William G. Hepworth

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018

William G. Hepworth contributed to the conservation of Wyoming’s wildlife for 38 years with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and served for a time as an adjunct professor at the University of Wyoming. He worked on numerous research projects while with Game and Fish; primarily with pronghorn, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep and trout species.

Hepworth grew up in Star Valley, Wyoming on a dairy farm and cattle ranch. After high school, Bill served in the Army National Guard on active duty and was a master sergeant at the time of his discharge in 1952. He began his career with Game and Fish in 1956 as a fish biologist, all the while studying for his two college degrees at the University of Wyoming; a bachelor’s in wildlife conservation and management in 1958, and a master’s in zoology in 1959, researching the ecology of two distinct brook trout populations in the Snowy Range.

As an author and co-author of several of the early publications on pronghorn in Wyoming, he assisted many of the early researchers in the design and planning of their studies, and mentored them through their research early in their careers. Game and Fish’s Fish Culture Health program was expanded under his direction. Today, Wyoming is recognized for its outstanding cultured fish disease control efforts.

Hepworth earned the moniker “Dean of Pronghorn,” participating in early efforts to trap, handle, and rear pronghorn and other big game species. He served as director of the Game and Fish Research Laboratory and director of technical research for most of his career. This included work at the Sybille Wildlife Research Unit and fish health and disease control work. He also served as Wildlife Management Coordinator for the Laramie region, and for a time in a dual role as regional supervisor.

An accomplished horseman, Hepworth trained and rode racehorses. He has been an official Boone and Crockett Club records scorer since 1962. For many years he was a 4-H club leader in the Laramie area, mentoring youth in horse projects and outdoor activities and teaching concepts related to conservation. Hepworth and his wife Marilyn were married 58 years, raising three children, Mark, Ellen and Kelly. Today, Hepworth resides in Laramie and spends much of his spare time helping others in the community through involvement with his church, volunteers in construction and remodeling, as well as in parks and recreation-related programs for the City of Laramie. The Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame is honored to induct William G. Hepworth as a member of the 2018 class.


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