bet for big muley bucks for both residents and nonresidents, all of whom must enter a lottery draw. According to Jeff Obrecht, information officer with the Game and Fish Department, there's ample public land, hunter success ranges from 30 to 40 percent and the area supports high numbers of mature bucks. Quality whitetails are found throughout eastern Wyoming, with the best populations located around the river valleys. Most of the huntable land here is on private ranches, and general access is difficult. Wyoming deer have watched two winters come and go with minimal snow in most areas and high survival rates for deer. An exception last winter was the Baggs area, which was hit by storms and deep snow and registered some deer mortality. Summer rains have been below normal, which can result in depressed fawn production and survival. But the 2001 harvest should match last season's take of 43,100 mule deer and 10,833 whitetails.