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Changes for 2020, Wyoming Elk

The Wyoming Game and Fish has made some fairly significant changes to the draw system process this year for non-resident elk hunters. Starting this year (2020) nonresident applicants will still have to apply for their elk tag by the 31st of January, however their application will remain in the Wyoming system until May. Instead of conducting the draw in February the state will hold off until May to actually conduct the nonresident elk drawing. This is a good news/bad news scenario. The good news is you will have clear until May 8 to modify or even withdraw your elk application, as long as you have one placed into the system by January 31st. This will give applicants more time to modify an application once more is known about the season dates, quotas and winter conditions. The bad news, is your money will be tied up until at least the third week in May and there’s not much you can do about it. The end result, all the guys who depend on the Wyoming elk refunds to fuel other state applications early in the season will have to find other alternative sources of funding for those additional apps this year.

“Nonresident elk hunters should also be aware of a significant change to the draw date beginning in 2020. The nonresident elk application period remains Jan. 2-31. However, applicants have until May 8 to modify or withdraw their applications. Draw results will post the third week in May.  The change is meant to give applicants more information before the draw.” –Wyoming Game and Fish Department 

About Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief

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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.

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  1. BS, BS, BS!!! No positive spin on this at all. The Bordering states game officials discussed this and it’s strategic planned move so those hunting other States cannot time draw results against another state ! Several wildlife managers indicate it drives more revenue in the interest of all adjoining States Wildlife coffers. Now your forced to smack all at once instead of…didn’t draw WY, now try CO etc. One more punch in face via State wildlife administrators doing data mining.

  2. Normally I would put in for a Longshot draw. Now I’ll just sit on my points till my odds are closer to certain. More max point holders in the system equals even worse draw odds and point creep for premium hunts. Another blow to the working man. Oh well there are plenty of elk in other states.

    • Just another penalty for being a hunter. They will draw interest off of our money (which now takes quite a healthy invest to get drawn with the special draw price). So not only have they increased our cost significantly they use our money and keep us from being able to put in somewhere else.

  3. So if you withdraw your application by May 8, do you get all of your money back? Bet not.

  4. I don’t think I like this change, but what is the point of keeping the application window at Jan 1-31? Wouldn’t they get more applicants with an application period of Jan 1- May 1, or something like that?

  5. I got sucked into the WY points chase from the beginning. Now, I can’t wait to GET OUT!!!!! Wyoming hanging on to our $$$ longer…..really, why??? Just GREEDY I guess. Sure makes it harder to figure what other states to apply in. I bailed out of sheep last year. Moose is next. Probably deer after that. As soon as I get drawn for elk and antelope, I’m DONE GOR GOOD!!!! In fact, no more staying in Cody on my way to Montana. I’ll drive the extra couple hours to Billings and get a motel there.

  6. Terrible , Wyo was always good cause you knew in Feb if you got drawn then you could plan other hunts , now your Fd!!!
    This sucks big time!!!!!!

  7. WYgamenfish Blow

    Anyone with a brain will now only apply when they know they can draw. WY will miss lots of NR money and interest. This and the whole guide required for wilderness thing makes WY one and done for me…and the party I hunt with. Chasing off non-residents and their necessary money…but that’s prob the point…and to the satisfaction of residents even though in reality, unless they change NR allocations, it won’t change the number of NR hunters…idiots.

    • Your last sentence is just the point. It’s supply and demand. There will still be people that will apply and until they can’t fill the out of state quotas it won’t change. I’m a Wyoming resident and don’t like this! I wait to apply until the last day as I don’t like them holding my money either.

  8. One of my of favorite things a out Wyoming was knowing my Elk Results so early and able to plan around
    One of my least favorite parts is that the Deer results are one of the very last of all species in all states to come out and sometimes hard to fit in. Boo Wyoming, now both species are later. DIFFERENTIATE!!

  9. 2020 is the time to unite and boycott 1 year!
    Nothing, nothing gets someones attention like an empty pocketbook.
    Send the message to the ENTIRE state of Wyoming that NR hunters are more than merely an elk tag…we contribute to the financial solvency of the entire sector of retail sales.

  10. just dropped them for this year..

  11. This sucks big time. Always had time to put in for other states when I got my refund. Now not possible since I don’t have the finances to do multiple states. They aren’t going to sit on my money and make interest while I wait. Not going to happen. Wyoming this stinks.

  12. This sucks!!!

  13. Total bull shet,time for non-residents to get together and boycott this kind of discrimination, because we can’t vote there we get thrown under the bus,time to organize and fight this crap

  14. Can one of your residents explain why WY is doing this? What’s the upside? WY doesn’t know how good they’ve had it being at the front of the pack for applications. Many many applicants will take them off the list now, myself included. Unless you change NR allocations, it won’t change NR pressure one bit.

  15. ‘It’s The King’s Game’ dontcha know… The slow-drip of extirpating The Hunter-Conservationist Movement, combined with habitat depredation-‘Granolas” in state fish & wildlife agencies-is reaching ‘critical mass’ for the working man and the ‘cultural tradition’ of Hunting.

    (frankly-with the point-creep phenomena afoot-one could reasonably conclude the entire scheme is ‘fraud in the inducement’ upon the hunter as consumer of public goods and services. Further, circumnavigating around Ruski and Chicom oil rigs is an outrage…)

  16. You just lost my money Wyoming. Absolute nonsense.

  17. I live in Wyoming and love it.
    I think this is wrong and if I were a non resident I would not play this game with my money. I would look at other states for trophy deer instead of supporting Wyoming. Hunters contribute millions of hard earned dollars to the economy and if everyone stuck together for a couple years I’m sure they would feel the pinch. Solidarity is the only way to combat this injustice

  18. Is there anywhere on the Wyoming F&G website that shows any changes to what was originally proposed for season dates and tag quotas vs what was decided upon given “new information” over the last 4 months they’ve had mine and everyone else’s nonresident elk application?

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