Wyoming Game and Fish Offers Area 2 Sheep Hunters Option to Delay License to 2009

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Wyoming Game and Fish Offers Area 2 Sheep Hunters Option to Delay License to 2009CHEYENNE– Due to the Gunbarrel Wildland Fire west of Cody restricting access, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is offering area 2 bighorn sheep hunters the option of delaying their license to the 2009 season.

The Shoshone National Forest has closed access to approximately 150 square miles of area 2 due to the lightning-induced fire that began July 26. “With no idea of when access may be resumed or how much larger the fire may grow this summer, we (Game and Fish) decided to give area 2 sheep hunters the option of either hunting this year or next,” said Jay Lawson, Game and Fish chief game warden.

Through Aug. 7, the fire had grown to 32,600 acres.

In a letter mailed Aug. 4, the 24 license holders were alerted they would need to notify the Game and Fish in writing prior to Aug. 15 – the opening of archery season in the area – if wishing to delay their license to 2009. Game and Fish regulations stipulate all bighorn sheep, moose or mountain goat hunters unable to use their license for good cause (department designated natural disaster, incapacitating illness or military personnel receiving a permanent change of station) must submit their request in writing, along with the intact license, prior to the season opening for any hunting for that species.

“Because bighorn sheep licenses are a coveted and long-sought-after commodity, the Game and Fish wanted to give these hunters the best opportunity to have a quality experience,” Lawson said.

The Game and Fish believes the fire is posing no danger to bighorn sheep and will improve bighorn habitat in the future – but could certainly compromise hunts this year.

The option to delay a big game license to 2009 is only being offered in bighorn sheep area 2. At this time,  all other Wyoming moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunt areas are scheduled to open as planned.