Wyoming Offers Large Reward for Poaching Cases

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Information leading to the conviction of the criminals responsible for poaching bighorn sheep from the Whiskey Mountain Herd near Dubois in November could now be worth over $5,000 to the individuals relaying the leads to authorities.

The Wyoming Chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep has offered up to $5,000 for information on the cases, in addition to the standard rewards offered by the Wyoming Wildlife Protector’s Association, the administrator of the Stop Poaching Rewards Program.

"We're appreciative of this support from the wild sheep organization to help us build cases in these crimes and hopefully get a conviction in time," said Cole Thompson, Dubois game warden.

Thompson is looking to solve these crimes:

  • Around 1 to 3 a.m. Nov. 19, an 8-year-old, three-quarter-curl ram was shot within sight of the Torrey Creek Road at the head of Trail Lake.
  • From Nov. 3-6 two dead ewes, or adult female bighorn sheep, were found on Torrey Rim. One is confirmed shot and the other is strongly suspected to have been shot.
  • Also on Nov. 20, another ewe, which had been dead several days but could also have been shot, was discovered near the Torrey Creek trailhead.

The Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Herd is one of the region’s most revered and popular wildlife viewing attractions attracting tourists from across the country in the winter.

For killing a bighorn ram out of season and leaving it to waste, the violator could face up to a $10,000 fine, one year in jail and a 10-year suspension of hunting/fishing license privileges.

"If the violators come forward the judge may take that into account when handing down the sentence," Thompson said.

Report information to the Stop Poaching Hotline at (800) 442-4331 or the Lander Game and Fish Office at (307) 332-2688.

"So even close acquaintances to the violator who are disturbed about the crime can call without being revealed," he said.