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Grizzly bears relocated

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department trapped and relocated an adult female grizzly bear with two yearling cubs on Sept. 17 and a young male grizzly bear on Sept. 25.

The female and cubs were captured because they were frequenting a residential area under the cover of darkness and damaging apple trees near Cody. The bears were relocated to the Falls River drainage about nine miles west of Flagg Ranch in Teton County.

The young male was captured because of damaging bird feeders and beehives on private land near Cody. The bear was relocated to the Clarks Fork River drainage about 14 miles northwest of Crandall.

Bears can create conflicts after they have obtained food rewards. The Department continues to stress the importance of keeping all attractants (food items, horse feeds, bird seed and others) unavailable to bears. Reducing attractants reduces human-bear conflicts.

Men plead guilty to poaching, property destruction

Two Glenrock men were found guilty on Sept. 13 of shooting a buck antelope and a domestic calf. Garrett Kron and Braden Boner, both 20, were traveling up Mormon Canyon Road on the night of Aug. 29, when they approached a domestic calf along the side of the road. Kron, who was a passenger in the vehicle, killed the calf with a .500 Smith & Wesson revolver.

The two men then traveled about a mile up the road when they spotted a yearling buck antelope. Boner turned the vehicle to illuminate the animal in the headlights, and then used a 7 mm Magnum rifle to kill the antelope.

According to authorities, Kron confessed to killing the calf. Boner admitted to poaching the antelope and was found guilty and fined $1,000 for wanton destruction, $50 for taking an antelope without a license and $50 for taking an antelope with artificial light. Boner was ordered to pay an additional $1,000 restitution to the Game and Fish Access Fund for the antelope. He lost his hunting and fishing privileges for three years and had to turn his firearm over to a relative for a period of three years.

Kron was charged and found guilty of accessory to wanton destruction of an antelope, fined $500 and lost his hunting and fishing privileges for three years. He was also fined $500 for destruction of property for shooting the calf, and ordered to pay $750 in restitution to the calf's owner. He was also ordered to turn over his firearm to a relative for three years.

Green River man caught snagging salmon

The Green River Game and Fish Department cited Green River man, Timothy Smith, 25, for snagging kokanee on Friday.

Snagging is an attempt to take a fish in such a manner that the fish does not take the hook voluntarily in its mouth. It used to be legal to snag fish and, consequently, many vulnerable spawning fish were taken. Snagging fish in Wyoming is illegal.

Smith received two citations, one for snagging fish and the other for possessing too many kokanee salmon. He was caught with a garbage bag full of seven spawning salmon from the Green River.

Kokanee are fall spawners and begin running the Green River in late August. The spawning fish can’t eat, as their stomach is absorbed. After spawning is completed, all kokanee die. Their decaying carcasses supply nutrients for other plant and animal life, as well as their offspring when they hatch.

Anglers on both the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir should be aware of the following closures: All kokanee caught from Sept. 10 through Nov. 30 on Flaming Gorge Reservoir must be released and returned to the water immediately. The possession or use of gaffs for landing fish is prohibited. Fishing on the Green River from the Fontenelle Dam downstream to the USGS Gauge Station is closed from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31.

Anyone can report a wildlife violation by calling the Stop Poaching Hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP or report that violation on-line at http://gf.state.wy.us

For fishing regulations and fishing information go to: http://gf.state.wy.us. For questions, call the Green River Game and Fish office at 307-875-3223.

V Ranch Selected as 2009 Landowner of the Year

Jim and Terry Wilson of the V Ranch have been selected to receive the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Cody region Landowner of the Year award. The Wilson’s reside on the V Ranch, northeast of Thermopolis along Kirby Creek.

“Their land stewardship efforts, passion for wildlife, willingness to accommodate hunters and their conservation accomplishments make them a worth selection for the award,” said Brian Nesvik, wildlife supervisor in Cody. “The Wilson’s philosophy on ranching is to manage for sustainability, not just for cattle but for the resource as a whole.”

Each year, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department presents its Landowners of the Year awards, recognizing Wyoming landowners in each region who have demonstrated a commitment to wildlife management, habitat improvement and conservation practices.

Black bear hunting near Jackson closed

Black bear hunting in the Jackson area has closed for the fall season with the mortality quota recently being reached. The Jackson Black Bear Management Unit, which closed on Tuesday, includes Hunt Areas 18, 20, 21, 22, 24 and 29. The fall female mortality quota for all these hunt areas combined is 12.

If the female mortality quota is not reached, most black bear hunting seasons close ½ hour after sunset on October 31.

It is the responsibility of all black bear hunters to know whether a particular hunt area has closed before hunting there. To do so, hunters are required to call the black bear mortality quota hotline at 1-800-264-1280 to learn the status of any given hunt area for the state.

Authorities ban fires, warn of danger

The state banned all open fires at Glendo and Guernsey state parks until further notice, including those in fire rings.

Officials say recent high temperatures and dry conditions have increased the fire danger and make the ban necessary.

Additionally, authorities warn of high fire danger in Bridger-Teton National Forest and Grand Teton National Park due to dry weather and afternoon winds.

Making sure campfires are thoroughly extinguished before leaving a campsite. The fine for abandoning a campfire is $225 and campers can be held responsible for firefighting costs if a campfire spreads into a wildfire.

Game and fish continues chronic wasting disease surveillance

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is increasing its Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance in the Jackson region and is asking hunters for their help by providing the head from their harvested big game animals for testing.

Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disease in deer, elk and moose that attacks the brain and central nervous system, and in the later stages of the disease causes weight loss, abnormal behavior, and eventual death.

Hunter check stations will be set up periodically throughout the fall at Alpine, Hoback Rim, Daniel Junction and LaBarge. Hunters are also reminded that they are required by law to stop at all game and fish check stations they encounter on their way to and from hunting.

Hunters who want to have their animal tested for the disease, but cannot come to one of the department check stations can still do so. Hunters can hand deliver or mail the entire head to the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, 1174 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY 82070.

Hunters can also bring their animal to the Jackson Game and Fish office during regular business hours and have a biologist collect a sample. Hunters will receive a tracking number they can check online.

For more information about chronic wasting disease in Wyoming, visit the game and fish website at: http://gf.state.wy.us/services/education/cwd/index.asp

Camping restricted in Pacific Creek Area

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is restricting camping to hard-sided RV’s, campers and trailers in the Pacific Creek area due to increased grizzly bear activity. Tent camping and pop-up campers will be prohibited until the bear activity subsides.

The Bridger-Teton forest also has a food storage order covering portions of the forest which requires all food and other attractants to be properly stored or hung so that they are not available to bears. Attractants such as food leftovers or bacon grease should not be buried, discarded, or burned in an open campfire. These items should be placed in an appropriate sealed container and packed out with garbage. Human, pet and livestock food, garbage and other attractants must be stored in an approved bear resistant manner. Other attractants include anything with an odor such as BBQ grills, drinks, toothpaste, scented candles, soap and lotion or sun screen.

Approved bear resistant storage includes:

* A hard-sided camper or vehicle trunk or cab. A cooler left outside is not secure.

* Suspending food and attractants at least 10 feet up from the bottom of the suspended item and 4 feet out from any upright support such as tree or pole.

* An approved bear resistant container. Bear resistant canisters and panniers are available for use at the Buffalo Ranger Station in Moran and the Interagency Visitor Center in Jackson.

Visitors are encouraged to be alert when recreating in bear country. Be aware of your surroundings; travel in groups and carry bear spray.

For more information contact the Buffalo Ranger Station at 307-543-2386.

Bison hunt season began Sept. 18

The 2010 bison hunting season on the National Elk Refuge began Sept. 18 and will run through Jan. 3, 2011. Bison hunting licenses are issued by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. A Refuge–specific bison permit is required and is provided with the state license. Individuals who have not already applied and been selected for the 2010 season are not eligible to hunt bison this year.

This year, the National Elk Refuge bison hunting season will hold five hunt periods: Sept. 18– Oct. 1, Oct. 9–Oct. 22, Oct. 30–Nov. 12, Nov. 20–Dec. 3, and Dec. 11–Jan. 3.

The new schedule, which incorporates week long periods of non– disturbance, is intended to increase the success rate for hunters since bison, along with other animals, may learn to avoid an area with continued hunting pressure. Wildlife managers will use the new hunt period structure to adaptively manage the hunt in order to achieve herd objectives set in a cooperative effort by the National Elk Refuge, Grand Teton National Park, and Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Hunting is the primary tool used to reduce the size of the bison herd.

For a map of hunt areas or a copy of hunting regulations, please visit www.fws.gov/nationalelkrefuge/ NERHuntingRegs.htm or call the Refuge Administrative Offices at 307-733-9212.

Wyoming’s Revised State Wildlife Action Plan Available for Public Comment

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has released a revised draft of its State Wildlife Action Plan for public comment. The plan is a comprehensive strategy to maintain the health and diversity of wildlife in the state, including reducing the need for future species listings under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Development and approval of a plan is required for states to receive funding through the federal State Wildlife Grants program.

The WGFD is holding a series of public meetings and accepting comments on the revised plan. Comments can be given at public meetings, through the mail or on the game and fish website. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will consider the revised document and public comments at its Nov. 17-18 meeting in Lander. The entire revised plan and associated information are online at: http://gf.state.wy.us/SWAP2010/index.asp.

All meetings are at 7 p.m. in the game and fish regional offices:

* Sept. 27 in Green River

* Sept. 28 in Jackson

* Sept. 29 in Casper

* Oct. 4 in Laramie

Game and fish requests sage grouse wings

With the opening of the sage grouse hunting season on Saturday, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is urging all sage grouse hunters to drop one wing from any birds they harvest in one of the sage grouse wing barrels that have been placed at convenient locations in the field.

Wyoming Game and Fish biologists have placed the marked barrels at major access roads to popular hunting areas along in the Pinedale, Big Piney, Kemmerer, Mountain View, Green River and Baggs areas. Hunters are encouraged to deposit one wing from each grouse harvested in the barrel when leaving the field.

Biologists can tell the age and sex of the harvested birds from their wings, which is a valuable piece of information in determining reproduction rates and ultimately the population trend.

Grizzly bear relocated

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department trapped and relocated an adult female grizzly bear on Sept. 15.

The bear was captured because of killing a calf on a Forest Service grazing allotment near Dubois. The bear was relocated to the Clarks Fork River drainage approximately 30 miles northwest of Cody. The release site is located within the Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone and currently occupied grizzly bear habitat.

Bears can create conflicts after they have obtained food rewards. Game and fish officials continues to stress the importance of keeping all attractants such as food items, horse feeds, bird seed and others, unavailable to bears. Reducing attractants reduces human-bear conflicts.

Hunting on wildlife refuge prohibited

All hunting within the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge between State Highway 28 and 0.8 miles north of the refuge headquarters along the west side of the Green River is prohibited in accordance with 50 CFR 32.70 dated Oct. 1, 2007. This area is clearly signed with “Area Closed” or “No Hunting Zone” signage. During 2010 this area will not be open for a mule deer doe/fawn hunt or any other special hunts.

The Refuge south of State Highway 28 and west of the Green River is closed to migratory bird hunting but open for big game hunting. Elk, Moose and White-tail deer hunting are currently prohibited on the refuge. All other areas of the refuge are open to hunting per 2010 Wyoming Game and Fish Commission hunting regulations.

For additional information, please contact Natalie Fath, 307-875-2187 ext. 10 or e-mail Natalie_Fath@fws.gov.

Girl Scouts plan adult overnighter

Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout! Girl Scout alumnae are invited to rekindle and reconnect with fellow alumnae during an overnight event Sept. 25- 26, at Camp Sacajawea on Casper Mountain.

The event, themed around traditional Girl Scout camping, begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday and will include hiking, campfire and s’mores, and spending the evening in the lodge. Participants are welcome to bring their sleeping bags and sleep at the property or just spend a few hours at camp.

The event is sponsored by Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming. All adult former Girl Scouts are welcome to attend. The cost is $15 per person, plus $12 Girl Scout membership renewal if applicable. Attendees must register before Sept. 17 to attend. To register, visit www.gsmw.org or call 800-736-5243.

For more information on the event, call 307-237-4545 in the evenings or email janetdevries@hotmail.com.

Hunter Trailhead and Campground Construction Project Begins

Construction of the popular Hunter Trailhead and Campground about 15 miles west of Buffalo on the Powder River Ranger District began last week. The project involves upgrading and relocating the trailhead and campground out of the riparian area, away from the heavily traveled Hunter Road corridor and will improve parking and traffic flow for the safety of the visiting public. The contractor plans to complete the road work from Hunter Creek Road, Forest Road 19, to the new Trailhead and campground location and the relocated road west of the Trailhead this fall.

Construction on the trailhead and campground facilities is planned for next summer. The old Hunter Trailhead and campground will remain open during the construction. The new facility will be located one-quarter mile north of the current facility on Forest Road 396.

Mule deer poached on White Mountain

A Rock Springs archer, who had watched a particular buck deer during the summer with an eye on hunting the buck on opening day, instead found the carcass of the buck on White Mountain near the west end of Mesa Drive. The archer reported the find to Wyoming Game & Fish Department and Green River Game Warden Duane Kerr said an investigation of the deer found it had been shot by someone using a high-powered rifle between Aug. 28 and 31.

Scavengers had fed on parts of the carcass before it was discovered and due to a bad shot, the deer most likely suffered before dying. None of the meat could be salvaged because of the carcasses poor condition.

The violation of intentionally shooting an antlered big game animal out of season is one of the most serious in Wyoming’s game laws. Convictions of this are punishable by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10, 000 to which may be added up to one year in jail and loss of all game and fish license privileges for at least five years. Judges can also require violators to pay restitution to the Game & Fish Department for animals killed in poaching incidents.

Anyone with information on this violation or others that they may witness is asked to call the STOP POACHING hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP. Wildlife violations may also be reported on-line at: http://gf.state.wy.us

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