Don’t be scouting game animals from your blimp

A thousand years ago, when I first went through hunter’s safety, I remember my dad grilling me on many of the Wyoming hunting and fishing laws. Check those rules frequently, because sometimes they get upgraded.

When my dad used to quiz me about the hunting regulations in Wyoming, I think he took particular delight in asking me about the more obscure rules. He knew all the rules by heart – or at least he claimed he did. And if he didn’t know them when we started, by asking me all those questions, he certainly knew them when we were done.

One of the rules he asked me about involved scouting game animals from an aircraft. Back in those days, growing up with a father who hated to fly, I figured I’d never have cause to know this rule. But the Game and Fish changed the rule a few years ago and made it a little more valid.

The law concerns flying to scout for game animals. It used to be that if you flew in any aircraft over your hunting area, you couldn’t go hunting for at least 24 hours. The part of the law that always made me chuckle was the definition of “aircraft.” It included airplanes, helicopters, gliders or dirigibles. Dirigibles? Really? Who even has a blimp, anyway?

But the rule has been changed. Now, it is illegal to use an aircraft to scout or aid in taking game animals for the entire season. There’s no longer a 24-hour time limit. The law says if you intentionally locate game animals from the air between August 1 and January 31, you can’t hunt those animals.

And the other big change to the law is the definition of aircraft. It still specifically mentions dirigibles, so at least we know the legislators have a sense of humor. But now it also includes unmanned aerial drones. So don’t use your drone to scout for game. Not only is it really annoying, it’s also now illegal.