Thanks to a bill passed in the last budget session, it may soon be legal to use artificial light and out-of-state live bait when fishing in Wyoming. Dave Zafft with Wyoming Game and Fish says its long been against the rules to use lights to draw fish to the lure. Now it could be allowed for nearly all kinds of fishing.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has received $50,000 from the Mule Deer Foundation to help with mule deer habitat improvements in the Platte Valley.
Mule deer numbers in the Platte Valley have been declining for decades, and Tom Ryder with Game and Fish says one of the reasons is that their habitat has deteriorated. That’s due to human development, fire management practices, and other factors.
Ryder says they’re considering a wide range of habitat improvement projects.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved a number of budget cuts that will help the agency deal with a seven million dollar shortfall. A number of citizens expressed concern about the budget reductions fearing that they will negatively affect both wildlife and recreation.
Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott says they dropped education programs, eliminated or froze 21 positions, and addressed two key areas.
Pinedale singer-songwriter Jared Rogerson has been influenced as a musician from 17 years of bronc’ riding in rodeos. He’s also explored thousands of miles in the remote Wyoming backcountry as a brucellosis biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. His new album, Dirt, was released April 17.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is proposing sweeping cuts to make up for an $8- to $10 million budget shortfall.
Game and Fish plans to reduce fish stocking by 20 percent, cancel its annual hunting and fishing expo, and cut educational programming for kids. Spokesman Eric Keszler says they’ll also reduce funding for research by about 50 percent, which he says would be a blow to wildlife managers.
“Research is a very important part of managing wildlife,” Keszler said. “Understanding how wildlife uses the habitat and things like that are very important.”
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 Game and Fish Department could see a 10-million-dollar budget shortfall by 2014, largely because it has been selling fewer hunting and fishing licenses. Licenses account for 46-percent of the agency’s income.
Game and Fish will hold a meeting Thursday/tomorrow night in Cheyenne to discuss its fiscal future. Spokesperson Mark Konishi says the public will have a chance to weigh in on possible alternative funding sources for the future.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says that it’s wolf management plan would reduce wolves from around 350 down to about 200 in the first year.
Some of this would be done by hunting.
State Game Warden Brian Nesbit says the state needs to maintain ten breeding pairs and 100 wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park and he says the state will take a conservative approach in reducing the population to avoid risking wolves getting put back on the endangered species list.
Nesbit says wolf hunting will be strictly monitored to maintain the necessary population.