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90/10 Tag Split For Wyoming?

I’m on the fence… yup, you read that right. I’m on the fence with the proposed 90/10 tag split being debated by the Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce as you read this. I wish I weren’t riding the fence because I hate being indecisive but the fact is that I honestly see points on both sides of this topic. 

First of all, a little background in case you’re not savvy to what’s being proposed… A bill has been introduced to change the Wyoming Resident/Nonresident big game tag allocation for bighorn sheep, bison, grizzly, moose and mountain goat to change the current tag allocation of 80% resident, 20% nonresident to 90% resident and 10% nonresident. That’s the issue in a nutshell but as with most things in life, there’s a lot more to it. 

First of all, it’s a bill, there are myriad steps in the process before a bill becomes a law and the Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce is in the process of sifting through public comments and discussing the details and “what if’s” of this proposed 90/10 split. We are a long way from a final decision on this thing. Which gives us, the public, time to add our “dos pesos” to the conversation. I’ve provided links for you to visit for public comment and discussion below. 

Back to my conundrum of being a spineless fence-rider. 

First of all, as a Wyoming resident I would love to add 10% more opportunity to my chances of drawing a coveted tag for one of the “Big 5”. Afterall, I live here, it’s only fair that by making my home in Wyoming I should get more of a shot at those tags than someone who lives in say, Minnesota or California and comes to Wyoming for recreation. This is my home and because of that I enjoy the benefits of more affordable tag prices and higher odds of drawing those tags. I also firmly believe that’s the way it should be. If I want the chance to hunt whitetails in Iowa it’s going to cost me almost $700 for the application alone but my family who lives there just buys the tags they want OTC for less than $35.00. That’s one of the many benefits of being a resident and quite frankly it’s one of the many reasons I moved to Wyoming 15 years ago. 

Now for the other foot dangling over the fence. 

As a Wyoming resident I fully understand and appreciate that nonresidents contribute an awful large sum of money to not only Wyoming Game and Fish but our state and local economies as well. I know many folks whose businesses would not be feasible without the tourism dollars from visiting sportsmen. A sign outside a popular Wyoming restaurant puts it succinctly, “Please come and eat before we both starve!” 

Tourism is Wyoming’s number two source of income. We thrive on other people’s money and we aren’t the only state who does. That’s why tourism dollars work, the resident’s get the benefit of the income and the tourists get to experience something unique and enriching. This model has been around since Chaucer’s pilgrims told their Canterbury Tales.

BUT… how much of that money comes in the form of nonresident hunter’s pursuing bison, moose, mountain goats and bighorn sheep? I’m not betting much. I understand that outfitters need those nonresident clients more than the hotel and restaurant proprietors do (it’s simply math) as those clients make up a larger percentage of a Big 5 outfitter’s annual income than Yellowstone tourists do for local tourism business owners. However, I’ve also been told that an awful lot of outfitter’s Big 5 hunts are booked by residents so increasing the tag allotment to 90% would, in theory, put more food on the table for those outfitters’ families. 

Like I said, this is complicated and I am still gathering intel to help form a solid opinion one way or another. That said, what say you? 

 

Links

For some great dialogue on this topic visit the Eastmans’ Forum via the link below

https://forum.eastmans.com/threads/wyo-task-force-nonres-comments.22979/

Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce Meeting Videos

https://sites.google.com/wyo.gov/wyomingwildlifetaskforce/home/meeting-videos

Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce Public Comment Page

https://sites.google.com/wyo.gov/wyomingwildlifetaskforce/home/public-i

About Todd Helms

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36 comments

  1. It does make sense however what about us non-residence with over 15 points for those big game animals? First we appoint creep and now this? And you could come to Iowa purchase a doe tag and party hunt with a shotgun and harvest your trophy Buck(wrong In all sorts of ways) That is not an option in your state. Some of us are in deep with no good option left

    • I have just over 20 preference points for moose and it’s still very very difficult to draw a tag. Now after years of applying, and paying huge $$$ for associated preferences points, my chances of drawing will be cut in half. You win Wyoming…… you now have thousands of dollars of my money from preference point fees and now you are forcing me to give up. I live in Colorado and have family in Montana, but rather than drive through Wyoming, spending money along the way, I’ll just go around through Utah and Idaho. Wyoming SUCKS

  2. It comes down justification and the final decision makers “feelings” ! The question to ask is “why” change it, then go to extremes. Such as absolute zero to Non Res, no tags ? Or all tags to only non- res, not gonna happen. Some would want that ! Or 50/50 Res non Res? If ur using “fair” as the criteria 50:50? What is the criteria and reason ? Is it that WY GF want less revenue, do they expect to drastically raise Resident tag and fee prices to fill the gap? Is it revenue? Is it that they want less out of state persons coming in? Do they just want more opportunity for residents ? Non resident have to take what is given, they have no voice or vote really. They already did it New Mexico, is it a success there ? All the states follow suit with each game dept. they all talk
    And collude and what 1 does they all do to try to match. They are already suggesting that At some point it will be that u can only hunt outside of ur home state only with a licensed guide. In 5-10’years WY, CO etc will suggest reducing non res to 5%, like New Mexico because it’s a huge success there. You can justify anything ! Anything ! Just use the facts u want or data u want and ignore the rest and in “your mind” it’s always the right answer, what ever it is !

  3. I emailed the task force. They are focused on increasing opportunity or Wyoming residents. I know they need to do this in 2 steps as I have a contract with them and 11 points for each species. My contract is based upon an 80/20 split. See you in court.

  4. The 90/10 is a long time coming. Wyoming has been too generous to non residents compared to other western states. The 90/10 split should be for ALL big game, not just the big 5.

  5. Well I have no problem with this at all. My reasons are simple, I am not going to hunt those named big game animals for the simple reason, I like hunting by myself. That being said, my last solo Moose hunt in Alaska was nature’s way of telling me that sort of thing is in my rear view mirror. Being single, retired and closer to 70 than not, I can manage and Antilope and my usual deer hunting. More than enough venison for me. I live in CT, I have land that I hunt. It still costs a lot even as a resident. There is a lot of BS with regard too guns and ammo. The State made the lawful resposible for crime and murder. It’s even more expensive should a non resident come here to hunt deer. Non Residents get soaked, I know first hand about it in my younger days. Big Game hunting is not cheap it never was, not for residents or non residents. I would love to live in WY. More so for the fly fishing. Sure I would love to be able to just show up and buy a tag over the counter. Those days are all but gone. Limited resourse, high demand and to much marketing of the resourse.

  6. Don’t believe you are on the fence. No specifics mentioned in the article. References are vague and not defined. Examples are: a lot of revenue; well how much? An awful lot are booked by resident hunters; How many? Should be easy to find.

    There is a reason it’s limited to the big 5. It’s not a lot of tags overall, (26 sheep remaining can be found on website) doesn’t hit the department too hard especially with the coming tag price increases (yes another one) and it is politically expedient to say look what I done for you. Do you really believe the pols care what a non resident thinks? If this same allocation was to be expanded to all big game too much revenue loss. The revenue non residents bring in to support Wyoming game and Fish is on the game and fish website, the difference between res and non residents is staggering.

    Like most things in business and government it boils down to money and the appearance of acting on behalf of the constituents. In this instance, give the residents more tags and keep the big money coming in from deer, elk and antelope. Similar to “I moved here to hunt” but I am must be sympathetic to subscribers as most are non residents.

  7. I am a non-resident of Wyoming however I do own property in Wyoming and as such pay property taxes each year. Some of my ancestors were born and raised in Wyoming. Although I am a non-resident, I have deep roots and interests in Wyoming. I am strongly opposed to the effort to reduce the # of non-resident big game tags made available. I currently have 21 sheep points (soon to be 22) and max deer and elk points. As you can see, I am deeply invested into the current system both emotionally and financially. I have put a lot of faith in the belief that if I played the game long enough, I should eventually draw a tag. If you reduce the opportunity for non-residents, then maybe we should be refunded our investment. The real financial benefit to Wyoming (not to mention what we spend when we draw a tag and then spend $$$$ in Wyoming to support Wyoming outfitters/businesses) is what we spend on buying points each year. Do the math. The non-resident hunters essentially fund the Game and Fish. Reducing the few tags allotted to non-residents particularly sheep and moose, will do minimally to raise resident odds. I would ask that Wyoming continue to keep the 80/20 split.

    • When you bought points you were never promised a tag, only a chance. Wyoming has been too generous to non residents for too long with the lowest tag prices of most western states. If you don’t win the mega bucks lottery, they don’t refund the money you spent on tickets do they? As it stands now, nonresidents get over 50% of the antelope licenses issued. Quit sniveling and be grateful that you can hunt Moose, Sheep, Goat, Bison and Grizz at all. There are lots of states that reserve those trophy game tags for residents only.

  8. So, when you put up $700 to apply in Iowa, is there a draw in place like in western states? I am betting that you just drop $700.00 and go ahead and plan your hunt! Not even going to look it up for myself! Do you have to buy a qualifying license 1st in order to get into the draw??? That is where they are making their money folks! Now, they drop the odds on NRs, wait and see how many gullible applicants apply, wait a few years to average it out and then they move on to other species, like deer, elk and antelope to do the very same thing! Next, they take away preference points and replace it with bonus points and like me, waiting to be drawn for AZ elk…..12 years and counting. I’ve spent roughly $160.00 a yr in qualifying license alone, so I have over $1,200.00 sunk into a license that hasn’t even materialized yet. See where this is going!?!?!? They know that they can make more off of us NRs by making it harder to obtain a tag because they know us ardent hunters will try again next year and the year after and so on!!! I have years ago, wrote WY out of my life for anything but a possible antelope hunt and I am considering the same for more states. Another option I am looking into is OTC licenses in states that offer them as I am not a record book hunter. Best of luck to all in 2021, whatever hunt you choose!

  9. I guess that’s all nice if you’re a Wyoming resident. But, for us non residents who have been paying your outrageous point fees for years it looks like a great class action law suit! I have 21 sheep points and 19 moose points and I’m now 73 years old. Wyoming’s prime moose and sheep habitat is almost all owned by the Federal government NOT the state! As a US citizen why should the state of Wyoming, after extorting thousands of dollars from me in point fees, now reduce my chances of drawing likely past my life expectancy? It’s pure fraud!

    • The animals that inhabit those federal government lands you mentioned are owned by the state and citizens of Wyoming. You can still hike, bird watch or just enjoy the outdoors here, you just can’t hunt or fish without a Wyoming license. Is that clear enough? You can always hunt Moose and Sheep in your home state.

    • We’ll said Bob Friel…. BHFD by chance??????

  10. 10% is fine, I just want my $2000 back for my sheep points and my $1500 back for my moose points.

    • I never won the lottery either….I want my money back…LOL. You purchased chances at a tag, not a guaranteed tag. Nowhere is it stated that you’d ever get a tag for any of the Trophy game animals, just a chance at one.

  11. And most importantly: wyoming needs to abandon their Colorado PP system and make it either like NM or NV with a true bonus point system….and not just for the highest point holders.

  12. Peter McCormick

    In WY your hunting primarily on federal public lands that really belong to all of us to enjoy. Iowa is mostly private. To get 80% of the allocated tags is a pretty good deal for WY residents who probably hunt these animals on public land.

  13. I have just over 20 preference points for moose and it’s still very very difficult to draw a tag. Now after years of applying, and paying huge $$$ for associated preferences points, my chances of drawing will be cut in half. You win Wyoming…… you now have thousands of dollars of my money from preference point fees and now you are forcing me to give up. I live in Colorado and have family in Montana, but rather than drive through Wyoming, spending money along the way, I’ll just go around through Utah and Idaho. Wyoming SUCKS

    • Well…..Bye! Plenty more applicants to take your place.

      • Everyone likes a little ass but nobody likes a smart ass. You can get your point across without being a prick. are you Buzz or Grosventure huntress?

        • Everyone is entitled to an opinion.. I’m a resident and residents like me and Buzz H and most other residents think a 90/10 split is more than fair to non residents. And I DGAF what you think. You and Greg always have the option of hunting the big 5 in your home state.

      • Hoots watch what you wish for. One day all non-residents will bail on you little compound of a state.

      • Smells like someone died…. Oh, it was Wyo. Game and fish and hunting in Wyo. ☠️

        • Like I said before, nobody will know you’re gone, Wyoming will sell every tag they print, That’s a fact. There are plenty of non residents that want to hunt Wyoming. The demand exceeds the supply. All G&F needs to do is increase the non resident fishing license fees to make up what they lose on the Trophy game license fees.

  14. Let’s not forget how much money non residents spend through organizations like the
    RMEF and the Sheep Foundation. They help fund Wyoming and all the western states to open public access. Do we need to continue to spend money there to help the resident as they continue to squeeze the out of stater out of hunting? Keep us from using our federal lands is a selfish politic move for votes. No doubt the game and fish will scramble for revenue and have to increase license fees. Will they just rais the big 5 to make up the difference or across the board?

  15. The goal should be no tags for anyone. If predators can get to the level they completely balance game populations then you don’t need hunting ? Game management by a large increase in predators to balance prey? Would any Groups be working diligently to foster this idea. Wake up, it’s much more a formal strategy than realized.
    Meanwhile I’m gonna take my Quiet Kat, 9 game cameras, some digital scouting systems, my new 350fps bow with legit 120 yd accuracy and precision sight tapes, range finder, then my group of buddies will come in from the 3 other directions and we use Sat Phones / cell to keep up with each other, 2 gps units, Spot system for safety, My kifaru stuff and full Sitka clothing along with trusty Kenntrecks, jet boil manufactured food, helps keep thing simple like the old way of doing things – Kinda like the pioneers did. We keep it very simple and make sure we’re not gaining any advantages here, keep it simple. Now we do get a little technical during rifle season. One person can run a simple Sig Kilo and other guys keep it even simpler after attending Long range school, and getting the full system – rifle, ammo, scope, a person helping as a spotter along with friend as a camera guy. Keep it real and simple at same time. We lucked out big time this year, although we spent 4K each to buy licenses and points in 6 different states, no one drew. So we got some land owners tags cheap instead, group rates, for all 4 of us it was only 25K total, it’s a steal, and we will be doing some good hunting. Best of luck to all this season, keep it real, keep it simple, and enjoy the changing system and evolution. It’s Good to constantly evolve and progress, keep up fall behind amigos !

    • You sir orion are a walking contradiction. Keep it simple like the pioneers! Not with all that gear. That’s as complex as it gets. As for not gaining any advantages and speaking of long range schools, it’s hunting not sniping. Long range hunting is not fair chase. You are not in their element from 1000 yards away. So keep fooling yourself thinking your an ethical hunter.

  16. As a Wyoming resident I would like to see the odds stacked a little more in my favor. I waited 29 years for a sheep tag, 24 years for a moose and have never drawn a goat tag. With that said I have nothing against nonresident hunters and recognize the importance of their participation. My biggest issue are those individuals who own property in the state or use a Wyoming address in the state to apply for a resident license when they have not resided in the state for the required 1 year prior to application for the first year or have not maintained 180 annual days of residence to truly qualify to be a resident status for hunting and fishing licenses. I suspect that if the quota is changed to 90/10 this will become an even bigger problem. So if they change this I hope they mandate loss of all hunting and fishing privileges for at least 5 years for those found guilty of fraudulently obtaining a big five resident license. Heck they could leave the ratio of permits it as it is now and still add this penalty.

    • Nailed it James. Every resident hunter that I know is 100% in favor of the 90/10 split. I hope they make it for all big game and not just the “Big 5”.

  17. And I suppose that you Wyoming guys think it’s any different in any other state! The bottom line is that it isn’t. Premium tags are difficult to come by. The fact is that Wyoming residents, my son is one, have it easier for good tags than anywhere else in the country. Consider again that most hunting ground in Wyoming is federally owned. Also, consider again that Wyoming has the most expensive point system in the western states if not in the entire country! For those of us who have played the game and paid the price, cutting the number of tags in half is fraud, pure and simple.
    So, it becomes a question of whether you want to see you F & G dollars go to wildlife or whether you would rather see them go to attorneys to pay court costs for a class action law suit. Not a threat. Just a promise!

  18. The 90/10 split has been tried before and withdrawn. The first in line for a law suit will be the Wyoming Guides and Outfitters who will be greatly affected by your proposal. It will likely put a number of them out of business. We’ll see.

    • A lot left out of this article. WY Fish and Game annual revenue is $88 mil. NR provide $44 mil of it in license and points. Also WY gets about $20 mil from federal grants that need to be matched. Without the NR funds the match most likely not happen. That comes out to the NR supporting 72% of the F&G revenue.

      I am really surprised how some of the residents feel toward NR when the NR are supporting F&G. Which in turn manages WY to be a great place to hunt.

  19. As a Wyoming native and life long resident I agree with this proposal, and before all you climb up on your soap box to preach that this is an injustice to all non resident hunter’s, understand my position. I have put in for moose for 26 years, I have draw 1 off forest cow tag. That’s it! My dad put in for 24 years before ever drawing a moose tag. And every year we see non-res hunters shooting moose. It’s not any easier for residents do draw. The same goes for other species like antelope. We can’t get an over the counter tag for those either. I haven’t drawn an antelope in 12 years, and I’m not putting it for areas that are difficult to draw. It’s the same story for a lot of residents. Maybe I just have crappy luck but that’s doubtful. I see non-res hunters flood into my state every year with tags that I cannot draw and it’s a kick in the teeth. I believe that the wyfg stack the odds in favor of non-res anyway for the money. Why else would it be so hard to draw a tag! And those of saying you have thousands of dollars in preference points are full of shit. The wyfg refunds all but the application fee. If you put in for 5 species a year and didn’t draw it would take you 40 years to accumulate $1000. What I would propose is for the trophy game, antelope and all of our resident areas that are trophy real hard to draw ares be the 90/10, and general areas stay the 20% for non-res. But that would never happen with our greedy game and fish. They have been screwing the residents for decades. They can say what they want about percentages but they can make their numbers say what they want. Just my opinion.

  20. Against my better judgment, I just made my annual nearly $500 point contribution to your Game and Fish Dept. For you who are math challenged, the amounts to around $5,000 every 10 years or so and over $10,000 for the 20 plus years that I have been applying. You’re welcome!

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