JACKSON- With the big game hunting seasons getting underway across Wyoming, Game and Fish officials are reminding hunters of changes to some upcoming deer seasons in western Wyoming. Most general deer hunting seasons in the Jackson and Pinedale area will run September 15 through October 6. A significant change to most general deer seasons in the area is that they are open to buck deer only with three points or more on either antler.
With the extremely severe winter of 2016-2017, unprecedented mortality was documented in all age classes, but particularly fawns and older deer. Hunters should anticipate seeing substantially fewer deer during the 2017 hunting season.
Hunters are reminded to familiarize themselves with the hunting regulations for the species and area they plan to hunt. While most hunters follow hunting laws and regulations, occasionally some may run afoul of the law. The following is a listing of the most common violations local wildlife law enforcement officers come across every hunting season.
Elk Management Stamp – Elk hunters are reminded that an Elk Management Stamp is required to hunt those elk hunt areas associated with elk feedgrounds, which includes most hunt areas in the Jackson and Pinedale regions. Specifically, an Elk Management Stamp is required to hunt elk in Hunt Areas 70, 71, 74, 75, and 77-98. These stamps can be purchased for $12.50 at any license vendor.
Failure to Tag – Every big game, trophy game and wild turkey license has a carcass coupon attached. Each license has the tagging instructions printed on the coupon. There are four steps to properly “tag” big game, trophy game or wild turkey:
1. Detach the carcass coupon from the license.
2. Date the carcass coupon by cutting out the entire date and month of the kill.
3. Sign the carcass coupon (but not before harvest)
4. Attach the coupon to the carcass before leaving the site of the kill.
The coupon may be removed during transportation to prevent its loss, but it must be in possession of the person accompanying the carcass.
Wanton waste – Shooting an animal and leaving the meat to waste. Hunters are required to remove all edible portions of meat from their big game animal. This includes all four front and hind quarters and the loin meat along the spine.
Evidence of Gender – Many Wyoming hunting licenses require the taking of a specific sex of animal. There are also season dates in some hunt areas when only a specific sex of animal can be taken. To satisfy the proof of sex requirement the regulation states: “in areas where the taking of any big game animal is restricted to a specific sex of animal, either the visible external sex organs, head or antlers shall accompany the animal as a whole or edible portion thereof.”
Conservation Stamp – Hunters and anglers must purchase a conservation stamp to hunt and fish in Wyoming. There are exceptions for holders of a Pioneer license or a one-day license. Those individuals should refer to regulations for details.
Shooting from a Vehicle – It is illegal to take any game species from a motorized vehicle. This includes ATVs and snowmobiles. Hunters possessing a handicapped hunter permit issued by Wyoming are exempt from this requirement.
Shooting from a Public Road – It is illegal to shoot a firearm or bow from, across or along a public road. A public road is any road that is open to vehicular traffic to the public. The road surface, the area between fences on a fenced public road or highway and the area 30 feet perpendicular to the road surface on unfenced roads is considered the public road. Two-track trails on public land are not considered public roads for this purpose.
Hunting in the Wrong Area – Hunters must know the boundaries of their hunt area. BLM maps are excellent. If you have questions about the boundary, talk to your local game warden or biologist.
No Fluorescent Orange Clothing – Big game and trophy game rifle and muzzleloader hunters are required to wear one exterior garment of fluorescent orange. This also applies to archery hunters hunting during the rifle season. This could be a hat, shirt, jacket, coat, vest or sweater. Bird hunters on Game and Fish Wildlife Habitat Management Areas are also required to wear hunter orange. Fluorescent orange camouflage is legal.
Hunter Safety Card – No person born on or after January 1, 1966 may take any wildlife by the use of firearms on land other than that of his/her own family unless they possess and can exhibit a hunter safety card. All Hunters in Grand Teton National Park are required to possess a hunter safety certificate regardless of age.
Hunters are encouraged to be on the lookout for wildlife violations and report such violations to the Stop Poaching hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP or 1-877- 943-3847. Informants can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward. Hunting regulations can be obtained from any hunting and fishing license vendor. For more information you may contact the Jackson Game and Fish office at 1-800-423-4113 or the Pinedale Game and Fish office at 1-800-452-9107.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department wishes everyone a safe and successful hunting season!