LARAMIE — Resident and nonresident hunters with specific license types in the area of the Mullen Creek Fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest may be eligible for either a license reservation or refund due to limited access in the Snowy Range.
The Mullen Creek fire began on September 17 in the Savage Run Wilderness area approximately 40 miles southwest of Laramie. The U.S. Forest Service has implemented an area closure around the fire to ensure protection of the public and fire personnel. This area closure will remain in effect until rescinded by the U.S. Forest Service.
Wyoming Game and Fish Commission Chapter 44 regulation allows a license holder to request a license reservation or a license refund when the Department determines licenses cannot be used for a good cause due to a natural disaster, including wildfire. Hunters who have certain deer, elk, or moose licenses for the affected area will receive a letter and an email, provided the Department has a license holder email address on file, with additional information about refunds.
License holders for Moose Hunt Areas 38/41, and Deer Area 78, Type 1 will have the option to request a license reservation (carryover) for 2021, a refund, or utilize their moose or deer license this fall. Cow/calf elk hunters in Elk Hunt Areas 9 and 110 can only request a refund on their Type 6 license.
Laramie Regional Wildlife Supervisor Matt Withroder says, “There are still many thousands of acres available within these hunt areas if hunters choose to use their license this fall. But for those who are impacted by this situation, we want you to know your options.”
Please refer to the letter/email for specific deadlines for license reservation (carryover) and refunds for each species. Note: Chapter 44 does not allow reduced price Type 6 licenses to be carried over to the next season, and hunters with general deer or elk licenses are not eligible for a refund. Preference points will be reinstated if a refund is granted to nonresident hunters, and anyone who receives a refund will be eligible to purchase a preference point for 2020.
All hunters requesting a license refund or carryover must complete and sign the “Sportsperson License Review Request” form and the “Attest to Not Hunting” form. Both forms will be included with the letter and must be returned with the physical, unused, and unaltered license with all coupons intact by the deadline. If you have questions regarding license reservations or refunds, please contact Jennifer Doering at (307) 777-4517 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When making a decision on requesting a license refund or reservation (carryover), please review the current fire information found on the following website: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7208/. The Forest Service closure is an evolving incident and could change at any time. Check the above link frequently for the most current updates.
Hunters are urged to heed all fire bans in place throughout Wyoming and be extremely cautious with any forms of ignition. The Department has instituted fire bans on many Commission-owned and administered lands across the state, including in the Laramie, Lander, Sheridan, and Casper regions. Check Department webpages for rules in each region. During a fire ban, the following acts are prohibited on all Game and Fish Commission-owned and administered lands:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a campfire, charcoal grill, or coal or wood burning stove.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, at a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
- Fireworks are always prohibited on Wyoming Game and Fish lands.
- Fires within an established ring are prohibited in all Public Access Areas under a fire ban.
Hunters should also avoid driving through vegetation or parking a hot vehicle on vegetation, which can spark a fire. The U.S. Forest Service and other land management agencies may also have fire bans on their properties. Hunters should check with each respective land management agency to see if their camping location has any fire restrictions in place.