Regional Offices > Green River Region > Green River Region News > Neil Hymas retires from Game and Fish

Neil Hymas retires from Game and Fish

March 23, 2020
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GF 34 dedicated his life-long career to conserving wildlife and serving people.

Green River - Cokeville Game Warden Neil Hymas is trading in his saddle and his “green truck” for his next adventure in life; retirement. Hymas, known by his radio call number of GF-34, has dedicated his life-long career to conserving wildlife and serving people. He says his wildlife experiences and the friends he has made, in the Department and throughout the state, have been truly gratifying.

Hymas began his career with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in June of 1979 with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Team, trapping grizzly bears in Cody.  In September, he was hired as a game warden trainee and worked in Glenrock, Kaycee and Alcova.  In 1981, he was promoted to a district game warden position in Wheatland and transferred to Cokeville in 1985.  Hymas was nominated for several awards in his career including Game and Fish Employee of the Year in 1987, Game Warden of the year by the Wyoming Game Wardens Association in 1997, 2005 and 2007, and the Green River Region’s Peer Recognition Award in 2010.  Hymas, an avid bear and lion hunter, also served as the Green River Trophy Game and Damage Coordinator and was a member of the statewide Wildlife Human Attack Response Team.

Warden Hymas was involved with numerous regional and statewide projects beyond those duties normally assigned to a district game warden.  He was the Department’s representative in drafting the conservation and hunting plans for Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and served as a key member of the department’s Wyoming Range Mule Deer Initiative Team.  Hymas also contributed significantly to Department efforts regarding the Nugget Canyon Mule Deer Connectivity Project and has spent a significant amount of his career taking this project from conception in the 1980’s to reality.  This was truly a monumental undertaking resulting in thousands of deer and other wildlife that can now safely migrate underneath the highway.

Hymas served on several internal Department committees, including those addressing interstate game tag regulations and antler collection.  He also effectively addressed several challenges, such as elk management, elk damage and commingling with livestock, and disturbance of wintering wildlife.  Hymas regularly battled for access and has ensured sportsmen access was maintained in areas threatened by land ownership changes. He was quick to defend the rights of sportsmen and looked for ways to increase sportsmen opportunities at all times.  Hymas understood the importance of education and recruitment of new hunters and anglers.  Throughout his career, he taught numerous education programs in the community and schools, including hunter safety.

When it came to law enforcement, Hymas was persistent, yet fair.  He used his knowledge of wildlife in his warden district and keen interviewing skills to consistently make big cases.  “Neil was known by sportsmen as a game warden that would not rest until the case was solved,” said Green River Regional Wildlife Supervisor Todd Graham.  “Neil taught several of us how to see an investigation through, from an initial report to prosecution in the courts.  He was the epitome of a traditional game warden who was knowledgeable in all aspects of the job and served as a mentor to many by sharing that knowledge with others. Throughout his career, Neil served as a role model for several people throughout the state, both within and outside the Department.  His achievements will benefit Wyoming’s wildlife and people long after his retirement.”

According to Green River Wildlife Management Coordinator Mark Zornes, Hymas has always been a team player who put the Departments’ needs before his own.  “Neil’s can-do attitude and work ethic was a model for all employees and reflected very positively not only on Neil, but on the Game and Fish as a whole,” Zornes said. “Neil has always been an extremely well-rounded district game warden and was as much a population and habitat biologist as he was a game warden. He was quick to offer good insights and projects that benefited a host of wildlife species, both game and nongame, terrestrial and aquatic. Given his long list of contributions to Wyoming’s wildlife, its sportsmen and the Department, Neil Hymas rides out of here as a champion of wildlife and one heck of a game warden.”

Hymas and his wife Betty plan on enjoying their kids and grandkids and sticking around Cokeville. Neil says that he recognizes and appreciates the dedication of the employees that manage Wyoming’s wildlife resource and hopes to spend more time in the future enjoying the fruits of their labor.


- WGFD -

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