Game and Fish releases 2021 Law Enforcement Report – Sheridan Media

Photo courtesy of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

The Wyoming Department of Game and Fish released its 2021 Law Enforcement Report. The Game and Fish reports that game wardens patrolled over half a million miles in 2021 — 574,171 to be exact. The report includes key statistics, operations, and accomplishments of rangers, wildlife investigators, and other personnel dedicated to protecting one of Wyoming’s greatest natural resources — wildlife.

The report states that in 2021, the public submitted 245 tips through the Stop Poaching Hotline, Text Tip Line and the Game and Fish website. Game wardens followed up on these tips and were able to confirm wildlife violations and identify possible suspects in numerous cases. Investigations into the Stop Poaching program resulted in 26 subpoenas and 23 warnings issued for violations.

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“While the workload is demanding, the selfless, collaborative efforts of many members of the Game and Fish team help spread the load,” said Chief Game Warden Rick King. “The cases highlighted in this report demonstrate the collaboration needed to protect Wyoming’s wildlife.”

Convicting wildlife violators would not be possible without the help of the public and the work of the Game and Fish Wildlife Forensic and Fish Health Laboratory, according to the department. Forensic lab personnel apply various testing techniques to evidence collected during wildlife crime investigations. In 2021, over 16,000 samples were tested, resulting in the payment of $54,148 in fines and refunds. Many of these cases resulted in the suspension of hunting privileges and the loss of firearms and other equipment used in the commission of wildlife crimes.

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For the second time in Wyoming history, lab personnel matched tissue from a bull moose head recovered from an antler buyer in the Sheridan region with the Wyoming Headless Carcass Database. The match resulted in the successful conviction of a Montana man, who was ordered to pay a $12,570 fine and compensation. The database was created more than 15 years ago and contains 231 samples from across Wyoming, according to the department.

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In all, there were 3,258 law enforcement actions nationwide in 2021. The most common violations included fishing without a license, trespassing on private property, violating wildlife and fishing area rules, and failing to stop at a watercraft control station.

Game and Fish Law Enforcement released the full report here.

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