The minimum hunting age for big game in Wyoming may soon have two exceptions permitting younger hunters.
Two bills in the Wyoming Legislature this session look to amend Wyoming State Statute 23-2-102, which currently prevents any hunter younger than age 12 from hunting big game.
“I think both merit discussion,” said Rep. Cyrus Western, R-Sheridan, who is sponsoring one of the bills. “As long as kids have an adult with them, and they’ve gone through hunter safety protocols, that’s what is important.”
Western’s bill — House Bill 84 or the Naomi Hunting Age Exception Act — was inspired by the titular Naomi, a Make-A-Wish child with terminal cancer who wanted to hunt big game in Wyoming. But Naomi’s wish went ungranted because she was younger than the minimum age.
Western’s bill states the minimum hunting age may be waived if a person younger than the age requirement demonstrates they are suffering from progressive, degenerative or malignant medical conditions that endanger their ability to hunt big game in the immediate future.
A separate bill, proposed by Rep. Jerry Paxton, R-Encampment, also provides an exception to the hunting age requirements. House Bill 115 allows children age 11 to hunt big game, as long as they will turn 12 within the calendar year.
“The purpose of it is, if you have a December birthday like I do, you automatically miss out on a year of hunting as opposed to someone who is born in January,” Paxton said.
Wyoming's highest-scoring trophy animals in the Boone and Crockett record books
First place, whitetail deer (typical)
First place, whitetail deer (non-typical)
Second place, whitetail deer (non-typical)
Third place, whitetail deer (non-typical)
Second place, mule deer (typical)
Third place, mule deer (typical)
Fourth place, mule deer (typical)
Third place, mule deer (non-typical)
First place, American elk (typical)
First place, American elk (non-typical)
Second place, American elk (typical)
First place, moose
Second place, moose
Third place, moose
First place, pronghorn
Second place, pronghorn
First place, bighorn sheep
Fourth place, bighorn sheep
Third place, mountain lion
Fourth place, mountain lion
12th place, black bear
13th place, black bear
First place, Rocky Mountain goat
Second place, Rocky Mountain goat
Third place, Rocky Mountain goat
First place, bison
Second place, bison
Third place, bison
Top-ranked trophies without photos
Here are the state record-holding trophies for which there are no photographs available.
Mule deer (typical)
- SCORE: 217
- HUNTER: Unknown
- LOCATION: Unknown
- DATE: 1925
- OWNER: Jackson Hole Museum
Mule deer (non-typical)
- SCORE: 293 7/8
- HUNTER: J.B. Marvin, Jr.
- LOCATION: Unknown
- DATE: 1924
- SCORE: 22 11/16
- HUNTER: Quinn M. Ruonavaara
- LOCATION: Teton County
- DATE: 2013
- SCORE: 16 1/16
- HUNTER: Scott M. Moore
- LOCATION: Park County
- DATE: 1993
- SCORE: 25 10/16
- HUNTER: Picked up
- LOCATION: Eagle Creek
- DATE: 1961
- OWNER: L.L. Lutz & H. Sanford