By Wyoming Game and Fish Department
The Hopkins Hamilton Ranch is the 2022 Landowner of the Year for the Lander Region of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Bill and Duveene Hamilton purchased their first ranch east of Lander in Lyons Valley in 1962. Soon after, they purchased the neighboring Hopkins Ranch and formed the Hopkins Hamilton Ranch Company in 1964. Although the Hopkins family has not been part of the operation for over 50 years, Bill kept the Hopkins name out of respect for the family that gave him an opportunity to pursue his dream. The Hopkins Hamilton Ranch now consists of approximately 5,000 deeded acres. They run cattle in the Government Draw and East Beaver common allotments, utilizing BLM, state, and private lands.
The ranch, managed by Bill’s son Bryan Hamilton and his wife Jennifer, provides important wildlife habitat supporting deer, antelope, sage grouse, sauger, and various other species. Over the years, the Hamiltons have been important wildlife conservation partners. They are supportive of the Game and Fish mission and often allow hunting and fishing on their property.
The first sauger work in the Lander region occurred in the Little Popo Agie River on the Hopkins Hamilton Ranch in 2002. This reach of Little Popo Agie supports one of the highest elevation populations of sauger across their native range and access to the ranch has provided critical information about sauger distribution, abundance, and genetics. Since that time the Hamiltons have continued to support fisheries work on their property which has significantly contributed to fisheries management and conservation.
The Hamiltons truly care about wildlife resources and habitat conservation. They are outstanding stewards of the land and are certainly deserving of this recognition.
Game and Fish sends condolences to the Hamilton family with their recent loss of Duveene Hamilton.