CHEYENNE - At its September meeting in Casper, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voted to make no changes to the way commissioner complimentary licenses are allocated.
Each of Wyoming’s seven Game and Fish Commissioners can allocate up to eight complimentary hunting licenses annually for elk, deer, or antelope. The licenses must be donated to a nonprofit charitable organization, which must then auction or raffle the license to raise funds. The successful bidder or raffle winner designates the species, hunt area, and license type. Most holders of complimentary licenses choose to hunt in areas and during seasons where there is a high likelihood of harvesting a trophy animal.
To ensure that commissioner licenses are not having a biological impact on species in certain highly desirable hunt areas, the commission requested that Wyoming Game and Fish Department personnel conduct a study on allocation of these licenses and their potential impacts. The commission also discussed the issue of fairness concerning the allocation of these licenses in hard-to-draw limited quota areas.
The study, which looked at 10 years of data in high-demand hunt areas, was presented to the commission in January2012. The study found that, while there is potential for negative perceptions about fairness, there are no biological impacts in areas where commissioner complimentary licenses were most often allocated.
“Because many of these licenses go to certain high-demand areas every year, we wanted to make sure there were no adverse impacts to the species in those areas,” says WGF Commission President Aaron Clark. “In addition, we received strong support from the public and from our conservation partners to make no changes to the current system. As a whole, the commission feels good about how we are allocating these licenses and the funds they help raise for wildlife conservation.”
(Contact: Eric Keszler (307) 777-4594)