A poll says that 63-percent of Wyoming residents would support a hike in hunting and fishing license fees if it meant paying to rescue the state’s many wildlife programs from a long-running fiscal crisis. 550 residents were surveyed by DFM Research of Saint Paul, Minnesota. The margin of error is five percent.
Women still only make up a small percentage of all hunters, but that number has increased significantly in recent years. Now, organizations like the Wyoming Women’s Foundation want to encourage more growth through mentorship. The group says hunting is an important way to teach self-sufficiency and economic independence. Wyoming Public Radio's Irina Zhorov tagged along on the state's inaugural Women's Antelope Hunt and filed this report.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft management plan that would allow hunting on the Cokeville-Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, in Lincoln County.
Project leader Tom Koerner says the plan is an important step toward allowing more public access to the refuge.
“This particular action is just specifically for hunting. We do have plans for—we’re completing the Comprehensive Conservation Plan now that will allow all six of the priority public uses to take place on Cokeville.”
The inaugural Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt will run from October third through the sixth.
The event in outside Sheridan hopes to promote hunting as a women’s sport and to encourage self-sufficiency. Women will team up for the hunt, with more knowledgeable hunters mentoring less experienced women.
Crystal Mayfield will be attending the hunt on a scholarship. She’s an experienced hunter, and she’s been asked to be a mentor.
The Wyoming House has passed a bill that will allow hunters to use silencers and suppressors for various types of hunting in the state. Before passing the bill, the House removed an amendment that would not have allowed silencers when hunting for big game. But Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau argued that there are plenty of protections if someone violates the law and if they misuse a silencer or a suppressor the hunter can be punished.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking state legislators to vote on two bills that would add funding to the agency in 2014. The first bill would raise license fees for hunters and anglers. The second bill would establish a raffle for big game and trophy hunts.
The Department’s Eric Keszler says they’ve already cut down their budget where they could.
Some environmental groups say they support a plan to alter bison hunting rules. The proposal by Rep. Keith Gingery of Jackson would end the once-in-a-lifetime limit on hunting cow bison and would drastically reduce the cost of nonresident licenses.
The goal is to get the bison population down to about 500, from a high of 12-hundred.
Lloyd Dorsey with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition likes the idea.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will meet this week in Casper to consider setting a hunting season for wolves for the coming fall.
The commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday in Casper. It has been holding public meetings around the state on the proposed gray wolf management hunting rules.
Seasons and license quotas for all big game species, including wild bison, will be established. In addition, the commission will set seasons for upland and early migratory birds and small game as well as turkey seasons for the fall 2012 and spring 2013 hunts.
The Game and Fish Department has drawn up a new management plan for mule deer in the Platte Valley. The herd there has been declining for some time, and the management plan is aimed at reversing that trend.
The plan includes measures to limit mule deer hunting, improve the animals’ habitat and curb predation by bears and lions.
Regional Wildlife Supervisor Rick King says currently, an unlimited number of mule deer licenses can be sold.