CHEYENNE - Big game seasons are now over in Wyoming, but the upcoming “public meeting season” that takes place every year in late winter and early spring is a very important time for the Game and Fish in preparation for the fall hunting seasons.
During the next few months the Game and Fish will be holding dozens of public meetings and open houses throughout the state. The agenda for these meetings is quite simple. Hunters can meet and talk with their local game wardens and biologists and review information on Game and Fish proposals for hunting seasons along with wildlife management strategies for different hunt areas and herd units.
Chief game warden Brian Nesvik said these meetings are the best time for hunters to get an idea of how their wildlife herds are doing and what the Game and Fish is planning for the coming season. “These meetings are not just for presenting our proposals for the coming seasons,” Nesvik said. “More importantly, these meetings provide a venue for hunters to let us know what is on their mind and what direction they would like to see the Game and Fish take in the future.”
One of the reasons Game and Fish holds so many meetings in different locations is to make it easier for those who are interested to attend.
“Wyoming is a big state and we realize that travel would make it difficult for many to get to their nearest meeting if we restricted locations to just the cities where we have Game and Fish regional offices,” Nesvik said. “While we can’t get out to every community, we hold dozens of meetings in towns across the state in hopes that all who are interested can find a meeting reasonably close to where they live.”
Nesvik emphasized that proposals presented at the meetings are just that—proposals. “We present strategies for the upcoming seasons based on harvest success, game counts, habitat, weather and other factors,” Nesvik said. “The comments we receive are presented to the Game and Fish Commission prior to their season setting meeting in April. The Commission gives careful consideration to feedback received from public meetings and their official season setting meeting prior to finalizing the proposed regulations. It isn’t uncommon for the Commission to modify season proposals based on public comment.”
Hunters who attend are not required to make comments, although that input is certainly appreciated. “Some hunters attend meetings simply because they want to get an early preview of what the Game and Fish has planned for their favorite hunt areas,” Nesvik said. “Regardless of the reason, attendance is appreciated and important.”
At this time, dates and locations of many of the meetings are still being finalized. The Game and Fish will be announcing local and regional meetings as information becomes final.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)