Wyoming Legislature’s New Laws Benefit Hunters and Fishers
Written by Andrew-Rossi on April 29, 2021
The 2021 Wyoming Legislature passed several bills making changes to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department laws and regulations that benefit Wyomingites.
The department has summarized the notable Game and Fish-related bills passed in the recent legislative session, how they will impact Wyomingites, and the next steps for implementation.
All the bills listed will go into effect on July 1, unless otherwise noted.
Hunting and fishing access – reliable funding (House Bill 122)
This bill increases the cost of the conservation stamp from $12.50 to $21.50.
The bulk of the additional funding will pay for access easements or other agreements to provide public access to difficult-to-access or inaccessible private, federal, and state lands for hunting and fishing. The remaining funds will go toward projects to improve wildlife crossings and fish passage.
This means sportspeople can anticipate more places to go hunting and fishing throughout the state.
Game roadkill (House Bill 95)
The passage of this bill allows for the Game and Fish Commission to establish a system for people to gather roadkill. It requires people to take the whole carcass – not just the head and choice cuts.
The law is effective July 1, but the rules, safety guidelines, chronic wasting disease considerations and permitting will still need to be determined by the commission and go through the public comment process before anyone can start collecting. That is slated for early in 2022.
Elk feedground – closing requirements (House Bill 101)
This bill creates new statutory language requiring an order from the Wyoming governor before
the Game and Fish department or commission can permanently cease operation or close any elk
feedground currently authorized or administered by the commission. This law is effective immediately.
Pioneer trapping license (House Bill 112)
Residents who are at least 65 and have resided in Wyoming for at least 30 years will be able to buy a pioneer trapping license for $20. The commission will draft proposed changes to Chapter 44 — Hunting regulations to accommodate this addition.
Big and trophy game – minimum age (House Bill 115)
More youth will have the opportunity to hunt this fall. With the passage of this bill, youth hunters will be able to hold a license to pursue big or trophy game animals at 11 years old if they turn 12 by the end of the calendar year. This is effective July 1, but the Game and Fish Commission will have to modify Chapter 44 — Hunting regulations to update the rules.
2021 Large funding projects (House Bill 66)
The Large Funding projects bill approves the funding for significant wildlife and habitat projects for 2021. This funding comes from the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust Fund, and several involve partnerships with Game and Fish.
Projects include wildlife crossing projects for mule deer near Dry Piney on Highway 189 and I-25 from Kaycee to Buffalo. Funding will also be directed towards invasive species projects in the Sheridan area.