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