The Wyoming Game & Fish Department is increasing efforts to communicate and coordinate with the hunting public beginning with “pre-season setting” meetings this year. The meeting in Greybull is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Greybull Town Hall meeting room.
Tom Easterly, wildlife biologist from Greybull, said, “Typically, we hold our hunting season meetings after we’ve already formulated the hunting seasons. This year, we’ll be trying something different.”
“These ‘pre-season’ meetings will give the public an opportunity to express their opinions before we develop our opinions. They’ve held several pre-season meetings in other towns across the state,” Easterly said, “and it sounds like they’ve been well attended with some constructive suggestions provided by the public.” A similar meeting was held Jan. 8 in Lovell.
However, Easterly cautions that, “We’re still forced to operate within the hunting season structures outlined in the application booklets that are already available to the public.”
The 2012 application booklet was released to the public back in late December or early January. License types and opening dates were printed in those booklets. Some limitations were also listed. Easterly added, “We have some wiggle room to get more liberal with the seasons, but we cannot get more restrictive than what was printed in the application booklets.”
“We can’t always change seasons to suit one person’s desires,” Easterly added, “but we have made changes based on public input in the past. If a person attends a pre-season meeting, they can also attend the regular public meeting to see if we were able to incorporate their recommendations or if not they’ll find out why.”
The regular public hunting season meetings will also be held across the state. Easterly said that the usual meeting was already scheduled for March 22, also at Greybull Town Hall, 6 to 8 p.m. If someone cannot make the pre-season meeting, they can still visit with Game & Fish personnel about the 2012 season after they’ve been formally proposed and discussed within the agency.