Scouting Around
Wyoming — Questions and Answers

Can I use one of the new laser sights or rangefinders for big game hunting?

Wyoming law prohibits taking wildlife with the aid of or by using artificial light or a lighting device. The intent of the law is to prohibit using a light to illuminate the animal or using an artificial light sighting device or scope. Since rangefinders do not illuminate the animal and are not used as sights, they are legal. However, scopes that use an artificial light source are illegal for hunting in Wyoming.

Question: When and what was the first Wyoming hunting license?

In 1895, nonresidents were required to buy big game licenses costing $20 for each species. The licenses were purchased from justices of the peace, with proceeds going to county treasuries. The first resident license was established in 1902. It was called a "gun license" and was required for resident hunters to buy when hunting outside their home county. It only cost $1 and covered all species.

Wyoming — Bowhunters

Bowhunters are reminded they cannot have a firearm in their possession while hunting in a special archery season or in an archery-only area.

Hunters can have firearms in camp or in their vehicle to make separate hunting trips for coyotes, sage grouse or other species, but can get a ticket if packing a firearm while archery hunting in a special archery season or archery-only season.

Bowhunters are also reminded they are required to have an archery permit to hunt in a special archery season. Archery permits, $10 for residents and $20 for nonresidents, are available at license agents and G&F regional offices.

Wyoming — Potential Fire Impacts To Hunters

Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials issued a policy Friday to deal with issues and concerns raised by wildfires and possible effects on upcoming trophy and big game hunting seasons.

By emergency regulation, signed Friday morning by Governor Jim Geringer and G&F Commission President J. Michael Powers, the G&F will allow refund of licenses if certain wildfire-caused access restrictions are in place at the start of hunting seasons.

The regulation provides an option for a 50 percent license fee refund if the majority of the limited-quota license hunting opportunity to a particular area has been lost because of government administrative action. A 100 percent license fee refund is an option if 100 percent of the hunting opportunity and access has been closed to a limited-quota hunt area.

Chief Game Warden Jay Lawson says G&F and hunters share concerns about access to hunt areas because of the wildfires.

Moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunters whose areas meet the closure criteria can also opt to turn in their licenses and reserve the same license for the 2001 hunting season. If a bighorn sheep or moose license holder requests a refund, preference points will be restored, including the year 2000 preference point, Lawson adds.

Lawson says refunds will happen only if access closures occur by the rifle-season opener or by the opener of a limited-quota archery-only season. General hunting license fees will not be refunded to either residents or nonresidents because those licenses allow hunters to move to other hunt areas.

Nonresident hunters who opt for refunds will be eligible to purchase leftover licenses. Resident hunters who opt for refunds will be eligible to purchase general or leftover licenses.

"In all instances, hunters will have five business days after the opening of the hunting season for their specific hunt areas to turn in hunting licenses and corresponding coupons for a refund," says Lawson. "Or, they’ll have five business days to carryover moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunting licenses to the 2001 hunting season."

"Our approach will, if at all possible, be to make sure hunters get into the field and have a successful fall," Lawson says.

Lawson adds that reservation of a license will be denied if the license holder has hunted on the license after the earliest regular hunting season opening date.

Lawson says some hunters may be forced to adjust their fall hunting plans, including moving their campsites and hunting in different areas. "Some animals may be displaced," he says. "We are monitoring wildlife in the fire areas and wildlife are still present. Even in areas where the fires have been the most severe, burned areas do not represent the majority of the acreage in these areas.

Lawson encourages hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts to call G&F offices for more information, including the Cheyenne headquarters at (800) 842-1934 or (307) 777-4600 (outside Wyoming). People with access to the web can find fire-related information at the G&F web site:

"We remain very concerned about the prolonged drought and the low-quality and lack of forage to help wild animals survive the upcoming winter," Lawson says.

Oregon — Grants for Archery

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently soliciting grant applications from non-profit shooting clubs and facilities (including archery clubs) seeking financial assistance to improve their facilities.

In 1989, the Oregon State Legislature authorized ODFW to make funds available for the construction and improvement of non-profit shooting and archery ranges. To be eligible, applicants must provide some public access. Potential projects include backstops, target holders, roads, parking access, classrooms or projects to provide greater access for people with disabilities.

The program is a 50-50 match program. ODFW will finance up to half of approved projects and the applicant must finance the remainder of the cost either through cash contributions or donated materials or labor.

Grant application packets may be obtained by calling (503) 872-5264 ext. 5365. Completed applications should submitted no later than Wednesday, September 20th. The grant application and additional information is available on the Internet at:

Utah — Computer Problem Makes More Available

A computer glitch kept 502 antlerless big game permits off the remaining antlerless permit list that hunters received earlier this month.

Beginning September 1, hunters may obtain these 502 permits. Permits not sold in the draw for remaining antlerless permits also will be available, beginning September 1. Results of Utah's draw for remaining antlerless permits, and a list of permits that weren't sold in the draw, will be available by August 31.

Hunters may purchase the permits from the Division of Wildlife Resources' Salt Lake City office only. Located at 1594 W. North Temple, the office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. The office will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 4.

The permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters may obtain them over-the-counter or by mailing an antlerless permit application form to the Salt Lake City office. Application forms are available from hunting and fishing license agents statewide, Division of Wildlife Resources offices and hunter education centers and the Division's Internet web site at

Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says the 502 permits that should have been included on the remaining antlerless permit list were for eight new hunts. The computer data base at Hunt Application Office, the private contractor that handles Utah's hunting draws, didn't identify the new hunts. Because the computer didn't recognize the new hunts, it didn't add the permits not already sold for the hunts to the remaining antlerless permit list.

"This mistake wasn't caught until after the list went to the public," Tutorow said. "Hunt Application Office has corrected the problem and it shouldn't happen again."

A total of 499 of the 502 permits are for doe deer hunts. The three remaining permits are for an archery elk hunt.

All of the doe deer hunts that weren't included on the list are archery, muzzleloader or shotgun hunts only. The one exception is the Cache, Logan-Millville hunt, where only archery equipment may be used.

Oregon — Comment on Deer and Elk Study

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking public review and comment on a proposal to study factors affecting deer and elk populations. The study would begin in Northeast Oregon in Dec. 2000 and in Southwest Oregon in 2002.

The study is in response to dramatic declines in deer and elk populations in some parts of the state over the past 40 years.

A scoping document that describes the need for the study and research alternatives was distributed to individuals and organizations with a demonstrated interest in wildlife management issues. Copies can also be obtained on the ODFW website at or by contacting Bruce Johnson, the study leader, at ODFW, 1401 Gekeler Lane, La Grande, OR 97850, (541) 962-6556.

Public comments on the scoping document need to be received in La Grande by September 25, 2000.

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