Greg and I headed to our much anticipated whitetail deer hunting area in Hulett, Wyoming. As we crossed the Wyoming state line from Colorado, I noticed an email pop up on my phone. I glanced at it and it was from Wyoming Game & Fish Department, titled, ” Transporting and Disposing of Deer in Wyoming.” I immediately opened it and it gave the following instructions.
Wait!! What? First of all, are they following me and how is this going to be possible? I reached for the Wyoming 2018 Regulation book and began reading page 5.
“Only the following parts of any deer, elk or moose harvested from any hunt area in Wyoming may be transported to other states, provinces or countries: edible portions with no part of the spinal column or head attached; cleaned hide without the head or skull plate; antlers that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue; teeth; or, finished taxidermy mounts. Whole deer, elk and moose carcasses harvested from any hunt area shall not be transported out of Wyoming.”
This past summer, Greg and I went to scout this area and locate the public hunting areas using onX. We were really excited about this location and saw some beautiful deer on public land with hopes of going back to Wyoming during hunting season for a nice sized whitetail deer. We had a successful Colorado hunt for meat, and we were hoping for some nice antlers and deer head to mount from our WY hunt. We call ourselves “memory hunters.” It’s not always about “filling the freezer.” However, that is always nice too.
When I read the new regulations, I realized it means I have to leave the head of my beautiful deer behind and it cannot leave the kill site. I can take the antlers, but it is not possible to scrape all of the tissue off the scull. It must be boiled for several hours to remove the tissue. So, we would just have to cut them off and throw the head behind a tree. That makes me sad and feel disrespectful to the animal who’s life I just took.
Greg and I love to eat the deer meat, but we were also looking forward to bringing our deer to Colorado for a Euro mount or shoulder mount to remember our good hunt. If you are a hunter, you know how special each animal can be, and keeping their antlers is almost as important to us as putting meat in the freezer. We have some great memories and stories to share about our harvested animal mounts and antlers.
We love to hunt and are always looking for an opportunity for a nice-looking healthy deer to put in the freezer and put on our wall to share our memories. Throwing a deer behind the tree didn’t seem right to me and not the memory I wanted to have of our hunt. We just didn’t take a shot, but that’s okay. We still have the time we shared and the beautiful animals we got to see. We will no longer be hunting in Wyoming or any other state with such strict restrictions for transporting an animal.
We understand that not everyone will share our same thoughts about these regulations. We know there are some backcountry hunters who quarter and skin their deer every year; however, we know most hunters are also looking to bring home those antlers and/or head for their wall to share their memories of their hunt with friends and family.
Note: The above restrictions apply to Wyoming Moose, Elk and Deer.