Overwintering wildlife need your help
The Teton region is internationally known for cold temperatures, extreme terrain, and deep snow.
These same elements also make it difficult for large mammals to survive our long, harsh winters. Overwintering animals like bighorn sheep, moose, elk, and mule deer are slowly starving – losing weight and depending heavily on their fat reserves from the summer. When we disturb wildlife in the winter, we increase their stress levels and force them to expend precious energy to relocate. This can lead to poor health and, if repeated, can lead to mortality.
Winter closures exist to protect critical habitat for a variety of species. As people who care about wildlife, we have a responsibility to know before we go which backcountry areas serve as critical winter habitat and migration pathways for wildlife and are closed seasonally to protect wildlife. Check out the Don’t Poach The Powder webpage with winter closure maps and details.
Check out this short film about the Teton Bighorn Sheep herd and what you can do to help them overwinter safely in the high country: Denizens of the Steep.