IN THE FIELD

Wyoming Game Wardens perform a myriad of duties besides enforcing the State Wildlife Statutes. The following photos just give a sampling of Wyoming Wardens in the field.


July 2018
Wyoming Game Wardens host international Game Warden Conference - NAWEOA

CHEYENNE - Cheyenne - Last month, Wyoming game wardens hosted more than 600 of their cohorts from across the continent in Cheyenne. The event was officially the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers' Association annual convention. And as the name suggests these men and women all share something that we hold very dear in the Equality State - the enforcement of wildlife laws and regulations.
But this large convergence of wildlife officers also brings to light the uniqueness of Wyoming game wardens - wearing hats in addition law enforcement. In other states and Canadian provinces, wildlife officers are 100 percent law enforcement officers. But in Wyoming, if game warden name tags were big enough they'd read: game warden/biologist/public relations specialist.
With this variety of hats, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has never had a specific "law enforcement division" unlike other states - except for just one year: 1958. All wardens and wildlife biologists merged back into a single "Game Division" in 1959, which was later renamed the "Wildlife Division" in 1993. Although the flow charts always listed game wardens on the Game or Wildlife side, Wyoming game wardens have always enforced fishing and boating regulations and worked closely with other coworkers.
By and large, the attendees at last month's convention have broad law enforcement authority in their respective states and provinces. But in Wyoming, game wardens only have direct law enforcement authority over hunting, fishing, trapping and boating laws and regulations, plus any potential felony witnessed and a few other miscellaneous non-wildlife laws. Wyoming law does allow game wardens to assist with any other statute, regulation or ordinance when another law enforcement agency requests help.
Clear back in the August 1960 Wyoming Wildlife, Sheridan game warden Norbert Faas summed up the Cowboy State district game warden: "In every community of our state, the game warden is considered to be the local ambassador of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and is expected to carry on the necessary public relations, manage game with proper supervision and advice and enforce the game and fish laws."
Here's some noteworthy current-era case histories of the public relations, biology and enforcement Faas highlighted 58 years ago this month.

Public Relations - Matt Lentsch is a former science teacher and an admirable, ongoing champion of conservation education. Shortly after his promotion to the Worland district in 1991, Lentsch became involved in the department's Hunter Stewardship Council. Lentsch jumped right in and led the charge in forming the Paintrock Hunter Mentoring Program on the west side of the Bighorn Mountains. With a large ranch opening their gates to the program, the kids and the ranch were a great team. The ranch provided the access, and the young hunters helped keep an expanding elk herd in check. Although, the original elk hunt program has ended, Lentsch and volunteers continue to mentor first-time hunters.
Lentsch became a cornerstone of the local National Wild Turkey Federation Chapter's "JAKES" youth program in 2005 and developed the program's flagship outdoor days reaching out to more than 75 kids each year. The chapter sponsored the "Turkey Hunters Care" program of donating holiday turkeys to area folks who could use a hand. Lentsch recruited kids to help some elderly with yard work to earn money to purchase 30-50 turkeys annually.
When the turkey chapter disbanded, Lentsch wasn't going to let that ultra-successful community involvement end, so he transferred it to the Paintrock Program. Improving the basic idea of providing a needed meal for the holidays, Lentsch modified the program to the "Young Hunters Care" outreach. Now, each November Lentsch and volunteers mentor 8-10 philanthropic teenage deer hunters. The youngsters harvest antlerless deer, process the carcasses themselves and donate the venison to less fortunate families. With the Wyoming Game Wardens Association providing the licenses, these young hunters are able to provide around 500 pounds of processed venison to needy folks in the Worland area each year.
After 27 years, Lentsch's mentoring endeavors have acquired considerable donated outdoor equipment. To give donors even more return on their investment, in 2012 he started a May field day for all fifth graders in his district. With the help of coworkers and volunteers, around 140 Worland students converge on the Washakie County Fairgrounds for 18 hands-on hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation activities. Lentsch has also taken the program on the road to schools in the outer reaches of his 3,000 square-mile district.
"Conservation education is a passion with me, just like dealing with hunters and anglers in the field,” Lentsch says. "The public relations aspect of the Wyoming game warden really helps us contribute to the community, recruit hunters and anglers and proactively alleviate potential future problems of wildlife violations."

Biological - The bigger picture Wyoming perspective of game wardens also handling some wildlife biologist duties really started with the first game warden, Albert Nelson, in 1899, but became official in the 1950s. The system was substantiated in 1964 when new warden hires were required to have a bachelor's degree in wildlife management or other closely-associated natural resource field, a requirement still held today.
Of course, the district game warden and biologist share their data and observations to propose hunting seasons, but the biological insights of both often go much deeper. When Game and Fish Project Coordinator Mark Nelson was a game warden patrolling the Cheyenne district, the small herd of bighorn sheep in a remote corner of Wyoming's most populous county intrigued him. In his first five years of "classifying" - tallying ram/ewe and lamb/ewe ratios -- his counts from both the air and ground showed the number of lambs recruited into the population was low.
He suspected a habitat problem because large shrubs seemed to be choking the area, and bighorns typically prefer high, relatively open country. Nelson took his observations to his district wildlife biologist, habitat biologist and the statewide habitat coordinator. The habitat experts confirmed the shrubs were profoundly decadent - some mountain mahogany was 100 years old. The team deemed it a worthwhile project and prescribed a combination of herbicide treatments and controlled burns to not just help the sheep but also mule deer. Nelson set up a meeting with the rancher and the team sold the idea, which included resting the burns for a couple years from livestock. As grass quickly followed the burn, the sheep followed the grass and often "camp out" on the burns. In a couple years, mule deer were taking advantage of the re-sprouted mountain mahogany. The elk in the area didn't need help, but they're enjoying the new grass, too. "It's a welcome and rewarding challenge to have biologist's responsibilities in conjunction with enforcement duties in Wyoming," says Nelson, who was a district game warden for 20 years before recently taking over the department's scientific permitting program. "It really helps you keep the big and evolving picture of wildlife management in focus."

Enforcement - Going back to 1899, enforcement was the charge of our original game wardens and persists to this day. In 2017, Wyoming game wardens put in 53,742 on-the-ground and 1,635 on-the-water enforcement hours, resulting in 2,337 warnings and 1,798 citations written and 268 unsolved violations.
Here's a snapshot of one case featuring interesting Wyoming socio and enforcement angles. Game warden Jason Hunter was returning to Laramie in early evening after patrolling some late-season pronghorn hunting. Off a graveled road in some remote foothills northeast of the Gem City, he noticed an out-of-place gathering of magpies. He hiked about 60 yards off the north side of the road and discovered two headless, ungutted buck mule deer hidden in some tall brush with only parts of their back straps and hindquarters removed. Hunter also found a variety of litter including a live .30-30 cartridge and a knife package at the scene.
The package suggested the knife had been recently purchased, so the next day he researched what Laramie businesses carried that item. Walmart was an affirmative, reporting they sold two the day prior. The first was purchased with a long list of groceries during the day; the other at 10:30 p.m. with a chest freezer, flashlight, camera and batteries. "The latter transaction sure got my attention," Hunter said.
Due to corporate policy, Walmart couldn't release the credit card names or videotape of the customers without a search warrant. So Hunter rounded up the warrant, and the store manager had everything ready to hand over when it was served.
Hunter ran the names of the two customers by the Laramie Police Department and learned from speeding tickets, the men were students at Wyoming Technical Institute, an automotive trade school. Hunter and his supervisor then waited at the school in an unmarked truck and followed one of the suspects home. After confirming both men lived at the address, a search warrant was obtained for the house and truck and served the next day with the help of other game wardens. The officers discovered a spotlight, two flashlights smeared with blood, a .30-30 rifle and venison in the same freezer that was purchased along with the knife. The truck produced .30-30 casings and some deer hair.
When interviewed, the students, 24 and 19, readily confessed, saying the incident was prompted by "wanting some deer meat." So they went for a drive after school, spotted the deer, went back to town to pick up the rifle, spotlight and supplies and then back to commit the crime.
The men were ordered to each pay $2,250 in fines and restitution and had their hunting and fishing license privileges revoked for six years. They received a 60-day jail sentence, suspended providing they each paid the $2,250 in one year, which they did.
This article was written by Jeff Obrecht whom for 32 years contributed to the Wyoming Wildlife. In the last 10 years, he served as the associate editor and even a year as the interim editor before retiring July 27. He also edited and authored a considerable portion of "Wildlife Crime: Stories From Wyoming's Wildlife Officers," a collection of 90 noteworthy cases published by Game and Fish in 2013 and available at the Game and Fish Store.
Jason Sherwood also assisted with this story and is a 17-year veteran of Wyoming wildlife enforcement. He patrolled out of six different towns before being promoted to the regional access coordinator for southeast Wyoming in 2006. He is currently stationed in Laramie.


June 2018
Retrieval of tracking collars contributes to bighorn sheep and mountain goat research

CODY –Wildlife Biologist Tony Mong and South Cody Game Warden Grant Gerharter recently retrieved a GPS collar in the Bobcat-Houlihan area of the South Fork that dropped off a bighorn sheep ewe last winter. Bighorn sheep were collared as part of a collaborative research initiative lead by Montana State University to study the ecology and population dynamics of bighorn sheep and mountain goats throughout the Yellowstone ecosystem.
Collars are programmed to drop off by an automatic release mechanism at designated times of the year and Game and Fish help recover collars from the field after a telemetry flight pinpoints the location.
The collars collect and store the GPS points of the animal's location multiple times in a day. Once the collars drop off and are recovered, stored data is downloaded and the collars can be refurbished for future use or returned to the manufacturer for a credit. Information from the collars is used to look at bighorn sheep and mountain goat interactions, migration patterns and resource selection.
According to Mong, there are 22 bighorn sheep and mountain goat collars to recover this year. Anyone who finds a tracking collar is encouraged to return it undamaged to any Game and Fish office.
For more information, visit the Greater Yellowstone Area Mountain Ungulate Project's website.


South Cody Game Warden Grant Gerharter (left) and Cody Wildlife Biologist Tony Mong (right)..


March 2018
Classroom Education

Green River –Green River Region Personnel commonly go into classrooms and teach about wildlife. Evanston Game Warden Nick Roberts spent two days teaching students at Clark Elementary School about wildlife in Wyoming. Students enjoyed handling the hides, skulls and antlers and had lots of interesting questions.


Game Warden Nick Roberts teaching local school children in Evanston, Wyoming.


March 2018
Game Wardens assist with youth pheasant hunt

Cody –Game Wardens Travis Crane, Chris Queen and Grant Gerharter participated in a youth pheasant hunting event near Cody last month. The annual Bob Messler youth hunt began at the Cody Shooting Complex where young hunters had an opportunity to improve their shooting skills by shooting trap. Later in the afternoon, youth participated in a pheasant hunt hosted by the Northwest Chapter of the Wild Turkey Federation, Bighorn Basin Chapter of Pheasants Forever and Monster Lake Ranch. The Wyoming Game Warden's Association purchased game bird licenses for those youth hunters that did not currently have one. Each youth was allowed to hunt with a mentor, behind a trained bird dog and allowed to harvest two pheasants. This event provided many young hunters their first opportunity to participate in a pheasant hunt.


Two young hunters who participated in the Bob Messler youth pheasant hunt at Monster Lake.


March 2018
Game and Fish Has Booth at 40th Annual Gillette Children's Festival

Gillette –The Wyoming Game and Fish Department set up a booth at the 40th Annual Gillette Children's Festival in early March. Furs, antlers and horns from Wyoming mammals were displayed at the booth. The event was attended by 1,125 youth and 909 adults that came to the Cam-Plex to enjoy the educational event.


Moorcroft Game Warden J.D. Davis (on left) and North Gillette Game Warden Kristen DaVanon (on right) visit with some of the people that attended the Children's Festival.


South Gillette Game Warden Dustin Kirsch prepares the display prior to the start of the Children's Festival.


March 2018
Elk Returned to WHMA

Dayton –Dayton Game Warden Dustin Shorma, with assistance from Sheridan Game Warden Luke May, were able to slowly push a herd of elk back onto the Amsden Creek Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA) utilizing an "inlet" in the elk fence. These "inlets" are a narrow, one-way chute structure placed in the fence that allows only one elk at a time to re-enter the WHMA. These structures enable wildlife manages to move elk off private land and back onto the WHMA winter range.



March 2018
Swan Call

Jackson –North Jackson Game Warden Jon Stephens responded to a report of trumpeter swan that might be injured near Jackson Hole High School recently. He arrived to find the young swan properly using the pedestrian crosswalk (below). After examining the bird, it appeared to be in good health with no broken wing, so Stephens loaded it into the cab of his truck for relocation. However, Jon's yellow lab, Gus, appeared none too happy with his new cab mate. Stephens released the swan to a pond at the National Elk Refuge. While reports of dead or injured swans are not uncommon for Jackson during the winter months, Game & Fish has responded to several more calls this winter for some reason.




March 2018
Stuck Elk

Afton –Afton Game Warden James Hobbs and South Jackson Game Warden Kyle Lash responded to a bull elk that got caught with its "head in the cookie jar", so to speak. The bull had gotten its antlers stuck in the bars of a Star Valley rancher's hay feeder while trying to snitch some hay. Hobbs and Lash had to saw off one of the bull's antler tines to get it unstuck, but it ran away otherwise un-harmed.


Afton Game Warden James Hobbs attempting to free a Bull Elk from a hay feeder in the Star Valley.


July 2017
Osprey Issue in the Park

Pinedale – Pinedale Game Warden Jordan Kraft responded to a call of an osprey that had gotten tangled in fishing line at the Pinedale Kids Fishing Pond in Boyd Skinner Park. Apparently, the osprey had swooped down to snatch a dead rainbow trout, but it was still attached to a fishing line and the osprey became entangled. The fishing line was wrapped around the osprey's feet and one wing, preventing it from flying. The line was removed and the osprey flew away no worse for the wear.


July 2017
Dove Banding

Rawlins – In July, Teal Cufaude began trapping and banding mourning doves near Rawlins. Wire mesh traps were set, which capture doves as they walk through funnels following a trail of millet or sunflower seeds. Once in the trap the doves are unable to walk back out since the opening is smaller on the inside of the trap. The age, gender, and molt stage of each dove captured is recorded, before being banded. Once the doves are banded, they are released. Hunters and the public are encouraged to report band information for any banded dove that they may harvest or find deceased. The information from the reported bands provides data on the distribution, movements, relative numbers, life span, and causes of death for mourning doves.


Teal Joseph and volunteer checking a mourning dove for age and molt stage before banding.


July 2017
Black bear trapping in Sierra Madres

Baggs – Baggs Game Warden Kim Olson went along with the WGFD bear trapping crew doing the Sierra Madres study. As part of an upcoming effort to monitor black bear populations in Wyoming, the Wyoming Game & Fish Department will conduct trapping operations in the Sierra Madre Mountains of southern Wyoming beginning in early July after the 4th of July holiday and potentially continuing through late August.

All areas where trapping is conducted will have major access points marked with warning signs. It is critical that all members of the public take note of these signs.

Similar to monitoring elk or deer populations, the monitoring of black bears in Wyoming is vital to their ongoing management. To attract and capture bears, biologists utilize natural food sources such as fresh road-killed deer and elk. Trapped animals are immobilized, processed, released on site, and then monitored in accordance with strict protocols developed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

When bear trapping activities are conducted for monitoring purposes, the vicinity of the site will be posted with warning signs to inform the public of these activities. The signs will be posted along the major access points to the trapping site. It is important that the public observe these signs and not venture into posted areas.


July 2017
Cheyenne Field Archers make generous donation

Cheyenne – A hardy thank you to Cheyenne Field Archers for their $1,000 donation to Access Yes on July 10. CFA president Mac Wilson in (black shirt) presented the check in July. This donation puts CFA at over $15,000 in access donations since they started their fund-raising shoots in 2006. Every dollar donated to the Access Yes program opens up roughly 3.2 acres of private land for public hunting and fishing. The benefits of this program are far reaching, not just for bow hunters, but for all sportsmen. Funds donated to Access Yes help pay for the Walk In Hunting, Walk In Fishing and Hunter Management Area programs that provide access to thousands of acres of private land across Wyoming.


July 2017
No-wake zone ahead

Glendo – Game Wardens Mitch Renterria (pictured) and Dylan Bergman placed "No Wake" buoys on Sandy Beach at Glendo Reservoir earlier this summer. The buoys ensure that swimmers don't have to deal with fast-moving boats, and prevents other boats from navigating excessive wakes. The wardens also placed new "No Wake" buoys at the marina in response to boats leaving the marina area at high rates of speed.


July 2017
Mule deer in basement

Cody – On July 7, South Cody Game Warden Grant Gerharter and Wildlife Biologist Tony Mong responded to an unusual call. Early that morning, a Cody area resident reported hearing a crash and then discovering a live deer in her home. When Gerharter and Mong arrived at the residence at 6:30 a.m., they found an injured, but alert mule deer buck laying in the basement. The deer had fallen into the window well outside and in its struggle to get out, kicked the window in and then fell though into the home. Gerharter and Mong used a tranquiller gun to immobilize the deer and carried it up the stairs and out of the house on a tarp. The deer had several broken legs and a laceration on its neck and was euthanized due to its extensive injuries.


July 2017
Keyhole Reservoir-Fishing and Boating Enforcement

Pine Haven – Game Wardens Luke May, Ryan Bagley, John Davis and Dustin Kirsch spent considerable time in July on Keyhole Reservoir conducting fishing and boating enforcement. The wardens indicated that recreational boating increased in July at Keyhole while the number of fishing boats decreased. Walleye fishing slowed down in July but northern pike fishing remained good with one angler catching 14 northern pike in one day. Boating regulation compliance among recreational boaters was good, however one arrest was made for boating under the influence.


Game Wardens Ryan Bagley (on left) and Luke May (on right) patrol Keyhole.


June 2017
Wandering moose finds it way to LaGrange

LaGrange-Wheatland Game Warden David Ellsworth and Torrington Game Warden Rob Hipp teamed up to remove a wandering moose from the LaGrange area. With the help of deputies from the Goshen County Sheriff's Department and several local residents, the moose was successfully darted and loaded into a horse trailer. Local residents also supplied a hose and water to cool the moose off prior to transport. The moose was transported to the Pole Mountain area where it was successfully released. It's not uncommon for moose to wander onto Wyoming's eastern plains by following streambeds down from the mountains.


June 2017
Picking up fawns is wrong

Saratoga- Saratoga Game Warden Biff Burton reports that a Saratoga resident thought she was doing a good deed by rescuing what she believed was an abandoned pronghorn fawn from a road in the Jack Creek area. However, as pronghorn mothers typically keep their distance from their fawns to avoid attracting attention to them. Once removed from the wild, it can be quite difficult to reunite a young animal with its mother. This young buck fawn was saved by a request for pronghorn fawns from a Minnesota zoo. Warden Burton reminds residents that it is illegal to possess big game animals and many other species in Wyoming. If you find a young wild animal it is always best to leave it alone unless you are certain its mother will not return. In such a case, contact the nearest Game and Fish Department office or your local game warden.


May 2017
Rare melanistic barn owls found in Wheatland

Wheatland- Wheatland Game Warden David Ellsworth responded to a house west of Wheatland where a woman reported that an owl had flown down her chimney the night before. Warden Ellsworth removed the fire place insert and discovered a deceased barn owl that was very dark in color. He initially thought the dead owl was covered in soot from the fireplace, but after cleaning it off he discovered that the plumage was in fact black.

Approximately an hour later, he received another call from the same woman that another owl had flown into her house through the fireplace. Warden Ellsworth responded to find yet another black barn owl. This owl was captured alive and eventually released. Game and Fish Department's Nongame Bird Biologist Andrea Orabona confirmed that this is a melanistic trait or "reverse albinism." Melanism, or melanosis, is a condition caused by a genetic mutation that gives a bird excess amounts of melanin, or dark pigmentation, in its feathers. This makes the feathers much darker than normal plumage, and many melanistic birds appear completely brown or black or may only show accents of other colors. While a true melanistic bird is rare, many bird species have regular color morphs that show some degree of melanism.


May 2017
Coffee with a Warden

Lander - Warden Brady Frude held several Coffee with a Warden sessions in May. The first, located at the Lander Bake Shop, was to assist folks with big game applications and help with the process as well as answer any last minute questions. Brady brought maps and regulations and a laptop from the regional office.

The second, also at the Lander Bake Shop was to provide information for the Wyoming Outdoor Weekend. About a dozen different people came to talk and one individual said he'd wanted to come to a Coffee with a Warden session ever since we started them and just hadn't had a chance to yet. One landowner came to discuss ongoing issues with elk damage along the North Fork Popo Agie and left satisfied with what answers we could provide.


Warden Brady Frude visiting at the Lander Bake Shop 'Coffee With a Warden'.


May 2017
The Antler Opener

Jackson- May 1 has become known as the "antler hunting opener" here in western Wyoming. It is the date state law again permits the gathering of antlers or horns after a Jan 1-April 30 closure on all public lands west of the Continental Divide. It is also the date big game winter range closures are lifted on many federal and state lands. Regional game wardens actively patrol big game winter ranges to ensure everyone is playing by the rules and not harassing wintering big game. After a busy year last year, wardens report the number of citations handed out this year was considerably less.

Access to forest service lands adjacent to the National Elk Refuge near Jackson continues to be a focal point for many antler hunters with 200 or more vehicles typically waiting to cross the refuge at 12:01 am when all closures are lifted. With the midnight opener, antler hunters use powerful lights and headlamps, which light up the hillsides adjacent to the National Elk Refuge. This year Wyoming Public Radio came to Jackson to do a story on the event and Jackson Game Warden Kyle Lash was one of those interviewed for the story. You can check it out online here: https://goo.gl/7WN3xh


Jackson Game Warden Kyle Lash issues an interstate game tag to an antler hunter. All antlers still attached to the skull must be reported to a game warden and tagged to show it was legally harvested.


May 2017
Game Warden Saves Moose Calf

Jackson- South Jackson Game Warden Kyle Lash responded to a call of a moose calf that had become separated from it's mother and appeared stranded on an island in the middle of the swift-moving Snake River near Wilson. Lash and his brother-in-law paddled his raft out to the moose calf as a crowd gathered on the shore to watch. The young calf proved difficult to catch, but they were finally successful and able to bring the calf back across to the safety and security of it's mother. The incident received considerable local publicity.


Warden Lash brings a moose calf back to safety and its mother.


April 2017
Game and Fish Informational Booths at Campbell Ag. Expo.

Gillette- Game Wardens Dustin Kirsch, Luke May and Ryan Bagley, Terrestrial Habitat Biologist Todd Caltrider, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Mike Locatelli and AIS Technicians Dennis Green and Ally Torongeau set up and ran three informational booths at the Campbell County Ag and Natural Resources Expo.

Over 780 3rd graders from Campbell County schools and numerous teachers and chaperones attended the event where they were taught about bird beaks, animal hides and skulls, and invasive aquatic species.


Game Wardens Luke May (foreground) and Dustin Kirsch (background) help Campbell County third graders identify hides from Wyoming mammals.

Game Warden Ryan Bagley teaches Campbell County third graders about "Fill the Bill", a fun activity that demonstrates how specialization of bird beaks helps the bird obtain food.


March 2017
Cow elk wrangling in Kemmerer

Kemmerer - Kemmerer Game Warden Chris Baird shared an interesting elk story and these photos: "This elk calf had been living by itself just north of the interpretive pullout on HWY 189 at Fontenelle Reservoir. Many elk had been hit within several miles of this spot this winter. She had been outside of the right-of-way and was perfectly fine. However, she decided that the highway right-of-way was the place to be and I decided to change her mind." "As we all know, most wild critters will simply run away when you approach in a vehicle, but she did not respond to my honking, lights, or even sirens. She simply laid back her ears and ground her teeth at my truck. At this point, I thought that she must be hurt or sick and prepared to dispatch her. As I got out of the truck and moved closer I could see nothing wrong with the animal and attempted to move her on foot. She continued grinding her teeth and stomping as I yelled and waved a ski pole at her." "When I was about five yards from her she reared and charged me. I fended her off with the ski pole and retreated. I continued to try and move her out of the highway for quite awhile, when it became apparent that, although skinny from the long winter, she was perfectly healthy and would not move from the spot she had chosen. I decided to attempt to capture and relocate her. With some effort, I corralled her with my truck between the fence and some greasewood. I roped her with a water rescue rope, threw her to the ground, and hog-tied her." "A couple of Kemmerer residents on their way home from work saw this and stopped to help me load her in the bed of my truck. Once loaded, she was quite content and behaved better than many dogs in the bed of the truck, as we drove several miles into the Slate Cr. winter range, where many elk were wintering. I was able to untie her without too much trouble, but once free, she was reluctant to get out of the truck. She wouldn't let me close to the truck and reared and lunged as I tried to move her out. After some time and help from a ski pole she exited the truck and resumed her tooth grinding surliness as I left. We sure hope she makes it!"


March 2017
Game & Fish Sets Up Informational Booths

Gillette- Informational booths set up by G&F and the Wyoming Game Wardens Association at two events in Gillette attracted hundreds of interested people to observe the animal furs, skulls, antlers and horns, as well as the Poach Coach. The booths were set up at the Wyoming Sportsman's Group Banquet and the Children's Festival. The Poach Coach seemed to be especially attractive to those youngsters that wanted their photos to be taken while they were "behind bars."


The Poach Coach attracted many youngsters to have their photos taken while in the Coach.


December 2016
Shop with a Cop

Jackson- Jackson game wardens Jon Stephens and Justin Dodd participated in the annual "Shop with a Cop" Christmas event. Officers from multiple agencies gathered to help kids buy and wrap presents for their families.


Here Warden Dodd helps Bailey wrap a present for one of her family members.


December 2016
Moose Predicament

Afton- Afton Game Warden James Hobbs received a call about a moose stuck in a gate and arrived to find it lodged between the gate and a large log support. The cow and its calf both tried to slip through the gap between the two. The calf made it, but the cow was too big and had gotten stuck. The cow moose waited patiently while Warden Hobbs and the landowner were able to remove the gate, allowing her to rejoin her calf and be on her way.


December 2016
Hunter Mentor Program Allows First Time Hunters to Harvest a Deer

Buffalo - For the past several years Buffalo Game Warden Jim Seeman and Buffalo Wildlife Biologist Dan Thiele have been involved with the hunter mentoring program through the Catholic Church in Buffalo. During the 2016 hunting season two hunters signed up and Seeman and Thiele took them hunting. Both of the first time hunters were successful in harvesting doe white-tailed deer. After the hunting season, the church sponsors a wild game dinner (The Beast Feast) where many hunters discuss the past hunting season while enjoying great food.


One of the two hunters involved in the hunter mentor program with the doe white-tailed deer he harvested.


November 2016
Lion Sighting

Jackson - North Jackson Game Warden Jon Stephens received a call of a lion that had been seen on multiple occasions near homes on West Gros Ventre Butte in early November. Upon arrival, Stephens was able to capture this photo with his phone of the mother lion with two kittens crossing the road in front of him. Further investigation revealed an elk carcass the lion family had been feeding on in some shrubbery next to the road. The lion family soon moved on and hasn't been seen since.


February 2017
Come with me...

Jackson - In early February Jackson Game Warden Kyle Lash received a call about elk acting strangely off Broadway Street in Jackson, adjacent to the National Elk Refuge. Warden Lash attempted to haze the elk back to the refuge; however the elk had no fear of people and would not move. With help from National Elk Refuge Law Enforcement Officer Bryan Yetter, they were able to slip a tow strap around the sick elk's neck and slowly lead the elk back into the National Elk Refuge. Photo by Bryan Yetter


February 2017
Diggin' Out

Jackson- Jackson Region Wildlife Supervisor Brad Hovinga got out of the office for a day to help shovel snow off one of the Game Warden patrol cabins. There are a handful of patrol cabins maintained by the Game and Fish across the state to allow game wardens to stay in the field during hunting seasons and other busy times of year, as needed.


August 8, 2015
Slain game wardens remembered

The Wyoming Game Wardens Association conducted a ceremony to honor the service and sacrifice of game wardens Bill Lakanen and Don Simpson at Jack Creek Park on the Medicine Bow National Forest west of Saratoga on August 8, 2015. Lakanen and Simpson were murdered by John Malten, a German immigrant, at his cabin on Jim Creek on October 31, 1945. Approximately 60 people attended the memorial service and heard accounts of the incident by Bill Robertson, president of the Wyoming Game Wardens Association and Greybull Game Warden, and Saratoga Game Warden Biff Burton. The Wyoming Game Wardens Association Honor Guard also gave a 21-gun salute and played taps for the solemn occasion.

 
WGWA President and Greybull Game Warden Bill Robertson (L) and Saratoga Game Warden Biff Burton (R) at the Ceremony.

 


On August 10, 2014 the Wyoming Game Wardens Association Honor Guard paid respects to retired Chief Game Warden Jay Lawson during his memorial service. Jay passed away on July 15, 2014 in Cheyenne at the age of 65.




Wyoming Peace Officer Memorial – Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas - May 16, 2014



Wyoming Game Wardens Association Spurs



Retired Game Wardens Qualification Shoot May 21, 2014
(LtoR): Gregg Arthur, Bob Sexton, Jim Bradley, Mark Nelson, Chris Daubin, Jeff Smith, Jim Johnston


In August, 2013 Afton Game Warden Todd Graham recently placed this plaque at the Moose Creek Patrol Cabin in the Greys’ River Drainage. Longtime Afton Game Warden Duane Hyde built the cabin in 1976, and it has been maintained over the years by numerous Game & Fish employees, past and present.


Inscription:
Moose Creek Cabin
Established in 1976 by Game Warden Duane Hyde. For the Protection and Conservation of Wildlife


In Memory of Afton Game Warden Duane Hyde


Thorofare Cabin
Cody Region personnel spent eight days at the remote Thorofare Cabin located in the Bridger Teton National Forest, just south of Yellowstone National Park. The work crew spent time shingling the roof, staining the cabin, felling trees, and building saddle racks.


Chris Queen and Craig Smith replacing roof shingles.


From Left: Biologist Bart Kroger, Game Warden Jim Olson, Forest Service Ranger Ron Ostrum, Game Wardens Chris Queen, and Craig Smith, and Wildlife Supervisor Alan Osterland.


More In The Field Game Warden Photos


Jackson Game Warden Jon Stephens visits with a successful father-daughter hunt team.


Rawlins Game Warden Teal Joseph keeps watch on wintering mule deer in the Bennett Peak area during the Saratoga winter range task force.


East Casper Game Warden Cody Bish with a Black Bear that was immobilized in Casper and relocated.


South Jackson Game Warden Kyle Lash assists a young angler.


East Rawlins Game Warden Dillon Herman holds a mule deer fawn that was removed from a home where it was being kept as a “pet”. In Wyoming it is illegal to possess big game animals and many other species.


Lovell Game Warden James Hobbs sets up a solar charger to deter Canada geese from a field.


Saratoga Game Warden Biff Burton rides his horse Kookaburra to check anglers at Stovepipe Gulch in the North Platte River Wilderness Area. He met a group of Australian visitors who were delighted to meet a Wyoming game warden on a horse named after a bird native to Australia.


Cokeville Game Warden Neil Hymas releasing a Black Bear after it successfully completed rehabilitation in Idaho after being captured in Green River in 2014 as a 30 pound cub. The male bear weighed 162 pounds t the time of his release. All bears must be released back into the state of their capture upon completion of rehabilitation.


Game Wardens Craig Smith and Travis Crane and Large Carnivore Specialist Kyle Bales hobble a moose after the animal was chemically immobilized in order to transport him to an awaiting horse trailer.


Sheridan Region Office Manager Lori Roe (with torch), her son Nate (in white shirt) and Troy Tobiasson (far right) participate in the Special Olympics' Unified Relay Across America torch run.


Casper Game Warden Adam Parks with a couple of fledgling raptors.


Casper Game Wardens Cody Bish, Adam Parks and Daniel Beach promoting watercraft safety in the Game and Fish Department patrol boat for the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo in Casper.


Large Carnivore Conflict Training with the Green River Region.


Afton Game warden Todd Graham and IDFG warden Shane Bliss conducting boater checks on Palisades Reservoir. Photo Kyle Lash


Mountain View Wildlife Biologist Jeff Short, Green River Game Warden Andy Roosa, Green River Wildlife Supervisor Steve DeCecco and Kemmerer Game Warden Chris Baird began replacing the roof at the Labarge Creek patrol cabin. The project should be completed in a couple weeks, with a new steel roof, just in time for hunting season.


Game Wardens Shawn Blajszczak, Kelly Todd, Ryan Kenneda, and Access Coordinator Jason Sherwood participated in the Laramie Jubilee Days Parade in Laramie to help celebrate Wyoming’s 125th birthday.


North Jackson Game Warden Jon Stephens, and his steadfast sidekick Gus, scan the high country for bighorn sheep.


South Jackson Game Warden Kyle Lash collars a bighorn ewe.

North Jackson Game Warden Jon Stephens and Jackson Wildlife Biologist Aly Courtemanch checking hunters in the Teton Wilderness northeast of Moran and the Gros Ventre Wilderness.


Jackson Wildlife Biologist Aly Courtemanch and South Jackson Warden Kyle Lash remove plastic fencing from a moose’s antlers.


Meeteetse Game Warden Jim Olson and his string of fine mules head across a high plateau deep in the heart of the Absaroka Wilderness during the 2015 bighorn sheep season.


South Cody Game Warden Craig Smith assists with removing fencing as part of National Public Lands Day.

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