Michigan Couple Fined for Purchasing Resident Hunting and Fishing Licenses
SHERIDAN - A husband and wife from Luther, Michigan were found guilty in Johnson County Circuit Court on Monday September 26, 2016 of unlawfully purchasing Wyoming resident hunting and fishing licenses.
After receiving an anonymous tip, Buffalo Game Warden Jim Seeman began an investigation that led to the issuance of eleven citations to Vaughan and Carol Skaggs for purchasing Wyoming resident licenses in 2015 and 2016. The Skaggs have owned a cabin near Buffalo for at least 20 years. Initially, they purchased non-resident hunting and fishing licenses, but in 2009 started purchasing resident licenses, claiming their A-frame cabin in Wyoming was their primary residence. A search of records indicated the couple owned a home in Luther, Michigan and spent most of the year there. During the same time the couple was purchasing Wyoming resident licenses, they were also purchasing resident Michigan licenses and claiming their Michigan home as their primary residence for tax purposes.
The Skaggs were ordered to pay fines and restitution of over $6,400.00 for unlawfully purchasing Wyoming resident licenses. Game Warden Seeman noted that not only was there an economic reason for buying resident licenses vs. non-resident licenses, but as importantly, drawing some hunting licenses is far easier for residents than for non-residents.
In order to legally obtain a Wyoming resident hunting or fishing license a person shall be domiciled in Wyoming for not less than one (1) full year immediately preceding the date the person applies for the license, preference point, permit or tag and shall not have claimed residency in any other state, territory or country for any purpose during that one (1) year period.
Anyone that wants to report information regarding a wildlife violation can call the STOP POACHING hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-943-3847), text keyword WGFD and message to 847-411 (Android-based cell phone users may download a free app to submit text message reports. iPhone users must text reports to 847-411) or report the violation on the G&F website (wgfd.wyo.gov) by clicking the Law Enforcement tab, then click the Stop Poaching box. People can also contact their local game warden or a Wyoming Game and Fish Department Regional Office. Callers may remain anonymous.