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Price Hikes Coming to Wyoming- Maybe

Update: This bill did not pass…but this is a good idea of what could happen in the future.

A bill pending in the Wyoming legislature would seriously hike the price of nonresident tags.

Wyoming Senate Bill 60 would reaffirm the two tiered pricing structure that Wyoming currently operates under for nonresident deer, elk and antelope tags with a 60/40 split, 60% for the “regular draw” priced draw while the remaining 40% is set aside for the “special draw” pricing, the big bucks and I don’t mean buck deer. The bill would significantly change the pricing structure for the “special” draw tags.

The new pricing would keep the “regular draw” tags the same as they have been ($692-elk, $374-deer, & $326-antelope) for the better part of a decade, a clear win for nonresident budget hunters. However, the “special” draw tags would be priced at a beyond special rate, with one increase clocking the Richter scale at almost 100% the current rate.

If passed and adopted the new pricing structure would jump the special elk 54% from $1,268 to $1,950, the special deer would increase 81% from $662 to $1,200 and antelope would soar by an alarming 95% from $614 to $1,200.

Proponents of the measure say it will bring Wyoming’s nonresident fees more inline with neighboring state’s fees and prices. I personally think it is an attempt at differentiating the two cost structures in the draw process. As time has gone on, the regular and special draws have come to parity in the odds of drawing and even flip flopped in some cases with the more expensive special tag actually becoming harder to draw than the corresponding regular tag. This has caused some serious heartburn for state draw and application specialists.

In my opinion, the state Game and Fish statisticians continue to under estimate the financial horsepower of those using application services to apply for a massive amount of nonresident big game applicants. The way these app services structure their business models, money is almost no object because the applicants is not actually fronting the money. A $6,000 sheep application in New Mexico is no big deal for these folks.

The bill would also increase the authority our game wardens have to write trespass tickets in the field- a direct result of the “corner crossing” issue that is currently working its way through the court system.

About Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief

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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15 comments

  1. Good for res and the rich..bad for no res blue collar like me. If I ever draw which should be in near future cause I’m maxed out, I’ll probably be done with hunting out of states…good ol days are gone

    • Those “Good Old Days” have been gone for a long time. Too damn many people.

    • I’m done with Wyoming, my next hunt in Idaho now. Wyoming has priced me out and makes me wait until May to see if I have a hunt – and then only half our hunting party gets tags. In Idaho we all get tags through the outfitter and it’s much cheaper!
      Bad idea to have the feds take over though – then only lobbyists will be able to afford hunts.

  2. I’m burning my Antelope points and I’m done with Wyoming. Wyoming is one of the most expensive states to apply in. By the time you buy points, pay admin fees and let’s not forget the credit card fee you are at hundreds of dollars to apply, this is money you will not get back. Wyoming is not a trophy hunter destination anyway, the state has proven they manage for opportunity. Most application services don’t even recommend putting in for Wyoming any more unless you are vested with years of points.

  3. Wyoming is steamrolling towards the European model where only the rich will be able to afford to hunt. The blue collar boys from out of state will no longer be able to hunt on their own national forest and bureau of land management property, being priced out of the market. Perhaps it is time for the federal government to assume control over federal lands and remove the individual states from that control. The “ special “ hunt tags are for “special “ people, and being wealthy should not give anyone the opportunity for tags not available to the non wealthy. The current policy harms black hunters because of lower income levels more than white hunters and could easily be seen as racially discriminatory.

  4. I know a handful of us who have been supporting WG&F with their already high fee structure because one of the “neighboring states” alluded to in the article priced us out many years ago and we chose the hunt in Wyoming instead. Now when the state of Wyoming prices the common man out of the ability to hunt also not only will their revenue drop but likely the economy will be impacted in those areas also. We spend on average of $5000 for a non guided hunt now for licenses, fuel to travel, lodging once we get there and supplies to keep us going while there. Politicians in charge of these rates don’t think through the whole picture. With hunting fill rates at about 7% success rate only the rich can afford to hunt when the rates go up that much again.

  5. The Eastman should be worried your subscribers will drop like flies. Your member research won’t matter at all. It truly is a travesty.

  6. Like all western states…. Almost any non-res. can’t afford it anymore. The Fish & Game people will one wake up and no one will be there to pay their salaries.

  7. Wyoming priced me out many years ago and I haven’t spent one dime in that state since. Also dropped my subscription as I no longer have a need for it, as mentioned above. Only the Rich will be able to hunt. Between the mountain lions, wolves, and Bears and a few more drastic winter kills, there won’t be much left to hunt!

  8. I’ve hunted WY for a long time and have significant pts (but not enough) for most animals. When they double the prices which is only a matter of time I’ll call it quits for WY.
    They will have to double the prices to keep revenue up when they cut tags from the 80/20 split to 90/10. It’s simple math.

  9. You wonder why hunter participation continuously spirals downward. Hunting is no longer a tradition and a way of life. Rather this is proof that hunting is a money driven, horn hunting expedition. As mentioned by K Olson, the European model is in fact taken hold. You can fast forward the European modules to see the end results. This is also reason why I personally have a hard time contributing to out-of-state conservation funds and the RMEF to name a few.

  10. I would think raising the price on the special tags, would also cause the points required to draw a regular tag to increase. There has to be many hunters who will refuse to pay the price of the special tag, and will begin applying for the regular. I guess if you’re wealthy it makes getting a tag easier, but everyone else will have to wait years longer.

  11. I’m going to contact my home state, Missouri Conservation, and ask them to strongly consider charging non-residents a reciprocal license charge based on what they charge non-residents. Kansas charges me near $600 for deer license, which I rarely get drawn, whereas, any non-resident is only charged $265 over the counter for deer license in Missouri. I’ve got 7 Wyoming antelope points and 5 deer points. Love hunting Wyoming but just getting to expensive. I’m getting older, 72, and probably won’t be able to hunt Wyoming again. Just terrible for my grandkids.

  12. Yep, I gave up on Wyoming back in I think 2005 when they made absurd price increase just for a point. Finally drew archery bull tag in AZ and I am done with them as well! Also folks, keep in mind the pile on affect, where others states, once one has done it and the results quantified, they will do it too! Another aspect to look at that a previous writer didn’t mention is, the price of equipment that we hunters pay. It has gotten completely crazy! Bows and rifles, arrow and ammunition, sights scopes binoculars and hunting clothing. Cover scent clothing is a joke…unless you’re in a bubble! If you question this, FART and you’ll smell it! Play the wind is my method. Rant done!

  13. This is just a precursor to support the revenue looses projected for the upcoming 90/10 split and abandoning the ppts for bonus points. Whatever happen to the 10x ratio between non-resident and resident coats, and how does the state get to “sell” wildlife in a discriminate fashion on federal lands supposedly “owned by everyone”?

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