Wyoming Wants Baiting for Whitetails

According to this AP news story. Wyoming officials are looking at adding baiting to control white-tailed deer herds in urban and suburban areas.

The game department brought the bill to the committee asking for its support. “It’s in response to the problem of overpopulation of deer in population congested areas,” Burns said.

Speaking of whitetail deer, Burns said, “On the eastern slope of the Big Horns, they’re like flies up here.”

Burns said he’s always believed that the game commission should set specifications for such details as the permissible weapons for hunting certain species.

“We come in annually,” Burns said of the Legislature. “And to dictate things like that smacks to me of micromanagement. We’ve got Game and Fish set up for a reason. And they’re the experts in this area.”

Scott Edberg, assistant chief of wildlife division, said Wyoming’s seeing increasing problems with whitetail deer getting into towns, particularly in Sheridan and Johnson counties. He said mule deer can also be a problem in other areas of the state.

Edberg said passing the bill would allow the game commission to authorize the baiting of deer, or other big game animals if they became a problem, into areas where they could be killed either within or outside a municipality’s limits.

“It would be strictly to deal with urban deer, or some type of conflict situation, and not just routinely being able to bait out in the open prairie or something like that,” Edberg said of the baiting authority.

Changing state law to allow the game commission to determine appropriate weapons for hunting would allow the state to keep up with changes in technology and the development of new calibers of guns, Edberg said. He said Wyoming currently one of the most restrictive states on setting minimum calibers and bullet weights for hunting.