The Wyoming Game Wardens Association was formed in 1973 for the purpose of furnishing a medium for good fellowship and loyalty to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and fellow officers, effectively maintaining the wildlife resources of the State, promoting a more efficient and able force of wardens and to meet our responsibilities and problems collectively.
Since 1985, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association has had the ability to provide financial assistance to various charitable organizations, programs designed to enhance outdoor awareness to school age children, research designed to improve wildlife law enforcement, handicapped hunter assistance, scholarship programs and memorial funds. Total contributions have exceeded $400,000.00 since 1985.
Wyoming Wildlife Protectors Association - This private organization was the initial base of the present Department funded Stop Poaching Program. The WGWA provided a $500 yearly donation to the organization to fund the reward program which was paid out to informants of wildlife law violations. The WGWA provided a total of $2000.00 to the Protectors Association from 1985 to 1989. In 1990, the Protectors Association became funded by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. In 2001, the WGWA refurbished an old time horse drawn jail wagon for the purpose of increasing awareness of the public to theStop Poaching Program. The WGWA provided the funds forthe refurbishment and the printing of the Stop Poaching Posters at a cost of over $5,800.00. This jail wagonhas been transported around to various Wyoming county fairs and parades by Association members. The WGWA has purchased an enclosed trailer to haul the Poach Coach around the state at a cost of over $6,900.00. The WGWA has funded printing of Stop Poaching Posters and the popular Junior Game Warden Badges for kids, which has amounted to over $12,500 at present. From 2005 the WGWA cost shared with the Department the Stop Poaching stick-on calendars. For the Stop Poaching effort in Wyoming, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association has contributed over $52,000.00.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation - The Foundation seeks to improve elk populations in Wyoming through public awareness of elk management, acquiring critical elk habitat and supporting research projects designed to enhance elk populations or habitat. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association has contributed $3,050.00 to the Foundation.
Wyoming Memorial Bear Fund - The Wyoming Game Wardens Association has financially supported this program since its organization in 1992. This Memorial Fund was established in memory of Game Warden Kirk Inberg, Biologist Kevin Roy and Pilot Ray Austin who were killed in a plane crash on October 16, 1991 while radio monitoring grizzly bear movements in Northwest Wyoming. The Memorial Bear Fund provides funding for continuing grizzly bear studies. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association has presently contributed over $1,500.00 to the Fund.
Wyoming Shriners - The Shriners are a well known organization which provides financial assistance to families whose children need major medical attention and who can not afford it. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association has contributed to the Shrine Bowl and the Jackson Hole Shrine Cutter Races. The total contribution at present is over $600.00.
Wyoming State 4-H - The Wyoming Game Wardens Association has provided financial support to the Wyoming 4-H to help fund local shooting sports programs and the state shooting sports championship. These programs provide school age children the opportunity to experience different shooting sports and teach them the necessary safe handling of firearms. The WGWA has presently provided over $6,500.00 to the Wyoming State 4-H.
Kids Fishing Days - On a yearly basis since 1986, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association has provided financial backing and manpower to hold fishing days during the summer for disadvantaged youths and single parent kids. Through contacts with Youth Alternatives and Big Brother/Big Sister organizations, kids are provided the opportunity to go fishing. The WGWA provides the vehicles, fishing poles and tackle, any needed licenses, manpower and groceries for the lunch cookout. These fishing days are held around the state each summer. The WGWA has presently provided over $8,500.00 to conduct these fishing days.
Youth/Mentor Hunting Days - The Wyoming Game Wardens Association has provided financial backing and manpower to help sponsor youth hunting days during the fall and winter around the state since 2000. These programs provide the opportunity to young kids in the communities to hunt with mentors to allow them a better chance of experiencing a successful hunt for big game animals or game birds. Many of the youths are first time hunters who haven’t had the opportunity to get out and hunt with an adult. The WGWA has presently provided over $10,500.00 to conduct these programs and provide the necessary licenses.
Whittington Center - The Wyoming Game Wardens Association established funding through a raffle in 1998 to allow the Association to send Wyoming 4H kids, ages 13-17, to the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, New Mexico. Each summer the Center holds various two week long camps for kids.Â Besides teaching the youths on shooting sports and the safe handling of firearms, the Center also covers outdoor skills and environmental awareness. Some retired Wyoming game wardens volunteer their time to teach at the Center during the summer and feel this camp is the best in the country. In 1998, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association, in conjunction with the Wyoming 4H Foundation, initiated the raffle where the proceeds would go to send at least 5 Wyoming 4H kids to the Whittington Center Camp in 1999. Tickets were sold by 4H members and their clubs received 15% of the ticket sales. All other money from the raffle is used to pay for camp registrations, and raffle prizes. Winners are the top ticket sellers within the state. If they decide not to go to the Whittington Center, their registration fee to the camp ($675.00) will be put into an interest bearing scholarship fund for their college use after high school graduation. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association donated over $7,500.00 from the 1998 raffle.
Hunting and Fishing Heritage Expo - The Wyoming Game Wardens Association is a sponsor of the Annual Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Exposition being held each year in Casper, WY during September. The Exposition is aimed at developing and increasing interest of Wyoming residents and nonresidents of all ages in the areas of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation. This three day event was the first of its kind in Wyoming and is presented by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department every year. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association has donated over $87,000.00 to the Expo from 1998 to 2011.
Terry J. Killough/Springer Wildlife Habitat Management Area Endowment - Terry Killough was the area biologist who originally established the Springer Area Special Pheasant Hunt in SE Wyoming in 1973. Terry envisioned this managed hunt to provide an opportunity for game bird hunters and dog training. Terry later became a Wildlife Supervisor in Cody and Laramie and was a member of the WGWA. After his death, the Terry J. Killough/Springer Wildlife Management Area Endowment was established as a fitting legacy of his 27 years with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. In 2003, as a celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Springer Special Pheasant Hunt, the WGWA sponsored a raffle to raise additional funds for the Endowment in its effort of continuing to improve the game bird populations and hunting opportunities, which raised over $3,000.00.
National Archery in the Schools Program - The Wyoming Game Wardens Association is a sponsor of the National Archery in the Schools Program which encourages the development and interest of Wyoming youth in the outdoor recreation of archery skills. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association has donated over $6,500.00 to the Program.
University of Wyoming Animal Science Grant - Between 1986 and 1988, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association helped fund a research project conducted by the UW Animal Science Department and the Research Division of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. This project was initiated to develop a technique to identify types of meat after being cooked. Problems with meat processors illegally using deer, elk and antelope meat in their commercially sold sausages brought about this needed techniques. Prior to the research, cooked meat could not be identified to species using current techniques.Â From this research project new techniques were developed that could be used to identify cooked meat into different species. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association provided a total of $4500.00 to fund the project.
Conservation/Law Enforcement Seminars/Conferences - From 1986 to present, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association has provided financial assistance to numerous seminars and conferences related to wildlife management, wildlife law enforcement, wildlife forensics, and outdoor education. At present the Association has donated over $11,000.00 to these seminars and conferences.
Handicapped Hunter Assistance
In 1990, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association purchased a quadriplegic rifle rest for a Wyoming outdoorsman. This resident was very active in the outdoor programs prior to sustaining a crippling injury which made him a quadriplegic. The special rifle rest allowed the individual to continue his love for sport rifle shooting from his wheelchair.
In 2009, The Wyoming Game Wardens Association provided financial support to Healing Waters Disabled Vets Fishing Program for the veterans during their trip through Wyoming. In the fall of 2009, the Association provided financial support to two nonresident handicapped archery hunters in the Physically Challenged Bowhunters Program while they successfully hunted antelope in northeast Wyoming.
The Wyoming Game Wardens Association provided over of $1,200.00 to fund these projects.
Thorofare Cabin 50th Anniversary
In the summer of 2005, in conjunction with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and the Draper Museum, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association sponsored the 50th Anniversary of the building of the Thorofare Cabin in the wilderness of Northwest Wyoming. This celebration recognizes the 1955 construction of the cabin, the people who built it and how it has been used for 50 years of fish and wildlife management and enforcement. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association has provided $5,800.00 to this project.
University of Wyoming Scholarships - From 1985 through 1989, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association provided two yearly scholarships to juniors or seniors at UW majoring in wildlife management or related fields. Originally each scholarship was valued at $1000.00. In 1988 and 1989, the scholarship value was reduced to $500.00 per student as a result of declining WGWA funds. In 1990, the scholarship program was temporarily put on hold due to a lack of applicants and lack of interest by the Zoology Department faculty. Once the Association funds are built back up and if an increased interest is shown by the students and faculty, the scholarships will be restarted. The Association has provided a total of $8000.00 in scholarship funds to UW students.
Wyoming High School Scholarships - From 1986 to present, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association has provided fourteen to twenty-one yearly scholarships to graduating Wyoming high school seniors in the amount of $200 per scholarship. In 2006 the scholarship amount was raised to $350. These scholarships can be used for any trade school, community college or major university, instate or out-of-state. The WGWA places no stipulations on the field of upper education the seniors wish to pursue. Once adequate funding is reached, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association would like to expand these scholarships to provide one to each high school in Wyoming. Presently the WGWA has provided $92,000.00 in scholarships to Wyoming high school seniors.
Memorials - The Wyoming Game Wardens Association currently provides a minimum $500.00 memorial fund to any Wyoming wildlife enforcement officer killed in the line of duty. The family of the fallen officer can use this money however they wish. The WGWA is also a charter member of the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association and its officer memorial fund. For those United States or Canadian wildlife enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, the WGWA provides a minimum of $200 to the NAWEOA memorial fund which goes to the officer's family. The WGWA will also contribute a minimum of $500.00 to any Wyoming non-enforcement wildlife personnel killed in the line of duty.
In 1986, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association in conjunction with other Wyoming peace officer associations, financially supported the building of the Wyoming Peace Officers Memorial at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas. In 1993, all available space on the Memorial was filled with names of officers killed in the line of duty in Wyoming. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association again contributed financially to expand the Memorial for Wyoming Peace Officers. There are currently eight Wyoming Game Wardens listed on the memorial.
Since 1981, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association has contributed over $16,000.00 to these memorials.
Wildlife Enforcement Officers Memorial Museums - The North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association is supporting the building of a Wildlife Enforcement Officers Museum at the International Peace Gardens. This Museum would showcase the work of Wildlife Officers in the United States and Canada from the past to the present. The Museum would also be a memorial to all Wildlife Officers killed in the line of duty, of which eight Wyoming Officers are listed on the memorial. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association is supporting this concept and has contributed over $18,500.00 to the effort so far with additional funding planned.
North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Museum - Wyoming Fallen Officer Memorial Stone
The Wyoming Game Wardens Association is supporting the building of Wyoming Game & Fish Department Historical Displays and Museums in the Casper and Lander Regional Game & Fish Department Offices. These displays showcase the historical work performed by all Department employees. The WGWA is supporting these displays and has contributed over $15,000.00 to this effort with additional funding planned.
Lander G&F Office Historical Display