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Frequently Asked Questions
Big Game Licensing Applications
Q. I notice there is an application fee for licenses I apply for through the mail. If I just apply for the $7 resident preference point for moose and sheep, do I still need to pay the application fee?

A. No, you do not. The fee is only applicable for big game license applications submitted for limited quota drawings. When you pay the $7 for a resident preference point, you are not applying for a license so no fee is assessed.

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Q. I'm a resident and I didn't draw my moose license. Can I send in
my endorsed refund check to apply for elk, deer or antelope?

A. Please don’t. The check is made out to you, not the G&F, and is in effect a two-party check which anyone could cash if lost in the mail. In addition, it is unlikely the check would be the correct amount for the licenses you want. The best way to apply is to simply deposit the refund check in your bank, and write a personal check for the exact amount of the licenses.

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Q. My father who lives out of state missed the elk drawing. Can he
still get an elk license?

A. Most nonresident elk licenses are issued in the drawing that is held in February. However after the drawing, usually in late June, hunt areas that are undersubscribed will be posted on the Game and Fish website along with the dates when these licenses will be available and information on obtaining these licenses.

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Q. I applied for my moose license back in February and would like to know why you can't have the drawing sooner than May?

A. We try to get as much information as possible before we hold drawings. We look at last year''s harvest success, herd observations in early winter and the severity of the weather before making our season recommendations. The proposals are presented to public in April, public comment is assessed and the G&F Commission officially sets the seasons in late April. Regulations are printed and then the drawing is held.

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Q. Why aren't season closing dates listed in your big game
application booklet?

A. Season closing dates, as well as quotas, are never listed in the application booklet, because the booklet is printed in November before the impacts of winter are known. The seasons and quotas are set in late spring, allowing the G&F to make season and quota recommendations based on winter mortalities and last year’s harvest.

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Q. Why does it take so long to conduct drawings for big game

A. The actual drawing only takes a matter of hours. It’s the preparation for the drawing that takes time. Wyoming is a state that has numerous drawings for numerous species. Since Wyoming law allocates certain percentages of licenses to residents and nonresidents, those drawings are conducted separately, and have their own separate application periods and deadlines. We feel we must allow ample time to apply for licenses, so depending on the species, most application periods are a month or more. Since it seems to be human nature to procrastinate, most of the applications do not reach us until the last week of the application period. We also need to have seasons and quotas set before drawings can be conducted. Since we are a state which periodically gets harsh winters, we do not set seasons and quotas until after the effects of the winter on game populations are known. The season setting meeting is usually the first week of May. We make an exception to this for the nonresident elk drawing which takes place in late February, in order that nonresident may know their status in the elk drawing before applying for other species. However, because the drawing is held before seasons or quotas are actually set, we must be extremely conservative. After seasons are established, we must also allow time for regulations to be printed, so successful applicants can receive a copy with their license. Before a drawing can be conducted, the following must take place:

Applications must be processed seasons and quotas must be set application information entered on computer system Regulations printed The drawing is then held. Successful applicants receive a license. Unsuccessful applicants receive refund warrants.

From the time the actual computer selection takes place it normally takes about a week or less for licenses and warrants to be printed and mailed.

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Q. Does applying early for a license give me a better chance to draw?

A. There is no mathematical difference in your chances of drawing whether your application is received during the first day of the application period or the last. However, applying early does allow the G&F time to check your application and return it to you or call you in the event you made an error. If you applied early, you will still have time to reapply with a correct application before the deadline date. Every year there are hunters who wait until the last minute, make a mistake and miss the drawing because there is not time to reapply.

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Q. Does applying as a party hurt my chances to draw?

A. A party application has exactly the same chance as being drawn for licenses as does an individual. That is...a party application has one chance in the drawing, the same as an individual application. There is also a provision in the drawing to exceed the quota by the number of licenses needed to accommodate the party. For example, if there was only one license remaining on the quota and your party of three was selected, the quota would simply be exceeded by two and all would receive licenses.

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Q. What are my chances of drawing a license on a second or later choice?

A. It depends on the hunt area. There are three (3) choices on the application, but you need only one choice to validate the application. If more applicants list an area as their first choice than there are licenses available, anyone listing that area as a second or later choice have no chance. In some areas, particularly private land antelope areas in eastern Wyoming, there are typically far fewer first choice applicants than the license quota. This makes those areas possible to draw on later choices. On the other hand, public land antelope areas are usually oversubscribed on the first choice. This makes it difficult to draw those areas on the first choice and impossible to draw on later choices. Hunters should be aware that private land areas require the permission of the landowner before going hunting. The G&F advises hunters to obtain permission before listing a private land area on any choice on their application.

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Q. What does "TYPE" mean in the application booklet?

A. The number in the type column indicates a limitation for that license. The limitation may restrict the hunter to the taking of a specific sex of animal, a specific season, a specific type of weapon or a portion of the area. If there is no type number opposite the hunt area number, the area is valid for general license. When applying be sure to check the limitation and type column following the hunt area. This limitation defines, when, where and how that particular license can be used.

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Q. Can I apply for a resident license in the drawing if I am not a resident by the application deadline, but will be a resident when
hunting season opens?

A. No. You may not apply in the resident drawings until you are a resident. Wyoming law requires that you must already be a resident before making application for a resident license. You can, however, purchase a resident general elk and deer license after you have become a resident.

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Wyoming Game & Fish Department Headquarters
5400 Bishop Blvd. Cheyenne, WY 82006
ph: (307) 777-4600
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