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Laws and Regulations
AGE RESTRICTIONS

The minimum age to take any big or trophy game animal is 12 years.

ARCHERY HUNTING

No person shall hunt big or trophy game with bow and arrow or crossbow during a special archery hunting season without first obtaining an archery license and the appropriate hunting license. Archers must abide by the regulations established for the special archery season and the regular hunting season. Archery equipment and legal firearms as deemed by law may be used to hunt game during all hunting seasons except where Wyoming Game and Fish Commission regulations specify otherwise. As of 2007, it is lawful for an archer to have a firearm in possession while hunting during special archery seasons and in archery only areas. No special archery license is required for hunting game birds or small game with archery equipment; however, archers must first obtain the proper hunting license for the species to be hunted.

Archery equipment that is legal for the taking of big or trophy game animals.

• For the taking of antelope, big horn sheep, black bear, deer, mountain goat, mountain lion, or gray wolf where designated as a trophy game animal, a hunter shall use a longbow, recurve bow or compound bow of not less than forty (40) pounds draw weight and an arrow equipped with a broadhead or expanding point designed to have a minimum cutting width of one (1) inch after impact.

• For the taking of elk, grizzly bear or moose, a hunter shall use a longbow, recurve bow or compound bow of not less than fifty (50) pounds draw weight and an arrow equipped with a broadhead or expanding point designed to have a minimum cutting width of one (1) inch after impact.

• For the taking of any big or trophy game animal with a crossbow, a hunter shall use a crossbow having a peak draw weight of at least ninety (90) pounds and a bolt of at least sixteen (16) inches in length equipped with a broadhead or expanding point designed to have a minimum cutting width of one (1) inch after impact.

• For the taking of game birds, any archery equipment may be used.

CHECK STATIONS

Every hunter or fisherman entering or leaving areas for which check stations have been established shall stop and report at the check station if the check station is on the hunter's or fisherman's route to and from the hunting or fishing area, even if you have not harvested an animal.

CLOTHING REQUIREMENTS

All big or trophy game hunters must wear a hat, shirt, jacket, coat, vest, or sweater of a fluorescent orange color in a visible manner. Licensed archery hunters during the special archery seasons, and licensed archery hunters hunting in limited quota archery only or limited quota archery or legal muzzle loading firearm seasons are not required to wear fluorescent orange. The wearing of fluorescent orange clothing while hunting small game and game birds is recommended as a safety measure and is required when hunting pheasants on department wildlife habitat management areas (a pheasant management stamp is also needed when hunting these department management areas).

CONFISCATION

Wildlife taken unlawfully may be seized and may be permanently confiscated.

CONSERVATION STAMP

Each sportsman licensed to hunt or fish in Wyoming, except Pioneer license holders, those who purchase resident or nonresident daily fishing licenses, resident or nonresident daily game bird/small game licenses, furbearer permits, special limited fishing permits for hospitalized veterans and residents of state institutions and court-placed children, must purchase a single conservation stamp, which will be valid for one calendar year. The stamp must be in immediate possession while engaged in the act of hunting or fishing. Conservation Stamps may be purchased from Game and Fish Department offices and license-selling agencies throughout the state. A lifetime conservation stamp may be purchased from the department's headquarters office in Cheyenne.

DUPLICATE LICENSES

Duplicate licenses are available at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Cheyenne headquarters office, regional offices, or from district game wardens.

DUPLICATE HUNTER EDUCATION CARDS

Duplicate HE CARDS can be generated from the WGFD website for free; or are available at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Cheyenne headquarters office, regional offices, or from district game wardens for a $5.00 fee.

HUNTER SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

No person born on or after January 1, 1966, may apply for and receive any Wyoming hunting license, nor take any wildlife by the use of firearms on land other than that of his/her own family, unless the person possesses and can exhibit a hunter safety certificate.

IT IS ILLEGAL TO:

• shoot or attempt to kill any wildlife from, upon, along or across any public road or highway. This includes any roadway that is publicly maintained or privately maintained but open to public vehicle traffic, the area on fenced public road or highway or the road surface, and an area thirty (30) feet perpendicular to the road surface on an unfenced public road or highway. Two-track trails on public lands are not public roads.

• Sell or barter, or obtain by sale or barter, edible portions of any game animal, game bird, or game fish.

• Use dogs to hunt, run or harass any big game animal, trophy game animal, protected animal, or furbearing animal, as provided by Title 23, Wyoming Statutes. Wyoming statute allows the use of dogs to hunt mountain lions and bobcats.

• Use motor vehicle, aircraft, or over-the-snow vehicle to pursue any wildlife, except predatory animals.

• Shoot any wildlife, except predatory animals, from a vehicle.

• Take and leave, abandon or allow any game bird, game fish, or game animal, or edible portions, to intentionally or needlessly go to waste. Meat from trophy game animals may be abandoned.

• Leave a big game animal or game bird at a meat processing plant for more than 45 days.

• It is a violation of federal law to transport illegally taken wildlife across state lines.

LEGAL FIREARMS

Wyoming has no restrictive laws concerning firearms that may be legally possessed. They may be carried uncased in vehicles although safety dictates that all firearms in a vehicle should be unloaded with action open.

Firearms, muzzle-loaders, and cartridges that are legal for the taking of big or trophy game animals.

For the taking of bighorn sheep, elk, moose, mountain goat, black bear, or grizzly bear by the use of a firearm, a hunter shall use:

• Any center-fire firearm of at least .24 caliber and firing a cartridge of at least two (2) inches in overall length, or any other cartridge of at least .35 caliber and at least one and one-half (1.5) inches in overall length, or a cartridge that generally delivers at least five hundred (500) foot pounds of impact at one hundred (100) yards; and using a lead or expanding point bullet; or,

• Any muzzle-loading rifle or any muzzle-loading handgun of at least .40 caliber and firing a lead or expanding point bullet using a charge of at least fifty (50) grains of black powder or its equivalent; or,

• Any shotgun firing "00" or larger buckshot, or a slug.

For the taking of antelope, deer, mountain lion, or gray wolf where designated as a trophy game animal, a hunter shall use:

• Any center-fire firearm of at least .22 caliber and having a bullet weight of at least sixty (60) grains and firing a cartridge at least two (2) inches in overall length, or any other cartridge of at least .35 caliber and at least one and one-half (1.5) inches in overall length, or a cartridge that generally delivers at least five hundred (500) foot pounds of impact at one hundred (100) yards; and using a lead or expanding point bullet; or,

• Any muzzle-loading rifle or any muzzle-loading handgun of at least .40 caliber and firing a lead or expanding point bullet using a charge of at least fifty (50) grains of black powder or its equivalent; or

• Any shotgun firing "00" or larger buckshot, or a slug.

Firearms and cartridges that are legal for the taking of game birds.

For the taking of game birds, excluding wild turkey, blue grouse and ruffed grouse, a hunter shall use:

• Any center-fire or muzzle loading shotgun not larger than a ten (10) gauge plugged to admit no more than one shell in the chamber and two (2) shells in the magazine; or

• For the taking of wild turkey, a hunter shall use any shotgun, center-fire firearm, .22 magnum or .17 HMR rimfire firearm, any muzzle-loader, or any archery equipment.

• Blue grouse and ruffed grouse may be taken with a projectile fired by any weapon.

LIMITED QUOTA LICENSE HOLDERS

Hunters who obtain limited quota licenses are confined to hunting in the area for which they have a limited quota license unless information in the hunting regulations specifically allows the use of such licenses in other areas.

PERMISSION TO HUNT, FISH, OR TRAP

The resident’s or nonresident’s license must bear the signature of the landowner, lessee, or agent of the owner on whose private property he/she is hunting, fishing or trapping, or legitimate proof of evidence that permission to hunt, fish or trap has been granted. Remember that hunting, fishing or trapping is a privilege and not a right. Respect the rights of landowners. Obtain permission before entering private property.

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS

To qualify for a resident game and fish license, a person shall be domiciled and physically reside in Wyoming for one (1) full year immediately preceding the date the person applies for the license. Additionally, the person must not claim residency elsewhere for any purpose during the previous year. Each person must establish his or her residency independently. A person is considered "domiciled" if he/she physically resides in Wyoming, intends on making Wyoming his/her permanent home, is not residing in Wyoming for a special or temporary purpose, has abandoned domicile in all other states and has physically resided in Wyoming for one (1) year immediately preceding the date of application. Neither property ownership nor a Wyoming mailing address is sufficient evidence of domicile. Domicile is established and maintained by the total intent and actions of a person. Residence may be maintained when a person is absent from Wyoming for a temporary or special purpose such as for employment, education, and travel of a short period of time.

A resident is also any active member, the spouse or minor child of any active member of the Armed Forces of the United States who has been stationed in Wyoming for ninety (90) days, so long as the member remains stationed in Wyoming. A Wyoming resident who enters the military from Wyoming maintains resident status if he/she declares Wyoming as his/her home of record, maintains Wyoming voting registration, is on active duty, and does not claim residency elsewhere. Military personnel who establish residency by being domiciled in Wyoming for one year, then change their home of record to Wyoming, retain residency as long as they make no claim of residency for any purpose in any other state except military hunting or fishing privileges that might be allowed in that state.

RIGHT TO SEARCH

Any authorized officer may search, without warrant, any camp, camp outfit, pack, pack outfit, pack animal, motor vehicle, boat, wagon, or trailer for any wildlife which he/she has probable cause to believe was taken or is possessed unlawfully.

SHIPPING GAME ANIMALS OUT OF STATE

All game animals that are harvested by either a resident or nonresident and shipped or transported across the state line must be accompanied by the licensee in possession of the proper coupon. In the event that the licensee cannot accompany the game animal across the state line, an interstate game tag affidavit must be filled out and a game tag issued prior to shipment or transportation. No more than 25 pounds of game meat from each animal harvested by a resident may be shipped or transported from the state unless accompanied by the resident licensee. All meat shipped or transported by other than the licensee must be accompanied by a Wyoming interstate game tag.

SHIPPING GAME ANIMALS WITHIN WYOMING

No person shall ship, transport, or receive for shipment or transportation within Wyoming, any game animal, game bird, or any part thereof unless tagged with a Wyoming interstate game tag, or unless transportation is by a person in possession of a proper license.

TAKE

"Take" means hunt, pursue, catch, capture, shoot, fish, seine, trap, kill, or possess.

TAGGING

When any big game animal, trophy game animal, or wild turkey is killed under a license, the licensee shall detach, sign, and date the proper coupon and attach to the carcass before leaving the site of kill. The coupon shall remain on the game animal or wild turkey carcass at all times until the meat undergoes processing, or on the trophy game animal hide until it reaches the hunter’s home or a taxidermist. Exception: during transportation of the carcass or hide, the coupon maybe removed to present its loss. If the coupon is removed for the transportation of the carcass or hide, it must be in possession of the person accompanying the carcass or hide at all times.

Example of carcass tag:

USE OF ARTIFICIAL LIGHT

It is illegal to take any wildlife with the aid of or by using an artificial light or lighting device except that predators may be taken with the aid of an artificial light or lighting device by:

• A public officer authorized to control predators;

• A landowner, resident manager or person with the landowner's or a resident manager's written permission, on land under the landowner's control for the protection of his/her property;

• It is prima facie evidence of a violation if a person uses artificial light in any area which may be inhabited by wildlife while having in his/her possession and control any device for the taking of wildlife.

• Hunting of raccoon is permitted with the aid of a hand light providing the hunter is accompanied by a raccoon hunting dog. If hunting on private lands, written permission of the landowner or his/her agent is required.

VEHICLE

Sportsmen are advised that many areas of national forest, national resource, and other public lands are subject to travel and vehicle use limitations for resource protection. Maps and additional information on these limitations are available at U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other agency offices near these public lands.

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The Wyoming Game and Fish Department receives federal financial assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the U.S. Department of Interior and its bureaus, discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex (in educational programs). If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility, or if you desire information, please write to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Diversity and Civil Rights programs, External Programs, 4040 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 30, Arlington, VA 22203.

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