Laramie, Wy – Some outfitters aren't pleased about a
proposal to change the way that landowners are compensated for property damage caused by wildlife.
The state Game and Fish Department pays landowners for a variety of damage caused by wildlife, including elk that eat haystacks and bears that get into beehives.
In exchange for being compensated, landowners are required to allow hunting on their property.
Currently, those landowners are allowed to charge people to hunt on their land. But under a bill headed to the Legislature, landowners who receive compensation for wildlife damage would have to allow free public access for hunting.
Ralph Abell is an outfitter from Laramie. He says hunters should expect to have to pay for the privilege of hunting on private property.
But a sponsor of the bill, state Senator John Hanes, says the change would make more land available for hunters to pursue big