The Wyoming Game and Fish released a report detailing key statistics, operations and accomplishments of game wardens, wildlife investigators and other employees.

Wyoming game wardens patrolled over half a million miles – 574,171 to be exact – in 2021, according to the annual Wyoming Game and Fish Department Law Enforcement Report.

The report notes in 2021 the public submitted 245 tips through the Stop Poaching Hotline, text tip line and the Game and Fish website. Game wardens investigated these tips and, in numerous instances, were able to confirm wildlife violations and identify possible suspects. Investigations due to the Stop Poaching program led to 26 citations and 23 warnings issued to violators.

“While the workload is demanding, the selfless, cooperative efforts of many on the Game and Fish team help distribute the load,” said Rick King, chief game warden. “The cases highlighted in this report demonstrate the collaboration necessary to protect Wyoming’s wildlife.”

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The conviction of wildlife violators would not be possible without the public’s help and the work of the Game and Fish Wildlife Forensic and Fish Health Laboratory. Forensic lab personnel employ various testing techniques on evidence collected during wildlife crime investigations. Over 16,000 samples were tested in 2021, resulting in the payment of $54,148 in fines and restitution. Many of these cases resulted in the suspension of hunting privileges and forfeiture of firearms and other equipment used while committing wildlife crimes.

For the second time in Wyoming history, lab personnel matched tissue from a bull elk head that was recovered in the Sheridan Region from an antler buyer to the Wyoming Headless Carcass Database. The match led to the successful conviction of a Montana man who was sentenced to $12,570 in fines and restitution. The database was created more than 15 years ago and holds 231 samples from across Wyoming.

In total there were 3,258 law enforcement actions statewide in 2021. Top violations included fishing without a license, trespassing on private land, violating rules on Game and Fish lands and failing to stop at a watercraft checkstation.

The full report is available on the Game and Fish law enforcement website.

 

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