The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is reminding hunters that it is mandatory to stop and report at a game check station, even if no animal has been harvested.

The law states that every hunter, fisherman or trapper entering or leaving areas for which check stations have been established shall stop and report at the check station if it is on your route to and from the hunting, fishing or trapping area. Hunters also must stop even if the game meat or fish in possession has been cut and wrapped or processed.

“Unfortunately, we've been seeing a lot of instances this hunting season where hunters have been driving right past a game check station without stopping. Save yourself a fine and check in with us,” said Robin Kepple, information specialist for the Game and Fish Department.

Game check stations allow the department to gather biological data and share information about game populations with hunters. Check station attendants will often measure antler size and body fat on big game animals to gather data on nutritional status and overall physical condition.  Teeth are collected in order to age an animal, and lymph nodes are often collected to test for chronic wasting disease.

“When hunters stop in and we are able to get this type of data from them, it does benefit the herds in the long run, and that eventually benefits the hunters,” Kepple says.

In addition to helping the Game and Fish in collecting data, Kepple points out that the check stations also provide a time to speak with officials and other hunters to get advice, look at maps, and discuss hunting conditions.

She says check stations do not stop hunters for longer than needed, and stops generally last only five to ten minutes.

For more information on hunting rules and regulations in Wyoming, click here.