CHEYENNE - Wyoming’s version of the lottery was held last week with 733 resident and nonresident hunters hitting the jackpot in the annual drawings for moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat licenses.
Game and Fish records show that 485 moose licenses were issued, 399 of which went to residents for overall drawing odds of 4.3 percent. Nonresidents received 86 licenses for a total drawing percentage of 5.9 percent.
For bighorn sheep, 212 total licenses were issued with 159 going to residents, resulting in drawing odds of 3.4 percent. Nonresident sheep hunters bucked even more difficult odds with 2,038 hunters putting in for 53 licenses with 2.6 percent drawing odds. Odds for individual hunters vary depending on hunt areas and the number of preference points each hunter had before applying. Drawing odds for individual hunt areas, quotas, and numbers of points needed to draw for each area are posted on the Game and Fish website at wgfd.wyo.gov. Click on “Hunting,” then on “Drawing Odds.” Hunters can determine their drawing success by visiting wgfd.wyo.gov or by calling 307-777-4600. Licenses for those who drew and refund warrants for those who were unsuccessful in the drawing are being mailed the week of May 13.
By far, the most difficult license to draw was for mountain goat with 3,305 residents putting in for 22 licenses representing a .67 percent chance of drawing. Nonresident goat hunters fared a bit better with 558 hunters vying for six licenses representing a 1.07 percent chance of drawing.
For moose and bighorn sheep, preference points have been available for 18 years, and hunters who have accumulated preference points have a significantly better chance of drawing licenses. Wyoming issues 75 percent of moose and bighorn sheep licenses to those who have the highest preference point totals, and 25 percent of moose and bighorn sheep licenses in a random drawing without regard to preference points. Preference points are not available for mountain goat licenses, but goat licenses are limited to one in a lifetime.
Hunters who did not apply this year still have the opportunity to buy a preference point later this summer. Points are available at wgfd.wyo.gov or by mail. Preference points are available online July 1 - Sept. 30 and through the mail during the month of July.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)