Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 14

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Evolving over the years
Hunting regulations have changed with the times
By Robert Gagliardi

H

unting in Wyoming has changed
a lot over the years, but rules
and regulations have remained
a constant.
Wyoming's first game laws date back to the
1800s when it was a territory, but as time went
on so did the further development of regulations for those who hunt in the Cowboy State.
Going back to the 1930s, one of the most

Artwork made its debut in 1955 on elk, moose and sheep
hunting regulations. (WGFD photo)

14 | January 2021	

notable differences from then until now is a
single hunting license used to provide more
species to harvest. A hunting and fishing
license for residents and nonresidents in 1937
allowed people to hunt, pursue and kill one
bear, one elk, game and migratory birds and
pursue game fish in Wyoming. Today, nonresidents still get a fishing license when they
purchase an elk license.
Guides and outfitters in 1937 were
required to purchase licenses from the Game
and Fish Commission in order to legally
conduct business. Now, guide and outfitter
licenses are issued by the Board of Outfitters
and Professional Guides.
One permit that was around in the 1930s
that isn't today was one to photograph

game animals in Wyoming for commercial
purposes.
Early hunting regulations didn't have
elaborate covers or artwork. They were barebones, straight-to-the-point booklets that also
included fishing regulations. Dustin Shorma,
Game Warden in the Sheridan Region, said
artwork or photos were first put on the cover
in 1955.
According to the 1955 elk, moose and
sheep regulations, there were fewer than 30
hunt areas. For elk alone in 2020 there were
nearly 130. Hunt areas for all big game species have increased in quantity but are smaller
than they were 70 years ago and beyond.
Gary Shorma, Dustin's father, worked
for Game and Fish as a Game Warden from

A map featured in the August 1955 issue of Wyoming Wildlife shows the boundaries of the 20 elk hunting areas of the year.
(WGFD photo)



Wyoming Wildlife magazine

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