The Black Hills area currently boasts Wyoming's largest population of white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. Pronghorn antelope, mule deer, red squirrels and sharp-tailed grouse are also common.
Excerpts from journals of the Colonel George Custer expedition in 1874, indicated grizzly bear, elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer and beaver were common in the Hills. Antelope were also numerous and buffalo skulls dotted the surrounding plains. Timber wolves wee the most common large predator in the Hills. Coyotes were considered rare where their ranges overlapped with wolves but were abundant on the surrounding plains. Turkeys were introduced to the Black Hills in the 1930's.
All game species were severely depleted at the turn of the century by professional hunters supplying meat, furs and feathers to eastern markets. At the same time, the area was rapidly being settled and many areas were converted into irrigated cropland.
Through protective wildlife laws, strict law enforcement, game transplants and cooperative landowners participation, wildlife began to rebound during the early to mid-1900's . Surrounded by native prairies the Black Hills is a dominant feature on the prairie landscape. With wise stewardship of our land and wildlife resources, such landscapes can alway provide a home to wildlife and enjoyment by man.