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Applying for an Elk License
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Elk License Information

Before applying for an elk license, the applicant should review the tentative elk hunting information, specifically the limitations column, to determine the type of license that is valid in the specific hunt area for which you are applying.

The total limit for elk licenses differs from deer and antelope in that full price elk licenses and reduced price elk licenses are combined together to calculate the total number of licenses allowed. An applicant shall apply for or receive no more than a total of three (3) elk licenses in any one (1) calendar year.

An applicant may apply for and receive one (1) general or limited quota full price elk license and one (1) limited quota reduced price cow/calf elk license through the initial drawing. After the initial drawing is completed, any person may purchase up to a total of two (2) limited quota reduced price cow/calf elk licenses in any area if no full price elk licenses were received. Potential purchasing options for elk licenses:

• 0 full price elk license and 2 reduced price cow/calf elk licenses in any area and 1 reduced price cow/calf elk license in an exception area.

• 1 full price elk license and 1 reduced price cow/calf elk license in any area and 1 reduced price cow/calf elk license in an exception area.

The hunt areas that will be approved as exception areas will be available on the Department's website after the April Commission meeting. Please review this list and alter your application, if necessary. See the section titled Modifying Your Hunt Area and Hunt Type Prior to the Drawing below.

A person may apply for a reduced price license without applying for a full price license. However, no hunter may take more than one (1) elk in Grand Teton National Park regardless whether he/she possesses both a full price license and a reduced price license valid for the hunt area in the Park.

Applicants desiring to hunt within Grand Teton National Park must apply for hunt area 75. After the first week of the season, all unused full price and reduced price cow/calf elk licenses are eligible for the National Elk Refuge drawing in hunt area 77.

A $12.50 Elk Special Management Permit shall be required of any person who hunts elk in hunt areas 70, 71, 75, 77, 78, 80-98. The Elk Special Management Permit may be obtained from the Cheyenne headquarters office, Department regional office, automated license selling agents or on the WGFD website.

The Department of the Interior requires hunter safety certification of all hunters, regardless of age, to hunt in Grand Teton National Park (elk hunt area 75). The Hunter Mentor Program is not valid in Grand Teton National Park.

All nonresident full price elk licenses include an annual fishing privilege. Any hunter who is issued a full price elk license does not need to purchase an additional fishing license once their license is received in March. If you wish to fish prior to this time period, it is suggested you purchase a daily license. Reduced price cow/calf elk licenses do not include fishing privileges.

Difference Between Full Price Antlerless License
and a Reduced Price License

Price is the difference. A full price license is required if the applicant wishes to hunt an antlered animal. However, if the applicant only wishes to hunt an antlerless animal, it may be beneficial to determine if an area offers a reduced price license. Full price licenses include types 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 0. Reduced price licenses are types 6, 7 and 8. Reduced price licenses are offered to encourage additional harvest in areas where populations are above management objective. When determining whether to apply for a full price license or a reduced price license, the applicant should evaluate what type of animal they wish to hunt. For example, a full price type 4 license and a reduced price type 6 license allow you to harvest the same animal.

Full Price Elk

Limited quota elk licenses are valid only for the hunt area, season dates and sex limitations shown in the current regulations.

General elk licenses are valid in any hunt area or portion of a hunt area where the word “General” is listed under the limitation and type column.

Special Elk License. Wyoming statute sets aside 40% of nonresident elk licenses for applicants paying a higher fee. Applicants who pay the extra $480 for a special full price elk license will participate in a separate random computer drawing.

Reduced Price Cow/Calf Elk

Reduced price licenses for cow/calf elk are limited quota only. These licenses are valid only for the hunt areas and limitations for which they are issued.

If a sportsperson wants to purchase reduced price cow/calf elk licenses after the initial drawing, including up to the maximum number allowed, they will be able to do so at the Cheyenne headquarters office, Department regional offices, automated license selling agents or on the WGFD website.

Withdrawl Block Functionality

The withdrawal block is your method of communicating to the license system that you do NOT want a reduced price license if you do NOT draw a full price license. The full price drawing is conducted first. Before conducting the reduced price drawing, the system will automatically review all reduced price applications and remove any application from participating in the reduced price drawing if the system does not find a full price license issued for the sportsperson and the withdrawal block was checked. This would also be true if you did not submit an application for the full price license, but submitted a reduced price application and checked the withdrawal block. Your application for a reduced price license would not participate in the drawing.

The sportsperson should understand that the system does not look for the hunt area in which the full price license was issued. It just looks for the existence of a full price license being issued. It is possible to draw your reduced price license and a full price license for different hunt areas. If you don't want to draw a reduced price license in an area that differs from the area you are applying in for your full price license, then you should list the same hunt area as your first choice on both applications, leave the other choices blank and check the withdrawal box. The result will be that if you don't draw your full price license, you will not participate in the limited quota reduced price drawing. Keep in mind, the drawings are independent of each other. If you draw your full price license, you may not draw your reduced price license. However, if the withdrawal block is checked and you don't draw your full price, you won't draw a reduced price license because you will not be in that drawing.

Party Block

Party hunting is illegal in Wyoming. Hunters who apply as a party are not allowed to take game for another hunter.

A party is a group of hunters who APPLY for hunting licenses for the same species, area and type, with the expectation of receiving the same drawing results. All applicants in a party are assigned the same random number; therefore, they receive the same drawing results. Applying as a party does not increase the drawing odds.

Applicants who do not apply as a party are assigned individual random numbers.

Party applications will be accepted for all big game licenses, except moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goat.

The maximum party size is six (6).

Residents and nonresidents MAY NOT apply together as a party.

Resident Applicants Elk, Deer and Antelope Nonresident Applicants Elk, Deer and Antelope
Resident
Resident Pioneer
Resident Pioneer Heritage
Resident Youth
Nonresident
Nonresident with Point Option
Nonresident Youth
Nonresident Youth with Point Option
Resident Landowner
Resident Pioneer Landowner
Resident Pioneer Heritage Landowner
Resident Youth Landowner
(Must apply to local Game Warden)
Nonresident Landowner
Nonresident Landowner with Point Option
Nonresident Youth Landowner
Nonresident Youth Landowner with Point Option
(Must apply to local Game Warden)
Special Fees Types only available to Nonresident Nonresident Special

All applications and fees must be in the same envelope and the party block must be properly completed. All party applications for which the party block is not completed will be treated as individual applications in processing and in the random computer selections.

Party applications require that all applicants choose the same species, hunt area and season type in the same order of preference.

Party applications for full price licenses must be submitted separately from party applications for reduced price licenses. Example: If six people want to apply together as a party for full price elk but a few of those people also want reduced price cow/calf elk licenses, two separate applications must be submitted. One application is the party application consisting of the six applications for full price. The second application is either the individual applications for reduced price cow/calf elk or the separate party applications for reduced price cow/calf elk.

For nonresident elk, deer and antelope parties, all of the applicants' preference point totals will be averaged to determine the preference point ranking in the preference point drawing. If you did not receive your first choice elk, deer or antelope license or a preference point during the initial draw period and are eligible to purchase a full price leftover elk, deer or antelope license, you may also purchase a preference point during the preference point only application period.

Applicants who wish their applications to be processed as a party must complete the party block. For example, if there are three (3) applicants within the hunt party, the party block would be completed as follows:

Hunter in Party Party Application Block
Application for First Hunter in Party 1 OF 3  
Application for Second Hunter in Party 2 OF 3  
Application for Third Hunter in Party 3 OF 3  

Applicants who do not want to be processed as a party should not complete the party block:

Hunter in Party Party Application Block
Leave Blank if Not Applying as a Party   OF    
Archery Seasons and Type 9 Archery Only Licenses

Special archery seasons for big game are established by the Commission in late April. Information on archery seasons will be available on or about May 5. Traditionally, antelope archery seasons for most areas open August 15 and close the day the regular (rifle) season opens. For elk and deer, the archery seasons in most areas traditionally open September 1 and close September 30 or earlier in September when the regular (rifle) seasons open.

Hunters holding general or limited quota hunting licenses may hunt with bow and arrow or crossbow during special archery seasons if they first obtain an archery license in addition to their valid hunting license. Only one archery license is required to archery hunt all big game and trophy game animals. Archery licenses are available at the Cheyenne headquarters office, Department regional offices, automated license selling agents and on the WGFD website. Do not purchase an archery license until you have received notification of drawing results.

Some elk hunt areas offer hunting licenses for archery only and these licenses are designated as type 9 licenses in the Tentative Season Information tables. Type 9 elk licenses are often available as leftover licenses. Holders of type 9 licenses are not required to obtain an archery license in addition to the limited quota archery only license, but are restricted to hunting only in the area(s) and during the season specified for the type 9 license. In elk hunt areas that have type 9 archery only licenses, the special archery season may not be open when the type 9 license season is open or there may not be a special archery season.

Persons hunting with archery equipment during regular firearms seasons need not obtain an archery license, but are required to wear fluorescent orange.

Preference Points

The preference point system is designed to improve an applicant's odds of eventually drawing a license in a hard-to-draw hunt area. Preferences points are utilized in conducting the resident and nonresident moose, resident and nonresident full price bighorn sheep, nonresident elk, nonresident deer and nonresident antelope drawings. Seventy-five percent (75%) of available licenses in each hunt area and license type combination will be allocated to the preference point drawing. Applicants with the highest preference point ranking will receive priority in the preference point draw. The remaining twenty-five percent (25%) of available licenses will be allocated in a random drawing regardless of preference points. The random drawing is intended to provide everyone who applies a chance of drawing a license, regardless of their preference point total.

All applicants will participate in the preference point drawing even if they have no preference points. After the preference point drawing is completed, all unsuccessful applicants will then participate in the random drawing.

A youth applicant wanting to be awarded preference points must be at least eleven (11) years old at the time of submitting an application for a big game limited quota license and must be at least twelve (12) years old when in the field hunting.

A youth applicant wanting to purchase preference points only must be at least eleven (11) years old at the time of submitting an application and must be at least twelve (12) years old by December 31 of that year.

Preference points are assigned to the person's sportsperson identification number and are tied to a species, but not to a specific hunt area. You are allowed to apply for different hunt areas from one year to the next.

Preference points shall not be restored when an applicant causes more than one customer record to be generated, due to the following:

1. A different sportsperson identification number was given on the application.

2. A different sportsperson identification number was generated because the sportsperson number field on the application was left blank.

3. A different last name, first name, date of birth or social security # was used by the applicant.

Such circumstances cause preference points to be accumulated under different sportsperson identification numbers and ultimately deleted for failure to apply under the same sportsperson identification number. Exceptions may be made for a name change because of marriage or divorce.

No preference points will be earned when a person applies for a closed hunt area or invalid hunt area/license type.

Preference points applied for, awarded or purchased during 2013 are not available for use in the 2013 limited quota drawings. Any preference points awarded in 2013 will be available for use in the 2014 limited quota drawings.

No person may apply for, or be awarded, more than one (1) preference point per species in the same calendar year.

If you were awarded a preference point in the initial drawing period, you are not eligible to purchase a preference point during the preference point only application period.

The application period to apply for the purchase of a preference point only is from July 1 to September 30, 5:00 PM mountain time. There is no application fee to purchase a preference point only.

Full Price Elk, Deer and Antelope Preference Points (Nonresidents Only)

For nonresident full price elk, deer and antelope, preference points can be accumulated either by submitting the applicable fee when applying for the initial limited quota drawing for licenses or by purchasing a preference point after all drawings for the year have been completed, beginning July 1.

If the nonresident applicant wants to accumulate preference points in the initial drawing, they must select the fee option that includes the preference point fees for full price elk, deer and antelope licenses. The preference point fees that must be remitted are $50 for elk, $40 for deer and $30 for antelope ($10 for youth for each species). These applicants will be awarded a preference point if unsuccessful in drawing their first choice.

For nonresident full price elk, full price deer and full price antelope, an individual's accumulated preference points are only considered in the limited quota drawing for the applicant's first choice in the preference point drawing.

If the applicant submits the appropriate preference point fee with their limited quota license application for the initial drawing and does not draw their first choice, they will be awarded a preference point for the year in which the application was submitted. Drawing a license for your second or third choice does not cause preference points to be deleted and the applicant will still be awarded a preference point for the year.

For nonresident elk, nonresident deer and nonresident antelope, an applicant will lose all accumulated preference points if they draw their first choice license in the initial limited quota drawing or if they fail to be awarded a preference point within two consecutive years by either earning a preference point in the initial drawing or by purchasing a preference point in the appropriate application period.

For party applications, all of the applicants' preference point totals will be averaged to determine the preference point ranking in the preference point drawing.

There are no preference points for reduced price cow/calf or reduced price doe/fawn licenses. Applicants for reduced price licenses do not lose their preference points if successful in the reduced price drawing, nor do they accumulate preference points if they are unsuccessful drawing these license types.

If you select the preference point fee option when submitting your nonresident application for the limited quota drawing, the fee you must remit is as follows:

Regular Full Price Elk $641 $14 Application Fee
$577 License Fee
$50 Preference Point Fee
Regular Full Price Deer $366 $14 Application Fee
$312 License Fee
$40 Preference Point Fee
Regular Full Price Antelope $316 $14 Application Fee
$272 License Fee
$30 Preference Point Fee

Some suggestions when applying for licenses with the preference point option: to maintain your preference points, do not apply for an easy-to-draw area as your first choice. If you do and are successful, then all of your accumulated points will be deleted and the odds of drawing a license in a hard-to-draw area will be diminished for several years until you build up preference points again. If you desire to hunt more often without sacrificing your preference points, continue to apply for your preferred (hard-to-draw) area as a first choice and apply for easy-to-draw areas as your second choice. By reviewing the random draw odds from previous years, you can find hunt areas with good odds of drawing a license as a second and possibly a third choice. License types with zero percent (0%) drawing odds are not available as second or third choices. On the other hand, it is nearly certain you will draw a license in an area with 100% odds listed for the second choice drawing. However, be advised that drawing odds can and do change from year to year as applicants shift their preferences for specific hunt areas. The prior year's drawing odds are a useful indicator of relative odds, but provide no absolute guarantees.

Draw Selection

In an attempt to assure fairness, all limited quota licenses are initially allocated to applicants on the basis of randomly generated numbers through a computerized drawing system. A computerized, random selection process will determine successful applicants.

If the applicant is successful, the license and a copy of the regulations should be mailed within 25 days of the selection date. For nonresidents, elk regulations will not be mailed until mid-June. Applicants who do not receive a license or refund within 25 days following the drawing result date should notify the Department. Applicants who wish to obtain results prior to mail notification may access this information at the WGFD website or by calling 307-777-4600. License fees are returned to unsuccessful applicants and to persons who submitted improper applications or fees. All refunds will be issued in the name of the applicant, regardless of who submitted the fee accompanying the application.

Neither the U.S. Postal Service nor any other mail delivery service is an agent of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Therefore, the Department cannot assume responsibility for mail delivery to and from the Department. If necessary, duplicate licenses or replacement warrants will be issued by the Department upon timely notification that the applicant failed to receive a license or refund warrant. Duplicate licenses may be purchased from the Department for a fee of $5.00.

Each drawing is independent of all other drawings. The drawing for each species is conducted independently and the result of one drawing has no effect upon other drawings. Therefore, success in the drawing for one species does not guarantee success for another. For example, success for a moose license does not guarantee success for a bighorn sheep license.

Issuing Licenses After the Initial Limited Quota Drawings

All full price limited quota and reduced price limited quota licenses remaining after the initial drawing will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis through the Department's Electronic License Service (ELS) via the WGFD website, at Department offices and automated license selling agents, or through the submission of a paper application form to the Cheyenne headquarters office.

Full price elk, deer and antelope licenses will be available July 10, 2013, at 8:00 AM mountain time.

Reduced price cow/calf elk, doe/fawn deer and doe/fawn antelope licenses will be available July 17, 2013, at 8:00 AM mountain time.

A current list of leftover licenses available for purchase will tentatively be located on the WGFD website on June 30, 2013.

A sportsperson should understand that the majority of leftover licenses are in areas with limited public access. Applicants are reminded about having permission to hunt on private land before applying for a license. Otherwise, you may end up with a license and no place to hunt and these licenses are nonrefundable.

Landowner Licenses

Individuals who qualify for landowner elk, deer, antelope or wild turkey licenses must apply within the application period to the game warden in the area where subject lands are located. Landowner applications can be obtained at the Cheyenne headquarters office, Department regional offices or on the WGFD website.

Landowners are allowed to apply for one (1) reduced price landowner license per big game species in addition to one (1) full price landowner license.

Minimum requirements are 160 acres of deeded land and 2,000 animal use days annually by each species for which applied. Nonresident landowners should contact the local game warden to determine eligibility well before January 20 for elk and March 15 for deer and antelope. Resident landowners should contact the local game warden well before May 15.

Modifying your Hunt Area and Hunt Type Prior to the Drawing

Applications submitted on the WGFD website may be modified on the WGFD website. This feature is also available for paper applications once the application data is entered in the system. Go to the Department's website at http://wgfd.wyo.gov and choose "Enter a License Drawing" under the "Hunting" tab. Enter your sportsperson information and hit "submit." Click on the "View Previously submitted Applications" button and then the "Modify" button and then select the "Continue to update areas and types" button. You will not be able to modify the fee type for which you have submitted your application. For example, you can't change from a regular to a special or a reduced price to a full price or vice versa. The party originator must make the modifications to party applications. Modifications to party applications may also be submitted to the License Draw Section by fax at 307-777-4679 and must include the sportsperson identification number and the applicant's signature. The deadline for modifying hunt areas and types on applications is listed in the Resident and Nonresident Initial Drawing Application Period and License Fee Charts.

Pioneer and Pioneer Heritage Licenses

The Department issues without charge pioneer game bird, fish and small game licenses to any resident who is 65 years of age or older and who has 30 years of continuous residence in Wyoming immediately preceding application for a license. The license is valid as long as the licensee remains a Wyoming resident.

The Department and automated license selling agents issue a pioneer elk license for a fee of $5.00 and a pioneer deer, antelope or spring/fall turkey license for a fee of $2.00. If these licenses are applied for through a drawing process, a $5.00 application fee is required in addition to the license fee, except for turkey. Eligibility for these licenses is any Wyoming resident who is at least seventy-five (75) years of age and has continuously resided in Wyoming for at least 50 years immediately preceding date of application.

The Department and automated license selling agents also issue a pioneer heritage elk license for a fee of $32.00, a pioneer heritage deer license for a fee of $23.00, a pioneer heritage antelope license for a fee of $20.00 and a pioneer heritage spring/fall turkey license for a fee of $10.00. If these licenses are applied for through a drawing process, a $5.00 application fee is required in addition to the license fee, except for turkey. Eligibility for these licenses is any Wyoming resident who is at least seventy (70) years of age and has continuously resided in Wyoming for at least 50 years immediately preceding date of application.

Big game pioneer and pioneer heritage applicants must meet the above criteria by June 15th. Pioneer and pioneer heritage individuals applying for limited quota elk, deer or antelope licenses must compete in random computer selections to determine successful applicants and pay the applicable $5 application fee.

Pioneer and pioneer heritage general elk, general deer and general turkey licenses are issued from the Cheyenne headquarters office, Department regional offices and automated license selling agents without paying the $5 application fee. If you just want a general license, do not apply in the drawing.

Pioneer applicants desiring to purchase leftover licenses may do so at the Cheyenne headquarters office, Department regional offices and automated license selling agents.

Refunds and Cancellation of Licenses

Each applicant assumes an inherent risk when applying for a license to be used in the future. License fees are generally nonrefundable once a license has been issued and licenses are nontransferable. Please consider the risk when applying.

Licenses, stamps, permits or tags issued under Title 23, Wyoming statutes or by Commission regulation become the permanent property of the licensee and shall not be canceled or any fee refunded after the license, stamp, permit, tag or preference point has been issued except as follows:

i. In the case of the death of the licensee, any person who has authority to represent the decedent as provided by a court order shall submit a written request for a license refund supported by a copy of the respective death certificate;

ii. In the case of the death of the licensee's spouse, parents, grandparents, lineal descendants and their spouses, step-parent, step-sibling, step-children, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, step-son-in-law or step-daughter-in-law, the licensee shall submit a written request for a license refund supported by the respective death certificate. The date of death on such certificate shall have occurred during the regular season, resulting in the licensee not being able to participate in the majority of the regular season;

iii. In the case of incapacitating illness or injury of the licensee supported by a physician's sworn statement on a Department form;

iv. Military personnel who receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders or are assigned away from their home duty station on Temporary Duty Orders (TDY), all of this being supported by a copy of official military orders from the Armed Forces of the United States;

v. Individuals who are not able to participate in the majority of the regular season for the species specified in Commission Rules and Regulations during the year for which the license is issued as a result of a court subpoena, jury duty, Grand Jury investigation or attorneys required to attend criminal cases. A certified copy of the court document shall accompany the written request for the license refund;

vi. When the Department determines one hundred percent (100%) of the hunting opportunity and access to the hunt area has been closed due to administrative actions of the state or federal government in closing of the public access to public lands due to a natural disaster;

vii. An error on the part of the Department or its authorized agent where the applicant has been issued a license not requested;

viii. Any youth licensee may be granted a license refund if the youth licensee's opportunity to hunt is jeopardized as a result of any license refund granted by the Department;

ix. A sponsoring organization of a person with a life-threatening illness may be granted a license refund if the licensee's opportunity to hunt is jeopardized as a result of incapacitating illness or injury supported by a physician's sworn statement on forms provided by the Department that the licensee is incapable of performing tasks necessary to exercise the privileges of the license.

The appropriate refund form can be requested by calling 307-777-4516. Under no circumstances shall the Department approve a refund of any license, permit, stamp or tag if the written request for refund is received after January 31 following the season for which the license, permit, stamp or tag was issued or was valid. Refunds shall be denied in any circumstance where the licensee hunted on the license for the designated species as specified in Commission Rules and Regulations, including special archery seasons, during the year for which the license is issued.

Removing Your Application from the Drawing

For deadlines for withdrawing applications on the WGFD website or submitting a withdrawal form, please review the application deadline chart provided above. Applicants may not withdraw from the wild bison priority ranking or a preference point only purchase. A $5.00 fee will be deducted from the license application refund. The refund will be issued upon completion of the drawing. Pioneer applicants are exempt from the $5 withdrawal fee.

Withdrawing online
To withdraw an application online, go to the Department's website at http://wgfd.wyo.gov and choose "Enter a License Drawing" under the "Hunting" tab. Enter your sportsperson information and hit "submit." Select "View Previously Submitted Applications" and then the "Modify" button and the "Remove Application from Drawing" button. This feature is also available for paper applications once the application data is entered in the system.

Withdrawing Using the Paper Process
You may also withdraw your applications upon submission of a written request. Form 16 "Request to Be Removed From the Drawing" can be downloaded from the WGFD website. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure withdrawal forms have been received by the License Draw Section by the applicable date.

Reservation of License Due to Injury or Illness

Holders of moose, mountain goat or full price bighorn sheep licenses, who are "Unable To Use The License For Good Cause" (see regulation, Chapter 44 for a definition of this terminology), may reserve a license for the same species and hunt area in accordance with Commission regulations for the immediately succeeding calendar year only. A disabled license holder must contact the Fiscal Administration Section and request a disabled hunter certification form. This form must be completed in full and signed by the applicant's physician and returned with the license prior to the earliest season date for which the license is valid.

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