Wyoming news briefs for June 8

Buffalo resident pays fines for poaching mule deer 

SHERIDAN  Buffalo resident Clyde Snell will pay more than $6,000 in fines and restitution and lose his hunting privileges for two years for killing a mule deer buck without a license in 2017.

The case originated from a search of a cell phone seized by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office on a criminal case unrelated to the poaching. Evidence of the poaching was discovered and provided to Buffalo Game Warden Jim Seeman. 

Evidence showed that Snell killed a mule deer buck on Oct. 11, 2017 at 12:58 p.m. He then purchased a deer license in Buffalo at approximately 1:40 p.m. The deer head was eventually mounted by a taxidermist and was seized as evidence from Snell’s home in summer 2020.

In addition to the 2017 deer, Snell was charged for killing a mule deer buck in 2019 that was taken without a license. That offense was also discovered from evidence on the phone. As part of a plea agreement, the 2019 case was dismissed and no further action on that case will take place.

“If it weren’t for the keen awareness of an investigator from the Sheriff’s Office and passing that information on to the Game and Fish, we possibly would have never known of these violations,” Seeman said. “We appreciate their cooperation and always encourage anyone with knowledge of a poaching to contact us through our Stop Poaching hotline.” 

Tips and information can be provided online through the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website at wgfd.wyo.gov.


Yellowstone National Park to begin grizzly captures again

CODY  As part of ongoing efforts required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the U.S. Geological Survey, in conjunction with the National Park Service, is working to inform the public that pre-baiting and scientific capture operations are once again about to begin within Yellowstone National Park. 

Biologists with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team began field captures recently and will continue through October 16. 

Capture operations can include a variety of activities, but all areas where work is being conducted will have primary access points marked with warning signs. It is critical that all members of the public heed these signs.

Monitoring grizzly bear distribution and other activities is vital to ongoing recovery of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. In order to attract bears, biologists use natural food sources such as fresh road-killed deer and elk. Potential capture sites are baited with these natural foods and if indications are that grizzly bears are in the area, culvert traps or foot snares will be used to capture them. Once captured, bears are handled in accordance with strict safety and animal care protocols developed by the bear study team.

Whenever bear capture activities are being conducted for scientific purposes, the area around the site will be posted with bright warning signs to inform the public of the activities occurring. These signs are posted along the major access points to the capture site. 

It is important that the public heed these signs and do not venture into an area that has been posted. 


Queen Bee Gardens opens new Powell location

POWELL — Queen Bee Gardens is buzzing Powell with a new location at 146 N. Bent St. The store officially opened on Saturday. 

The Lovell-based company has made a name for itself with a variety of products made from pure Wyoming honey — including caramels, caramel sauce, truffles, whipped honey, English toffee, honeymoons and, of course, pure honey. 

The operation consists of two businesses. Zeller & Sons Honey Company oversees beehives and honey production, which involves about 4,000 colonies of bees, and Queen Bee Gardens makes and distributes honey products. 

They also have some wholesale partnerships — such as providing their surplus honey to Colorado-based Honeyville, which makes jams, syrups and sauces. Those products are available in the Powell location. 

Besides candies and other food products, Queen Bee also makes lip balm, pure beeswax and beeswax candles. 

All this is produced at the original store, located at 262 E. Main St. in Lovell, and then shipped to locations in Greybull, Cody and now Powell. 

Queen Bee also has locations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Granby, Colorado. 

Clarence and Bessie Zeller began producing honey on the family farm near Lovell in the 1940s. Bessie Zeller began making honey candy with old family recipes from Scotland, and so many people liked it that Clarence Zeller set up a business to sell it. Many of these recipes are still used today, though the business has added many, many more since officially incorporating in 1976. 

Beyond the retail outlets and wholesale partnerships, the company also ships to all 50 states and several countries.