Wyoming is one of the top locations for highly-sought after big game in the country, and each year the number of hunting applications the Wyoming Game and Fish Department receives increases. The May 2017 application deadline was no different, with higher-than-ever application numbers.
“Game and Fish is glad for the interest hunters show in Wyoming,” said Scott Talbott, Game and Fish’s director. “We work hard to provide great hunting and fishing opportunities throughout the state. We were able to offer more licenses for deer and antelope for 2017 and are happy there is such strong interest in big game. Lasly, I want to thank sportsmen and sportswomen for their contribution to wildlife management.”
The May draw allocates licenses for resident elk as well as non-resident and resident deer and antelope. From just one year ago, there was a 4.47% increase in these license applications overall. Applications increased the most for resident cow/calf elk and non-resident and resident doe/fawn deer and antelope, all around 9%.
Any licenses that weren’t allocated in the initial draw were available for hunters in a leftover draw. That draw closed on June 30. In 2017, Game and Fish changed the leftover license allocation process from a first-come, first-serve system to a second, random draw. In the leftover draw, residents and non-resident compete against the same quotas; there is not quota split. The process was changed to increase fairness. Overall, there was a 7.5% decrease in the number of leftover licenses available in 2017, due to higher applications initially.
“More hunters applied for their cow/calf and doe/fawn licenses in the draw this year rather than taking a chance with the leftover draw,” said Jennifer Doering, license section manager. “This increase in initial applications means there were fewer leftover licenses.”
There are still licenses available for resident Wyoming hunters. Wyoming residents have the opportunity to buy a general elk and deer license over-the-counter; license limits still apply.