The Absoraka Mountains, Beartooth Mountains, Shoshone National Forest, and Bighorn Basin that surround Cody are prime locations for hunting this fall. This area is renowned for its variety of wildlife, including some of the area’s best big game hunting opportunities. In this picturesque area, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, bison, mule and whitetail deer, mountain goat, antelope, black bear, and even wolves can be scoped and targeted.
The area has an abundance of animals like whitetail and mule deer and pronghorn antelope; in fact, Wyoming has more antelope (specifically, the North American pronghorn) than anywhere on the continent. Mule deer are also the state’s most populous and sought-after deer. These graceful and agile deer can be found in the mountains or creek beds, so hunters have a variety of backdrops from which to choose when hunting mule deer.
However, the state has a limit for hunting animals like bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and bison. Receiving a bighorn sheep tag is comparable to winning the lottery; the odds in a random draw are typically less than 1 percent, and once a hunter receives this license, he or she must wait five years to re-apply. Similarly, drawing for a mountain goat tag requires a lot of luck, and hunting either of these animals requires a person to hike or climb in high elevations and often steep terrain. In order to hunt bison in Wyoming, hunters have to apply for placement on the bison priority list.
Mountain lions are also hunted from September through early spring, and the fall and spring seasons are also open for black bear hunting. For both of these animals, though, only one lion or bear can be “harvested” by a hunter during any calendar year.
Finally, upland and migratory game birds like the various grouse species (sage, ruffed, etc.), turkeys, pheasants, geese, and duck (just to name a few) can be hunted, as well.
Outfitters can provide expert advice for hunting in the area, and there are many outfitters in and around Cody. For a full list of hunting outfitters and guides, check out http://codychamber.chambermaster.com/list/Category/outfitters-guides-133.htm.
For more information about hunting regulations or to apply for a hunting license in Wyoming, go to http://gf.state.wy.us or call the Cody BLM Field office at (307) 578-5900.