WY: G&F uses big game decoys to combat illegal hunting
G&F uses big game decoys to combat illegal hunting
December 28, 2010
GREEN RIVER, Wyo. — One afternoon in early October, Wyoming Game and Fish
Department wardens set up an antelope decoy at a remote site northeast of
Officials said 29 vehicles drove by the decoy during the day. Ten drivers
stopped for a look. Hunters in eight of the cars took shots at the decoy,
but only two of them did so legally.
A few more of those poacher-nabbing decoys will be out in the field next
year, thanks to a donation to the agency by the Jackson chapter of Safari
Game and Fish spokesman Mark Gocke said the chapter recently donated two
elk decoys and one antelope decoy that will be used for enforcement
operations across the state.
One elk decoy will be used in the agency's Jackson region, another in the
Green River region, Gocke said.
The antelope will be used throughout the state.
Game wardens contend that decoys are an efficient way to put the
violator, officer and sought-after game in the same spot at the same time.
Many states including Wyoming use replicas of big-game animals, pheasants
or other animals and place them under surveillance.
Big-game decoys have been used in Wyoming since 1992, according to agency
In 1995, Wyoming lawmakers passed a statute making the attempt to take a
wildlife decoy the same as attempting to take a live animal. If the attempt
is illegal, it is a violation.
But some hunters and others believe the use of wildlife decoys
Game and Fish officials note court rulings have upheld the fact that no
one is being encouraged to shoot at the decoys, and the mere presence of an
opportunity to take a wild animal does not constitute entrapment.
Decoys are usually set along public roads in hunt areas and are normally
employed in one- or two-day operations. Some states also deploy mechanical
deer replicas, or “robo” deer, that mimic the animal's movements.
Gocke said the new antelope decoy was given a tryout in the Casper region
this fall and it worked well.
There were nine citations handed out during the day, Gocke said in a
He said six citations were written for shooting from the roadway and the
combined fines totaled $1,320. One person was cited for shooting from a
vehicle and fined $420.
Gocke said two citations were written for failure to wear hunter orange
and resulted in $140 in fines.
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