7,250, that’s how many Wyoming elk tags non-residents have had allocated to them since 1980 in the Cowboy State but that could be about to change! Wyoming elk numbers have skyrocketed in the eastern portion of the state, putting a strain on socially and biologically acceptable elk populations, where a lack of non-human apex predators, (wolves & grizzlies) allows the elk numbers to grow exponentially.
Along with the recommendation, from the Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce, to eliminate the 7,250 allocation cap, comes a regionalizing of non-resident elk tags as well.
“Recent Wyoming Game and Fish Department analysis concluded that regionalizing non-resident elk licenses would provide game managers more precise abilities to manage the elk populations across the state,” the taskforce’s recommendation letter said. “If implemented this measure could result in allocation of licenses in areas where additional elk harvest is needed and also provide additional options to manage hunter crowding.”
I’m not sure how all this will pan out but it’s good news for “out of staters” wanting to hunt elk in Wyoming. Just keep in mind that the areas that have experienced this elk explosion are predominantly private land so even though there could be more tags there may not be more opportunity. Hiring an outfitter or paying a trespass fee will most certainly be key to taking advantage of any increase in elk tags granted from Wyoming. On that front, we are working on creating a network of vetted guides and outfitters through Eastmans’ TagHub, stay tuned for more on this front and in the meantime, keep an eye out for more non-resident elk tags here in Ol’ Wyo.