There’s a change in the winds for Wyoming sportsmen, following the monthly meeting of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission (WGFC) in Casper this week.
Licenses for fishing, small game, game birds, and furbearers will no longer expire at the end of the calendar year; neither will conservation stamps.
Instead, the commission voted to approve 12-month licenses, in accordance with recent changes to state law that allows for licenses and conservation stamps to expire 12 months from the date of purchase.
The commission also directed Game and Fish officials to draft a hunting regulation to address fair chase and new technologies.
Under the new regulation, hunters will be allowed to use traceable arrows to better track wounded prey.
The regulation would prohibit smart rifles (rifles that lock onto a target), enhanced archery sights, and would implement a mandate that requires hunters to follow up on a shot to determine if an animal is wounded or killed, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Before the regulation is put into effect, it is still subject to public comment and must be brought before the commission for a final vote in April 2019.
The Mule Deer Initiative projects move into year four with the commission’s approval of the projects slated for 2019. Six of the state’s mule deer herds will be addressed and the projects will be geared towards enhancing over 100,000 acres of key habitat for the species.
An additional $25,000 was approved for the WGFD’s migration corridor policy to help the department evaluate existing GPS data.
The WGFD says that the research will shape future guidelines that they can use to determine the level of surface disturbance inside mule deer migration corridors, which, in turn, will guide department recommendations to land management agencies.
Strategies to better conserve ungulate migration corridors were approved and put into effect in January 2016 by the commission.