Game & Fish Department

Table of Contents


The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) is created and placed under the direction and supervision of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission in W.S. 23-1-401. The responsibilities of the Department are defined in W.S. 23-1-103. The Department is charged with providing ... “an adequate and flexible system for control, propagation, management, protection and regulation of all Wyoming wildlife.” Contact information: Wyoming Game and Fish Headquarters 5400 Bishop Boulevard Cheyenne 82006 Phone (307) 777-4600, Fax (307) 777-4699 TTY (307) 777-4647 Website: wgfd.wyo.gov (2015 State Directory)

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department works with the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission which serves as the policy making board of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and through the Department provide an adequate and flexible system for control, propagation, management, protection and regulation of all Wyoming wildlife (W.S. 23-1-103). Seven members are appointed by the Governor for six-year terms with Senate confirmation. Not more than four members shall be of the same party (W.S. 23-1-201). Contact information: Wyoming Game and Fish Headquarters 5400 Bishop Boulevard Cheyenne 82006 Phone (307) 777-4600, Fax (307) 777-4699 Website: wgfd.wyo.gov (2015 State Directory)

History


The First Territorial Legislative Assembly, 1869, enacted game laws to protect the game and fish of the Territory.

The Ninth Territorial Legislative Assembly, 1886, passed a law for the propagation and culture of fish; the governor to appoint, with the consent of the legislative council, a fish commissioner for a term of two years; this Leg­islative Assembly also enacted game laws, repealing all acts or parts of acts inconsistent with the game laws of 1886; it also provided for the stock detectives to be game detectives.

The Tenth Territorial Legislative Assembly, 1888, provided for the sheriffs, constables, and other peace officers to act as game wardens.

The First State Legislature, 1890-91, provided for the governor to appoint, with the consent of the senate, a fish commissioner for a term of two years, and also enumerated his powers and duties.

The Third State Legislature, 1895, provided for the fish commissioner to be game warden, appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate, for a term of two years.

The Fifth State Legislature, 1899, provided for the governor to appoint a State game warden, for a term of four years, and enumerated his powers and duties; the 1895 laws for the protection of game and fish, and all acts inconsistent with the 1899 Act, were repealed. The newly appointed State game warden saw to the enforcement of all laws for the protection of game and fish.

The Eleventh State Legislature, 1911, created a State Game Commission composed of three members; governor, secretary of State, and State auditor; the governor to be president of the said commission; the commission to have general supervision of the game animals, fish and birds of the State, and to enforce the game and fish laws.

The Twelfth State Legislature, 1913, created the office of the State fish commissioner, who was appointed by the governor, with the consent of the senate, for a term of four years, and who had supervision of all fish cultural matters of a public nature, and all fish hatcheries.

The Sixteenth State Legislature, 1921, provided for a State Game and Fish Commission, composed of the governor who was president, the secretary of State, and the State auditor; the governor to appoint, with the consent of the senate, a State game and fish commissioner, for a term of four years, to be secretary to the game and fish commission, and enumerated his powers and duties.

The Nineteenth State Legislature, 1927, provided for a Board of Game and Fish Commissioners, composed of six members, to be appointed by the gover­nor, with the consent of the senate, for a term of six years each, not more than three members to be of the same political party; a State game and fish com­missioner to be appointed by the board with the approval of the governor; term of office four years.

The Twenty-fourth State Legislature, 1937, repealed the game and fish laws inconsistent with the 1937 State Game and Fish Act. It created the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, composed of six members, to be ap­pointed by the governor, with the consent of the senate, for a term of six years each, not more than three members to be of the same political party. This commission appointed one game warden, and one fish warden for the State of Wyoming, to serve at the pleasure of the commission. The commission also appointed a secretary, who had the power to act and perform the duties of the commission, acting in the same capacity as a State game and fish commissioner.

The Twenty-fifth State Legislature, 1939, repealed the Game and Fish Act of 1937, and all other acts or parts of acts inconsistent with the 1939 Game and Fish Act. It provided for the commission to consist of seven members, one of whom is the governor, to act as ex officio member; the other six mem­bers, appointed by the governor, with the consent of the senate, three members for a term of two year, and three members for a term of four years; not more than three to be of the same political party; each member to represent a geographical section of the State. The commission is empowered to appoint a State game and fish commissioner, who holds office at the pleasure of the commission; the commission also appoints one game warden and one fish warden, each to hold office at the pleasure of the commission; deputy game wardens and deputy fish wardens are appointed by the commission when necessary.

The Twenty-seventh State Legislature, 1943, amended and reenacted certain sections of the 1939 State game and fish laws. The composition of the commission remained the same as of 1939 as to the mode of appointment, dates, number of members, etc. The commission appoints a State game and fish commissioner, one State game warden and one State fish warden to hold office at the pleasure of the commission.

The commission is required to make an annual report to the governor, and a biennial report immediately preceding the meeting of the State legislature, one copy to be filed with the governor, and one with each house of the State legislature.


Department Officials


The official titles of the officers in charge of the game and fish of the State greatly varied with changing legislation; these officers are listed as they served under their legal titles. The Sixteenth State Legislature, 1921, created the office of the State Game and Fish Commissioner with full supervision of this Department--his decisions being subject to the approval of the Commission.

1888-1913
Game and Fish Wardens
Name

Start Date

End Date
Louis Miller

1888

1891
Gustav Schnitger

1891

1913

1913-1921
State Game Wardens
Name

Start Date

End Date
D.F. Hudson

1913

1915
Nate P. Wilson

1915

1919
W.T. Judkins

1919

1921

State Fish Wardens
Name

Start Date

End Date
John J. Lenihan

1913

1919
Charles W. Morgareidge

1919

1921

1921-1937
State Game and Fish Wardens
Name

Start Date

End Date
W.T. Judkins

1921

1923
Frank S. Smith

1923

1925
A.A. Sanders

1925

1927
Bruce Nowlin

1927

1931
Robert Hocker

1931

1937

1937-1939
Secretary of the Game and Fish Commission
Name

Start Date

End Date
Dr. John W. Scott

1937

1939

1939-1944
State Game Wardens
Name

Start Date

End Date
Andrew J. Martin

1937

1939
Lester Bagley

1939

1944

State Fish Wardens
Name

Start Date

End Date
Frank Crook

1937

1939
James R. Simon

1939

January 11, 1943

1944-
State Game & Fish Commissioner
Name

Start Date

End Date
Lester Bagley

January 1944