CAMP GUERNSEY JOINT TRAINING CENTER – The natural resource staff at Camp Guernsey conducted the annual big game flight on April 7. The flight allows natural resource staff to get an annual snapshot of the number of animals in the area, as well as see how they are distributed across Camp Guernsey.
The Sikes Act is an act that provides for the conservation and management of natural resources on military installations. Managing wildlife, in coordination with Wyoming Game and Fish, is an integral part of the natural resource program at Camp Guernsey and meets the Sikes Act requirement.
"There are no big game herds that are confined to Camp Guernsey," said Amanda Thimmayya, natural resource manager for the Wyoming Military Department. "On any given day, an animal or an entire herd may be off of the training area and, therefore, wouldn't be counted."
Because the number of animals surveyed varies from year to year, it is important to do the counts annually.
"We have been doing this since 2016, and there was one year when we did not see any elk, and another year when we didn't see any pronghorn," said Thimmayya.
The single data points are not of concern when factoring in other information about the herd. The weather and season determine how active animals are during the day.
If there were substantial evidence of declining populations or evidence that the habitat was declining on Camp Guernsey, the natural resource staff would conduct further studies on the game.
In total, the survey counted 57 pronghorn antelope, 43 elk, and 53 mule deer. No whitetail deer were observed.