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Wyoming

West's Wyoming Statutes Annotated. Title 23. Game and Fish. Chapter 1. Administration. Article 1. General Provisions.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: WY ST 23-1-101 to 109

Citation: W. S. 1977 23-1-101 to 109


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 09/2013

Summary:  

This section of Wyoming statutes states that all wildlife in the state is considered the property of the state.  It further provides that there is no private ownership of live animals classified in this act as big or trophy game animals. “Exotic species” means any wild animals, including amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, crustaceans or birds not found in a wild, free or unconfined status in Wyoming. This section also contains the management laws for delisted gray wolves that were repealed in 2012



Statute in Full:

 [Link to administrative regulation - Section 5. Importation/Possession Permit Required For Live Wildlife (WY ADC GAME HUNT Ch. 10 s 5)]

 

§ 23-1-101. Definitions of wildlife

§ 23-1-102. General definitions

§ 23-1-103. Ownership of wildlife; purpose of provisions

§ 23-1-104. Federal game preserves also state preserves

§ 23-1-105. Migratory bird refuge in Seedskadee area

§ 23-1-106. Migratory bird refuge in Bear river area

§ 23-1-107. Residency for obtaining game and fish licenses

§ 23-1-108. Delisting of gray wolves as experimental, nonessential population, endangered species or threatened species

§ 23-1-109. Repealed by Laws 2012, ch. 25, § 2, eff. March 7, 2012

 

 

§ 23-1-101. Definitions of wildlife

(a) As used in this act:

(i) “Big game animal” means antelope, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, moose or mountain goat;

(ii) “Exotic species” means any wild animals, including amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, crustaceans or birds not found in a wild, free or unconfined status in Wyoming;

(iii) “Furbearing animal” means badger, beaver, bobcat, marten, mink, muskrat or weasel;

(iv) “Game bird” means grouse, partridge, pheasant, ptarmigan, quail, wild turkey and migratory game birds;

(v) “Game fish” means bass, catfish, crappie, grayling, burbot, northern pike, perch, salmon, sauger, sunfish, trout, walleye or whitefish unless the species is otherwise designated by the commission in specific waters through rule and regulation;

(vi) “Migratory game bird” means all migratory game birds defined and protected under federal law;

(vii) “Predacious bird” means English sparrow and starling;

(viii) “Predatory animal” means:

(A) Coyote, jackrabbit, porcupine, raccoon, red fox, skunk or stray cat; and

(B) Until the date gray wolves are removed from the list of experimental nonessential population, endangered species or threatened species in Wyoming as provided by W.S. 23-1-108, “predatory animal” includes wolves. After that date, “predatory animal” shall include any gray wolf within areas of the state where the state of Wyoming has jurisdiction for wildlife management, but not within an area of the state in which the gray wolf is:

(I) Designated as a trophy game animal under subdivision (xii)(B)(I) or (II) of this subsection.

(II) Repealed by Laws 2012, ch. 25, § 2, eff. March 7, 2012.

(ix) “Protected animal” means black-footed ferret, fisher, lynx, otter, pika or wolverine;

(x) “Protected bird” means migratory birds as defined and protected under federal law;

(xi) “Small game animal” means cottontail rabbit or snowshoe hare, and fox, grey and red squirrels;

(xii) “Trophy game animal” means:

(A) Black bear, grizzly bear or mountain lion; and

(B) From and after the date gray wolves are removed from the list of experimental nonessential population, endangered species or threatened species in Wyoming as provided by W.S. 23-1-108:

(I) “Trophy game animal” shall include any gray wolf within those tracts of land within the following described area: northwest Wyoming beginning at the junction of Wyoming Highway 120 and the Wyoming-Montana state line; southerly along Wyoming Highway 120 to the Greybull River; southwesterly up said river to the Wood River; southwesterly up said river to the Shoshone National Forest boundary; southerly along said boundary to the Wind River Indian Reservation boundary; westerly, then southerly along said boundary to the Continental Divide; southeasterly along said divide to the Middle Fork of Boulder Creek; westerly down said creek to Boulder Creek; westerly down said creek to the Bridger-Teton National Forest boundary; northwesterly along said boundary to its intersection with U.S. Highway 189-191; northwesterly along said highway to the intersection with U.S. Highway 26-89-191; northerly along said highway to Wyoming Highway 22 in the town of Jackson; westerly along said highway to the Wyoming-Idaho state line; north along said state line to the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park; east and north along said boundary to the Wyoming-Montana state line; then east along said state line to Wyoming Highway 120;

(II) “Trophy game animal” shall include any gray wolf located, from October 15 through the last day of February in the subsequent year, within the following described area: beginning at the boundary described in subdivision (B)(I) of this paragraph, where the Bridger-Teton National Forest boundary intersects U.S. Highway 189-191 at Hoback Rim; westerly and then southerly along said forest boundary to its intersection with USFS Road 10125 (McDougal Gap Road); westerly along said road to USFS Road 10138 (Grey's River Road); southerly along said road to Sheep Creek; westerly down said creek to Grey's River; southwesterly up said river to Bear Creek; southwesterly up said creek to the hydrographic divide between Bear Creek and Willow Creek; west from said divide to USFS Road 10080 (Willow Creek Road); northwesterly along said road to Lincoln County Road 123; southerly along said road to USFS Road 10081 (Grover Park Road); southerly then westerly along said road to Lincoln County Road 172; westerly along said road to the junction with Wyoming Highway 237; westerly along said highway to Wyoming Highway 238; southerly along said highway to Lincoln County Road 134; westerly along said road to the Wyoming-Idaho state line; north along said state line to Wyoming Highway 22 where the boundary described in this subdivision will rejoin the boundary described in subdivision (B)(I) of this paragraph.

(xiii) “Wildlife” means all wild mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans and mollusks, and wild bison designated by the Wyoming game and fish commission and the Wyoming livestock board within Wyoming.

(b) Repealed by Laws 2012, ch. 25, § 2, eff. March 7, 2012.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1939, ch. 65, § 2; Laws 1943, ch. 112, § 1; Laws 1957, ch. 45, §§ 1, 2; Laws 1957, ch. 178, §§ 2, 3; Laws 1959, ch. 89, § 1; Laws 1965, ch. 45, §§ 1, 2; Laws 1965, ch. 184, §§ 4, 5; Laws 1973, ch. 249, § 1; Laws 1979, ch. 63, § 2; Laws 1979, ch. 140, § 1; Laws 1989, ch. 23, § 2; Laws 2003, ch. 115, § 2, eff. March 4, 2003; Laws 2007, ch. 168, § 3, eff. July 1, 2007; Laws 2009, ch. 169, § 1, eff. March 11, 2009; Laws 2012, ch. 25, §§ 1, 2, eff. March 7, 2012; Laws 2013, ch. 80, § 1, eff. Feb. 27, 2013.

Codifications: C.S. 1945, § 47-102; W.S. 1957, § 23-1; Rev. W.S. 1957, § 23.1-1.

 

§ 23-1-102. General definitions

(a) As used in this act:

(i) “Commission” means the game and fish commission of Wyoming;

(ii) “Commissioner” means a member of the commission;

(iii) “Department” means the Wyoming game and fish department;

(iv) “Director” means the director of the department;

(v) “Orders” means orders, rules and regulations;

(vi) “License” means license or permit;

(vii) “Take” means hunt, pursue, catch, capture, shoot, fish, seine, trap, kill, or possess, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, shoot, fish, seine, trap, kill, or possess;

(viii) “Person” means an individual, partnership, corporation, company, any other type of association, and any agent or officer of any partnership, corporation, company, or other type of association;

(ix) “Resident” means a United States citizen or legal alien who meets the requirements specified in W.S. 23-1-107 and rules of the commission;

(x) “Nonresident” means any person not a resident;

(xi) “State” means the state of Wyoming unless otherwise indicated;

(xii) The singular includes the plural, the plural the singular, and the masculine the feminine or neuter when consistent with the intent of this act and necessary to effect its purpose;

(xiii) “This act” means W.S. 23-1-101 through 23-6-208 and any future amendments thereto;

(xiv) “Commercial operation or business” means professional guides, outfitters, fur dealers, domesticators of furbearing animals, tanners, taxidermists, game bird farms, fishing preserves, commercial fish hatcheries, seiners, or dealers in live bait;

(xv) “Domicile” means that place where a person has his true, fixed and permanent home to which whenever the person is temporarily absent the person has the intention of returning. To prove domicile in Wyoming under this act a person shall be able to establish that he:

(A) Physically resides in Wyoming;

(B) Has made his permanent home in Wyoming;

(C) Is not residing in Wyoming for a special or temporary purpose; and

(D) Has abandoned his domicile in all other states, territories or countries.

(xvi) “Livestock” means horses, mules and asses, rabbits, llamas, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry, or other animal generally used for food or in the production of food or fiber, and guard animals actively engaged in the protection of livestock. Bison are considered livestock unless otherwise designated by the Wyoming livestock board and the commission;

(xvii) “Home of record” means the place recorded, on military form DD 214, as the home of the individual at the time he enlisted, was commissioned or initially ordered to active duty in the military. The home of record may be changed only if there has been a break in service of one (1) full day;

(xviii) “Electronic licensing” means a system for the issuance of licenses, stamps and tags as an alternative to issuing original paper licenses, stamps and tags. An electronic licensing system is a system in which the license, stamp or tag, or authorization therefor, is received through a point of sale terminal or through a computer.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1973, ch. 249, § 1; Laws 1979, ch. 50, § 1; Laws 1989, ch. 24, § 1; Laws 1991, ch. 254, § 1; Laws 1996, ch. 121, § 2, eff. July 1, 1996; Laws 1998, Sp. & Bud. Sess., ch. 83, § 2, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 2000, ch. 48, § 2, eff. March 13, 2000; Laws 2003, ch. 115, § 2, eff. March 4, 2003; Laws 2004, ch. 124, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2005; Laws 2006, ch. 9, § 1, eff. March 8, 2006.


 

§ 23-1-103. Ownership of wildlife; purpose of provisions

For the purpose of this act, all wildlife in Wyoming is the property of the state. It is the purpose of this act and the policy of the state to provide an adequate and flexible system for control, propagation, management, protection and regulation of all Wyoming wildlife. There shall be no private ownership of live animals classified in this act as big or trophy game animals or of any wolf or wolf hybrid.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1939, ch. 65, § 1; Laws 1973, ch. 249, § 1; Laws 1975, ch. 83, § 1; Laws 2003, ch. 115, § 2, eff. March 4, 2003.

Codifications: C.S. 1945, § 47-101; W.S. 1957, § 23-2; Rev. W.S. 1957, § 23.1-5.

 

§ 23-1-104. Federal game preserves also state preserves

All federal game preserves and sanctuaries now existing, or hereafter created, are state game animal, bird and fish preserves for the purposes of this act.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1939, ch. 65, § 44; Laws 1973, ch. 249, § 1.

Codifications: C.S. 1945, § 47-217; W.S. 1957, § 23-89; Rev. W.S. 1957, § 23.1-4.

§ 23-1-105. Migratory bird refuge in Seedskadee area

(a) The state consents to the acquisition by the United States by purchase, gift, devise, or lease of land or land covered by water in the amount of twenty thousand (20,000) acres in the Seedskadee area in Sweetwater county where approved by the commission and the state land board. The acquisition shall be as the United States may deem necessary for the establishment and maintenance of migratory bird refuges in accordance with and for the purposes of the act of congress approved February 18, 1929 entitled “Migratory Bird Conservation Act,” 16 U.S.C. §§ 715 through 715s, and amendments thereto, and the act of congress entitled “Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, ” 16 U.S.C. §§ 718 through 718k and amendments thereto.

(b) The land or land under water may be used by the United States as refuge for migratory birds. Wyoming reserves full and complete jurisdiction and authority over all such areas not incompatible with the administration, maintenance, protection, and control of the areas by the United States under the terms of the acts of congress stated herein. If the land or land under water is purchased by the United States, the deed shall contain a clause that in the event the land or land under water ceases to be used as a migratory bird refuge, it shall revert to the state.

(c) The owner of any land to be acquired under this section is entitled to reserve all oil, gas, coal or other minerals owned by him in or upon the land together with the right to enter upon the land for exploration, development, and production of oil, gas, coal, or other minerals.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1959, ch. 162, §§ 1, 2; Laws 1973, ch. 249, § 1; Laws 2006, ch. 114, § 1, eff. March 24, 2006.

Codifications: W.S. 1957, §§ 23-7.1, 23-7.2; Rev. W.S. 1957, § 23.1-5.

 

§ 23-1-106. Migratory bird refuge in Bear river area

(a) Subject to acceptance by the United States fish and wildlife service of the provisions contained in this section, the state consents to the acquisition by the United States by purchase, gift, devise or lease of land or land covered by water in the amount of twenty-seven thousand (27,000) acres along the Bear river or in the Bear river area in Lincoln county. The acquisition shall be as the United States may deem necessary for the establishment and maintenance of migratory bird refuges in accordance with and for the purposes of the act of congress approved February 18, 1929 entitled “Migratory Bird Conservation Act”, 16 U.S.C. §§ 715 through 715s, P.L. 70-770, the act of congress approved March 16, 1934 entitled “Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act”, 16 U.S.C. §§ 718 through 718k, and the act of congress approved September 3, 1964 entitled “Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965”, 16 U.S.C. §§ 460l-4-460l-11, P.L. 88-578, as these acts are amended as of January 1, 1989. Wyoming reserves full and complete jurisdiction and authority over all such areas not incompatible with the administration, maintenance, protection and control of the areas by the United States under the acts of congress specified in this subsection except as provided in subsection (d) of this section.

(b) The acquisition of land or interests in land shall be conducted on a willing seller-willing buyer basis and eminent domain shall not be utilized as a land acquisition method except where a landowner and the United States mutually agree in writing to a quiet title action. Unless otherwise negotiated in any arms-length agreements, an owner of land or land under water to be acquired under this section is entitled to reserve all oil, gas, coal or other minerals owned by him in or upon the land together with the right to enter upon the land for exploration, development and production of oil, gas, coal or other minerals.

(c) The board of land commissioners is authorized to enter into agreements to sell, lease or otherwise negotiate interests in state land with the United States. State-owned land or land under water located within the project may be purchased or leased by the United States as a refuge for migratory birds, except that oil, gas, coal and other minerals shall be reserved by the state. If any state-leased land or land under water ceases to be used as a migratory bird refuge, the lease shall be cancelled and the interests reverted to the state.

(d) Consent to the acquisition of land by the United States for the purpose of this section is conditioned upon the United States executing appropriate agreements with the state engineer which state:

(i) The United States shall comply with state water law, including the amended Bear River Compact [§ 41-12-101] and rules and regulations of the state engineer and the state board of control, in acquiring and exercising water rights for any and all beneficial uses related to the refuge;

(ii) No rights to use of water shall be implied by the creation of the refuge, and nothing in this section shall be construed as establishing a reserved water right for the United States;

(iii) No water rights shall be condemned to provide water for the refuge; and

(iv) Historic use practices shall be addressed.

(e) Consent of the state for acquisition of land under this section shall not be interpreted as consent to the development of the refuge.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1989, ch. 81, § 1; Laws 2006, ch. 114, § 1, eff. March 24, 2006.

§ 23-1-107. Residency for obtaining game and fish licenses

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, to qualify for any resident game and fish license, preference point, permit or tag issued under this act, a person shall be domiciled in Wyoming for not less than one (1) full year immediately preceding the date the person applies for the license, preference point, permit or tag and shall not have claimed residency in any other state, territory or country for any purpose during that one (1) year period.

(b) Each person applying for a license, preference point, permit or tag under this act shall establish his own residency status independently or as provided in this subsection or subsection (g) of this section. A minor dependent shall qualify as a resident if:

(i) His custodial parent qualifies as a resident under this act; or

(ii) His noncustodial parent qualifies as a resident under this act and the minor is or will be residing in this state with the noncustodial parent during any portion of the calendar year in which the license, permit or stamp is to be used or in the case of a preference point the calendar year in which the preference point is to be accumulated.

(c) A person other than a minor dependent qualifying under subsection (b) of this section, shall lose his residency in Wyoming if he moves to another state, territory or country and makes it his domicile, or makes any claim of residency for any purpose to that state, territory or country. Provided he does not claim residency in any other state, territory or country for any purpose, a person shall not gain or lose residency in Wyoming merely by reason of his presence in or absence from the state while:

(i) Temporarily employed in the service of the United States;

(ii) A patient at a hospital or institution; or

(iii) Serving full time for a period not to exceed four (4) years in an established volunteer service program for religious, charitable or humanitarian purposes.

(d) A person shall lose his residency in Wyoming if he resides in any other state, territory or country for an aggregate of one hundred eighty (180) days or more in a calendar year, unless he qualifies as a resident under subsection (b), (c), (e) or (f) of this section. A person who resides in any other state, territory or country other than Wyoming, for less than an aggregate of one hundred eighty (180) days in a calendar year, may maintain residency in Wyoming under this act only if he qualifies as a resident under subsection (b), (c), (e) or (f) of this section or if:

(i) The person had originally established residency by being domiciled for one (1) full year in Wyoming prior to leaving the state for a temporary purpose;

(ii) The person's domicile or established, fixed and permanent home consists of real property situated in Wyoming. A mailing address is not sufficient evidence of domicile or a permanent home. Mere ownership of real property is not sufficient evidence to establish domiciliary intent;

(iii) The person is absent from Wyoming on a temporary basis and has the intention of returning to the state; and

(iv) The person makes no claim for residency in any other state, territory or country for any purpose during the time the person is absent from Wyoming.

(e) A person may remain a Wyoming resident while attending school in another state, territory or country if:

(i) The person does not pay resident tuition fees; and

(ii) The person continues to maintain Wyoming residency and does not claim residency in any other state, territory or country for any purpose.

(f) Any active duty member of the armed forces of the United States who has been stationed in Wyoming for ninety (90) days shall qualify as a resident under this section so long as the member remains stationed in Wyoming. Any person serving in active military duty in any other state, territory or country, may maintain resident status if the person:

(i) Is not a civilian employee of the military;

(ii) Makes no claim of residency in any other state, territory or country for any purpose; and

(iii) Was a resident of Wyoming when he entered the military service and Wyoming remains his declared home of record or the person:

(A) Makes no current claim of residency in any other state, territory or country for any purpose;

(B) Has established his home of record in Wyoming; and

(C) Has maintained his voter registration in Wyoming.

(g) The spouse and minor dependents of a person qualifying as a resident under subsection (f) of this section shall qualify as resident for the same periods unless they have made a claim of residency in any other state, territory or country for any purposes during those periods.

(h) An applicant shall provide proof of residency and swear to an oath of residency when making application for, or attempting to purchase, a resident license, preference point, permit or tag under this act. License selling agents and the department shall consider as documentary evidence of residency any of the following:

(i) A Wyoming driver's license, identification card issued under title 31 of the Wyoming statutes, or a copy thereof;

(ii) A copy of the applicant's school records or military form DD 214, which indicates Wyoming as the applicant's domicile and home of record;

(iii) A proof of residency statement on a form provided by the department that has been completed and signed by the applicant. Any active duty member of the armed forces, his spouse or minor dependent of the active duty member making application for or purchasing a resident license, preference point, permit or tag shall be required to complete and submit the proof of residency statement; or

(iv) A minor dependent may use as proof of residency the documentary evidence of his parent or legal guardian.

(j) The commission may promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act to ensure that only bona fide Wyoming residents as defined in this act are issued resident game and fish licenses, preference points, permits and tags.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 2004, ch. 124, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2005; Laws 2006, ch. 75, § 1, eff. August 1, 2006. 


§ 23-1-108. Delisting of gray wolves as experimental, nonessential population, endangered species or threatened species

Gray wolves shall be deemed removed from the list of experimental nonessential population, endangered species or threatened species in Wyoming upon final publication in the Federal Register by appropriate federal agencies removing the gray wolf from all listings as an experimental nonessential population, endangered species or threatened species in Wyoming.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 2003, ch. 115, § 1, eff. March 4, 2003.

 

§ 23-1-109. Repealed by Laws 2012, ch. 25, § 2, eff. March 7, 2012

Former Text of § 23-1-109. State management of gray wolves

(a) Subject to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, this section shall become effective after the date that gray wolves are removed from the list of experimental nonessential population, endangered species or threatened species in Wyoming, and Wyoming has legal right to exercise full and continuous management authority over gray wolves in the entire state of Wyoming subject only to federal preemption.

(b) This section shall not become effective until such time all claims in U.S. District Court Docket No. 06CV-245J, brought by the state of Wyoming concerning laws passed by the Wyoming legislature and found at 2003 Wyoming Session Laws, Chapter 115, have been resolved by a final order issued by the federal district court for the district of Wyoming and that order is no longer subject to potential or ongoing appeal to any federal appellate court with jurisdiction over the district court decision, or until such claims have been settled by the state of Wyoming and all federal agencies which may be party to that action.

(c) On and after February 29, 2008, this section shall not be effective if the United States fish and wildlife service has not:

(i) Published a final rule delisting gray wolves in the manner specified in W.S. 23-1-108 in the entire state of Wyoming; and

(ii) Either:

(A) Published a final rule modifying existing 10(j) rules, under 50 C.F.R. § 17.84, governing management of wolves as an experimental nonessential population, which provides for management of wolves where predation is causing unacceptable impacts to wild ungulate herds and which addresses wolf-wild ungulate conflicts occurring at state operated feedgrounds; or

(B) Executed an agreement with the state of Wyoming which provides adequate protection for Wyoming's wild ungulates. The determination of adequate protection shall be made by certification of the governor as provided in subsection (f) of this section, if necessary to determine whether this section is effective. In making the determination of adequate protection the governor shall consult with the Wyoming game and fish commission.

(d) For purposes of this section, a wild ungulate herd may be experiencing unacceptable impacts from wolf predation where the herd has declined below population objectives or is in danger of doing so and:

(i) The wild ungulate herd in question is located within at least a portion of the home range of a documented wolf pack;

(ii) The annual report of wolf population published by the United States fish and wildlife service provides, or the game and fish department has documented, that at least fifteen (15) breeding pairs exist in the designated trophy game area specified in W.S. 23-1-101(a)(xii)(B)(I) and all national parks within the boundaries of Wyoming; and

(iii) The department determines that wolf predation is having an impact on the recruitment rate of the affected wild ungulate herd and the governor certifies that determination as provided in subsection (f) of this section, if necessary to determine whether this section is effective.

(e) For purposes of this section, wolf-wild ungulate conflicts occurring at state operated feedgrounds shall include any situations in which wolves:

(i) Cause wild ungulates to move from those feedgrounds;

(ii) Cause a mixing of livestock and wild ungulates; or

(iii) Cause wild ungulates to pose extraordinary safety hazards on state public roadways.

(f) The governor shall certify to the secretary of state the occurrence of any acts which affect whether this section is effective. The effective date or dates of this section shall be determined upon the date each such certification is made and filed with the secretary of state.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 2007, ch. 168, § 2, eff. July 1, 2007. Repealed by Laws 2012, ch. 25, § 2, eff. March 7, 2012

 

[Link to administrative regulation - Section 5. Importation/Possession Permit Required For Live Wildlife (WY ADC GAME HUNT Ch. 10 s 5)]

 

 



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