(Casper, Wyo.) –  A Casper man was recently fined $220 for trespassing and ordered to pay $4,000 restitution to the Wyoming Game and Fish Access YES Fund following an incident where he trespassed while taking his son hunting for his first mule deer.

The man was trespassing on the Duncan Ranch Hunter Management Area near Glenrock when his son shot a mule deer buck. Although the son was not charged, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department would like to remind hunters how important ethics are.

“We want all hunters to have a great experience and to learn the ethical way to hunt,” says Gary Boyd, Glenrock game warden. “Rules and regulations are in place to help protect the wildlife populations and it isn’t fair to other hunters when people violate those rules.”

The Duncan Ranch Hunter Management Area where the hunters trespassed only allows permission slips for five deer hunters each season making the draw odds extremely low.

Access for hunters is quickly becoming a challenge across Wyoming, which is why Game and Fish works with private landowners to allow public hunting access on their private land. When hunters continually violate the rules and abuse the land, landowners may, and often do, remove themselves from the program. “The Private Land Public Wildlife program works hard across the state to find areas for people to hunt and it only takes one incident to make landowners remove themselves from the program,” stated Matt Withroder, access coordinator. “In recent years landowners have closed their lands to hunting due to problems with property damage, gates being left open, driving off-road and other hunter-related inconveniences, and if cases like this continue, we will lose more places to hunt.”

The Duncan Ranch Hunter Management Area is a unique portion of State Land that is managed by the Office of State Lands and Investments and the Wyoming State Land Board. The Office of State Lands has enrolled the Duncan Ranch into the Private Land Public Wildlife program to help manage hunter access and manage wildlife. Withroder adds, “Please respect the land, landowner and wildlife because it is a privilege for sportsman to hunt and fish these lands.”

“We hope this young hunter and his father will learn from this experience and go on to make ethical hunting choices,” says Boyd.

–Wyoming Game & Fish Department