Closeup - Doug McWhirter

After 35 years with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, wildlife management coordinator Doug McWhirter has retired. “I’ve always considered being entrusted with managing Wyoming’s wildlife an incredible privilege and never taken that lightly,” McWhirter said in the announcement.

In the early 1990s mule deer were thriving just south of Jackson Hole, having rebounded well after a winter die-off in the ’80s. State wildlife officials were concerned about the far-ranging ungulates overwhelming winter ranges on the Wind River, Greys River and Big Piney fronts.

So the Wyoming Game and Fish Department decided to limit deer numbers, authorizing massive hunts in the Wyoming Range and Sublette mule deer herds. The department was offering as many as 3,500 doe-fawn tags in a herd unit, said Doug McWhirter, then a 27-year-old biologist.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or

Environmental Reporter

Billy Arnold has been covering the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the people who manage it since January 2022. He previously spent two years covering Teton County government, and a year editing Scene. Tips welcomed.

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(1) comment

Eric Cole

It was very interesting to read about Doug's insights from a long and productive career. Congratulations on a well-deserved retirement!

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