Not every herd was hit as hard, but the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Herd, among the largest herds in the US at 28,000 animals, had the hardest winter on record. As of April 16th, only 47% of the 200 collared does in the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Herd were still alive, and it is estimated that virtually all the juveniles in the herd did not make it through this extreme winter.
While the overall snow totals for this winter were slightly above average, it was the low elevation snow that really made this winter a killer for wildlife. In many parts of western Wyoming running from the Elk Refuge all the way to sites close to Rock Springs, the settled snow amounts at low elevation in late winter were about twice the average and are taking 2-3 additional weeks to melt off. State officials are considering a severely reduced hunting season this year and a delay for the shed antler hunting season, which typically starts on May 1st.