The story for hunting in Sheridan County is much the same as it is elsewhere in Wyoming —lots of opportunity for elk, but deer and antelope numbers are down.
There was “atrocious winterkill” among the county’s mule deer and antelope herds in 2022-2023, said local hunter Bill Mynatt, who works the firearms counter at the Sportsman’s Warehouse store in Sheridan.
Mule deer there also have struggled recently with chronic wasting disease (CWD), although that hasn’t been quite as bad this year, he told Cowboy State Daily.
Head To The Mountains For Elk
Sheridan County includes a hefty chunk of the Bighorn Mountains, as well as river bottoms and rolling high plains country.
The best bet for folks who want to hunt elk there is to head for the mountains.
“We really don’t have many elk out in the lowlands here,” he said.
Getting access to hunt elk herds that hole up on private property has been a challenge in some parts of the Cowboy State. In Sheridan County, however, public land access to hunt elk in the Bighorns is good, Mynatt said.
Still, he cautions people to be mindful that most of the hunt areas there are draw-tag only. That means that elk hunters will have to plan their trips well in advance and put in for elk tag drawings in the spring.
Muley And Antelope Numbers Wane
The combination of disease and the last brutal winter wreaked havoc on Sheridan County’s mule deer herds, Mynatt said, adding that he just hasn’t been seeing many mule deer this fall, and his customers are reporting similar frustration.
It’s much the same story for antelope hunters, he added.
However, antelope are expected to bounce back quickly, even if mule deer might continue to struggle for years to come.
When it comes to deer hunting, most people equate Wyoming with mule deer, but Sheridan has ample whitetails, Mynatt said. And many hunters enjoy going after them.
Sheridan County’s whitetails seemed to have escaped the worst of the winterkill, as well as an outbreak of blue tongue disease that hammered neighboring Johnson County.
Hunting tag allocations for whitetails remain generous in Sheridan County. Moreover, the tiny mountain town of Story in Sheridan County maintains its reputation for being virtually overrun with whitetails, Mynatt said.
Don’t Forget A Shotgun For Birds
Sheridan County also has a good reputation for pheasant and turkey hunting. There are occasional releases of pheasants by game agents on public hunting grounds, and hunters like to take advantage of those, Mynatt said.
Turkeys can frequently be spotted strutting around town in Sheridan, and there’s plenty to be found in hunting spots out in the countryside.
Mynatt recommends heading out toward Ucross to have a crack at turkeys.
“There was a lot of them out that way. We were seeing bunches of them, including some really impressive tom (male) turkeys,” he said.
Waterfowl hunting is fairly sparse in Sheridan County. There a few ducks and geese to be found here and there. But the best goose hunting is to the north, in Montana’s vast grain fields, Mynatt said.
“There’s been a lot of people coming through here on their way up to Montana to go goose hunting,” he said.
Other Wyoming Hunting Features