By Staff 9-8,2015
Every year as hunting seasons get underway, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s offices receive numerous questions about various game laws and what hunters can and cannot do while in the field.
Some of the questions come from new residents who are not familiar with Wyoming law and how Wyoming laws may differ from other states. Most Wyoming laws are a matter of common sense, but there are some laws and regulations that are violated more frequently than others. The following is a list of five common violations that crop up every hunting season:
Failure to Tag — Every big and trophy game license has a carcass coupon attached. And each license has the tagging instructions printed on the coupon. When the animal is killed, simply detach the tag from the license and date the carcass coupon by cutting out the entire day and month of the kill. Sign the license and attach to the carcass before leaving the site of the kill. The coupon may be removed during transportation to prevent its loss, but it must be in possession of the person accompanying the carcass. You must detach, sign, and date the tag to comply with the tagging regulation. If any one of these is omitted, then a violation has occurred.
Shooting from a Vehicle — Simply put, it is illegal to shoot any wildlife except animals defined as a predator in state law (coyotes, skunks, etc) from any motorized vehicle. This includes off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. To legally fire a weapon, a person must be out of the vehicle. Hunters holding a handicapped hunter permit are exempt from this requirement.
Shooting from a Road — It is illegal to shoot or attempt to kill any wildlife from any public road or highway. No person shall fire any firearm from, along, or across any public road or highway. A public road is defined as any road that is open to vehicular traffic to the public. The road surface, the area between fences on a fenced public road or highway, and the area 30 feet perpendicular to the road surface on unfenced public roads is considered the public road. Two-track trails on public land are not defined as public roads.
Failure to Retain Evidence of Gender — Many Wyoming licenses require the taking of a specific sex of animal. There are also season dates in different hunt areas when only a specific sex of animal can be taken. To satisfy the proof of gender requirement the regulation states: “in areas where the taking of any big game animal is restricted to a specific sex of animal, either the visible external sex organs, head, or antlers shall accompany the animal as a whole or edible portion thereof.”
Trespass — Wyoming law states that no person shall enter private land to hunt, fish, or trap without written permission from the landowner or person in charge of the property. The license must bear the signature of the landowner or agent of the landowner on whose property the hunting is taking place or legitimate proof that permission to hunt has been granted. It is the responsibility of hunters to know if the land is public or private. To assist in this, the Bureau of Land Management has maps showing public and private lands. Maps can be obtained from the BLM by calling 307- 775-6256. Many Wyoming sporting goods businesses also carry BLM maps for their local area. For hunters with GPS units a micro SD chip is available from the Game and Fish (307-777-4600) that shows land status and hunter location.
Wyoming laws and regulations can be found in every set of regulations for each species. Persons with questions on these or any other Game and Fish laws and regulations can call 307- 777-4600 or any Game and Fish regional office.