Trapping Reform in Wyoming

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Game and Fish Working to Notify Public of Trapping on Management Areas, Drafting New Regulations

CASPER, Wyo — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) said Monday it is moving forward with revisions to Wyoming’s trapping rules, following recommendations approved by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission at their November meeting.

On Tuesday, the Department presented a proposal to the Wyoming Legislature’s Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources committee asking the legislature to provide the Commission authority to implement trapping regulations on two issues.

The Commission is seeking the statutory authority to, on a case by case basis, require trapping setbacks around high-use public land areas in Wyoming. It is also considering regulations requiring mandatory trapper education.

The Commission has also directed the Department to draft two regulations for review regarding two issues that are under its authority:

  • Restricted trapping where Game and Fish releases pheasants during hunting season
  • A limit on the use of large power snares

Those two regulations will be available for public comment prior to being presented to the Commission for approval, Game and Fish said.

“Game and Fish is committed to a collaborative approach to address  the full range of concerns around  trapping,” said Rick King, Game and Fish chief of wildlife.

“That includes increasing our efforts to enhance the public awareness and understanding of trapping, as well as continuing conversations about the issues associated with  trapping on public lands.”

“On the ground, Game and Fish is making strides to notify the public of trapping activities that may be occurring on the Department’s 450,000 acres of Wildlife Habitat Management Areas (WHMAs) statewide and working with other public land agencies to do the same,” said Sara DiRienzo, Game and Fish public information officer.

WHMAs are lands owned by the Commission to protect critical wildlife habitat and also allow for hunting, fishing, trapping, camping and other recreational activities in most areas.

Those signs are expected to be posted beginning in January, DiRienzo said.

Game and Fish is also working to clarify the actions the Commission did not take on trapping.

“There are no proposed changes to the Wyoming regulations for trap and snare check periods, ”King said. “While we heard feedback from our public meetings on trap check times, the Commission did not recommend any changes to those rules.”

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