Bill seeks to allow Wyoming hunters to carry automatic weapons


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Drizzt
February 10, 2006, 02:40 AM
Bill seeks to allow Wyoming hunters to carry automatic weapons

By BEN NEARY
Associated Press Writer

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- Wyoming hunters could carry automatic weapons and guns equipped with silencers in the field under proposed legislation that would also allow archery hunters to carry firearms.

Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, is the primary sponsor of the bill. He says he's heard from many archery hunters who want to carry firearms for defense against grizzly bears.

Case's bill, Senate File 79, wouldn't allow anyone to hunt with automatic or silenced weapons. But it would remove the current prohibition against possessing such weapons in the state's game fields and forests.

Case said Wyoming's game laws shouldn't penalize hunters for possessing automatic weapons or silenced guns when they're otherwise legal. He questioned whether hunters could be cited under the current law if they merely had such a weapon in their car and weren't using it for hunting.

"It shouldn't matter what weapon you carry on your pack, on your shoulder, or on a hip holster," Case said. "We need to focus the law not on what weapon you're carrying, but what weapon you're using."

Case said he's unaware of any being cited for carrying an automatic or silenced weapon while otherwise hunting legally. However, he said he regards the current prohibition as a gray area of the law that should be cleared up.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal said Wednesday that he hadn't looked at Case's bill but didn't see why hunters needed to carry automatic or silenced weapons when they're not allowed to hunt with them.

"If you can't take your wildlife with them, I don't know," said Freudenthal, himself an avid hunter. "To me, it would be just that much more weight you'd have to carry while you're walking around hunting."

Case's proposal doesn't sit well with at least one Wyoming game warden.

"Of course it would be a poacher's dream, to be able to shoot something, especially with a silencer, and not have it be heard," said Mark Nelson, a Cheyenne game warden and vice president of the Wyoming Game Wardens Association. "That would be very detrimental to wildlife."

On the question of automatic weapons, Nelson said, "That wouldn't be a good idea, either. The first shot should count. If a guy was out there with an automatic weapon, that would be dangerous for one, and I don't think it would be very ethical either."

Nelson also said he would be reluctant to repeal the prohibition against archery hunters carrying firearms.

"Some people could take advantage of shooting an animal with a weapon, and then saying they got it with a bow," Nelson said.

Nelson said he understands the concern of many hunters who enter grizzly country, but said they would be better off trying to defend themselves against a big bear with pepper spray.

Rep. Del McOmie, R-Lander, is co-sponsoring the legislation with Case. He said he's heard concern from many archery hunters that they want to be able to carry guns for self defense, especially in areas where grizzlies are becoming more prevalent.

"Up around Dubois, they've started taking over some of the prime areas where people have hunted for years," McOmie said. "Even with rifles, they're reluctant to go in there."

Ron Niziolek of Cody, vice president of Bowhunters of Wyoming, said his 400-member group isn't taking a position on whether bow hunters should be allowed to carry firearms.

"We don't support the idea of having firearms during the archery season," Niziolek said. "But if it were to progress and go a little bit farther, the only thing we could support would be having an unscoped handgun, or a shotgun with buckshot."

Allowing archery hunters to carry rifles or shotguns loaded with slugs could lead to poaching, Niziolek said.

Niziolek said he understands hunters' concerns about grizzlies. He said he and his father have been charged by grizzly bears the last two times they have hunted elk near Cody.

"We had our bear spray out and didn't have to use it," Niziolek said, adding that he could see that if someone had a rifle in a similar situation they might be tempted to use it.

Dennis Biddle of Lander said he and some friends had collected 2,600 signatures from people in Fremont, Hot Springs and Park County who support allowing archery hunters to carry firearms.

"I don't want a bear chewing on me when I'm bowhunting," Biddle said. "It's a dangerous situation, and it's going to get worse in our country."

http://www.jacksonholestartrib.com/articles/2006/02/09/news/wyoming/c46741f0be7fa75187257110006178c1.txt

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QuickDraw
February 10, 2006, 11:25 AM
Nelson said he understands the concern of many hunters who enter grizzly country, but said they would be better off trying to defend themselves against a big bear with pepper spray.:eek: :eek:

YIKES!


QuickDraw

Maxwell
February 10, 2006, 11:33 AM
they would be better off trying to defend themselves against a big bear with pepper spray.

....try it.
Tell him to get his can of seasoning, go into the woods, find a pissed off bear and try it.
No more theory, go do it then write back and tell us how well that works out for ya.

middy
February 10, 2006, 11:40 AM
Niziolek said he understands hunters' concerns about grizzlies. He said he and his father have been charged by grizzly bears the last two times they have hunted elk near Cody.
What a couple of Peter Panners, they must have imagined those bears. :neener: ET

Justin
February 10, 2006, 11:45 AM
"Of course it would be a poacher's dream, to be able to shoot something, especially with a silencer, and not have it be heard," said Mark Nelson, a Cheyenne game warden and vice president of the Wyoming Game Wardens Association. "That would be very detrimental to wildlife."

Yeah, God forbid that some hunters might want to prevent hearing damage and be considerate of their neighbors by equipping their firearms with a peice of gear that's required by law to be on automobiles.

Rumble
February 10, 2006, 12:44 PM
Allowing archery hunters to carry rifles or shotguns loaded with slugs could lead to poaching, Niziolek said.


Then how about this crazy idea: bust them for poaching.

Art Eatman
February 10, 2006, 12:55 PM
The negative comments are no more than the usual reactions to an idea that's new and different. Instinctively, the "No!" response pops up and the mouth opens before the brain is engaged. All manner of irrelevant and inane comments get urped out by folks in positions of authority.

Just like a lot of folks on this Board. :D

Art

SLCDave
February 10, 2006, 01:06 PM
Gov. Dave Freudenthal said Wednesday that he hadn't looked at Case's bill but didn't see why hunters needed to carry automatic or silenced weapons when they're not allowed to hunt with them.

The Governor hasn't read the legislation, but since he doesn't see the need, there must not be one. :scrutiny:

"Of course it would be a poacher's dream, to be able to shoot something, especially with a silencer, and not have it be heard," said Mark Nelson, a Cheyenne game warden and vice president of the Wyoming Game Wardens Association. "That would be very detrimental to wildlife."

On the question of automatic weapons, Nelson said, "That wouldn't be a good idea, either. The first shot should count. If a guy was out there with an automatic weapon, that would be dangerous for one, and I don't think it would be very ethical either."

Nelson also said he would be reluctant to repeal the prohibition against archery hunters carrying firearms.

"Some people could take advantage of shooting an animal with a weapon, and then saying they got it with a bow," Nelson said.

And the warden doesn't want you out there killing HIS animals with those things. We can't have THAT! IT'S FOR THE ANIMALS!!! :banghead:

carpettbaggerr
February 10, 2006, 01:16 PM
Of course it would be a poacher's dream, to be able to shoot something, especially with a silencer, and not have it be heard
Because a poacher would never break the law and use a silencer if it's illegal? And they would never poach with a crossbow or compound bow.

:banghead:

ball3006
February 10, 2006, 01:20 PM
can just shoot their deer then stick an arrow in the hole........I have heard of this before.........as far as full auto..........the city slickers are bad enough with their spray and pray at the deer they think they "heard" in the brush now....gezzzzzzz....chris3

afasano
February 10, 2006, 01:28 PM
Sounds like fun, Pennsylvania won't even let hunters carry semi-auto weapons unless is't a shotgun plugged to a 3 shot limit. :o :barf:

bearmgc
February 10, 2006, 01:51 PM
The Griz is there, scat, prints seen in a lot of places. A big bull elk found chewed on early morning, prints everywhere . Elk must of been shot right before dusk and not recovered. Early next day, we came through the woods.
Deregulation of the Grizzley and limited hunting of them would help to change their ideas about who's on the top of the food chain. Hunters around here can tell stories about seeing a mama griz teaching her cub to stalk hunters.
To hear some game wardens talk about "their" game, their bears, makes you think they're trying to run a zoo. But not all wardens are like that though. Taking a HD shotgun with slugs to recover an elk here is better insurance.

ArmedBear
February 10, 2006, 01:56 PM
"No carrying guns during archery season" is a law written for lazy wardens and for no other reason.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't backpackers allowed to carry guns all year?

glockamolee
February 10, 2006, 02:10 PM
M2 Browning on full auto divided by (1) Grizzly Bear = Swiss Grizzly.:neener:

XD_fan
February 10, 2006, 02:24 PM
I find the wardens comment on shooting game and then sticking a arrow in it to be nothing but smoke and mirrors. As if there is no difference between a bullet wound and an arrow wound. I don't know if you have to check game in Wyoming but it would certainly be clear an animal had been shot with a gun. The comment about silencers reveals a lot about how this warden does his enforcing. He has to hear a gun shot before he thinks about doing anything. The whole idea that a suppressor will make a gun silent is comical.

Firethorn
February 10, 2006, 06:56 PM
I had the same thought about the difference between an arrow and gun wound. Any competent game official would easily be able to tell the difference. Heck, any experienced game processor would as well.

I agree with the comment that mufflers are required on cars, why not allow them on guns? It's only polite. And yeah, the warden seems to concentrate on hearing gunfire for 'investigative purposes'. A criminal poaching with an illegal silencer or a bow, would easily be able to get away with it.

MD_Willington
February 10, 2006, 07:04 PM
Not like an inquisitive poacher couldn't readilly make a supressor with some junk at hand...

cough tall beer can or 2L pop bottle cough cough...

:rolleyes:

TallPine
February 10, 2006, 08:48 PM
As if there is no difference between a bullet wound and an arrow wound. I don't know if you have to check game in Wyoming but it would certainly be clear an animal had been shot with a gun.
Good point ;)

Which hole do I stick the arrow into ... the entrance wound or the exit wound ...? :p

cracked butt
February 10, 2006, 09:14 PM
"Of course it would be a poacher's dream, to be able to shoot something, especially with a silencer, and not have it be heard," said Mark Nelson, a Cheyenne game warden and vice president of the Wyoming Game Wardens Association. "That would be very detrimental to wildlife."



Yes, because a gamewarden has superhuman hearing and can pinpoint the location of a unsilenced .300 magnum 20 miles from nowhere in Wyoming.:rolleyes:

Ron Niziolek of Cody, vice president of Bowhunters of Wyoming, said his 400-member group isn't taking a position on whether bow hunters should be allowed to carry firearms.


I don't think Ron should be allowed to have brakes on his car either, because it could lead to illegal speeding.:fire:

On the question of automatic weapons, Nelson said, "That wouldn't be a good idea, either. The first shot should count. If a guy was out there with an automatic weapon, that would be dangerous for one, and I don't think it would be very ethical either."



His parent's having sexual intercourse was obvbiously dangerous too.


"We had our bear spray out and didn't have to use it," Niziolek said, adding that he could see that if someone had a rifle in a similar situation they might be tempted to use it.

heaven forbid that a bear is killed in order to defend one's life... that's completely un-American.:rolleyes:

I thought Wyoming was full of pretty much level headed people, did they have to handpick 2 or 3 of the dumbest people in the state for this article?

Standing Wolf
February 10, 2006, 10:14 PM
There may be some dummies in Wyoming, but if you pause a moment to consider the laws Wyoming is considering versus those Illinois is considering, I think you'll agree even Wyoming's dummies are a few miles ahead of most of the politicians in Illinois.

carebear
February 11, 2006, 12:29 AM
Perfect, we'll appoint them the trustee's of Stupid Jail. ;)

You are exactly right, we need to recognize shades of better and applaud incremental improvement.

justashooter
February 11, 2006, 05:09 AM
somehow i think a select fire AK will stop a griz faster, and could bring a whole new meaning to the term "bear spray". just have to use steel core or some other FMJ.

Can'thavenuthingood
February 11, 2006, 12:23 PM
Are these anti's actual Wyoming born and raised or transplants from some bean curd capitol?

Vick

WYO
February 11, 2006, 12:57 PM
I didn't even realize there was a rule concerning full automatics and silencers, and I've never even heard anyone ever mention either of those terms in the same sentence as hunting. I have a hard time conceptualizing who this change would benefit.

The backup gun for bow hunting is a big deal for a lot of people. I am trying to conceptualize how a bow hunting group could be neutral or anti on the proposition. All I can speculate is that they already have conceptually crossed the bridge and hunt without a backup, and they know a rule change willl bring more archers into the field. I dunno.

I realize the train of thought that bear spray makes a better bear deterrent than a handgun, but bear spray isn't as effective a signalling device in my opinion. :)

I also don't think that allowing archers to carry handgun is going to encourage poaching or make enforcement any harder, because the handguns are short range weapons as well. It also sounds a bit inconsistent for wardens to oppose silencers because poachers could get more sneaky, while seeking to prevent silent archers from carrying noisemakers for fear of poaching.

bearmgc
February 11, 2006, 01:20 PM
Making backup handguns legal for bowhunters won't necessarily bring more archers into the NW WY field. There are many rifle hunters in WY that won't hunt there, due to the increasing Grizzley numbers, and the intricately defined "burden of proof" required by F&G that one was eminently threatening, neccessitating a kill by a hunter. The same burden of proof will be required of bowhunters if backups are allowed, meaning if you ain't being chewed on, you ain't being threatened. I agree though that a handgun is a good signaling device as well as last resort protection, and that archers should be allowed to carry one.

Zundfolge
February 11, 2006, 02:13 PM
It also sounds a bit inconsistent for wardens to oppose silencers because poachers could get more sneaky, while seeking to prevent silent archers from carrying noisemakers for fear of poaching.

Yep ... the Emperor has no clothes. :cuss:

LAR-15
February 11, 2006, 11:06 PM
If you limit it to handguns, I have no problems.

But rifles and shotguns during bow season for elk is just asking for elk poaching.

As for legalizing automatics in your car or camp, fine.

jlbraun
February 12, 2006, 06:30 PM
"could lead to"

Those are the three most dangerous words in a legislator's vocabulary.

rangermonroe
February 12, 2006, 06:56 PM
I carry a handgun with me while hunting here in GA for snakes and such.

Not for a minute do I envision myself drawing and cracking off a shot at a moccasin before I can be struck, or faster than I can step out of the way.

I have heard tell of folks being chased up trees by hogs, and I do believe that 10 rounds of 22 HPs would convince the swine to depart the area.

I mostly carry my HG for personal defense against 2 legged preadators, ie pot farmers, meth lab operators, the aforementioned poachers.

I believe that game wardens carry handguns during archery season...Why is that?

I often go primitive weapon hunting while centerfire weapons are in my car.

As our law stands, I could be arrested for "hunting" with them. If I were to be in possession of my silenced auto, then I could also be charged with that.

I applaud this fellow for attempting to remove/clarify the current legislation before someone becomes a "test case".

I am sure that the drafters of the law do not seek to allow folks to hunt with an M-16, put to prevent the warden from fabricating an offense, when that is all he could find.

MinScout
February 12, 2006, 07:18 PM
FWIW, I think the idea is ridiculas. I hope it does'nt pass.

Art Eatman
February 12, 2006, 08:03 PM
MinScout, no crime has ever been committed via use of a legally-owned full-auto weapon. None. (I omit the alleged one or two instances of misuse by a police officer.) As a group, the owners of full-auto weapons are the absolutely most law-abiding of all gun owners.

Why, then, would they suddenly be prone to break any law? If they would suddenly become poachers, why do they not already hold up banks? I'd like to know your view as to motivations for such changes in proven good behavior.

Art

bearmgc
February 13, 2006, 02:31 PM
I carry a handgun with me while hunting here in GA for snakes and such.

Not for a minute do I envision myself drawing and cracking off a shot at a moccasin before I can be struck, or faster than I can step out of the way.

I have heard tell of folks being chased up trees by hogs, and I do believe that 10 rounds of 22 HPs would convince the swine to depart the area.

I mostly carry my HG for personal defense against 2 legged preadators, ie pot farmers, meth lab operators, the aforementioned poachers.

I believe that game wardens carry handguns during archery season...Why is that?

I often go primitive weapon hunting while centerfire weapons are in my car.

As our law stands, I could be arrested for "hunting" with them. If I were to be in possession of my silenced auto, then I could also be charged with that.

I applaud this fellow for attempting to remove/clarify the current legislation before someone becomes a "test case".

I am sure that the drafters of the law do not seek to allow folks to hunt with an M-16, put to prevent the warden from fabricating an offense, when that is all he could find.

Game wardens carry sidearms because they are law officers. You can't hunt with an M16 because in WY, the caliber is too small . But many people use an SKS to hunt deer, and other semi auto rifles. 2 legged predators and drug type crimminals are becoming more dangerous in the field, and as in border states, game wardens may find themselves outgunned. I think the Wisconsin incident though, has produced some knee jerk reactions among enforcement people. I don't think this whole issue is really about hunting or poaching.

MinScout
February 13, 2006, 03:38 PM
MinScout, no crime has ever been committed via use of a legally-owned full-auto weapon. None. (I omit the alleged one or two instances of misuse by a police officer.) As a group, the owners of full-auto weapons are the absolutely most law-abiding of all gun owners.

Why, then, would they suddenly be prone to break any law? If they would suddenly become poachers, why do they not already hold up banks? I'd like to know your view as to motivations for such changes in proven good behavior.

Art

It's not that I don't approve of automatics weapons, per se. To carry one while bowhunting in the unlikely chance of a bear attack seems kind of silly to me. I just think it's a non issue.

Maxwell
February 13, 2006, 03:59 PM
To carry one while bowhunting in the unlikely chance of a bear attack seems kind of silly to me.

Seems silly to me that someone would go hunting with a bow in the first place, but thats not the point.
The question is weather something should be made illegal because its not expressly legal.

Now if a hunter brings an nfa weapon (short shotgun, pistol with detachable stock, machine pistol, supressed weapon, or a belt fed m2hb machine gun mounted on the back of his truck for that matter) he should not be arrested "simply `cause" he brought more than his bow to the hunt.

Theres no reason to pre-judge him as a poacher or murderer just because he walked with a backup weapon that might not be conventional.

If he uses it to do something wrong, he can be hauled in on older laws already in place.

TexasRifleman
February 13, 2006, 04:02 PM
It's not that I don't approve of automatics weapons, per se. To carry one while bowhunting in the unlikely chance of a bear attack seems kind of silly to me. I just think it's a non issue.

Sometimes the anti gun stuff I read on this forum shocks me....

MinScout
February 13, 2006, 04:51 PM
[QUOTE=TexasSIGman]Sometimes the anti gun stuff I read on this forum shocks me....[/QUOTE

I'm am NRA member and I own around 2 dozen various firearms, including an AR-15. I don't think I'm "anti gun".

XD_fan
February 13, 2006, 05:09 PM
It's not that I don't approve of automatics weapons, per se. To carry one while bowhunting in the unlikely chance of a bear attack seems kind of silly to me. I just think it's a non issue.

I think you miss the point. You carry a pistol/revolver while bow hunting for same reason so many fisherman in Alaska carry handguns. I carry a .357, in Washington state, when I'm fishing as protection against cougars. The point is this, when you need a gun you need it really, really quick. I don't think the bear is going to wait while you run to the truck to get your gun. Now if the point of bow hunting is to let the bears thin the herd; we need to start tranporting them where they can do some real good.

Art Eatman
February 13, 2006, 08:39 PM
MinScout, I agree in that I see no point to toting some sort of full-auto around while hunting. Just excess weight, IMO. However, I see no point in outlawing it.

The "L" word: Liberty.

I'm fed up with all this pre-judging of America's most law-abiding group: Shooters and hunters. (I omit fishermen because they lie, way too much. :D:D:D)

:), Art

WyoJack
February 13, 2006, 11:24 PM
Coming from Wyoming, here's the deal as I understand it.

It is currently illegal to hunt with an automatic weapon or suppressor. In a lot
of locations, the only place to shoot is in the national forest or state land. By
default, if you are caught with an auto or suppressor on state or national forest,
you are assumed to be hunting, thereby poaching. Even if you are legal with the weapon. The only safe place to shoot an auto or suppressor is on private
property. Even then, there had better not be an elk within 5 miles!

All this bill does is to make it legal to shoot in a national forest, etc. with an auto or suppressor. At least that's the reasoning behind the bill. Hope this
helps clear things up.


Jack

Navy joe
February 14, 2006, 06:58 AM
Heh. Nothing to see here, move along. Dick Cheney is just planning an Elk hunt and needed a few little details like this law straightened out. Now, about that guest list... :D

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