NEW FENCES ASSIST IN WYOMING WILDLIFE MIGRATION – Wyoming’s Jackson Fork Ranch is working on a new method to ease big game migration with cattle guards. The simple, cost-effective solution just requires removing the top bar on cattle gates. Cattle can’t get past the remaining bars, but most big game can jump the other bars when they want. So far the new method for assisting migration is working:

Big Game Migration Fences

The big game migration fences started at Jackson Fork Ranch, a domestic bison ranch near Bondurant, Wyoming. The ranch sits in the migration corridor of the Sublette mule deer herd. The old method was to just open the gates and leave them open for deer and other game to pass through. This works most of the time, except for in Spring and Fall when the bison are left to graze freely in the pastures. Nothing says lost profits like losing a bison.

Construction of a drop-down welded pipe structure began in May 2019. Rickett’s Conservation Foundation and the Pinedale Anticline Project Office both helped to fund the project. The removable top rail sits at 60” high which adequately prevents bison crossings. TO cut costs, the pipe used for the new fences were donated drill steam pipe from Pinedale Energy Partners and Ultra Resources. Based on the video above, the goal of the new fences appears to have been achieved as deer migration in spring and fall is more fluid.

With these new pro-migration fences in place at Jackson Fork Ranch, it should only be a matter of time before they are deployed elsewhere. Helping the pronghorn, moose, elk, and mule deer populations cross land bound by fences should be a goal of all ranchers. Without easy migration, herd populations can decline as the animals need a new food source each season. Lower herd numbers mean less to hunt. And less to hunt means less enjoyment of our natural resources. Ease of migration is key to protecting animal populations for hunting.

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