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Dying Tradtions: The One Shot Wonders



Recently the Casper Star Tribune reported on an issue that is getting some attention here in Wyoming. The issue revolves around Wyoming pronghorn permits being allocated to special interest groups to use as they see fit – 80 tags for one group alone.

While the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation espoused by individuals like Theodore Roosevelt states that our wildlife resources are “In the Public Trust”, groups like Lander One Shot Antelope Hunt are allocated 80 tags to do with as they wish and have been doing so since 1939.

The group claims to be doing good work with the money, and they may be, but many feel that any fundraising done with the public’s wildlife tags should be directly given back to the resource that helped raise the money, i.e. pronghorn in this case.

The issue that arises when any group gets special tag allocations from state wildlife management agencies is that it opens a can of worms that is hard to close up again. I know this from personal experience. One tag for one group where fundraising dollars go directly to the resource eventually leads to Wyoming Game & Fish commissioners getting eight tags each to allot to causes of their choosing, which then leads to 80 tags to a group like Lander One Shot Antelope Hunt or even the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt.

What say you? Should special interest groups be allowed to take coveted tags (or non-coveted tags for that matter) from the general public to use as they see fit? Oh, in case you are wondering what else the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation says, it mentions that “In North America we can legally kill certain wildlife for legitimate purposes under strict guidelines for food and fur, in self-defense, or property protection – Non-frivolous Use.” Do these tag allocations affect our reputation as sportsmen?

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The letter below came through my email this morning. I’ll not divulge who wrote it …


  1. What with the financial difficulties the WGF is having I think any money generated from these licenses go back to the Game and Fish. I realize the revenue from these special tags are used for good works but just as every other state agency has had to cut budgets and eliminate or pare programs, the benefits of the license largesse should be cut until finances are better.

  2. The tags given out to ANYONE should be by LOTTERY ONLY for the benefit of those specific species, not by Allocations to certain groups &/ or bought by the wealthy & ego “hounds” as is now the case in many instances, are you listening Utah & Arizona 2 of the worst offenders !!! It is totally wrong as is now the case in most states– never should have been started, I think Arizona really started it en masse in ’90 selling some of the permits to highest bidder plus the Tax Deduction Benefit too. The entire mess stinks to high Heaven. New Mexico is another state that really goes with the Golden Rule, ” those who have the Gold make the rules”!! Boone & Crockett Club is mainly to blame also for letting these heads go into their book– they play into that outrageous game of ego mania. The game, even the largest ones, are really owned by the People in general of that state, NOT by individuals or the Game & Fish Departments.

  3. Let me Understand this, they been doing this since 1939, some 78 years and now people are offended! What nonsense! I got news for you the well healed is always going to come out better, because money talks and BS walks, that comes from the mouth of LBJ one of our worst Presidents. I get this here in CT because here Landowners get free tags and we can shoot center fire rifles. A lot of people just can’t stand it. Of course its not free, you should see my tax bills, but I get spit on never the less for having some property more than some. Envy is a sin, and it’s not with in the American Character or has not been till about a decade ago. Big Game hunting never was a cheap sport. I was never invited to the Lander One Shot Hunt, would I go If so invited, yea I would but I am not going to hold my breath or resent the people who get to go. I got better things to do with my time that that.

    • Shepard Greene

      “Laws developed by the people and enforced by government agencies will regulate the proper use of wildlife resources” … another example of undue influence by those with non fiduciary ties to politicians. Laws are usually passed with a varied assortment of pork-belly legislation. This antiquated boys’ club tradition in the day probably didn’t raise many eyebrows. Now that tags are required with stiff competition for those tags, the rules ought to change. This inexorable practice is found in every aspect of backdoor politicking … exposure hopefully will lead to change

    • Trump is the WORST President ever!!! Maybe some of his third grade tweets can be quoted by you in the future!!! WGF is using the Wyoming “hunters” and should be charging $1,000’s for this special lobbying treatment. Good luck with that!

      • David C Fisher

        well doggysub, you talk a big loud mouthed liberal talk while hiding behind some idiot name and mascot

      • Leave it to some snow flake to interject their lost election into anything and every thing. If you don’t mind do us all a favor and take a long walk off a short pier. wa ! wa! wa! soggydub!!!!!!

    • I call b.s. on big game hunting necessarily being expensive or for the elite. I know plenty of people that spend very little to hunt on resident tags near there hometown. And use old or buy used equipment. But their big game resource will be stolen by the rich IF we just roll over and let them.

  4. I am not from Wyoming and I cannot afford a single shot rifle. But I have always been intrigued by the Landers hunt. I have always thought of it as a true sportsman way to hunt antelope. One shot, and you better not miss. I have for years thought of hunting this way and was happy to see that this group had an honored tradition. I am not concerned that they are allocated a number of permits. I know this group probably kills far less antelope than the average success on antelope in Wyoming and do many good things for our hunting tradition.

    • Bull cookies. They give out 80 tags for free and without going through the drawing process and that doesn’t concern you? They exclude women, and that doesn’t concern you? A non resident has a 2% to 4% draw odds in that area.

  5. Definitely a can of worms. Look no further than my home state of Utah. You sure you want that for WY?

  6. Allocate some tags for our youth, seniors, veterans, handicapped and the less fortunate. Enough said!

  7. David C Fisher

    When I can’t even pull a decent tag with my 8 years worth of point that I paid a significant amount for over those 8 long years and will now loose since I have recently moved to Wyoming, I say that this allotment of tags for special interests that have good ole’ boy pull and big bank roles, is immoral and downright wrong!

  8. The tag allocation is the least of the issue. I was told by several One Shot volunteers in the past that a former WY governor (whom I won’t mention) once crippled a buck and didn’t want to kill it with a second shot because he would have been disqualified. Don’t kid yourself, this happens every year yet the ethics of only having a single shot take a back seat to “tradition.”

  9. I’m ok with groups being given tags for auction or other fundraising efforts. Usually these funds are split 90/10 or 80/20 with the bulk of the money going back to the state wildlife agency.
    In Oregon we have the access and habitat tags that are auctioned off through conservation groups at their annual banquets. The money from the sale of these tags funds Access and Habitat projects which include leasing private land for public access. Thus the wealthy are spending money to Open up hunting opportunities for those with less financial resources.

    • Steve, can you see the difference when a private foundation uses state issued tags for fundraising and 2/3 of the projects are done in other states or even South Africa? The clear explanation for this is those donating money for that Wyoming antelope license want these water projects done in states where they are benefited. This just isn’t acceptable. It’s Wyoming’s resource that is being tapped here. The “good ‘ole boys club” just makes the whole thing that much harder to swallow. These tags would be better served to the hunting public in general.

    • Have another glass of Kool-Aid. The money raised goes elsewhere, Wyoming just supplies the antelope targets for their amusement.

  10. If tags must be set aside then sit them aside for combat disabled veterans. Say 5% or less of resident and non-resident tags for those who have truly contributed to the nation and its resources. Saying that you truly contribute to the “public good” because you spend money for your personal enjoyment is obscene. It is long past time for these good old boy special benefit programs to end.

  11. Guy, Wyoming already has such a program, we allow a tag drawn through the state process to be transferred to a disabled veteran.

  12. Doug Brittenham

    As just about everybody else wrote above, I’m tired of everyone else being considered a “special interest” but me. Ran a quick count on Wyoming give away licenses to these various groups. Total is 443 big game licenses allocated to special interest every year. This includes 7 Bighorn Sheep, 7 Moose, 7 Bison and 2 Mountain Goat licenses. The remaining are split up between deer, antelope and elk. Just how many preference points have you accumulated and how long have you been hoping for a license? Of particular interest is the National Bow Hunt (what you never heard of that give away?) who gets 70 deer licenses annually and the quota for that area(s) is reduced by that much prior to the draw. Eliminate the “special” license donations, auctions, etc., it will never be done fairly. It will have to be done through the state legislature however as the laws are already on the books.

  13. The other problem with the one shot hunt is that they exclude women. And there are 56 of those coveted LQ area tags that go directly to past one shot hunters, who can give them to whomever they please (not women though…. there are around 80 tags doled out to this “Club” in one of the hardest antelope areas to draw, actually it’s 5 or 6 areas around Lander. No women allowed in the “One Shot” hunt in the EQUALITY state. That’s a hoot! The water projects are in 11 other states and even south Africa…WTH? It’s high time this group of fossils is disbanded. This is 2017.
    Water projects are great, but they should all be in Wyoming, these are after all Wyoming’s antelope. The group includes Governors/Legislators/Sports figures/Business Executives/etc. Some money went to remodel the Lander community center and for bronze statues. What a waste of a precious resource, Wyoming’s wildlife.

  14. not going though the draw is b.s. i dont care who you are this is the crap that is wrecking hunting stick that 1939 crap you know were

  15. Colorado has similar problems, such as landowner tags….landowners have to draw the tags, the only plus, and then hold them, put them on websites, and let the rich pay big money for them. Not the easiest to contend with when Colorado is supposed to give preference to the youth. My kids are are losing interest in hunting because they can’t even draw a tag where we live……shame on Colorado . Colorado just sells the animals away, not caring about mule deer decline or inaccessible lands….sell sell sell. $$$$ Colorado’s wildlife is circling the drain, and on it’s way out…

  16. Brad Wellington

    I agree that one “group” shouldn’t receive 80, or for that matter 1, tags to be used for “charitable” purposes. Here in Colorado the DOW can allocate tags to land owners to help mitigate damages caused by deer, elk, etc. If that is the same policy in WY then the landowners in the area of the hunt could request “land owner” tags and then give them to the participants. The participants would probably still need to validate the tag by purchasing an antelope tag but extra fees could be charged to be donated to the various charities that they support. There’s more than one way to skin a cat….. or shoot an antelope but in no event should revenue that should go to the DOW for the benefit of a public resource be diverted elsewhere.

  17. Martin Pedroncelli

    I wish that all tags were in a public draw in every state. Here in New Mexico some antelope units have 90 to 95% landowner tags with 5% in public draw to be allocated between resident and non-residents. Other elk units have similar landowner to draw ratios. Residents have a very hard time drawing any tags , while any person willing to pay for a landowner tag can hunt every year for deer, elk and antelope. We all wish that public tags were public, all states should be the same across the board no exceptions !

  18. The groups involved I am sure have statements of goals and expected acheavements in order to recieve the resourse tags awarded the groups. I do how ever believe that 80 is abit over much for the area and perception of fairness, a negotiated smaller amount would probably serve the tradition and benifit.The bonding achieved by those involved partisipating the natural world of hunting can be a net gain for Wyoming. It would be good if some traking could bedone and reported.I would like to see reported who were invited and their comments.It is the responsibility of each group to justify to the public the honary given to them

  19. I could care less about the fact that a private group is politically incorrect. An awful lot of time could be given to the ways this group is backward and outdated but as a private organization it’s well within their rights to keep that up.

    It is not, however, ok at all for them to skip to the front of the line and get state resources for free.

    At all.

    End that and make them get in line behind the rest of us.

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