The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission convened virtually this week to decide on important issues impacting Wyoming’s wildlife.
They took initial steps toward revising Wyoming’s trapping rules. To help inform decision-making, the Commission asked the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to gather information on the public’s views on trapping and develop recommendations for rule changes.
The Department embarked on a public collaborative process with trappers, recreationalists, pet owners, and conservation groups and presented that feedback at the meeting.
The Commission asked the Department to approach the Wyoming Legislature for statutory authority for the Commission, on a case by case basis, to require trapping setbacks around high-use public land areas in Wyoming as well as authority for the Commission to develop regulations requiring mandatory trapper education.
The Commission also directed the Department to draft two regulations for review, one which would restrict trapping where Game and Fish releases pheasants during hunting season; the other would limit the use of large power snares. Those two regulations would be available for public comment prior to being presented to the Commission for approval.
“Trapping is an important part of Wyoming heritage. It’s a right guaranteed to the state’s citizens through the Constitution of the State of Wyoming,” said Pete Dube, Game and Fish Commission president. “In addition to the measures we passed, the Commission supports the Department’s recommendations to develop more information to further the public’s understanding of the sport.”
These regulation revisions were spurred into early review by a local trap reform advocacy group WY Trap FREE-mont County who, along with statewide organization Wyoming Untrapped, petitioned the WGFD Commission in April 2020. Trapping regulations are reviewed every three years and were not scheduled for review until 2022.