New Law Better Defines Hunting and Fishing Residency

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Talk on the street that Wyoming’s hunting and fishing license residency laws have been liberalized is not true, reports the Game and Fish Department.

Unfortunately there’s been some confusion since a new law was signed into effect during the 2004 legislative session The new law defines that once an individual resides in Wyoming one year and becomes a resident, he or she must reside in the state at least 180 days in each subsequent year to retain residency.

"The only real change is that we decided what to do about those people who are residents but spend a portion of the year living in other states," said Steve DeCecco, Game and Fish Department wildlife supervisor in Green River.

The 180-day provision of the new law addressed “snowbirds” concerns of wanting to know exactly where they stand with respect to hunting and fishing license residency. DeCecco adds all Wyoming residents must maintain a permanent home in the Cowboy State to maintain their residency.

Most of the bill SF0027, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2005, clarified existing hunting and fishing license residency laws because courts found them vague and contradictory and the public found them hard to understand. The one-year requirement, however, did not change. To be considered a resident, you must have lived in Wyoming not less than one full year immediately preceding the date of license application or purchase. You must not have claimed residency in any other state for that time period.