NEWS

Know before you apply: Nonresident elk changes for 2024

Nonresident elk hunters should be aware of recent changes

12/28/2023 6:03:42 PM

Cheyenne - The new year is right around the corner, which signals the opening of hunting applications for many hunters. At 8 a.m. Jan. 2, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will open applications for six big game species and wild turkey. Nonresident applicants should be aware of recent changes to the nonresident general elk season structure. The nonresident elk application deadline is Jan. 31. 

In July 2023 the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved changes to Ch. 44, Regulation for Issuance of Licenses, Permits, Stamps, Tags, Preference Points and Competitive Raffle Chance. The approved changes established three nonresident region general elk hunt areas and general elk license quotas. 

Nonresident general elk regions

EL-2024-revised.png
 

Nonresident general elk license quotas

The quotas below are proposals subject to Commission approval during the season-setting process in April 2024. 

Nonresident general elk regions Elk Hunt Areas Proposed quotas
Eastern 2, 3, 6, 116, 126, 129 500
Southern 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 21, 105-107, 110, 130 1,050
Western 28, 36, 37, 56, 59, 60, 66-71,73, 77, 78, 80-87, 89-92, 94, 96-98, 102-104, 127, 128 2,775
 

This news release and the above map was updated on Jan. 5 at 1:40 p.m. to reflect a change to Hunt Area 65.  Hunt Area 65 will now be designated as a limited quota area. Previously this area had been included in the Western Nonresident General Elk Region. 

For 2024 planning, nonresident elk hunters can use the Game and Fish Hunt Planner to estimate season dates with tentative season information. Final season information will be published on May 1 with time for hunters to make modifications or withdraw applications. Read about more updates in the 2024 Hunting License Application Information document.

Frequently asked questions: 

How do these changes affect nonresidents and residents? 

Nonresidents

  • Nonresident general license holders will be restricted to hunting in the general hunt areas within the nonresident region for which they drew a license.  

  • Geographically the nonresident elk regions encompass limited quota hunt areas, however nonresidents with general elk region tags 
    are only permitted to hunt in areas designated as general and not within limited quota hunt areas.
  • ​Nonresidents may still apply for limited quota tags.

Residents

  • The establishment of nonresident general regions has no impact on the ability of resident hunters to purchase general licenses. Residents can purchase a general elk license over the counter if they do not already hold a type 1, 2, 3, 9, 0 or  GEN elk license.

  • Residents are able to hunt in any general license area in the state.

 

Why did this change occur?

In June 2022, the Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce recommended the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission establish nonresident general elk regions and quotas. Previously, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department allocated 16% of the total available limited quota, full-price elk licenses to nonresidents, plus the number of general elk licenses necessary to reach a total limit of 7,250 nonresident elk licenses in the initial drawing. The Commission-approved change will allow more flexibility in the number of nonresident region general elk licenses issued. The previous 7,250 nonresident license limit was instituted in the 1980s and was based on the average number of nonresident license sales at the time. There was no biological purpose for this number. Since then, the state elk population has increased significantly.

(Breanna Ball, Public Information Officer - (breanna.ball1@wyo.gov))

- WGFD -

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