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Not On My Watch!

We figured this might be in the works at some point and we narrowly missed the battle this year. Read HB0112 2 to find out what the Wyoming legislature was up to recently.   As of this morning the bill was pulled from the table but the fight may be headed our direction in the next legislative season.

I’m not a lawyer, and certainly not used to interpreting legislation and the language that these “lawyer” types use to create it, but it appears to me that the state (WY) was trying to change the Nonresident tag allotment to only 10%. Right now, Wyoming currently gives far more tags than a measly 10% to nonresident hunters. Very “stingy” states like Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico have such sparse non-resident tag allotments, but Wyoming has been very  gracious in the past to non-resident hunters with their tag quota set asides. If this law where to go into effect for the 2015 draw season, we can easily expect the preference point demands to go through the roof, I honestly believe this could increase the amount of points for a non-resident hunter to draw any given tag in Wyoming by as much as three to four times what it is now. Wether you like the proposed law or not, this will be a very hard pill for nonresident hunters to swallow, the guys that have dedicated years and vested tons of cash into the Wyoming points system, only to have the rug jerked out from under them, mid-stream by a drastic change in the rules of the game. This would not be a very ethical way to conduct business in my opinion.

On the other hand, I can also understand the growing frustration from resident hunters as the state has been forced to drastically cut tag quotas, making it tougher for all of us to get a big game tag. The Game and Fish has painted themselves into a corner so to speak, and now the residents are demanding more tags. And in my experience with these type of things, the residents all too often get what they want. But in my humble opinion, this is not the way to go about better resident hunting in Wyoming, pure and simple! The Game and Fish has to focus like a laser on putting more animals on our mountains, that is the only way out of their current budget predicament. Super tags, trifecta tags, price increases, and more fisherman, will not, I repeat, WILL NOT replace the financial and biological damage the reintroduction of the gray wolf has infected our state and its budget with.
Pure and simple guys, less wildlife, means decreased license sales, means lower revenues, which equates to massive budget short falls which in the end turn into huge budget, personnel and project cuts at the Department.
Of course, I guess we could adopt the Utah system where we auction off the opportunities at our best wildlife resource to the highest bidder, but not on my watch.
Give us your thoughts on this situation?

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. Thanks for looking out for the benefit of ALL Guy! How about cutting the non-resident wolf first, then we can discuss the other NR predators (hunters) who pay a hefty fee to hunt the great state of WY.

  2. i won’t go and other hunter’s won’t go if it gets hard or cost to much

  3. Thanks for keeping your eye on this. I am a NR and have been pumping $$ into WY every year since the snow storm of ’93. I am heavily invested in my kids there as well.

    In the end, I’m afraid it will be the wolf or NR hunters that have to give way.

  4. You hit the nail right on the head Guy!
    The wolf was bad for game and livestock when it was delt with 150 years ago.
    I hope as a NR my investment in points isn’t eaten by the Gray wolf or swept away by residents that don’t realize the economic impact to the state.
    Thanks for staying on watch.

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