Hunters and anglers fund Wyoming wildlife conservation and management by purchasing fishing and hunting licenses, and those funds go into the Wyoming Game and Fish Department budget.
But, the number of hunters and anglers is decreasing in the state, although not as much in other places. Still, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is making efforts to recruit newcomers.
One way is through training and mentoring programs, like the ones the Cody regional department has long developed with local organizations.
And this year, there's a new program. Tara Hodges, Information and Education Specialist with Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said the Outdoor University will teach participants how to fly fish in the spring and then pheasant hunt in the fall.
"There are many barriers associated with learning how to hunt and fish," said Hodges. "And oftentimes, these programs can help a person new to the outdoors, overcome those obstacles, and learn how to do it safely and have fun doing it."
The department will also continue its participation in the Wood River Deer Hunt. That program teaches newcomers how to hunt doe white-tailed deer.
"We start off with a range day. And so we're introducing folks to firearms," said Hodges. "We start off with 22 rifles, and then step the participant up into large bore rifles."
Participants first do a simulated hunt, and then an actual hunt in the fall. The department is looking for parent-child pairs and adult women for both programs. Applications are open for both till mid April.