More Wyoming Tags For Non-Residents?

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Posted December 21, 2017 by Scott Reekers in Elk

Wyoming is producing its fair share of political waves in the big game hunting world. Wyomings outfitter’s are lobbying to have more tags allocated to non-resident hunts for elk as a result of the population growth seen in recent years.

Every few years the equation for coming up with how many non-residents receive Wyoming elk tags is evaluated. The evaluation is on the docket for 2018 and many outfitters believe the quota should be raised which in turn would provide them with a potentially better stream of income. This would especially be true for the sought after Wilderness area tags where a non-resident must hunt with a resident or with a guide.

Residents will argue that if an increase in tags is merited that they should go to residents first and not see a net percentage increase to hunters from out of state. Comparatively, Wyoming gives more tags to non-residents than most other states already.

This becomes even more controversial in light of the increase in non-resident license fees and preference points that is being instituted this coming year. With all of the discussion about non-resident tags, 2018 is shaping up to be one that big game hunters with plans to hunt in Wyoming should watch closely.

What do you think? Should the formula change in favor of growing the non-resident tag allotment?


About the Author

Scott Reekers


50 Comments


  1.  
    DIY HNTR

    I’m a non resident, and I think it is really great that Wyoming is considering more NR tags. I am paying in every year now and building up points in several states to have quality hunts. It is hard for us Eastern hunters to get the same quality hunts as residents do, so any increase in NR tags is greatly appreciated.




  2.  
    Matt Stevens

    I’ve been applying for a certain unit in wyoming for the last 10 years. I drew once. The resident odds there are over 60 percent for drawing each year. I feel that residents should have a better draw chance, however if there are tag increases along with non resident fee hikes (which are getting pretty high), then I would hope that non residents get a fair percentage of the increased tag alotment.




    •  
      Bryce harvey

      I’m a resident if Wyoming and I have drawn one elk tag in the last 12 years, we do not have a greater chance of drawing. As a resident we see more non-resident hunters the past few years then ever before. I’m not saying it’s a bar thing they are here but I also don’t think we need more non resident tags.




      •  
        Chatfield

        I am also a Wyoming resident and have only drawn 2 tags in the last 15 years. I am with some of my fellow residents in saying that the non-resident tags should not be increased. If it is so hard for residents to draw, let’s increase the resident tags. We are the ones living here and paying our Wyoming dues,so to speak. We should have the best opportunities and hunt areas to ourselves.




      •  

        Not true. I’ll give you several examples: Unit 7 is 24% for a resident and it takes 9 points for a non-resident to draw. Unit 31 is 4.9% for a resident and 6.5% for a non-resident who has top points. Top now is 11, so a non-resident has to put in for eleven years just to have a similar chance. Unit 56 is about the same, 5.3% for residents but non-residents with top points have a 6.3% chance. And the general tag is 100% for residents – 14% for non-residents.




  3.  
    WW

    Why should there be an increase for the benefit of outfitters? As a resident I don’t feel they should increase non-resident tags, WY is already very liberal with non-resident tags. Non-resident also get an advantage with preference points that residents don’t get. The area I apply for 38 can be drawn with 6 points and I haven’t drawn since 2012 but instead of an almost guarantee based off 2017 points in 2018 I’m putting in with the same odds as always. A general tag can be had with 2 points. I do realize it’s all about money and non-residents bring a lot to the State but there should be consideration for the resident as well. There is also wplenty of opportunities for non – residents to get to hunt elk every year if they play the points right. Plus states like Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon have OTC opportunities for non-residents.




  4.  
    John Smalley

    I hunted in Wyoming this year near Newcastle and I have never seen so many deer! Both mule deer and whitetail! It was unreal and my first hunt in Wyoming! I will surely be back!!! Bill




  5.  
    Les Chess

    I applied for a non-resident elk tag In Wyoming three years in a row. Hunted Montana for the last two years. Comm on Man.




  6.  
    ColtA

    I’m not a Wyoming resident but I know if they started giving more elk tags to non residents here I would be pretty upset. I understand that more money for wildlife comes from non resident tags but which is a big plus but I know what it’s like to live in a place you can almost never hunt and it’s a real bummer. I think that if the non resident licences go up, the resident licenses should go up first, then up the non resident tags to whatever the quota has left.




  7.  
    Tyler Kozumplik

    As a non resident, this upsets me. I’ve been applying for a premium zone for years that has relatively low number of hunters, then right when I’m about to draw this premium tag, they are going to flood the zone with more hunters that might have not waited as long as the rest of us have, not only that, but it might increase the harvest rate and ultimately reduce the trophy potential that this area has been known for.




    •  
      DW

      I don’t think harvest will increase. This discussion isn’t about increasing total tags, but rather, allocating more of the total tags to NR hunters and they would have to come from the residents.

      You’re right about others drawing without waiting as long as you. No way around that I’m afraid.




  8.  
    RJ

    Bottom line, you need the non resident $ to support the WG&F and local economy. So you jack up the tags prices and miraculously decide to allow more non resident tags. Resident prices need also to increase significantly because they only pay a small fraction compared with the NR sportsman. Non residents feel it is becoming a rich persons sport and you are approaching the threshold where we will stop coming and supporting you with our hard earned $. The WG&F must find a way to draw in the NR $ or the residents will really begin to feel our pain in trying to hunt Wyoming.




    •  
      Gary Naake Jr.

      I agree. Do not increase NR tags, increase resident fees. As a non-resident hunter, it’s frustrating to be looked down on by residents, even though I’m doing more financially to help their state agency. This goes for EVERY western state, not just Wyoming.




  9.  
    Donnie Vandevender

    All western states need to look at allocating a larger percentage of tags for non-residents if they are going to charge us the huge fees for tags and should be a lot fairer than it is. Too be able to obtain a tag in a premium hunting area should not take 6-10 years of applying for preference points and sometime tags are a lifetime of accumulating points for one hunt. I applaud Wyoming for allowing more percentage of tags for the non-resident hunters. Maybe this will start a trend and other states will follow suit.




  10.  
    Jake

    As a resident I am completely opposed to the Game and Fish allocating more tags to non-residents and any non-resident that wants a quality hunt in Wyoming should be opposed to it as well. Wyoming is already too generous with non-resident tags in my oppinion. It is very hard for a resident to draw a real quality elk tag as it is. I have friends that have never drawn an any elk tag in their lives! And although Wyoming’s prices just went up for non-residents AND residents, their non-resident tags are still cheaper than a lot of states, and their resident tags are actually higher priced than a lot of other states. I’m not sure where the elk populations have gone up so much, in my neck of the woods they have gone down drastically since the wolf reintroduction. Most areas have gone from general to limited quota due to the decrease in population. Any person that wants a quality hunt in Wyoming should be opposed to this.




    •  
      DW

      You are right. It is all about the money. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed or lying. NR are funding the program, not the residents and WY is selling out the residents.

      If you’re a bear going into winter and you need as many calories as possible to hybernate, I’m going to eat the big calorie cheesecake in front of me and leave the kale salad sitting there.

      There’s a chance outfitters aren’t lobbying for this at all… Maybe the state is throwing up an obama style smoke screen to deflect the FACT that they just want to make more money and if they can get the outfitters involved, maybe we won’t piss off the NR hunters so much (recent price hike) that they’ll stop buying our product.

      Hypothetical examples from the state of Wyoming:

      Example 1: Outfitters are interested in having additional clientele to help increase income streams and create more jobs… wildlife conservation, programs, prosperity, etc.

      Example 2: Wyoming is going to allocate more of YOUR tags to your out-of-state neighbors because we make more money that way. Residents will get to hunt YOUR game less and NR will get to hunt your game more…because we’re selling you out.

      Which of those scenarios is easier to pallet as a resident or non-resident given the recent price hike on NR tags?

      It’s all about the money.




      •  
        Brian Zastoupil

        DW

        You make my point in the last paragraph of my comment. Thank you.




      •  
        Jason

        I like how you say Obama style to make money. Do you understand what our current president wants to do with federal lands to make money for the Rich. As hunters, rural Americans, not wealthy, we need to keep our federal lands public. If public land starts getting sold, arguing about who gets tags really won’t mean anything.




      •  
        R

        While everyone is concerned with the what NR vs. R want and deserve there is another issue being played out. Look at the reasons this hike is necessary. Your $$, whether you live here or not, is going to increased administrative and overhead costs …. is this needed? Another desk job that pays an astonishing amount for NO REAL WORK OR RESULTS. I’m a 4th generation resident, I think non residents need to back off till this gets figured out. But, most importantly, we ALL need to follow the money to see where the inequality lies. And the guides can rot as far as I’m concerned.




  11.  
    Jeremy Kusmin

    Where’s the loyalty? More tags for outfitters? More tags for non-residents? It’s a bunch of BS, it’s all about money, and not about the people who live, work, and hunt hard in their home state!




  12.  
    Brian Zastoupil

    As an NR, this is a bad idea. Whether it an LE tag or General tag, Wyoming has quality opportunities. (I have hunted on both). Keep it where it is at and don’t mess with a good thing.

    Does this proposal benefit resident hunter? No. More competition.

    Does it benefit the DIY NR elk hunter. Yes and no. Yes it offers up a few more tags, but definitely not enough to meet demand. And it does this by “cheapening” the experience with added competition for a finite number of elk. (Which the numbers will eventually be reduced, which impacts hunter experience).

    I will let you fill in the blank as to who it benefits most. (IE The folks who presented this proposal at the commission meeting.) And this while continually excluding DIY NR hunter from wilderness. (I know this is a separate subject, but give me a break)

    Keep an eye on the long term picture folks. If this proposal goes through, it raises resentment by resident elk hunters. (Residents are the ones who can vote) Resident elk hunters rise up and state that the state is giving out too many NR elk tags. So state reduces the NR cap down the road or allots NR a percentage of resident tags and cap it at 10%.To counter loss of revenue state raises prices even higher. 10-20 years everyone is standing around wondering what happened. Do not allow the “me now” attitude to screw others long term.




  13.  
    Paul dvorak

    Non-resident Hunter here, give me a break residents already get to hunt a prime elk unit 2 or 3 times and I’m still on the outside looking in and this is public land and don’t give me that crap resident or nonresident it’s public land I’m the public! Also keeping me out of the Wilderness Area just for hunting, sure I can go fish there all day but now I can’t shoot something this is public land give me a break! I know I’m at close to my breaking limit for deer and Elk licenses out west and I make a pretty good income and I know that other people are in the same boat, we just won’t come no more. But then that’s probably what residents want to hear, but that ain’t going to fund your programs. I Can and will go else where. A few more tags thrown to non-resident way would keep revenue coming in and fund your programs! As always if ya got money your in luck if not…..oh well too bad! P.S. if you want to see hunting pressure come to Wisconsin on opening day, six hundred thousand plus , it’s a blast literally!




    •  
      DIY HNTR

      I can see both sides of the argument but I really think on Federal lands, we all should have a similar opportunity. As NR we spend a fortune to have a fraction of the hunting opportunities that residents have. I can understand state owned lands and private, but we as Americans all own the Federal lands and should al have the same opportunity to use it. I understand the State owns the animals within the state, but let’s not forget we are all on the same team folks. We all love the outdoors and hunting these magnificent animals. We may not live in the same state, but we share the same passions and we are all land owners of the Federal lands. Let’s not hate on eachother because we live in different locations.

      I agree that WY isn’t the most expensive tag for NR, but all NR tags are tipping the affordability scale. I mean, not only do we pay a lot for the tag, but we have higher travel expenses, etc as NR. You’re talking a few thousand dollars for a NR DIY hunt and that’s usually only a week or two and that’s all. If we need to hire a guide for certain wilderness areas, double or triple that. I’m not sure what the best answer is, but no one wants the elk populations to get too low.

      I don’t think they want increased harvest numbers, just a little higher percentage of the existing tags to go to NR. If you think about it, NR hunters can’t usually hunt as long or as much as a resident, and aren’t usually as familiar with the land, so they probably won’t harvest as much as the residents do. So if the same amount of tags are issued overall, but a higher percentage of them going to NR, the Elk numbers may go up slightly if the NR aren’t able to fill the tags.




  14.  
    Dennis Morgan

    I have an easy solution: Apportion the Resident and Non-Resident tags based on the relative cost of the tags to residents and non-Residentd! If the Residents want more tags, then be willing to pay up !




  15.  
    JR

    Time for Non hunters and Non fisherman to start paying their fair share to Fund WY G&F. Tons of money goes to non-game management




    •  
      Rory

      I think JR hit the nail on the head. Here we are – residents, non-residents and outfitters – all throwing rocks at each other while the hikers, photographers – who else? – walk in and walk out without paying a dime beyond their tax dollars (if they’re residents). They may argue that they are not consuming natural resources like we hunters, but let em pay. At least the campers are paying for nightly use of camp sites. Institute more usage fees – spread the love AND the $ around. If you enjoy / use it, you pay for it. There’s probably a solution that none of us has thought of.




  16.  
    Tim Maher

    Let’s not allow the outfitters decide the right to utilize all of our resources and commit our finances to their benefit. I find it hard as a resident and a sportsman from Wyoming to support increases that cost one side more than the other this puts all sportsman at odds with each other. Who benefits??? The outfitter. Lower your prices, provide accountability for your services. I have seen guides on public land, where they’re charging people to hunt. WTH? If I hire a guide I want to hunt where there are not 100 other guys trying to knock down the same animal I am after!




  17.  
    Thegrass S. Alwaysgreener

    To all the whiners. This is every western state. To the locals that are pissed. Boohoo, we have the same BS in Montana. It’s about cash. And oh by the way I had the best hunt I’ve had in a while in Wyoming which I drew after 8 years, so you’re state is pretty awesome. So thanks for that (it’s not going to be tags for JUST dudes and outfitters) Still have not drawn my desired unit in Montana. I’ve been putting in for it for 30 years and nothing! Oh, and you’re on a blog for the guys who have a hand in all these people hunting your local state. You might start with them, then your local legislators. And since it’s about the money, that won’t do you any good either. You’re screwed. So just go hunt.




  18.  
    Jason H

    Wyoming residents need to stop this. I believe nonresident tags should b reduced. More to the people that live work and hunt here. I’m so tired of outfitters whining about how much money they don’t make. Nonresidents: move to Wyoming if you want to hunt here. I bet these same people whine about nonresidents in their own state.




  19.  
    adam

    Non resident tags bring in a ton of money to the state so they naturally want to increase them. Maybe if res didn’t fight even fee increase and paid a little more into the bucket thier may be more incentive to keep those tags for res




  20.  
    Paul dvorak

    How about going 3 to 1,? The residents already get to hunt the whole season,they get dirt cheap tags and they get 90 % of the tags! I think that’s more than fair for Being a resident! I propose going to residents pay 1/3 the price of nonresident and they get 3 tags for everyone that goes to a nonresident. THAT’S MORE THAN FAIR IN MY OPINION. Federal land should be equal for EVERYONE PRICE AND TAG ALLOCATIONS !




  21.  
    Steve

    I’m a Wyoming Oufitter however, I do not support the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission giving out more tags. This is all smokin mirrors to make $$ that they are loosing from the cut backs of deer and antelope license, especially deer. My .02




  22.  
    Jeff K.

    No. The residents of this state do not need to support the outfitter industry. Actually, Wyoming needs to issue fewer tags overall to improve quality. Also I think mule deer tags should be reduced across the board by at least 50% for the next 3 years. The mule deer herds are in terrible shape here and need recovery. Yes, I am a Wyoming resident.




    •  
      Tom R

      I can’t agree with you more. I know so many residents that feel this way but don’t have the money or support to lobby their beliefs to the state like outfitters do. This needs to change.




  23.  
    TK

    Keep the quotas the same (WY is one of the fairest to NR) but allow the residents who draw a tag the option of selling said tag to an outfitter at whatever market price they can get plus the added cost of switching tag from R to NR.

    If the non-resident purchases the tag through an outfitter then that non-resident can not enter the drawing thus not affecting the non-resident draw odds/ quota.

    This way the wealthy of the non-residents get their tag but removes themselves from the NR draw pool thus increasing NR draw odds, the resident gets paid (probably a substantial amount), the outfitter get the business, the state gets their NR tag fee, and their isn’t an increase in the total number of hunters.




    •  
      Jeff Muratore

      This is a great idea (NOT), then every resident, hunter or not, will be applying for licenses they might sell at a profit. This would be the final straw to make hunting purely a rich man’s sport. I honestly don’t know what’s more alarming here, the idea that someone like TK thought this up or the possibility this could be the future of our hunting heritage. No more NR elk tags, period.




  24.  
    Peter Garrett

    Non residents Have enough tags . The outfitters need to diverse there operationsto make a living. Resident pay taxsto keep the roads & trails up. So i belive they should have the number of tags that are posed to be given to out of staters. the resident hunters can make up the kill to maintain the population of the heard.




  25.  
    ken H.

    In most states non-residents pay 10 times as much for a tag. There are more elk in the US now than in the last 100 years. Non residents come from states with no elk, but put a fortune into improving elk habitat in western states through the elk foundation. Cut off non residents and the rich bastards will be the only ones hunting. My application fees for a tag in the last 8 years in wyoming are more than most wyoming residents will pay in a lifetime. We all want to hunt. We all love elk country. I dropped my points in Montana as a non-resident. I will be forced to do the same in many western states because of ridiculously application and point fees. Good luck with wildlife management in wyoming if all non residents bail.




  26.  
    CLINT MILLER

    I believe the residents of Wyoming should dictate the amount Non residents tags given not the whiners Outfitters. I am a non resident and I love hunting in Wyoming but I haven’t hunted up there since 2008. Collecting pts..




  27.  
    Reality

    The real problem lies on the landowner tags. Nonresident landowners and resident landowner tags take away more licenses than the nonresident hunter does. Area 7 elk for example 17 percent of the tags go to landowners. With the minimal requirement of 160 acres and 2000 animal use on the property they get two tags. Most of them hunt public land or someone else’s land except for the large landowners because they actually have elk. We need to change that regulation to a minimum of 640 acres and you have to hunt your own property. It does not make since for them to have a landowner tag and hunt public ground.




    •  
      Matthew

      So you guys have a gratis style tag system where the tag is legal to use on public land? That would be pretty frustrating if true. I used to live in WY. Was lucky enough to apply for my first elk tag as a resident there and drew a late season bull tag. I love Wyoming but some of the things like outfitters and landowner tags did frustrate me at times.




  28.  
    BH

    When would we likely see the final results for this proposal? Would it just show up after the draw happens and the numbers show more tags allocated? Curious how a guy can follow this issue.

    I am a non resident, hunting is my life passion. I 100% understand the resident complaints here. I cant stand when guys come up from the “cities” and hunt the same area. You guys have all that I dream of and would love to be out there all the time. Family holds me here, I work just as hard as the next man, give to the state year in and year out. I’ve been waiting for 8 years to draw a tag. If this helps me finally draw then I am for it.




  29.  
    Jim

    I just moved to Iowa from out west. Even as a Midwest guy I think states should do a 90/10 or 85/15 residents to non resident split. The resident should get the bulk of the tags. The nonresident pays the big dollars for tags though. So if residents want most of the tags they need to be willing to pay more. From what I’ve seen most residents in western states including my home state of Colorado throw a fit when price increases are mentioned for residents. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want most of the tags you have to be willing to pay most of the bills. It boils down to simple economics.




  30.  

    It’s all about the money and control. The state and the residents would benefit by increasing the out of state tags.It cost a lot of money to hunt out of state. Never hunted Wyoming always wanted too but could never afford it . ” maybe someday”.




  31.  
    Steven Huettner

    I am a non resident and have enjoyed hunting in Wyoming over the last several years. As far as increase in tags for elk, if the science supports it a fair allocation should be made to split any increase between both resident and non resident. I realize that residents feel there are being denied opportunities in their state. I also view it from the point of a non resident who is paying more for the tags (albeit 10 years since the last increase) and is underwriting game management with my dollars in Wyoming.

    According to the USFWS for 2017 WY residents paid 6.27 million dollars in license, tags, permits and stamps. Non residents paid $18,357,932. Roughly a 3 to 1 ratio.




  32.  
    John

    It’s total BS that non-residents can’t hunt in wilderness areas without a guide. It”s like saying a non-resident in my state can’t drive a car on our interstate without a tour guide. Totally ridiculous. Might as well give those extra tags to residents to screw the outfitters.




  33.  
    Mike

    I live in Maryland and love to hunt out west. What I don’t appreciate is being gouged with over priced non resident tag fees. I’m a former U.S. Marine sergeant. I fought for this entire country, not just for my home state. It’s time veterans be given a break on these costs for non resident tags. I used to hunt public land in Colorado but quit hunting there because the outfitters that control the private land started lining the public land border with their people, shooting in the air so they could keep the elk down on the land they leased. I now hunt in Idaho and love it there. I don’t even apply for Wyoming because of their point system.




  34.  
    Frank Clause

    As a non res the most appealing thing to me about wy is the long seasons. Compare any general hunt in wy to a 5 to 9 day hunt in CO. IMO the longer hunt dates win. If you’re a wy resident who never draws blame wy for not having a resident pp system in place. As a non res I’m thrilled at the potential for more tags…sorry residents.




  35.  
    DONALD BALDRIDGE

    Im a NR, DIY hunter I’ve playing this game with western states more than 30 years!it always boils down to money.As a NR as soon as i read thru the comments no one has brought up the impact on our next generation of hunters, its all been about me and mine now,As a NR its getting to the point of becoming rich mans sport.Point in case, my daughter wanted to due big game hunt out west she had after school job.which part of her money was allocated for points to hunt, after many years she decided it wasn’t worth it to chase her hunt.Points keep going up as well as tags, plus tags are getting harder get,so she gave up her preference points in 2 states. R and NR need to look beyond our own interest now and whats best for the future of the species and our boys and girls that also have a dream of huntin out west without pay $5000 for a guided hunt.





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