More Costs Headed Your Way in Wyoming-Maybe

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Posted November 7, 2012 by Guy Eastman in General
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With the fall all but behind us now and the holidays on the horizon, it’s time to start researching for our 2013 hunts already. I have been hard at work cooking up the MRS write-up for Wyoming elk. It seems as though Wyoming continues to make some very significant changes in their tag allocations. As Wyoming continues to close seasons and cut back tag quotas, the effects have continued to be very significant and detrimental to the overall draw odds, particularly for non-resident hunters.

The limited quota elk areas in Wyoming have been losing between 300 and 500 tags each and every year total. I have to believe this has begun to create a very significant hole in the Game and Fish budget from a revenue standpoint. And now, with rumblings of a price increase in the future, this could make a bad thing worse. We will write up a more detailed synopsis of this tag quota situation in a future issue of E-News.

The prospect of a possible price increase for Wyoming tags has created quite a fire-storm in the cowboy state with the residents. I certainly hope that Wyoming does some detailed market research before they go through with any such increases. Both Idaho and Montana have recently learned the lesson that increasing the price of a tag is not always the answer to budget shortfalls. It is very easy to take a $1 million budget deficit and make it a $5 million dollar hole if you’re not careful. There’s a limit to what you can charge for an elk tag, and I would say that $1,071.00 is pretty damn close to the line if not a bit over the edge in my opinion. I realize times are tough out there, and the cost of wildlife management is expensive, but just increasing your prices is not always the answer. Just ask the U.S. Post Office. Let me know your thoughts. –Guy Eastman


About the Author

Guy Eastman

Following in the footsteps of his father, Guy has taken up the reins and is now at the helm of the Eastmans’ Hunting Journal and the Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal. A fine hunter in his own right, Guy has taken several trophy animals and has become an expert in trophy hunting as well.

99 Comments


  1.  
    Tom Hall

    Guy,

    I have to agree with you on your comment. As a resident of Wyoming, I am definitely not excited about seeing our tag prices go up. This has been one of the positives of being a resident of the state of WYoming, being able to buy over the counter General tags for Deer and Elk. Moving here 7 years ago from Arizona, I went 12 years of not getting drawn for an elk tag and 4 years of not drawing even a deer tag, and those were for being a Resident, so I do know a little about it. There has to be someone in there with enough common sense to look at the other states and see that it hasn’t helped those states out much. Non-Resident hunters provide a huge chunk of change to the Game and Fish, not to mention our economy in WYoming. Most hunters aren’t excited when they are in their favorite hunting spot, and they look in the parking area to see all of the out of state license plates invading their territory, me included. But it is a fact of life, that they are helping fund all of this also. Hopefully, some one will find a solution that will be beneficial to all, not just the Game and Fish. If i was a Non-Resident, I would definitely think twice before dumping over a grand on an out of state hunt. The economy the way it is, plus the fact that things aren’t going to get much better over the next 4 years, thanks to the latest election, i would definitely be a little leary.




    •  
      Jon emmick

      Guy, Just left Montana after 2 weeks of solid hunting. Paid $939 for tags and hardly seen any elk. Most of time was knee deep in wolf scat. Expensive hiking trip, but will be back, because I’m stupid!




  2.  
    Ray Frazier

    I agree 110% this is a big problem. From Greybull hunted all my life with my dad only to see tag increases and game management go down down down. Change in weather over the last 15 to 20 years has made low land mule deer hunting tough. And elk hunt with a bow even tougher. The rut was going in the big horns hard October 15 gun season. And they was bugling up till the end of the month. The tags don’t need a raise. With no kill and gas prices on the rise and your average Joe trying to fill the freezers. People will just start buying beef by the time you spend time and money to the field hell just buy a beef. The numbers are truly down over here in greybull basin lovell worland ten sleep is good but private land owners are waiting for there little crop damage hand out. There is a load of people headed for game and fish meetings in march. I respect landowners but I don’t think we should pay for damages. Wont allow hunting don’t get the hand out. There are programs we could come up with like allow 2or 3 people to hunt each day. Some ranches do this and its great. Little off the subject at times but you get me.




  3.  
    mark

    Thanks Guy for all u do for the NR. I know there will always be friction between R and NR, but we as NR loves the outdoors (nation forest) and Elk as much as the R do. Just consider from where i live it cost us approx $1600 to drive to Wyoming and back, approx $1200 for motels, now maybe $1000 or more for NR lic. It Will just about put elk hunting out of our reach, wonder what it will do for some of Wyomings local economies?




  4.  
    Mick

    Coming from the California market, we travel West somewhere to find better opportunity to hunt Elk and Mule Deer. I used to go to Oregon for Elk. They raised the Non resident tag/license from $400 to $775 for Elk alone. In one year. Why would anyone pay that when other Western States are between $400-$500 for the same tag? I went to Colorado for the first time for Archery during the peak rut for Elk. We saw over 200 head but could not seal the deal. Point is, I chose a different state due to costs. If tags go to $1000, $500 gas to get there from non residents, food/other costs, why hunt at all? A side of beef is much less at home. And the health of our game management will suffer, economy of hunting in these states will suffer, and the heritage of hunting will begin to be lost. How can a ridiculous increase be worth all of that?




    •  
      george price

      I think CO is a PERFECT place for you “californians” to hunt !! and why would you complain about tag increases, living in a state that runs itself as ridiculously as CA does ?? Personally, I think the increase for NR tag costs was focused directly at californians and only because to single you out would create a firestorm of liberal lawsuits …….




      •  
        wally warm

        as far as california goes the gun maker’s should quit sell in firearm’s to that state or any other state same with new york & illinois the people that live there should stop buying tag’s also




  5.  
    Barney Poynor

    We stopped hunting in Montana because they raised Buck and Bull tags 50%! We stayed for 2-3 weeks each year as friends came and went out of camp and maybe just my part in costs totaled i spent another $2000 in Montana towns for gas, food, fun supplies etc… above the cost of $643. for my tags plus any doe tags we all bought…..Now it’s too much for the average DIY guy to spend.

    They really screwed the guides, outfitters and out of state hunters when they put those guaranteed tags back into the lottery! These for the most part are their own Montana people. I know it was “voted in” but that was a stupid move I believe!
    “Bronco” Barney Poynor




    •  

      Barney: Glad you’re a hunter. Most out of staters are better hunters due to having come so far & spent so much $. the vote on guaranteed licenses was not directed at you tho unfortunately you suffered. Guides were leasing as much land as they could & then not allowing access to public lands. Yes we have the right to cross but is it worth it to have a fight everytime you go? I have & no one I know in MT has any love for FWP simply because they think they are CIA. They raised fees to apply when they found out they couldn’t raise tag costs–only legislature. W/the $7 million, FWP built new buildings for themselves & designed them so that no public meetings, provided for by MT law in all public buildings, could be held. Just walk into one of those places & you’ll see no meeting could be held. Check with the Reservations. Here at Crow there are licenses available for antelope, mountain lion, bear, upland birds, buffalo, prairie dogs but not for elk or deer reserved for Natives. you need a guide but some of us charge nothing. Deer & elk are available I believe @ Blackfeet & Rocky Boy. Check Ft. Belknap too. Most offer fishing licenses & there is no draw or waiting list. FWP is self-destructing tho I get off-Rez tags each year to spend x w/my friends & to hunt areas I’ve known for yrs.




  6.  
    Mark

    if you ask me WY is missing a huge opportunity by not offering more archery only licenses. Look how many NR tags CO sells! The huge demand for some limited tags is because gun and bow hunters compete for the same tags. Having more archery tags won’t degrade hunting at all, or increase harvest that much, but it will raise a lot more $$. Wake up WY, bowhunters have money too.




  7.  

    I think its time for states to get smart about knowing what they are charging for. I like New Mexico having 2 tag fees based on the unit desirability. Nobody wants to pay $1100 for a general season tag. WE might pay that for the primo units – what happens? Massive point creep in every good unit in the west for Non-Residents. Nobody wants to travel and drop the coin for a chance at a forkie, they will for book heads.




  8.  
    Greg Schultz

    I do know that I wish I had the answer to this one. I, like many NR, have to plan the year out to be able to afford the trips but now may go every other due to costs associated with our passion. Tags are just a part, but it may get to be too much as I prepare to introduce two of my daughters to the west. And like so many others have said about the west, it’s not just about the hunting, it’s the people, the scenery, the comradery.

    I’m going to keep coming out no matter the cost. However, to spread the costs out, I may buy as much as I can well before the trip which will in turn not get spent in the West. Let’s just hope for a bumper crop of dead wolves this year in hopes that the populations can start the upward swing.




  9.  
    Ben Kordon

    I live in Laramie and it is my understanding that Game and Fish allocates tags for a given unit based on animal population. That being said, there appears to be a bigger issue with the decrease in tags tied directly to predation. Raising tag prices isn’t going to fix the predation problem; only reduce the number of sportsman taking the time, effort and financial resourses to another state, and away from Wyoming’s economy. As a resident, we could discuss the point that Tom Hall makes above ( I happen to agree with him); but I’m not thrilled with the prospect of paying higher fees due to a decrease in out of state sportsman. This year my dad purchased a prefernce point for deer and drew a non-resident tag for a unit I put in for three years in a row and still haven’t drawn. Maybe it is time for Game and fish to allow residents the chance to accrue preference point for deer and elk in optimal units. That alone will generate revenue. Anyone who has to hunt with general seasons tags knows what I am talking about. The Snowy Range is mostly general season for both deer and elk. I believe I saw a new town at 10,000 ft. this year.

    I also agree with Mark’s comment above and maybe the state needs to branch out and not only issue archery tags, but muzzleloader tags as well. I moved from Oregon in 2007, and there are a number of muzzleloader opportunites for both deer and elk in OR. Wyoming has really minimal opportunities. I would love to see opportunities to draw a muzzleloader tag for elk or deer.




    •  
      Butch Obert

      Muzzle tags would be fine unless, like Colorado, they are thrown in with bowhunters during the archery season; what a recipe for disaster and screwing up the archery season. I took 200 years to get rid of wolves; who the hell thought it was a good idea to put them back and have to compete with them for the game we pay to maintain? Like transplanting woodchucks into my garden to compete for my vegetables because they are are part of nature; foolishness.




  10.  
    Daniel Ward

    Washington State in 30 yrs went from 25 to 30 dollars with the ability to Bow, Mussel, @ Rifle hunt combined. To about 100 dollars. Not including all the special hunts that I apply for. Between my fishing , big game, small game hunting @ special hunt permit drawings its three to four hundred dollars. Not including the cost of the special tags if you get drawn. Seasons are shorter, hunting more restrictive. Game laws are harder and harder to interpret. And less and less animals to hunt. Its sad to think where this is going.




    •  
      wally warm

      time to quit buy’n them. i did’t fish at all this year and have a 23 foot grady white sit’n it’s time for us hunter’s to take a stand. i’m from washington too. just a thought.




      •  
        Jon Cognard

        My thoughts exactly Hunters need to stand together and no matter what don’t budge…If we don’t what’s the future for our children and grandchildren’s hunting prospect.




  11.  
    Mike Chamberlin

    Guy I started hunting the Snow Range in southern Wyoming in the 1980′s and since 2001 have given up on drawing a tag and now am priced out of the hunt. I can go to Colorado, be nearly assured of a tag and if willing to work can bag a decent Bull. I really miss hunting Wyoming but they have excluded the non resident hunter and at my age I had thought about relocating to Wyoming but the 5 year residency requirement makes that a non viable option. I had actually looked at buying acreage around Saratoga until I found out about that requirement. Its a shame, Wyoming hoards their game and will lose in the long run. The answer is to make the hunting more accessible but maintain quotas. To lose the non resident dollars spent in Wyoming is a real shame.




    •  

      Thanks for the reply all. I think you are mistaken Mike Chamberlin about the residency requirement in Wyoming. It is only a 12 month requirement not 5 five years. I still have yet to get in touch with the WY G&F representative regarding the details of this possible price increase. They are probably avoiding my calls for good reason. I have heard it a number of different ways. The other day, I heard this increase was proposed for resident tags only. Then I heard it was across the board, not sure which is correct. I will let you fellas know as soon as I do for sure. Thanks for the great feedback. Good luck on your hunts. -Guy




      •  
        Shane Rasmussen

        This is heart breaking news. Thank you so much for getting the word out. Hopefully Wyoming G&F will listen to the voice of their cutomers (us hunters) and stop the price increase. It is becoming a joke. Elk hunting for NR in Wyoming is becoming a once in a lifetime hunt. I have 6 bonus points but I do not have the funds to put in. I will try and save money and hopefully one day I will be able to do it. Thanks again Guy.




      •  
        Mike Chamberlin

        Thank you for the clarification on residency, I got information from the Game and fish on line that stated that a residency was only established after 5years, and should have investigated further. I love Wyoming and still have relatives living in Thermopolis. I neede to look into properties again. Thanks again for that clarification.




    •  
      Edward Bennett

      There’s no 5 year residency requirement in Wyoming; it’s one year! Always has been.




    •  
      Edward Bennett

      Not sure where you got the five year residency requirement for Wyoming. Wyoming has a one ( 1 ) year residency requirement not five years.




  12.  
    Ron S.

    this past season was my first year hunting in Wyoming. I come from Pennsylvania and have only ever had experience with bowhunting whitetails. Wyoming is a great state and the hunting and landscape were spectacular. My wish is to continue a yearly tradition and begin bringing my 4 young children along for the experience. We are a young family and times are tough, not getting any easier…any increase to the NR fees, and we will not be able to make it as often as we’d like.




  13.  
    westy

    People would pay the money if they hunting were worth it. You can charge big dollars if the hunting is world class but lets face it Wyoming deer hunting is no longer world class, neither is elk. Raise it to high and they will make a bad problem worse. The ultimate solution is to make everyone in a given state pay for wildlife management, everyone.




  14.  
    Rick K.

    All of the comments are very interesting. As a resident of Alaska I see changes also but am very interested in hunting in other states. First preference is going after elk but expenses for my trips can be considerable. If I know I have an opportunity while hunting, then any increase can be tolerated. I see non residents in my state, so being newly retired and thoughts of going to Wyoming and other areas as a NR, I can see whats going on. Have been on a few trips, and will continue my plans on future hunts. Meanwhile, I hope for the best on this issue and will definitly be watching and keeping tabs on what Eastmans (Guy) passes on. Hunting is an experience, and I support everyone thoughts about keeping cost at an affordable lower amount.Good luck wyoming.




  15.  
    Kai

    My experience is much like those already posted, but I have already been priced out of any hunts out of my home state of California. Even doing everything DIY and avoiding hotels the costs are simply too much for me to justify to the wife, so instead I’ll do an in state deer hunt and try to hike in to avoid the 10,000 weekend warriors that are invariably out there with me. The money I saved by hunting in state will be used for a long range fishing trip, so instead of a freezer full of elk, it will be tuna and wahoo…




  16.  
    Jim Downey

    I think prices are getting out of hand. If I want my nephew to go with me, I have to buy his license also. Now that’s expensive




  17.  
    Doug

    I have never applied for a Wyoming tag because I have friends that live there and they always complain about how hard it is to get tags. I have hunted in Montana and this year as most know, they had a lot of tags left due to the changes they made with increased cost. Increasing the tag fees will not solve the problems. I have seen this tried by many states and it sooner or later backfires. I have only been hunting for 42 years and come from Pennsylvania. Not an expert, just a working guy with a love for the outdoors and a limited budget. I hope these states think twice before it is too late. Both their resdients and non-residents will pay dearly in the end.




  18.  
    Greg Niswender

    After hunting Deer and elk in Wyoming for the last 12 years I left do to decrease in game populations. An increase in Tag prices will insure that I and the Six folks in our group will not be back. Do the math.
    Greg N.




  19.  
    Chet Grimsley

    I was a non-resident Idaho hunter until their price hike of several years ago …… Never been back since ! …… Let Wyoming follow Idaho and Montana, non-residents will continue to leave our money in Colorado and New Mexico for our big game pursuits …… They seem to appreciate non-residents more and realize there is a limit to what the “common man” will pay …… 95% of us do not have the funds of “sheep hunters” and thus hunt mule deer and elk where we can afford it ……….




  20.  
    Paul Kik

    As a NR I have been to Wyoiming for deer and antelope. I have points for deer and elk but can’t make myself apply for the tag when I can buy a bull and cow tag in CO for about the same money and see tons of animals and tag out 5 years running. Add to that all the reports of downward game numbers, it gets even less attractive.




  21.  
    Jerry

    I never thought I would say this, but I just cant stomach what our sport is turning into. I started collecting points most of the western states15 years ago. I am just using up my points on what ever I can draw in the next few years, I cant afford to hunt in my favorite states anymore. It looks like WY is next. I will use my points and never be able to go back. I cant afford to buy a expensive tag, gas ect and hunt every year. MT, WY, NV, UT, OR are out of my price range now. For the average guy…it is becoming to much to justtify.




  22.  
    David Ramsden

    As a previous resident of Montana who left for work, I no longer look to Montana as a hunting destination because of the very high tag costs. Coupled with the unfriendly resident hunters I have no problem looking to other states. I have hunted Utah for deer and cow elk these last 8 years and MT never crosses my mind. Resident hunters have to remember that we non-resident hunters subsidize their very cheap tag costs.




  23.  
    Buck Parks

    I am concerned that Wyoming is following the path of many other highly populated states in the west. The more people you get the more bureaucracy you get. The increase in tag monies has nothing to do with game populations it is all about adding more positions to the agency. More feed, better feed, and less predators is how game populations are increased. Doesn’t matter what state you are from. I have hunted Wyoming and lived there as a college student 20 years ago. I hear the same story now in a lot of states:”It sure isn’t as good as it used to be!” Raising the price of tags to fund more agency positions is not the answer. On the ground habitat work and predator control is. Here in California we are removing western junipers and working on coyote populations. All we can do since we can’t hunt the mountain lions. Don’t let land management agencies or the game agency keep you from improving the food source, or removing the predators.




  24.  
    ryan

    i think the non resiedent pays enough already! what they need to do is put the wyoming residents on a draw system just like colorado and increase the fees to $200 for elk and $100 for deer the heards will rebound faster and it mite give all the lazy residents a reason to go to work in the winter instead of sitting on the couch collecting welfare hoping mr. obama is guna save there asses! i was in baggs wy. this year looking for mule deer and i have never seen it so bad there were very few hunters and 0 deer its a shame to see a great state like wyoming go from the top to the bottom in the last 7-8 years




  25.  
    Mike Garrity

    If they would have started managing those wolves and grizzlies a while back, game numbers would be thriving and tag number would be up. It’s just us ever so slowly falling victim to the backdoor liberal agenda.




  26.  
    Brian Erickson

    I agree, it isn’t just the license/tag fee. How about the hundreds/thousands that would be hurt in the local economy by driving away hunters by raising tag fees out of reach




  27.  
    Jim

    I don’t think that raising the fees is the answer and certainly not to 200 as you mention Ryan. I moved to Wyoming 4 years ago and two years ago my son became old enough to hunt and my wife decided she wanted to go with us So 130 for elk for all three (he is 1/2) price is not bad but for $500 or $600 I would strongly consider abandoning this. And it isn’t about putting meat in the freezer, it is about carrying on a tradition that has been going on forever. They both shot bulls this year with him getting a 6×6. That is a terrific memory and has him hooked. We should be encouraging the outdoorsman to take the family instead of making him carry more financial burden. Many residents in Wyoming couldn’t withstand a 200% hike.

    I am very supportive of changing the tag system to archery only and rifle only. This would allow a hunter to have two tags. I would be willing to pay 104 for two tags(archery and rifle) for me and only purchasing a rifle tag for my son and wife. I don’t think this would impact the harvest rate very much but would increase revenue along with improving the hunting experience. I think all the bowhunters would appreciate fewer hunters in the woods who are carrying a bow but actually scouting for rifle season.

    I would also like for residents to get points for hard to draw areas or being able to pay extra to get additional chances for these areas.




  28.  
    Todd Jones

    I am a lifer here in WY. I can’t believe they are looking into yet another price hike. I dont think it will fix the budget problems. I have for years been saying WY needs to go to a point system with deer and elk tags like they have with Moose and others. I know so many people that have quit hunting because they never draw and are tired of hunting with the 5,000,000 other people in the general ares. My proposal is this:

    keep tag prices the same for limited entry hunts, raise general tags $10 per species
    in the limited quota areas, allot 50% of the tags to Res. hunters, make the other 50% available to both Res. and non-res for the premium price non-res hunters now pay. You want to hunt the best areas in the state, pony up or wait! It shouldn’t matter where your from.
    G&F keeps $15 out of every draw application instead of full refunds that they give now, basically an application fee.
    All limited quota tags are on a points system per the area you apply for. Preference points never expire.
    When purchasing a general tag, for $5 additional charge, you receive a preference point for the area of your choosing for like species (cant buy deer tag and get a elk point).
    Introduce a draw only Muzzleloader season
    Make Doe Antelope tags available over the counter to both Res and non-res hunters per area.
    All limited quota applications must be done via the internet. All returns done electronically. (eliminates man hours, wasted money on stamps, envelopes, paper, ect.)

    This all may sound like a lot of record keeping time and hours on the G&F side but with everything being computerized now, it is nothing.

    Just some thoughts.




  29.  
    Kimbreaux Wier

    Agree totally Barney! I visited Ravalli County for years to see friends and do some hunting. Now that they have made that change I have not been back. I think it is a real crime that we are effectively locked (priced) out of being able to hunt our own federal lands. Not to mention the damage that this has done to hunting’s long term sustainability.




    •  
      Cliff Folkerts

      Aw yes-The plan is going according to schedule!The wolf lover/anti-hunter crowd is loving this.Less tags means the eventual demise of hunting and G&F depts.This was all part of the plan from the beginning.Environmental groups control this country in more ways than meets the eye(through their incessant threat of lawsuits that govt agencies seek to avoid).
      Mad about license fees going up?Throw some blame on those guys!!
      Todd Jones-Did you submit your ideas to G&F?
      I am willing to pay more because I can afford to,but many can’t.What about imposing a severance tax of $.025-$.050 on energy companies?I think this may be introduced in the next legislative session.
      G&F needs to provide a better product,IMO.I don’t mind paying more for a better product.




      •  
        Todd Jones

        Cliff, I have not submitted anything to them. I have been thinking on this for a long time and try to think of ways that can fix the problems without a huge spike to wallet of the commoner. I feel that some of the burden for the cost of wildlife management needs to be on the shoulders of sportsman but still low enough that they can still be sportsman.

        Lets look at a few truth’s. Anyone who can’t afford a $10 hike on a license can’t afford to hunt. If anyone claims they hunt for the economic savings on their meat intake either does not know finances or can’t use a calculator. My elk meat and deer meat in the freezer is by far the most expensive meat I have. Especially deer meat as you don’t get much. I spend a good thousand minimum every year it seams to go hunting for maybe a few hundred pounds of meat. We butcher ourselves or it goes even more way up. That’s just the initial costs, when I add in things like my truck and camp trailer which I truly only have because of fishing and hunting, the price per pound is insane. License draw’s are a gamble. It is no different than going to Vegas and throwing a $20 bill into a slot and pull the handle a few times for a chance to win big. I think everyone knows that. To process applications takes a lot of time and money and I think a portion of a refund going to cover those costs is totally reasonable.

        I am honestly not sure how to lobby or to even get my voice heard. I have had to work every meeting that has been local. Beyond that I have no idea.




  30.  
    Kevin

    To Mike Chamberlin: 5 year residency requirement? It is one year, not five.
    This is directly from the WY F&G website, check it out for yourself.




  31.  
    Steve Core

    Here are the numbers, straight from the game and fish. Resident proposal—55% increase in Antelope, 52% increase Deer, 50% increase Elk, 59% increase for Moose, 117% increase for Big Horn Sheep, 116% increase for Mt. Goat, and a 64% percent increase for Fishing. So, if you apply for and recieve Antelope, Deer, Elk, and Moose, which can happen if your lucky, you are looking at forking out an additional $123.00 dollars. Those four species will cost a resident $350.00. Throw in your wife and or kid, its a big time number.
    The non Resident fee proposal—21% increase in Antelope, 65% increase for Deer, 30% increase for Elk, 25% increase for Moose, 11% increase for Big Horn Sheep, 21% increase for Mt. Goat, and fishing no increase. No increase in reduced price Doe/Fawn or Cow/Calf. No increase for Pioneer or Youth.
    I think the game and fish, or the legislature, which will make the final dec., needs to go to a cost of living increase each year, 2 to 3 percent, instead of every four years go with these types of increases. Also, all license fees should go up the same, and that includes youth and pioneer, because afterall, we are all using the resource regardless of class.




  32.  
    Todd Jones

    Steve, you work in the local media here in WY. (yes I know who you are, I grew up in GR) What is the best way for us sportsman to get our word to those that will make the decisions? Could there be a way to get the G&F on a radio open forum and give callers a chance to call in and offer suggestions? I personal believe that to just complain and to say one is against it will do no good. Money is money and if they are short then they have to get it from somewhere. If a person is against it then help with finding a solution instead of wasting their time by just complaining about it.




    •  
      Steve Core

      Todd, I agree, thats why I propose a cost of living increase, instead of a big jump every four years. You need to talk to the legislature, they will make the decision. That will be my approach, talk with my local legislators.




  33.  
    jeff

    Jim, you say that 500 to 600 dqllars is to high for aa family to consider for the privilage of hunting in wyo. Consider putting up 1500 to 2000 to hunt. I use to hunt in wyo when it was 150 for a nr deer tag, but now I have 2 sons and a daughter that would like to hunt there but it is almost impossible to justify this. Consider yourself lucky that you don’t have to try and justify this kind of money to get your children to enjoy a hunt you once experienced




    •  
      Jim

      Well fact is Wyoming, Colorado and the states out west are already much higher than places back east. If they don’t think of other options, then only the wealthy will be able to hunt. You are right , if I had to pay 2000 to hunt here, it probably wouldn’t happen.




  34.  

    I heard of the tag hikes and agree with a lot of the comments below, but I also heard the park service wants to do a mass slawter on the Bison. There could be money made with this for the F&G. Instead of making it to costly for the average Joe to hunt add more Bison tags at a little higher fee. They will sell. Also maybe make the Bison a 5 year draw like the Sheep, Goat, and Moose draw. This will also increase the pot. Raising the prices so high that we can’t pay will only creat a larger defficit and will increase the amount of poaching. There are things the G&F can do like maybe run there trucks one more year instead of buying a new one. These kind of cut backs can heap aid to there short falls. They are getting like our Government more spending with no cut backs.




  35.  
    derek

    Talked with the game and fish the other day and they are working on figuring out a way for every wildlife enjoyer to pay a fee to help put money in the budget, i.e. wildlife photographers, bird watchers, etc.. They all enjoy the wildlife we pay for to help manage. They have several people working on this issure as we speak. I won’t be suprised if there is something that comes out next year.




  36.  
    Art

    I will keep my fingers crossed that the prices don’t go up. But i know that when there is talk about it they go up. I’ve been accumilating preference points for several years to hunt Antelope and my nephew has been putting in for Mule deer. We were going to make a combo hunt between us. If it gets to high i won’t be able to afford to make the trip and lose all the money i put in for points, to say the least about a great hunting trip. Oregon went to higher prices a short time ago and some of the units are harder to get. There seems to be fewer animals compared to the early years. This is inpart to the way they manage there forests also.




  37.  
    Steve Core

    This is what the legislative comm. approved in Cheyenne this week. These increases will be forwarded to the full legislature who will then vote on it. Antelope $31 to $45, Deer $36 to $48, Elk $50 to $65, Moose $110 to $175, Bighorn Sheep $115 to $250, Mountain Goat $120 to $260. Non Resident–Antelope $270 to $400, Deer $310 to $480, Elk $575 to $650, Moose $1,400 to $1750—-other increases in fishing ect—-what I have read mention nothing about Youth and Pioneer, so not sure——-they have also agreed to allow the commission to increase licenses based on COLA every two years, which is good news. Instead of a huge increase every four years, a smaller increase is easier to swallow. If you dont like the above, talk with your local legislator, because they will make the final dec.




  38.  
    Jim

    I understand that Game and Fish agencies face a budget shortfall like everyone else. Times are tough for everyone and things do not look to get better anytime soon. Wolf reintroduction did not help and we are seeing the ramifications of that now. Unfortunately what’s done is done as far as that goes. Part of this equation is the average hunter is facing tough economic decisions just like Govt. agencies. If a state raises a tag price to absurd levels then most guys have to look at not hunting in said state because of the cost. I agree with the guys that are recomending following Colorado’s policy regarding archery tags. If the state will issue archery only and rifle only tags then you can sell more because of the low success rates for archery hunters. If residents are seriously against this then try it for non residents first and see how it works. I live in Colorado and the archery seasons can get a little crowded but I know all these guys coming out to bow hunt are spending a lot of money and keeping my tag prices down. Just don’t price the average hunter out of hunting or hunting as we know it will go away!




  39.  

    Guy
    Tag prices are a big issue in my household, seeme like this Country is going too only the rich can hunt other states. Went to Idaho acouple of years ago around Clearwater and had a hard time shooting a whitetail. The next year ID sent me a brocher and said that there is no problem with there deer and elk herd. The more money they charge for tags is the less money the not so rich hunter like me spend in the local community. Thanks for what you guys are doing for the sport of hunting. Chad




  40.  
    wally warm

    all of us hunter’s should quit buying tag’s for two year’s in what ever state you live in and then see what happens. then hunt wolf’s for two year’s. i think that they would get the point




  41.  
    Gary Wright Father of 3 Sons

    I couldnt agree more.If we stop buying the tags or licenses the prices would come down,but that will never happen.The rich will allways pay the price,hunting has totally changed since I was a boy and Im only 44.




    •  
      wally warm

      we might not have a million but they don’t pay that much compared to the vast majority of us hunter’s. fish & game would go under and each state don’t want that.we as hunter’s pay big buck’s just in tag’s not to mention gas,food,AMO,and buying stuff at ma & pa store’s. hunting if i remember right was the 7th largest business in U.S.A maybe the world.




  42.  
    Ron s

    hey guy you people do a great job keep up the good work,I love wyo. after my last hunt in wyo,which was a good one I have been buying points for my brother,daughter and my self,hopeing to have a nother great time in wyo,but the cost of gas, the wolf problem,and the rising cost of tags, I hope I don,t have to throw it all away.




  43.  
    Daryl Warren

    Very interesting news. I did hear while hunting in Wyoming this year about the ideas of fees going up. I can say i have hunted WY for the past 20 years. Its been a great place to go, great people and usually alot of game to hunt. NR fees went up a few years ago so i allowed my 10 points for Moose expire and my 10 points for sheep expire. The price for the points went up as did the cost of the lisc. I stopped hunting MT due to the massive price increase and looks like i shall stop brining my hard earn money to WY now. I see the residents here complaining about fees going up and values of hunting with family. I laugh at that. I have a daugher who enjoys hunting. So as A NR i really know just how much it is. I know this for sure. No way in the world will i pay 400 bucks to hunt a Antelope and almost 500 for a deer tag. Keep in mind that price is just for the regular draw. Whats the price for the NR special draw? I will keep my 10,000 dollars a year i spend in WY and go to Canada to hunt where i can get a tag every year.




  44.  
    Ken

    As a non res I would not like to the elk to increase any more than by $100. The avg person may not be able to afford a tag over $1,000. This is getting to be a rich mans sport. If you have a family that hunts out of state this would eliminate a lot of persons.




  45.  
    Kevin

    Guy, you are right we are at the end of the rope for costs. Hunting is unfortunately becoming a rich mans sport in the good areas for exciting big game animals like the elk. Can you imagine trying to take a kid hunting elk in WY and first going through the almost impossible draw process unless you both have collected points, by the way lets not lose sight of the preference point costs just to be drawn at $50 a pop. By the time you have preference points, licenses and the costs of getting to the hunting area you have basically priced many people out of the market. I think the States need to balance between the number of hunters and pricing the tags so everyone has a chance to fiscally participate. Eventually the public will become indifferent to hunting because only a few can afford it or get access to solid hunting land. There in lies the end of our sport and tradition. The States should consider more than just the current year budget. I typically do not look to WY to elk hunt because of difficulty to get a license consistently. Now the cost will probably throw it out for me. Hopefully we can find some as-semblance of balance out there to keep our tradition alive and well for the future.




  46.  
    george price

    Montana has told us ALL just what they think of NR hunters by the cost of their NR wolf tags !!




  47.  
    joe lazenby

    I live in Fl and as a RMEF member and committee member help raise money that goes to wy and other states for elk and other wildlife. I don,t complain when nr come here to hunt or fish but I don,t understand how a US citizen has to pay so excessive a addtional cost to hunt federal forrest land that we all pay equally for. Add the cost of trying to take your family with you and hunting and the economy will continue to sufer. 45 for a resident deer tag and 400 for a nr you got to be kidding.




  48.  
    Frank L. Ledford

    I lived in Wy. for 10 years and moved away and retired in Oklahoma. Now we live on a fixed income. It looks like the price of tags and gasoline will probably mean I have had my last Elk Hunt. It’s sad to see everything in this world become so political and greedy. I was raised hunting from 7 years of age and now it is becoming less possible to afford to continue to hunt or fish.




  49.  
    George James Machado

    Buy a Wolf or Mtn. Lion Tag. They are both good eating. Don’t even try for a big Game Tag. Maybe the girls running the Fish & Game Govt. enitys will finally get it.




  50.  
    Jeff

    I have lived in Wyoming since 1974 and have hunted big game since I was 14. I don’t have a problem with the higher application fees…not a huge deal. From my perspective, it costs a fortune for me to hunt in New Mexico, Arizona, or most other states…so why should Wyoming be the “low cost provider” for non-resident hunting? I don’t have a problem with higher resident and non-resident fees – it isn’t that expensive for residents. The Wyoming economy isn’t going to be drastically affected by fewer non-resident hunters – this is an energy resources driven economy. I agree with everyone regarding the increasing cost of hunting as a non-resident in general, but I don’t disagree with Wyoming reducing NR tags and increasing NR application fees. I think most residents are fine with higher application fees if it increases the drawing odds for residents through reduction of non-resident licenses. Almost every resident hunter in Wyoming applies for antelope, deer, and elk (usually moose and sheep points as well)…so I can’t believe application fees are hurting most resident hunters.




    •  
      wally warm

      you should do the math NR cost more right so if your state keeps the cost down more hunter’s well come.if your state up’s the cost LESS HUNTER’S come that means less money.hunting is suppose to be FUN. not take out a LOAN to hunt.and yes i have hunted your state.KEEP THE COST VERY LOW.




      •  
        AW

        That’s the whole idea Wally! It helps reduce the influx of NR hunters who overrun the general hunting areas. Right on Jeff!




        •  
          wally warm

          then just keep the price high then you well see what happens. i’ll tell ya the local’s well get higher tag fee’s. some well even stop hunt’n or some well just buy deer tag’s when it gets up to 30 or 40 buck’s per tag you’ll see. just remember it’s dam near a rich man sport now. some tag’s are priced so high most people with good job’s can’t afford them. if you wan’t proof just look at my state of washington a slow downward spiral or arizona




  51.  
    richard martin

    I have hunted antelope, muley’s, and elk in WY numerous years with moderate success. NR prices are as high as they will sell for, I think. Here in my home state of KY, I help teach HE. Our own state fish&wildlife struggle to make ends meet, just like any state. I see what I think is the biggest problem to all state wildlife agencies, is the downward spiral of new hunters coming of age to hunt and buy licenses. All people who get to enjoy all of our wildlife and fisheries need to pay for what they get to see and enjoy. We in the hunting community have been paying for the privileges of the masses for way too long. Be it a popular thing to say, or not we have address it sooner or later. Hunters will reach their own levels of ability to keep paying higher and higher license fees. It has to, and will stop at some point. State officials are very hesitant to tell the truth, and even more hesitant to try to change things for the betterment of all. Those stands and kind of suggestion will not get you re-elected, or re-appointed. There is also the fact that fewer & fewer kids are hunting, there’s not enough younger generation who care to take on this lifestyle. I realize I’m preaching to the choir, but the bottom line is everyone who partakes in our wildlife should be willing to help fund it.




  52.  
    Jon

    I’m another NR who has spent years buying licenses just to build points as in AZ, Utah; Been going to CO for the last few years pretty much have always scored either on buck, bull or cow depending on the tags we’ve drawn. This year we boycotted Co due to the political pressures put on by their representatives on gun control. Maybe my lack of $ will help make a statement. As far as states raising their tags to make more revenues we all know where that’s going to go. It’s just another dept doing exactly what others are doing and it’ll just break it in the long run.. We as NR bring in a lot of $ to those states when we get drawn, but as Guy states there is a limit to what a man can afford or will allow to be taken for. I firmly believe that Fish and Game in states no matter which it is live for the day, taking care of their own on not really caring for the future of hunting for the generations to come. The well will run dry. As a Calif resident I’ve witnessed the lack of game management in my local unit. Been in that same unit for the last 36 years and all that has changed is the cost, and access due to road closures. Yeah! I know one liberal state. I guess we can say all we can, but in the long run unless hunters ban together we will loose hunting for our future generations due to overall costs. States raise cost of tags; let’s boycott them…eventually they’ll pay attention.




  53.  
    James

    I’ve hunted in three western states…most years in Colorado. Several years ago I got disgusted with Colorado for this reason: Their best units take many preference points to get drawn. Even my Colorado resident friend has ten points for archery as of this year and still hasn’t drawn…but, if you got big money, you can bid for one of these coveted tags at many banquets that occur around the many states. This just shows me that Colorado cares only about the money! Now, in having said that…their “over-the-counter-tag” for elk is a great idea. That however, usually puts many, many hunters you must compete with in the woods. The last two years, I’ve left the state early in my hunt because my unit was overhunted by a large number of hunters. It was impossible to go into the woods without running into hunter after hunter. I’m not blaming those hunters…but, I am blaming the Colorado Game and Fish. They claim their tag sales have been decreasing for a number of years, so they have employed an advertising company to push Colorado as the best place to hunt. This seemed to have worked because it is now too crowded to hunt. What happens when that happens? Hunters leave earlier than planned, and take their money with them instead of leaving it in nearby towns. At the same time hunters are running over each other in “non-draw” units…the “draw-units” have very little hunting pressure. Example: Last year every camping spot in our unit was exceedengly crowded…as was the woods; whereas, the neighboring “draw-unit” had no campers. We were forced to camp in the “draw-unit” and hunt in the “non-draw unit”. We saw six to eight bulls a day in the “draw-unit” while driving to the “non-draw unit”…and saw only people in that unit. Not a good way to run a game and fish!




  54.  
    Tom Hooker

    Tom Hooker
    I live in Southern Utah in the middle of several prime elk habitats like the famed Indian Peaks unit Monroe mountain home of the spider bull as well as several other hunting units that produce big bulls and big deer.
    As along time hunter of several states like Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming and Utah i have put out a lot of money to hunt those states. Nevada and now Arizona have raised their prices to the point that I or my hunting buddies don’t hunt them any more. If Wyoming makes the same mistake then the same fait will befall them. I know i’m not telling you anything new. Less hunters means less money to spend on habitats and wildlife. Less hunters that hunt your state also means less interest in Wolfe management of that state and as you know the more wolves the less game to manage. Everyone loses. Hope they hear what hunters are saying.




    •  
      wally warm

      nope all they care bout is money.like i said time to stop buying tag’s it would only take one year if we all did’t




  55.  
    Jeff K

    I am a Wyoming resident and we have talked extensively about this issue. What we talked about was raising the resident fees and lowering the number of non-resident tags that are available. The discussion centered around what to do about the revenue shortfall if fewer non-resident hunters had tags and the fact is that residents will have to pick up the shortfall. Most Wyoming residents put in for all three species (antelope, deer, and elk), so this may result in some people putting in for one or two, versus all three. Raising the resident fees will not be a huge burden for residents – I haven’t heard a complaint yet regarding resident fees. So…yes…there will likely be fewer hunting opportunities for non-resident hunters, but I don’t suspect that non-resident fees will increase.




    •  
      wally warm

      that’s it just keep go’n up and up. maybe when the fish and game have no money then maybe you and them well realize why




  56.  
    Cliff Six

    Screwing the non resident seems to be the answer to a bigger problem. Most of the hunting land is national forest that belongs to all americans. Lets be fair to all or maybe take this whole deal to litigation in the federal court system. Cliff six.




    •  
      shootist

      You’re right Cliff, National Forest and BLM land belongs to all the taxpayers. However, the animals on said land are the property of the state of Wyoming. So, hike all you want. Wyoming NR license fees are lower than most of the states that surround us. You can always hunt somewhere else, right?




      •  

        You’re right tag the NR All states are on the same path. As one fish and game officer told me as more people can’t afford out of state prices for what ever reasons, the departments just charge more to the ones that still do. It’s heading to be a rich man’s game. I am down to putting in for three states not including my own, one of them I’m using my points this year and will not ever put in for that state again. Slowly but surely we have to adapt. I honestly have not seen game management improve for the rising costs of tags and licenses.




      •  
        wally warm

        the people are the state so the animals belong to the people not the knuckleheads that run it




  57.  
    mtnmax

    I have just applied for the Wyoming non-resident elk permit. I have 7 points that have cost me $350. Purchasing the special permit just cost me $1,076, so before I ever leave to driveway I’m into my tag $1,426.00. This is real frustrating to have to spend that kind of money on a tag. Big game hunting in the West is coming down to a rich mans sport. At some point enough is enough. I know I’m not doing this again.




    •  
      wally warm

      maybe just maybe people WELL STOP BUYING OUT OF STATE TAG’S. if people want cheaper tag’s this need’s to be done




      •  
        Rick

        I think everyone’s concern is great, but going out is more about at least seeing some something and maybe has horns. Most important your outdoors with a little peace & quiet. Costs are going up everywhere, so we either fill the freezer at the butcher shop or do a lot of glassing & enjoy what we see every trip. I spend a grand for my month of hunting or more if I get ambitious. Even in Alaska we all spend the $$$. But I do see the point if you beat the brush & only get sore feet. Best AK.




        •  
          wally warm

          don’t need to beat the brush. just got’a get it done state’s have all ready lost money. just need to keep putting pressure on them




  58.  
    trkytrack

    cliff six…..it’s already been tested in the federal court system, many years ago. Hunters lost.




  59.  

    last m time I looked to become a resident a person has be a Wyoming resident (live here ,pay taxes and be a resident ) for I year before they can buy RESIDENT licenses.
    To qualify for any resident game and fish license, permit, preference point, or tag, a person shall be domiciled and shall physically reside in Wyoming for one (1) full year (365 consecutive days) immediately preceding the date the person applies for or purchases the license, permit, preference point, or tag and the person shall not have claimed residency elsewhere for any other purpose (including, but not limited to, voting, payment of income taxes, purchase of resident hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses, etc.) for that one (1) year period.




  60.  
    Gary Wright

    Are you kidding me?Stop selling us guns and we are suppossed to stop buying tags?I guess screw the Californians that love hunting and being in the out doors.You guys are idiots and should think before you hit send.Heres an idea,instead of bashing us why dont you help the hunters and outdoorsmen that are constantly fighting the Liberal southern part of the state that would love nothing better than take are guns away and do away with hunting all to geather andif you think the Tree Hugging ,Wolf and Mountain Lion loveing Leftests are only concerened with California hunters then your DUMBER than you sound.They want all the guns and hunting to be taken away from everybody and every state.So next time you have an original thought mabey ask somebody with a brain if its dumb or not.I really thought as sportsmen we were all in this togeather,I hate with a passion the FOOLS that run this state and wish we could split the state in half,because Northern California is not represented at all.I dont mean to come down so hard on you guys but I dont think the rest of the hunting world knows the struggles we go through here in California,so how about a little support.




    •  
      wally warm

      first off TAG’S we are talking bout out of state tag’s if you want them to stop going up then quit buying them.and no body is calling you NAME’S so GROW UP. if you want to call names thats fine you won’t WIN because i’m a smart ass..GUN’S you people would quit voting them gun haters in you won’t have the problem you got now. so what i mean is if you QUIT GIVING THEM MONEY hit them where it HURT’S.so use your BRAIN and read between the line’s.and one last thing i is on the side of EVERY HUNTER AND GUN LOVE’N NUT and donate 50 to 200 buck’s a year to the NRA and others like rand paul.so the next time your flap’n your lip’s read a little




  61.  
    Gary

    Hey Wally Warm I left a little reply on your buddy George Prices comment ,go ahead and read it cause its directed towards you to




  62.  

    Guy: Thanks for the forum, I have hunted the Snowy Range in years past, I am now 67 years old and still love to go bowhunting for the wiley Wapiti.. The problem has become logistics. Fuel and lodging add a considerable amount to my hunt. When I was 30 I could backpack tent hunt and be good with it. In my dotage I do prefer the comforts. When I first hunted Wyoming my Deer tag was 150.00 and Elk was 475.00. Now there is no reason to apply for Deer and Elk is getting harder to afford. Next season am going to try to draw 1 last time. Then its going to be time to go to Colorado.




  63.  
    Bob

    Stop hunting in the state” simple”,that is the only thing they understand.Take the money away and see what happen”s.Let them eat those left over tag’s,and give it too the “R hunters”,they like your “NR” money in the state but don”t want you taking animals,so stay the hell out of these states and let the G/F Department’s do w/ out. The hell /Wy,Ut,and Mont and the rest of these people for what it cost, go to Canada and give them the money or tell them to put there tags were the sun don’t shine and stay home. This thing is totally out of control.




  64.  

    GUY: thanks for thinking about letting us in on your experience. being disabled, I can’t climb that high anymore & MT just stopped either sex for disabled (w/hardly an exception we are meat hunters & look at any game animal we get as ‘trophy’) & took most of our permit to hunt from vehicle permits away–1 violation in 4 yrs. they said was unacceptable. There is a Creator who watches us all so not worried but there’s country i’ll never step foot in again or see from my Ford. I could try but over 20 years ago I’ve had to have my partner pull me out of canyon & then go after my fat calf elk. Not exactly what I want & if something serious goes wrong I don’t want helicopters, rescue crews to put their lives on the line by my chasing an elk down a canyon. Also, they outlawed Lumenox so more animals will not be found. Even disabled cannot use crossbow in bow-season in MT due to ‘traditional’ bowhunters/F&G tho their bows weigh more than my rifle & have no wood or feathers on them but are all metal w/pulleys & mechanical sights. Perhaps you can put in a word for all of us who have gotten banged up or ill over the years for many of us cannot stand cold weather so bow-season is when we could use a crossbow. MT does allow some setup w/a regular bow, i’ll give them that but due to the shortness of the bolt crossbows have no greater effectual range than a traditional bow & much less than what passes for primitive weapon bow. Eastman’s is a great magazine for it has stories of regular people in the pages & that’s greatly appreciated. I hope all hunters have best season of their years in 2014.




  65.  
    Robin

    I live and hunt in Wyoming. I spoke with a game officer last season and he commented that there is an increasing number of hunters from out of state going off road, leaving a mess at camp and cutting down green trees. Which increases the amount of time the state has to clean up that mess. One campsite, that I saw myself had 7 carcasses in it. Most of the meat was left on the bones. It was disturbing. Basically the campsite wasn’t useful until it was cleaned up or until the predators carried off the rotting carcass. There are a lot of things that drive cost up.




    •  

      I guess it goes both ways. Out of stagers bring the biggest revenue. So state people can clean up camps. I wish one year no one would leave their states and see how states would feel without out of state revenues





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