NEWS

Game and Fish wants to discuss elk hunting licenses in open forums

A series of scoping meetings will take place in May

4/27/2018 10:38:56 AM

Cheyenne - The current system for giving out hunting licenses to elk hunters has not been changed in nearly 30 years. Over the past several months the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has heard different opinions on whether the system and percentage split of licenses between residents and nonresidents should stay the same or be altered. Now the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is inviting people to come and learn more about the existing system and talk about license allocation without any proposed changes on the table. Game and Fish will also take any other comments on licensing for future consideration.
 
“We hope people will come and offer their thoughts and learn more about Wyoming’s licensing system and how the funds that are generated by big game licenses support wildlife management. Our upcoming meetings are designed to foster discussions about all big game license allocations. So, join us and share your thoughts with Game and Fish personnel. Comments are also welcome online if you can’t attend a public meeting,” said Doug Brimeyer, deputy chief of the Wildlife Division.
 
Right now, the system allocates licenses differently for nonresidents and residents. Each January, Wyoming opens a month long application period for nonresident elk applications. The application period is short and the draw is earlier than most other Western states to help nonresidents plan their hunts. Game and Fish issues up to 7,250 full-priced elk licenses in the draw. While this number was established by Commission regulation in 1989, the actual allocation of general licenses to nonresidents varies annually. Each year, wildlife managers provide a preliminary quota of elk licenses for the state; non-residents receive 16 percent of limited quota licenses with the remaining 84 percent of limited quota licenses reserved for residents. The number of general licenses available for non-residents in the draw is the difference between 7,250 (the Commission regulation) and the number of limited quota licenses issued in the random draw. This year in the nonresident draw, 4,493 general licenses were available, up slightly from 4,443 in 2017.
 
The application period for Wyoming residents runs from January through May. During this period, resident elk hunters apply for the pool of limited quota elk licenses (84%). These licenses are awarded through a random draw. Residents also have the option to purchase a general elk license over-the-counter, if they have not met their license limits for elk. Residents do not have preference points for elk. During 2017, residents were issued 18,871 licenses in the initial draw and also purchased 26,717 general licenses.
 
Game and Fish hosted a series public meetings statewide. The last meeting will be May 22 at 10:30 a.m. on Facebook Live. The public can view and participate through the Game and Fish Facebook page or the Game and Fish website. 

Interested people can also submit comments on the website. The online public comment period will be start at 8 a.m. May 7 through 5 p.m. June 6.

 

(Renny MacKay (307) 777-4594)

- WGFD -

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