Proposed legislation has Wyoming hunters worried about the increasing costs of their favorite pastime.
A new bill would raise many hunting and fishing licensing fees for resident and non-resident hunters. For example, deer tags would go up from $36 to $52 for residents, while non-residents would see a $50 increase.
The rate hike would benefit the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, which claims without the fee increases, the agency would face a 20 percent budget cut.
The Sheridan Field Office says a cut like that would hurt all of its services, like wildlife habitat management.
"We need funding desperately right now. By not getting an increase in funding, we would have to definitely cut services across the board," said WGFD Information Specialist Warren Mischke.
However, local hunters worry that if Wyoming continues raising its licensing fees, the state will make hunting too expensive for the average family.
"When you keep passing it along, pretty soon you cut people out. Then it's hard for any of us to still stay in it, including the Game and Fish," said Dane Ashley, a hunter from Sheridan.
Game and Fish says 80 percent of the department's funding comes from license fees.