hunting

A recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling has broad implications for tribes in the Mountain West with historic ties to lands in Canada.

The April 23 decision affirms the rights of tribes to hunt, fish and conduct other treaty-reserved activities on traditional lands in Canada even if they aren’t citizens or residents of Canada.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Hunters and anglers are required to have a Conservation Stamp when they're in the field. Starting July 1, though, the price of Conservation Stamps will increase 72 percent from $12.50 to $21.50. The $9 increase will generate $1.6 million in additional funds for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) every year.

Hunter in the National Elk Refuge
Lori Iverson/USFWS - 2013

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) refunded $585,000 worth of licenses, permits, and stamps so far to residents and non-residents who were unable to hunt, fish, or boat in 2020. That's more than double its previous record year for refunds in 2019.

Kamila Kudelska

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.

Montana's newly-elected Republican governor violated state hunting regulations when he trapped and shot a collared wolf near Yellowstone National Park in February, according to documents obtained by the Mountain West News Bureau.


Tom Toman, RMEF

For the past couple of years, antler hunting has become very popular. In the Dubois area, Spence and Moriarity Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Kirk Inberg/Kevin Roy Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA) are no exception.

Wyoming Hunger Initiative

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has collaborated with the private company Conservation Vision on their new project: Wild Harvest Initiative. That initiative looks at the full benefits of sustainable wild animal harvests nationally.

Tom Koerner/USFWS

Every year, hunters set out in search of their quarry. Some will be successful, but inevitably, some will be unable to fill their tag, for a variety of possible reasons. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) is constantly striving to make sure that the number of tags they sold isn't one of those reasons.

NPS

A new study finds that hunting season does not trigger untimely mule deer migration in Wyoming.

Frank Schulenburg / CC BY-SA 4.0

Wild turkey hunting didn't start in the state until 1955.

But the process began in 1935, when the Wyoming Game and Fish Department traded sage grouse with New Mexico for 15 Merriam's Turkeys. There were nine hens and six toms.

Savannah Maher

 

This fall, the White Buffalo Program took a group of young tribal members to the Big Horn Mountains on the Crow reservation for a buffalo hunt.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

As part of a statewide disease monitoring plan, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) is asking hunters in certain areas to submit their animals for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing.

Courtesy of One Shot Antelope Hunt


Every September, 24 hunters gather in Lander and compete to see who can down an antelope with a single bullet. The One Shot Antelope Hunt is an 80-year-tradition with a powerful alumni list- past shooters include former Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Trump Jr., and governors of 31 states. Officially, the men who are invited to participate (women are excluded) come to shoot, hunt, and raise money for wildlife conservation. But they spend a good portion of the weekend playing Indian.

pxhere via CC0 Public Domain

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many have turned to the great outdoors in an effort to get out of their house but still stay away from people. And with more people out of work, it also helps to be able to fill the freezer. For some, stocking up on food during the pandemic means buying extra meat. For others, it means buying a hunting license and heading into the field. For Tylynn Smith from Laramie, it's her first time going hunting.

Yathin S Krishnappa via the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Hunter education is required for all hunters in Wyoming who were born after January 1, 1966. But the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's (WGFD) Hunter Mentor Program enables new hunters who haven't completed their hunter education to experience the hunt with a mentor who has taken the course.

Savannah Maher


The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is considering changes to laws and regulations surrounding trapping. This comes after some encounters that members of the public and pets have had with traps near public areas. Some want trapping near trails banned, and others say pets should always be leashed. A working group has looked into solutions. Lander Region Wildlife Supervisor Jason Hunter spoke with Bob Beck to discuss what they are proposing.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has greenlighted the expansion of hunting and fishing access to more than 2.3 million acres and 147 wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries across the nation.


Yellowstone River
National Park Service

Wyoming state park campgrounds open to residents only on May 15. Antler hunting will begin on May 1 as usual. Fishing nonresident daily and five-day licenses are under temporary suspension till May 8. No planned date to reopen Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

Elk Return to the Bay Area - KQED QUEST Flickr Set.

Friday, May 1, is the opening day of shed antler hunting season. So far restrictions on how many people can come into the area have not been enforced by state or local officials. But Teton County and the town of Jackson administrators and public health officials are asking hunters to stay at home.

A National Wildlife Federation report published this week says new oil and gas leases on public lands could harm existing hunting economies in the West.


Wyoming Game and Fish

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is offering a women only Hunter Education course in Laramie. The class will take place March 5 and 6 with a field day March 7.

New research suggests hunting cougars does not achieve state management goals of reducing conflicts between the large cats, humans and livestock.


As the Mountain West grows and hunter numbers decline, states are finding ways to bring in more revenue to fund conservation.

The holidays often mean Christmas hams, mulled wine and potato latkes. But in the Mountain West, our food occasionally comes from the forest and not the grocery store. Tom Healy is a hunter living in the small town of Wisdom, Montana. This holiday season, he tried a gamey twist on traditional, eastern European cabbage rolls, called halupkis. Check out his recipe below. 

Statewide Chronic Wasting Disease Distribution (All Species)
Wyoming Game and Fish Department

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has released a draft of its Chronic Wasting Disease management plan.

Update November 15, 2019 at 3:30p.m.:  

According to Travis Duncan with Colorado Parks and Wildlife: "The commission voted to dismiss both citizen petitions on allowing atlatls and stone broadheads for use in hunting big game at today's meeting. The Commission noted there are no quality standards on sharpness of blades, weight or design on stone projectiles which can lead to inconsistent performance and more injured animals on the landscape."

The original story continues below.

Elk
Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Shoshone Tribe has formed a committee to study and draft regulations for off-reservation hunting by tribal members. Tribal leaders announced the plan to state legislators this week during a meeting of the Select Committee on Tribal Relations.

Kamila Kudelska

In the last decade, hunting has decreased in popularity nationally. While the downward trend is not as drastic in Wyoming, the Game and Fish Department is still worried about the future. That's because hunting and fishing license fees and federal excise taxes make up about 75 percent of the commission's budget. But a First Hunt program in the Bighorn Basin hopes to stabilize that revenue.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

As hunting seasons gets underway, the Wyoming State Forestry Division wants to remind everyone to use extra caution when it comes to fire safety.

Melodie Edwards

We line up in the sagebrush with a truly distracting view of the Wind River Range visible beyond, a bunch of gals pointing arrows at a herd of targets shaped like deer, turkey, even a stegosaurus. Each animal is tacked with several colorful balloons and it's our goal to pop them.

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