March 2021 - 4

A COUPLE PENNIES

W YOMING
WILDLIFE

Until it's gone

VOLUME 85, NUMBER 3 * MARCH 2021

	

	
	

Tracie Binkerd looks for elk on the second day of a hunt
last fall. (Photo by Nicole Kelley)

By Tracie Binkerd, editor

My freezer is empty. Not of everything,
but it's missing something that typically
defines my freezer and those of many
hunters: wild game. And yet, prior to
hunting season last fall I contemplated
buying another freezer for game. My
husband and I both drew cow/calf elk
tags in a new area. Optimism soared and
the best-case scenario of us both having
success in the field was in my sights. I
priced out freezers and almost bought
a second one in advance, but I decided
to hold off to see how the season went.
Our first several days of hunting
at first looked promising. My cousin,
who hunts the area every year, took my
hunting party to a lookout. As we glassed,
it didn't take long to spot two elk - both
bulls. Still, we were optimistic for the
hunt. We drove to the top and hiked to
a good spot where we could look over the
ridges and the bowl they created below.
4 | March 2021	

Nothing but bulls. It was the same story
for the remainder of the hunt, day after
day. By the end of the trip, my group
had hiked up and down miles of ridges,
stumbled over rocks, investigated signs
of elk, looked at what felt like every
ridgeline, but we never spotted an elk
that could fill our tags.
We returned a couple weeks later, but
it was a quicker trip. With only a threeday weekend, I hoped we would see more
than bulls. Our first day wasn't as hoped.
Not only didn't we spot cows, we didn't
spot any bulls, either. The next morning
we decided to walk from the top into the
bowl. We glassed a meadow across the
way. From our angle, it was shaped a bit
like a bird with outstretched wings. Then,
20 elk crossed the bird's chest and bedded
down near its wing. The meadow was
miles away, and we had a couple hours
of walking before we could even jump in
a truck and get to a spot where we could
walk to the meadow. Still, we had spotted
them. Thoughts of a second freezer began
to crop up yet again.
Hours later, we silently approached
bird meadow and planned for an evening
of hauling out elk. As we popped our
heads over a hill and looked for the elk,
we spotted horses instead and two hunters
walking their way back to their rides. We
stopped to see if they needed help loading
elk, but they said they had jumped the elk
only 20 minutes before and never fired a
shot. The elk of bird meadow were gone.
People say you don't know what you
have until it's gone. I can't say I didn't
appreciate elk meat in the freezer when
I had it. I've always been thankful for
meat in the freezer. But I certainly look
forward to the next time my freezer is
full. For now, I am planning for the draw
and already waiting with anticipation for
the results. Who knows, maybe I'll need
another freezer.

	
	

State of Wyoming
Governor Mark Gordon
Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, February 2021
President Peter Dube, Buffalo
Vice President Patrick J. Crank, Cheyenne
Commissioner David Rael, Cowley
Commissioner Gay Lynn Byrd, Douglas
Commissioner Ken Roberts, Kemmerer
Commissioner Ralph Brokaw, Arlington
Commissioner Richard Ladwig, Manville

Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Director Brian Nesvik
Deputy Director John Kennedy
Deputy Director Angela Bruce
Chief of Fiscal Greg Phipps
	
Chief of Wildlife Richard King
	
Chief of Fisheries Alan Osterland
	
Chief of Services Eric Wiltanger
	
	
Magazine Staff
Editor Tracie Binkerd
Associate Editor Robert Gagliardi
	
Creative Director Patrick Owen
	
Administrative Assistant Meg Frost

	

Wyoming Wildlife (ISSN 0043-9819) is published monthly (including the November calendar issue) by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Periodicals postage
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March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2021

Cover
From the Director
In this issue
A couple pennies
Mailbag
Opening shot
News
Ask Game and Fish
Project profiles
Case files
In the field
Tracking the rarest carnivores
Seeking the slam
A family matter
Getting kids outside
Wild country dispatch
Backpage
March 2021 - Cover
March 2021 - From the Director
March 2021 - In this issue
March 2021 - A couple pennies
March 2021 - Mailbag
March 2021 - Opening shot
March 2021 - 7
March 2021 - News
March 2021 - 9
March 2021 - 10
March 2021 - 11
March 2021 - Ask Game and Fish
March 2021 - Project profiles
March 2021 - Case files
March 2021 - 15
March 2021 - In the field
March 2021 - 17
March 2021 - Tracking the rarest carnivores
March 2021 - 19
March 2021 - 20
March 2021 - 21
March 2021 - 22
March 2021 - 23
March 2021 - 24
March 2021 - 25
March 2021 - Seeking the slam
March 2021 - 27
March 2021 - 28
March 2021 - 29
March 2021 - 30
March 2021 - 31
March 2021 - A family matter
March 2021 - 33
March 2021 - 34
March 2021 - 35
March 2021 - 36
March 2021 - 37
March 2021 - Getting kids outside
March 2021 - 39
March 2021 - 40
March 2021 - 41
March 2021 - 42
March 2021 - 43
March 2021 - 44
March 2021 - 45
March 2021 - Wild country dispatch
March 2021 - 47
March 2021 - Backpage
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