Hunting Waterfowl in Wyoming? Here’s What You Need to Know
Hunting waterfowl is a passion of mine and hunting geese and ducks in Wyoming can be a bit confusing, with split fly-way zones and split seasons.
The eastern side of Wyoming is a great place for waterfowl hunters to find geese and ducks. Especially when the snow starts to fly and starts pushing birds down out of Canada. Although most bird hunters are familiar with the rules and regulations, I thought it might be a good reminder for those folks that are gearing up or might be heading out to hunt for the first time.
Wyoming is part of both the Pacific Flyway and the Central Flyway for Waterfowl. The Pacific Fly is closed to waterfowl hunting in Wyoming!
The Central Flyway is divided into two (2) zones for the current 2015‐2016 season. Be sure to refer to the season dates for the zone in which you are hunting.
ZONE C1 - includes Big Horn, Converse, Goshen, Hot Springs, Natrona, Park, Platte and Washakie counties, and Fremont County excluding those portions south or west of the Continental Divide.
ZONE C2 - includes Albany, Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Laramie, Niobrara, Sheridan and Weston counties; and, that portion of Carbon County east of the Continental
Goose Season is can be especially confusing in Central Flyway which is currently closed in zone C1, but open in C2. Hunters are only allowed by Federal Regulations to hunt waterfowl for X number of days each year. This is why the Wyoming waterfowl seasons have a break of about 10 days built into the middle, which allows the season to extend into mid-January (when the hunting really heats up).
Here are a few things you will need before heading out into the field.
Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp (Duck Stamp)
Hunters 16 years of age and older are required to purchase a federal migratory bird hunting stamp prior to hunting waterfowl. It is not required to hunt sandhill cranes, mourning doves, coots, snipe, rails, or crows. These stamps are NOT sold by the WGFD, but may be obtained at a U.S. Post Office, some license selling agents throughout the state, or online at www.usps.com and www.duckstamp.com. A receipt from an online purchase is NOT valid to hunt with.
Harvest Information Program (HIP) Permit
All licensed hunters (including pioneers) who hunt migratory game birds (waterfowl, sandhill cranes, mourning doves, coots, snipe, and rails) shall possess and exhibit a National Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit. HIP permits must be carried in the field while hunting migratory game birds. HIP permits are not transferrable to Wyoming from another state. A new HIP must be completed for each state hunted. Wyoming HIP permits are only available online, Click Here to get your HIP permit.
Light Goose Conservation Order Special Management Permit
A light goose special management permit is required to hunt during the spring hunting season for light geese in eastern Wyoming. Season information for the light goose conservation order is available in the Late Migratory Game Bird regulation brochure, and Chapter 48 of Commission regulations.
The season for Zone C1 re-opens on October 31st, get the steel shot ready and we'll see you in the blind - good luck!!