Game and Fish Bills Being Considered in State Legislature

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"Game and Fish was the only agency left except for very few Department of Transportation employees, who had to pay for their own healthcare," said State Senator Bruce Burns.

Passing its second reading in the senate today, senate bill 45 would allocate state general funds to pay for health insurance for game and fish employees.

"This will save them about 4.5 million dollars a year which is significant," said Sen. Burns.

With cuts to the budget last year game and fish employees were forced to cut many programs.

"Game and Fish has done a really good job over the past eighty years and so I don't see why we would want to alter that," said Burns.

Passing a house committee today, a bill that will allow up to 50 complimentary antelope hunting licenses for those with disabilities.

"Lending a hand to fulfill a dream for people who couldn't have otherwise hunted at all," said Representative Dan Kirkbride.

15 of the 50 complimentary hunting licenses will be set aside for those who are wheelchair bound or blind.

"To have that assistance and be able to go get that Wyoming prairie environment to hunt antelope for a couple of days is just one of the exciting of a lifetime and I think it means a lot to those people," said Rep. Kirkbride.

A trespassing bill that passed a senate committee worries some game and fish wardens who question what isn't included in the bill.

"Under the open fields doctrine we may go out and check a hunter on private property, then switch to collecting biological information and under the senate file 85 bill and from the language it seems it would stop us from doing that," said Daniel Beach, a representative for the Wyoming Game Wardens Association.

The sponsor of the bill says they are still researching this issue.

"Based on what I've been able to ascertain so far, I think the legal open field’s doctrine is covered by this," said Senator Larry Hicks.