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Wyoming lowers minimum age for kids to hunt big game trophy animals

Youth receive some hunter training at the 2018 Wyoming Outdoors Expo in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming is lowering the minimum age for kids to hunt big game trophy animals.

Under current law, youth must be at least 12 years old in order to take a big game or trophy animal. Starting July 1, 2021, youth who are 11 years old but will turn 12 by the end of the calendar year will be eligible to take a big game trophy animal.

The minimum hunting age will be lowered because Governor Mark Gordon signed House Bill 115 into law on Monday.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on a third reading vote of 57-3 on March 19:

  • Ayes: ANDREW, BAKER, BEAR, BLACKBURN, BROWN, BURKHART, BURT, CLAUSEN, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, CRAGO, DUNCAN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, FORTNER, GRAY, GREEAR, HALLINAN, HAROLDSON, HARSHMAN, HEINER, HENDERSON, HUNT, JENNINGS, KINNER, BARLOW, LARSEN, L, MACGUIRE, MARTINEZ, NEIMAN, NEWSOME, NICHOLAS, OAKLEY, OBERMUELLER, O’HEARN, OLSEN, OTTMAN, PAXTON, PROVENZA, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SHERWOOD, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, STYVAR, SWEENEY, WALTERS, WASHUT, WESTERN, WHARFF, WILLIAMS, WILSON, WINTER, YIN, ZWONITZER
  • Nays: BANKS, KNAPP, LAURSEN, D

The Senate passed the bill on a 29-1 third reading vote on March 30:

  • Ayes: ANDERSON, BALDWIN, BITEMAN, BONER, BOUCHARD, CASE, COOPER, DOCKSTADER, DRISKILL, ELLIS, FRENCH, FURPHY, GIERAU, HICKS, HUTCHINGS, JAMES, KINSKEY, KOLB, KOST, LANDEN, MCKEOWN, NETHERCOTT, PAPPAS, ROTHFUSS, SALAZAR, SCHULER, SCOTT, STEINMETZ, WASSERBURGER
  • Nays: PERKINS

In Wyoming, anyone hunting for a big game or trophy animal under the age of 14 has to be accompanied “at all times” by someone 18 years of age or older.

That adult accompanying the youth hunter must either:

  • possess a firearm safety certificate
  • hold a current big game hunting license
  • have been issued a big game license in the last five years

“If the person accompanying the hunter under the age of fourteen (14) years is not the parent or guardian of the hunter, the hunter shall have in his possession a permission slip signed by his parent or guardian allowing him to hunt under supervision,” Wyoming Statue 23‑2‑102 states. “Each accompanying adult shall supervise not more than one (1) hunter under the age of fourteen (14) years.” 

“Any person under the age of fourteen (14) years applying for a license to hunt big or trophy game animals under this subsection shall have the application for the license co‑signed by his parent or legal guardian.”

House Bill 115 was sponsored by:

  • Rep. Paxton
  • Rep. Sommers
  • Sen. Driskill
  • Sen. Hicks


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