Got a Question? We have an Answer.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department fields questions from thousands of people from all over the world about the state’s hunting,
fishing and wildlife resources. Here are some of the most frequent questions Game and Fish employees receive, along with the answers. 

What resources exist to help me under- stand the hunt application process?
The hunting license application informa- tion packet* is a great resource available on the Game and Fish website under the orange “Hunting in Wyoming” tab. The packet pro- vides information on how to apply, applica- tion deadlines, types of licenses and more on the process. The Hunt Planner,* also found on the website under the “Hunting in Wyoming” tab, is a tremendous resource to answer most questions. The Hunt Planner provides an interactive map with area-specific information including draw odds, season dates, license types, limitations and more.

How does the leftover draw work?
Hunters can apply for limited quota elk, deer and antelope along with nonresident region general licenses not issued in the ini- tial drawings during the last full week in June. Residents and nonresidents will be randomly drawn until all licenses are issued. Residents and nonresidents can apply as a party.
Remaining licenses following the leftover drawing will be available to buy through the Game and Fish’s electronic licensing system on a first-come, first-serve basis July 12, 2023. Leftover licenses also are available at Game and Fish headquarters in Cheyenne, regional offices and any license-selling agent in the state. If purchasing online, select “Purchase Licenses,”* not “Apply for Licenses.” Once purchased allow up to 10 days for process- ing. The license will be mailed to the mailing address on your account. It is important for customers to maintain current and accurate contact information on their customer profile.

What is some key information about preference points?
You can purchase one preference point per year, per species between July 1-Oct. 31. If the opening or closing date does not fall on a business day, the open or close date will be the next business day. The preference point will be available for the draw the following year. You can accumulate points as long as you do not miss purchasing preference points for the particular species for two consecutive years. If preference points* are not purchased for two consecutive years the preference points become unavailable on future applications. Preference points for resident moose and big- horn sheep are acquired when you apply and are not successful in the drawing. Nonresident moose and bighorn sheep applicants have the option to obtain a preference point if they are unsuccessful in the draw and selected the preference point option when the application was submitted.
Preference points for nonresident elk, deer and antelope must be purchased every other year to maintain them. Preference points for nonresident elk, deer and antelope are not awarded if you are unsuccessful in the initial draw. Do not miss purchasing them for two consecutive years or you will forfeit all accu- mulated points for that species. 

Why didn't I get an email with my draw results?
For the past several years, Game and Fish has sent hunters draw results by email. Hunt- ers with a valid email address receive their unique draw results as soon they are available to the public.
If you applied for a hunting license and didn’t get an email, here are some common reasons why and how to fix it:
• You unsubscribed to Game and Fish
email messages. To receive emails, opt back in by visiting email-sign-up.*
• Your email account thinks Game and Fish is spam and blocked the message. Add this email address to your contacts and safe-sender list: WGFD_noreply@public.
• Your email address has a typo or is
incorrect. Double-check and update in your user account on the Game and Fish website.
Even if you didn’t receive an email, you can
always check your draw results through your Game and Fish user portal. 

Do I need to complete a hunter education course before applying for a hunting license?
You do not need your hunter education card to apply for hunting licenses in Wyoming, but you will need it when you are hunting. Proof in the field is required at all times.
Hunter education is required in Wyoming for all hunters born after Jan. 1, 1966, with exemptions for military and law enforcement. Wyoming also offers a hunter mentor program for hunters who don’t yet have hunter safety, but would like to experience a hunt before committing to the hunter education course- work. For hunters who are new to or don’t live in Wyoming, certifications from other states are permitted. To register for hunter education, visit the Game and Fish hunter education website.* 

How can I find where I am able to hunt while planning for my trip?
Under the lime green “Public Access”* tab on the website is information about the Access Yes program, which consists of hunter management areas and walk-in areas. This is a great resource to help hunters determine which area to apply for. Information about wildlife habitat management areas and public access areas is also available under this tab. All have an abundance of information on the activities allowed in specific areas. 

Where can I find an elk or deer?
This is a frequently asked question during hunting season. Even during the application process, hunters want to know where they can find game. The answer is tough, of course. A good course of action is if you can't find an elk where you're hunting, move a ridge over and see if that helps. Avoid sheep herds and roads, and make a good effort. Usually you will get some results, but weather also plays a factor. These last two years for deer season when weather has been balmy, hunting was extremely difficult. Weather plays a key role in deer movement. 

Where can I catch specific species of fish?
Determining where to find and pursue less common fish species can be found using the Game and Fish's Interactive Fishing Guide* under the blue “Fishing and Boating” tab on the Game and Fish website.
Using the search window’s drop down func- tion, select the option “Wyoming streams by species” or “Wyoming lakes by species.” You can then enter a species name to return a complete list of waters where the fish of interest can be found. 

Where can I find which fish have been stocked and where?
Game and Fish provides online access to fish stocking data in the state dating back to 1985. Recent stocking information is updated frequently. This information can be found in the Fish Stocking Reports* under the blue “Fishing and Boating” tab on the Game and fish website. Anglers can query the records by species, water and/or county. 

Can I use bait while fishing on the water I plan to visit?
Bait, which includes worms, PowerBait, salmon eggs, etc., can be used on the majority of Wyoming waters, but there are exceptions. To determine if the water you are visiting is an exception, consult the 2023 fishing reg- ulations* to see if that water is listed in the booklet.
Exceptions listed as flies and lures only are the only waters where these baits are not allowed. If the water you plan on fishing is not listed as flies and lures only, it falls under the statewide rules and use of these baits is allowed.
Additional restrictions on acquisition, possession and use of live minnows can be found in the regulations. If you still aren’t sure after consulting the regulation, call one of the Game and Fish offices. 

How many fish do Wyoming hatcheries stock, and how many waters are stocked each year?
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department stocks between six and seven million fish on average each year. These fish are stocked in 400-450 waters. 

When does fish stocking start and end?
It really gets going at the beginning of April, or when bodies of water start to become ice- free. Stocking stays steady until the heat of summer, or around mid-July. It picks back up when waters start to cool in mid-September and won’t cease until mid-November. 

What do fish hatchery employees do all winter when everything is frozen?
Winter is a busy time of year for employees at the state’s fish hatcheries. Between October and December employees conduct spawning operations and prepare facilities for the winter. The remaining winter months are spent caring for the freshly-hatched sac fry and juvenile fish that are being raised for the upcoming spring/summer stocking seasons. 

What is fish passage and what is being done about it?
Fish passage refers to the techniques and solutions that aid fish in navigating around man-made obstructions in Wyoming’s rivers
and streams. Restoring and maintaining ade- quate passage is important since many of our fish move long distances each season. Game and Fish has worked on many proj- ects across the state with various partners to restore connectivity in our streams. Examples of projects include installation of fish ladders and bypass channels at dams, fish screens in irrigation ditches, culvert improvements at road crossings and inventory of passage bar- riers. Some fish passage projects completed recently include Horse Creek near Torrington, along the North Laramie River, Clear Creek at Interstate 25 near Buffalo and the Wood River in the Cody Region.
Collectively, these efforts improve access to historical habitats, reduce fish loss and priori- tize future projects to benefit fish populations. 

What documentation is needed to register or renew a watercraft?

Watercraft registration (in person)
This can be done at any Game and Fish regional office or at headquarters in Cheyenne. Requirements include:
  • Must be the owner of the watercraft.
  • A watercraft application must be completed and signed.
  • Must provide the watercraft county sales tax receipt.
  • Provide fees in the form of cash, check or credit card.
Watercraft registration (online)
Go to and follow these steps:
  • The watercraft application must be completed.
  • Must upload a picture of the Wyoming watercraft title.
  • Must upload a picture of the physical hull identification number —also known as HIN — located on the watercraft.
  • Must upload a picture of the watercraft county sales tax receipt.
  • Must have a credit card for payment at checkout
Watercraft renewal (in person)
Can be completed at a Game and Fish regional office or at headquarters in Cheyenne by the owner or co-owner. Requirements include:
  • Must be the owner of the watercraft.
  • Owner must present a valid driver's license.
  • Provide fees in teh form of cash, check or credit card.
Watercraft renewal (online)
Go to and follow these steps:
  • The owner must be logged in and follow the online renewal steps. No additional documentation is needed.
  • Must have a credit card for payment at checkout. 
— Game and Fish contributors to this story include: Baggs Game Warden Kim Olson, Fish Passage Coor- dinator for Game and Fish Nick Scribner, License Section Manager Jennifer Doering, Public Information Officer Breanna Ball, Assistant Fisheries Management Coordinator Mark Smith, Laramie Office Manager Debbie Wheat, Aquatic Habitat Biologist Travis Cundy and Assistant Fish Culture Supervisor Travis Trimble. 

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