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Regulations for Wyoming disabled hunters updated

Cheyenne – Hunters planning for their 2017 season should be aware of changes to Wyoming Game and Fish Commission Regulation Chapter 35, Hunting Permit Regulations for Persons with Disabilities.

“The new changes modify existing regulations to correspond more closely with the original legislative intent of providing a season extension for hunters with the most severe physical disabilities,” said Mike Choma, Game and Fish wildlife law enforcement supervisor.

Changes to the disabled hunting regulations came after reviewing input provided by the public and other collaborating organizations. The draft Chapter 35 regulation was taken out for public comment last April through early June and approved by the Commission at their July, 2016 meeting. Chapter 38, hunters with a qualifying disability authorized to shoot from a vehicle and Chapter 64, Regulation for central visual acuity disability permits were combined into Chapter 35 as a measure to comply with the Governor’s Initiative to reduce regulations.

The changes to Chapter 35 are summarized below:

Disabled Hunter Permit – The veteran’s disability percentage was adjusted from 65% to 70% and requires the decision letter to have been issued within five years from the date of application. Disabled Hunter Permits only allow a disabled hunter permit holder to be accompanied by a person with a Disabled Hunter Companion Permit who may take any animal the disabled hunter has lawfully wounded.

Shoot from a Vehicle Permit – All requirements remain the same; this permit was added to Chapter 35. This permit allows any person with a qualifying physical disability to shoot from a stationary vehicle to take wildlife. This permit does not allow a holder of this permit to hunt, shoot or attempt to take any wildlife from, along or across any public road or highway.

Central Visual Acuity Disability Permit – All requirements remain the same; this permit was added to Chapter 35. This permit allows the holder to use a scope that projects a visible light onto a target to take any animal.

Hunting Season Extension Permit – This is a new permit. All Disabled Hunter Permit holders no longer automatically qualify for the hunting season extension. The applicant must meet one of the following to receive a separate hunting season extension permit:

Has a central visual acuity disability, is quadriplegic, upper extremity disabled, paraplegic, permanently paralyzed over at least fifty (50%) percent of their body or otherwise physically disabled so as to be permanently confined to a wheelchair (or similar device) or,

Can produce a decision letter issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or any branch of the armed forces of the United States, showing the person to have a one hundred (100%) percent service connected disability; or

Meets the requirements set forth in W.S. 23-1-705(j); (is 20 years of age or younger with a life threatening illness and is sponsored by a nonprofit charitable organization whose mission it is to provide hunting opportunities and experiences to persons with a life threatening or serious illness).

Applicants issued a hunting season extension permit may hunt antelope, deer or elk five (5) days prior to the earliest opening date in the hunt area(s) and for the sex of antelope, deer or elk set forth by the limitations of their license as specified in Section 2 of the current regulation for that species.

Applications for any of these disabled hunter permits are available at all Game and Fish regional Offices or Cheyenne Headquarters Office. Applications are also available online. For questions regarding these changes, please call (307) 777-4600.