CHEYENNE - Every year as hunting seasons get underway, Game and Fish offices receive numerous questions about 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 their previous residence. 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 five common violations crop up every hunting season:
Failure to tag. Every big and trophy game license has a carcass coupon attached. Each license has the tagging instructions printed on the coupon. When the animal is killed, 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 it 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. Omitting any of these steps constitutes a violation.
Shooting from a vehicle. It is illegal to shoot any wildlife except predatory animals from any motorized vehicle, including off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. To fire a weapon in compliance with the law, 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 the public for vehicular traffic. 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 public roads.
Failure to retain evidence of sex. Many Wyoming licenses require the taking of a specific sex of animal. In certain hunt areas there are restrictions regarding which sex of animal may be taken during specific season dates. To satisfy the proof of sex 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 hunting 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 whether land is public or private. To request a Bureau of Land Management map showing public and private lands, call 307-775-6256. Many Wyoming sporting-goods businesses carry BLM maps for their local area. Hunters with GPS units may buy a micro SD chip (developed by HuntingGPSmaps.com) from Game and Fish (307-777-4600) that shows land status and hunter location.
Every set of regulations for each species contains information about Wyoming’s laws and regulations. Call 307-777-4600 or any Game and Fish regional office with questions.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)