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Review of game laws from 1898

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By Dick Perue

Author’s note: As I head to the mountains for a month of hunting, fishing, camping and enjoying the fall colors – which are the most vibrant I’ve seen in years – I usually review my game laws to see what changes have been made, but I couldn’t find a copy of this year’s regulations. 

However, while doing some research on when we first had rules governing our game and fish in Wyoming, I discovered the following directive from 1898. To all of those who hunt and fish our great state: enjoy, stay safe and obey the law, even if you can’t find a copy of it.

Extract from Wyoming game laws, in force July 1, 1898:

The male animals only of deer, elk, moose, mountain sheep, mountain goat or antelope may be killed for food purposes, during the months of September, October and November of each year.

It is unlawful to trap any of the above-named animals or to use dogs for the purpose of running or coursing them. It is unlawful to obtain by barter or buy any green, tanned or un-tanned hides or horns of any of the animals mentioned above, and it is unlawful for any railway, stage or express company to receive for transportation any carcass, or part of carcass, except mounted heads or stuffed birds or animals, killed in accordance with law, may be transported to any point within or without the state.

Partridges, pheasant, prairie chicken, prairie hen or grouse may be shot from Aug. 15 to Dec. 1 of each year; sage chicken may be shot from July 15 to Oct. 1; wild duck, brant, geese and swan may be shot from Sept.1 to May 1.

Speckled trout, land-locked salmon, grayling or California trout, can be caught with fishing tackle only (consisting of rod or pole, line and hook) during the months of May, June, July, August and September.

It is unlawful to seine, trap or snare any fish or to use any explosive substance, or poison, in any of the waters of this state for the purpose of securing or killing fish.

Any person, or persons, having in their possession and offering for sale, or causing to be offered for sale, any game, game fish or game fowl, killed within the boundaries of the state of Wyoming, shall be fined not to exceed $100. 

Non-residents of Wyoming may hunt the male animals mentioned above during the months of September, October and November, upon procuring a license from a justice of the peace, for which a fee of $20 is charged.

P.S. Game laws today in 2022 require so much paper that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department sent them out on the computer and we have to print them out on our own paper. Of course, in their wisdom, the powers-to-be wasted more paper telling us they had a paper shortage that, being a printer, I could have used the paper to print the game laws. Oh, how things have gone downhill since the simple times and laws of 1898. Hope a game warden doesn’t see this before I conclude hunting season!

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