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Bill seeks to allow Wyoming hunters to carry automatic weapons

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Drizzt, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. Drizzt

    Drizzt Well-Known Member

    Bill seeks to allow Wyoming hunters to carry automatic weapons

    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."

  2. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Well-Known Member

    :eek: :eek:


  3. Maxwell

    Maxwell Well-Known Member

    ....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.
  4. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    What a couple of Peter Panners, they must have imagined those bears. :neener: ET
  5. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    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.
  6. Rumble

    Rumble Well-Known Member

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

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    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

  8. SLCDave

    SLCDave Well-Known Member

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

    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:
  9. carpettbaggerr

    carpettbaggerr Well-Known Member

    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.

  10. ball3006

    ball3006 Well-Known Member

    The bow and arrow guys....

    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
  11. afasano

    afasano Well-Known Member

    Sounds like fun, Pennsylvania won't even let hunters carry semi-auto weapons unless is't a shotgun plugged to a 3 shot limit. :eek: :barf:
  12. bearmgc

    bearmgc Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    "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?
  14. glockamolee

    glockamolee Well-Known Member

    M2 Browning on full auto divided by (1) Grizzly Bear = Swiss Grizzly.:neener:
  15. XD_fan

    XD_fan Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. Firethorn

    Firethorn Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Well-Known Member

    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...

  18. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    Good point ;)

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

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

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

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

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

    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?
  20. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    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.

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