CHEYENNE - Archery season is just around the corner. Most areas open to archers for pronghorn on Aug. 15 and for deer and elk on Sept. 1. A few areas have different opening dates, so bowhunters should check regulations for seasons in the area they plan to hunt.
The following are the most common questions asked by archers.
• Do I need an archery license in addition to my big game license? Yes—usually. Archers hunting in the archery preseason need an archery permit in most areas. The exception is for holders of Type 9 archery-only licenses. Hunters holding Type 9 licenses do not need a separate archery license. The archery license does not allow a person to take an extra animal—it simply allows the archer to hunt in the archery pre-season.
• If I don’t get my elk with my bow can I hunt with my rifle when the gun season opens? Usually. Archers who do not fill their tag during the archery season may return and hunt with firearms during the gun season. Once again, the exception is that holders of Type 9 archery-only licenses may hunt only during the archery preseason—they may not hunt on that license with firearms during the gun season.
• Do I need a separate archery license for each species? No. Only one archery license is required to hunt all big and trophy game animals.
• Do I need an archery license to hunt with a bow during the firearms season? No. The archery license is only required to hunt during the archery preseason.
• Can I wear camouflage clothing when archery hunting? Yes, as long as you are hunting in the archery pre-seasons. If you are hunting during the firearms season, fluorescent orange clothing is required.
• Are mechanical broadheads legal? Yes, as long as the broadhead has a cutting width of at least one inch. Wyoming law requires that broadheads, whether mechanical or fixed, must have a minimum cutting width of one inch.
• Can I carry a firearm while archery hunting during the archery preseason? Yes. However, the law prohibits the use of firearms in taking or finishing off any big or trophy game animals during the special archery season.
• Are crossbows legal during the archery hunt? Yes, as long as they conform to certain specifications. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 90 pounds and the bolt must be at least 16 inches long. The broadhead requirement is the same as with conventional archery equipment and must have a minimum cutting width of one inch.
• Can I use the same archery equipment to hunt elk as I use for deer? Possibly, as long as it conforms to minimum draw-weight requirements. Regulations require the bow to have a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds for deer and antelope and 50 pounds for elk and moose.
• Are lighted nocks and lighted sight pins legal? There is no regulation prohibiting the use of lighted nocks or sight pins.
• Is a bowhunter education or hunter safety course required to archery hunt? No. There is an archery section in Wyoming’s hunter safety course, but completion of a hunter safety course is not required for archery hunters in Wyoming.
• Are tree stands, blinds and decoys legal? Yes, in all instances. You may put a blind on public lands, but the blind must be removed once the archery season is over.
For more information on archery seasons, regulations and hunting equipment, consult the “archery”section of the regulations for each big game species.
(Contact: Al Langston, 307-777-4540)