Once in awhile, everyone makes a mistake. But the Wyoming Game and Fish Department wants to help hunters avoid the common mistakes that may put them afoul of the law.
"The type of hunting violations stays pretty consistent from year to year," said Russ Pollard, G&F enforcement coordinator. "Although some violations are blatantly intentional such as overlimit or a nonresident buying a resident license, many violations are out of ignorance because a hunter didn't read the regulations. We want to help hunters stay in compliance with the laws and regulations."
Wyoming's top 10 hunting violations are:
1) Tagging Violations... These violations range from forgetting to sign your license in the excitement of having just bagged a big game animal, to a "slick license" where the hunter intentionally omits all the tagging procedure with the hope of using the license again. Hunters are reminded that detailed tagging instructions are printed on each big game license.
2) Shooting From a Public Road... It is illegal to shoot from or across a public road when hunting or target shooting. That includes the shoulder and borrow pit. If the road is fenced, a hunter must be on the other side of the fence before shooting. If the road is not fenced, the hunter must be past the borrow pit.
3) Failure to Retain Evidence of Gender on Big Game Animal... Some licenses and hunt areas require a specific gender be harvested. When there are gender restrictions, the head or sex organs must be attached to the carcass.
4) Hunting in Wrong Area... For example: A general license is only valid in general license areas and cannot be legally used in limited quota areas. A limited quota license is only valid for the area or areas listed and no others.
5) Hunting Without Hunter Education Certification... Wyoming law requires all hunters born after 1965 to have passed a certified hunter education course. Hunters must carry their hunter education card with them.
6) False Oath... When a nonresident purchases resident licenses.
7) Trespassing... Hunters must have permission to enter private land in Wyoming, even if the intent is to just cross the private land to reach public land. In Wyoming, private property does not have to be posted to deny access.
8) Wanton Destruction... Shooting an animal and leaving it to waste. The most common occurrence of this deplorable act is a hunter who "high grades" or abandons a big game animal wanting one with larger antlers.
9) Failure to Wear Fluorescent Orange... For whatever reason, some big game hunters still refuse to wear fluorescent orange. Wyoming has a flexible hunter orange law compared to many states. In Wyoming, hunters must visibly wear a fluorescent orange vest/coat, hat or both. Camouflage hunter orange patterns are allowed.
10) Failure to Purchase Conservation Stamp... In addition to the license, all hunters, except Pioneer License holders, must purchase a $5 conservation stamp.
Pollard reminds hunters all pertinent laws governing hunting are printed in the regulations for each species. "But some regulations may seem confusing, so please contact your local game warden or Game and Fish regional office if you have a question," Pollard said.