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Wyoming Passes 90/10: The Worst Article You’ll Read This Year

 

Photo Taken by: Mike Eastman

 

 

If you are one of the nearly 12,000 nonresident sheep or moose applicants in the Wyoming preference point system this will probably be one of the most infuriating articles you will read this year. 

Before I go any further on this subject I need to highlight two important points of clarity, first off, most of my coworkers and I are residents of Wyoming and stand to benefit from this legislation. I will do my best to be as objective as possible on the subject with as many facts as possible. 

Second, the wildlife inside the borders of the state of Wyoming and any other state for that matter, is the sole property of the residents of that state, period. The residents of the state of Wyoming through their governmental representation have the full right and responsibility to regulate as they see fit, the full management of that wildlife in its entirety. Sometimes that can be a tough pill to swallow for nonresident hunters who are at the full mercy of the residents of said state, particularly when those nonresidents are so heavily invested financially and emotionally into a preference point system. 

Now for the hard part, earlier this morning Governor Mark Gordon signed House Bill 43 into Wyoming law. This bill changes the tag allocation for Wyoming’s most coveted big game tags to a 90/10 allocation for the “Wyoming Big Five” as they call it. This bill explicitly changes the nonresident tag allocations for bighorn sheep from 25% down to 10%, a net decrease of 60%, while the species of moose, Rocky Mountain goat and bison will be reduced from 20% down to 10%, a net decrease of 50%. 

As you can imagine this will have a devastating effect on the preference point system for sheep and moose in Wyoming for nonresident applicants. The net effects of this are two-fold. First off, the amount of preference points required to draw a sheep or moose tag in Wyoming will more than double under the new system. For instance, Area-2, a very popular sheep area in Wyoming, currently has a tag quota of 20 sheep tags. Last year this tag took 22 preference points to draw for a nonresident hunter with one of the five nonresident tags being allocated in the random draw for one lucky applicant with less than 22 points. Under the new system, instead of five nonresident tags available for this hunt there will be only two nonresident tags available. There will be no tags available for the random draw and as a result, under the current demand the number of preference points required to draw a nonresident sheep tag in Area-2 will now be 53 preference points and counting! Yes, you read that correctly this “middle of the road” sheep hunt will now take more than 50 preference points to draw!  

Second, as you can see, the preference point system as it is currently structured is mathematically insolvent. I believe the state will be forced to ditch the preference point system and implement some sort of bonus point system where there are no longer any guarantees as to when you will draw a tag. With around 11,000-point holders in the system for both moose and sheep and a newly reduced nonresident tag allocation of 18 sheep tags, down from 44 tags and 36 moose tags from 72 tags, there will not ever be enough resources to fulfill the demand. Using those numbers, it would take 651 years to fulfill every sheep applicant and 315 years for every moose applicant in the system to get drawn. As you can easily see, the system will collapse under its own weight as it now stands. 

If the state does not change the preference point system, there will be very, very few if any tags available in the random draw. Effectively reducing your chances of drawing a sheep or moose tag in Wyoming to zero unless you have more than 20 preference points. 

If I had to guess, the Game and Fish Department is probably in the process of interviewing good defense attorneys, as the class action lawsuits are certain to fly. The idea of having to refund every nonresident applicant, all 22,000 of them, their preference point fees for the past 26 years would surely push the department to the point of insolvency. A bill of more than $50 million could be on the line. Add this to a department which is already in a massive fight with the landowners of Wyoming regarding how livestock reimbursements for wolf and grizzly bear depredations are calculated, a case that has been pushed up to the state Supreme Court after the Game and Fish lost every single case all the way up the judicial chain thus far, and the potential dollars on the line are almost beyond imagination. Needless to say, the state continues to retain piss poor legal representation and should probably give Jerry Spence in Jackson a call sometime soon. 

I have said from the beginning that Wyoming has been beyond generous to nonresident hunters when it comes to sheep and moose tags. A 20 -25% nonresident allocation is well beyond what most neighboring and comparative states allocate. That is a fact. Colorado is the next most generous with a maximum of 10% while most other states are 3-5% maximum for nonresident sheep and moose tag allocations. So, I can clearly see the basis for the 90/10 argument regardless of my personal opinion. But this could just be the beginning. 

As if this were not bad enough news, it could potentially get much, much worse for nonresident hunters in Wyoming. The WWTF, the Wyoming Wildlife Task Force set up by the Commission and the Governor, of which I know a few of the members personally, is apparently working out a potential compromise for a 90/10 allocation for deer, elk and antelope as well. This process is in its infancy and has a long, long way to go yet. At this point, from what I am hearing this compromise appears to include, transferable land-owner tags, and an up to 50% outfitter set aside for outfitted nonresident hunters. Needless to say, this change would be horrendous for the DIY nonresident hunter as the nonresident allotment would be cut in half, and then half of that would be set aside for guided hunters, all while further subtracting the nonresident landowner tags from this pool in addition. 

Potentially under this possible system, the nonresident DIY hunter could see their odds of drawing an elk, deer and antelope tag in Wyoming cut by nearly 90%. For instance, the famed Region G deer tag, currently has a quota of 400 nonresident buck deer tags. Under the proposed system, that quota would automatically drop to 200 tags with the 90/10 law, then 100 of those remaining tags would be given to outfitters in the region and then at least half of those remaining 100 tags could be sold to nonresidents by landowners in the area taking the total DIY quota down to only 50 total tags or even less. With 2,150 total applicants (for the 2021 draw)  for this hunt the amount of preference points needed to hunt here could skyrocket to over 40 points or more. This general region hunt could easily become a once-in-a-lifetime endeavor. 

The 90/10 law for deer, elk and antelope still has a long way to go with some very large hurdles to be negotiated yet. If nothing, else, the financial repercussions of this change alone would be devastating for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Of the total $80 million budget, nonresident hunters and fisherman account for more than 60% of the revenue. This change could cut the department’s revenues by 30-40%. A cut of this magnitude would essentially be unsustainable. The residents will not bear this financial burden, we are confident in that, possibly leaving, yet again, the nonresident hunters to pick up the financial tab. We will keep you posted on the progress of this legislation as it progresses. 

As a result of these scenarios, if you find yourself as a high point holder in Wyoming I would highly suggest you think about burning those points soon. This could easily get worse before it gets better. 

While this news is bad for most of you reading this, it could get worse than worse for those of you who apply for many states throughout the West each year. Wyoming is not alone in this process. The state of Colorado is following Wyoming’s lead on this. There is a movement afoot in Colorado to accomplish the same result there as well. It’s no secret that Colorado has been extremely generous to nonresident hunters when it comes to tag allocation over the years. That could be coming to an end as the residents of Colorado are vying for more of their tags and the elimination of the over the counter elk options for nonresident hunters and bowhunters statewide. We will keep you updated on the progress of this movement as well in the coming months. 

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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172 comments

  1. 18 years of moose and ram points gone in a snap. It’s not the money it’s the end of a dream. Angry doesn’t begin to express my feelings . A refund should be issued for every single point I’ve ever bought

    • Jon, all your money for points bought was a CHANCE at drawing a tag, not a promise that you’d draw one. Nonresidents will still get a chance, the odds will just be a lot worse.

      • But these are PREFERENCE POINTS not bonus points which after a certain point You are guaranteed a tag now that point is so far out there that one has to live to be over a 100 years old to draw,it’s just the point of changing the rules of the game after WGF has our money

      • I do agree with your last sentence. I would agree with your first if we were talking about bonus points rather than preference. I hope WY Game and Fish Dept. goes VERY BROKE!!!!!!

        • Truman L Knutson

          The people in Wyoming should come first to the Game and Fish. Over the years, non-residents have had more opportunity in Wyoming the almost anywhere else. Hunting myself in Wyoming the last 15 years, I have seen non-residents as the chief ones in herd shooting, losers of shot game, poor long-range shooters and many other frown able acts. I say GOOD for the Game and Fish. Residents ought to get the better deal.

          • Get ready for your tag fees to go up astronomically then. If states basically cut out nonresidents then that money source will dry up.

          • Hugh R Adair III

            What an inane response. Your first sentence has some merit regarding Wyoming residence, then the wheels fall off. “non residents chief ones in herd shooting etc.” What a bullshit/ unscientific statement backed with no data to support such ridiculous statement.

          • BULLSHIT. You can’t come up with something better than that. So, I guess you are saying that when you are hunting as a NR in another state, you do the same things. What a RICHARD

          • Truman Knutson

            Hugh and James, sorry you feel that way. Just because you don’t agree, or haven’t been a herd shooter, loose game, or made poor shots yourself, doesn’t refute the FACT that many many others do just that, as I have seen it over and over again myself. As for your allegation of “no data” I have videos and pictures of non-residents herd shooting, make terrible shots, and wounding multiple animals. Like I said, GOOD for the Game and Fish. Residents should come first. I’d rather pay more for tags than have people from out of state who, when mad, use foul language (like on posts).

    • Wyoming like other western states has been and continues to fund their game and fish depts off the backs of the non residents. Myself and a group of 6 to 8 people have been coming out west to hunt for 20 years. We decided we are through. I call on other non resident sportsmen to do the same. G&F had better hope enough folks don’t agree because if they do their money source would dry up. I gave up my points for Wy moose and sheep 3 years ago because I saw no end in site to the way I felt I was getting ripped off.They will never see another dime from us. I hope they crash big time. Its too bad their piss poor decisions are going negatively impact all of the fine Wyoming people who earn their living accommodating and catering to the non resident. Very sad.

      • Not hunting Wyoming anymore? I doubt you’ll be missed, there are always people with deeper pockets than you that appreciate the chance to hunt big game not available in their state of residence. The demand will always exceed the supply.

        • Have you read all of the replies to Guys original post? They overwhelmingly state the same thing as I do and Ill bet that’s just skimming the surface. People do not like getting screwed over and over and over and they wont stand for it at some point and I think that time has come. It appears you are a Wyoming resident. If so you had better be the one with deep pockets because that is where the state of WY is going to try and make up there shortfall of revenue when there missing it from all of the non residents decide not to participate any longer.

        • Disgusted with Wyoming

          I’m going to eat my preference points and be done with Wyoming. All of the ten non-resident hunters I have brought with me are doing the same. So are our kids. Changing the game is wrong. Good luck with your broke state residents. We won’t be back.

      • Bob, as a resident of Idaho I would like to thank you for not coming west to hunt. Please to your best to convince everyone you know to do the same. These states like Wyoming and Idaho need to be punished for putting residents first. I mean, we live here, work here and pay taxes here. Why should we also get to hunt here without constant hoards of non resident jerks like yourself ruining the state?

        • Classic resident response. Enjoy that budget shortfall

          • Tell that to Arizona and their best in class Wildlife agency and excellent wildlife management. All miraculously accomplished with no private landowner permits, no draw outfitter set aside, and a strict limited draw system for big game and a minimum 90% resident quota. Everyone says western wildlife system would collapse if our elected and appointed officials don’t give away OUR hunting opportunity to nonresidents hunters. But then there is the inconvenient empirical truth of Arizona. So far not a single person has been able to point out a reason an Arizona public trust and NA Model based system would not work in every western state. Feel free to give it a shot…

  2. Is this a movement to low game numbers. Or is this a political movement to keep hunters providing food and just another reason why we don’t need firearms. I would understand low game numbers. I live in Utah. And are game numbers are bad. And DWR hear says it’s cause of not having enough food. Which is a lie. Are deer and elk numbers have dropped rapidly in the last 10 years. But you can’t get a straight answer form anyone at the DWR.

    • Brad, there is no doubt that game numbers are a significant issue behind this change, as well as the potential changes to the preference point system in general. With drought, habitat loss, and predators out of check, Wyoming simply has far fewer of these species,
      and as a result far fewer tags to offer than have been historically. This reduction has just amplified a fundamental flaw in a preference point system – you simply cannot ensure everyone who wants to receive a tag within their hunting lifetime will when demand so grossly outweighs supply.

    • Question for you: Has Wyoming erected wind turbines? If so, do you think that the infrasound from them have driven the wildlife away to areas with no turbines? We are fighting 650’ tall turbines in Ohio and the loss of wildlife due to the infrasound is one of the issues I have read. Thank you for you answer.

  3. Chris stephens

    No worries. I have 15 points for sheep and moose. I’m done. And i can save that $300 for a better hunt, bigger animals, and a better experience, in Alaska. I can only hope that every single Non-resident does the same and saves their money for Alberta, BC, Sask, Yukon, or Alaska. Wyoming will find ways to tax their residents to make up the lost revenue. I’m not mad….I’m liberated from a ridiculously low chance of every drawing those tags anyway.

    • Wyoming might have to start charging state taxes now to help support the loss in revenue to the dwr. Which will turn away a lot of companies that are moving to Wyoming just because there is no state taxes. Help a few hundred resident hunters and charge the shit out of the entire population!

    • benjamin jergens

      I would encourage you to spend that $300 a year on wildlife groups that will fight the delisting of wolves, bears and stop cougar hunting in Wy. If Wy. chooses to abandon non-res. We are free to spend our money against them. I for one will.

      • Benjamin, I couldnt agree more. If enough of us non residents get on board with you’re line of thinking the state of WY will be sorry they put the screws to us once again and they can have fun funding all of their wildlife programs themselves

  4. I’m in the same boat in that I’m sitting on 20 bighorn and 20 moose NR points. From what I heard the change to 10% NR does get ramped up over a couple years so that it doesn’t happen all at one time and in a few years WY will change to a bonus pt system for bighorn and moose where the points get squared. Could someone from Eastmans’ comment on those couple points?
    Thank you and good article

    • AT, Thank you for reading the article. I have read the actual bill again and there is no statement within the passed bill regarding a “phase-out” period of any kind explicitly. As far as this bill reads, the 90/10 rule takes effect on July 1st, 2022. They did leave the Dept and the Commission a little bit of an out by saying they have until January 1st to figure out how to make it work. (“The Game and Fish Commission shall promulgate all rules necessary to implement the provisions of this act by January 1, 2023”). From what I understand however, to make any changes to the actual draw process and preference point system it would require another law to be passed. So as it stands now, this rule will take effect with the current point system in place on July 1, 2022. As a note: It does appear all of the “Big Five” species are now “Once-In-A-Lifetime” tags for both R and NR applicants now. Thanks for reading. -G

      • Thank you, appreciate the info

      • Guy,who was the main driver for this, residents, outfitters, landowners?

        • I am a member of GoHunt and Epic Outdoors. Was going to pay for the subscription to Eastman’s too. Literally was getting ready to sign up when I came here.

          No hate on Eastmans but if 90/10 goes thru for Elk, Deer and Antelope there will be no need for me to be knowledge about Wyoming hunting

          I burned 8 elk points last year. Will burn 10 Antelope points in 2023 and 11 deer points in 2024 then I am done with Wyoming

          I am gonna enjoy watching WG&F implode financially and destroy the state’s hotels, motels restaurants and gas states in the process.

      • Ok, so who pays now for the lost revenue that nonresidents provided? These knuckle-heads who passed this just dumped a big pile of crap on the Game and Fish Department. I’m from Idaho and have 18 moose points. I don’t care if I set foot in Wyoming again.

      • Very sorry to hear this news , yet grateful to hear it now . I have only two preference points invested for elk , deer , and antelope. Knowing this , I will no longer invest in future hunts that will not happen. I will definitely inform anyone I know to go elsewhere or stay home here in Wisconsin where our deer hunting is just fine ! I agree Wyoming has the right to do this , but most people will not pay the price tag for a guided hunt . I can now save all that money on gas , food , lodging, and entertainment also

  5. Well F ’em them! they are not getting any more of my money for those draws. Now just watch them to the same thing for elk when the cattle lobby starts in on that one next.

  6. About time. now we’re online with the other western states as far as % of allocated tags to non residents. I do think the Wyoming G&F should end the ridiculous 100 fee for preference points for non-residents. The points should be like Utah 10ish bucks. They probably ought to convert to a squared points system

  7. Well, I guess the sportsman of WY will get to have their cake and eat it too, for a short period of time. While the tag allotment was a bit heavy for NR, it didn’t seem to be a problem early on when the hands came out for our money. Guess that bit about everyone being in it together changed, kinda like some gun people do when it comes to a gun they don’t like. Change gun for tag and we have WY and soon CO…. Funny too, when I was thinking about moving to WY or MT, all I heard was the crying about taking away “our” jobs and Why ya have to do that when you can just grab some points and put in when your ready all while your company’s run Help Wanted adds regularly. But we know the State has deep pockets nowadays, they regularly run adverts themselves offering tax incentives to move to WY. The NR sportsman’s money is no longer wanted or needed….

    Burn your points guys, WY resident hunters only want deep pocketed hunters, fisherman and bird watchers along with liberal wolf lovers….

  8. Here is a link to the actual bill if anyone is interested in reading it. Light reading of course. I am not a lawyer so feel free to call me out on anything you see differently. -G

    https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2022/HB0043

  9. As a resident this is beyond great news. Let’s move on deer, elk and antelope soon.

    • You will miss our $$ soon enough

      • Not for one second I’d rather pay higher prices than deal with nasty folks leaving shit behind EVERYWHERE

        • Dillon I agree 100% and anyone leaving noticeable human presence and not following rules going through closed gates because they are to lazy pick up after ones self. Don’t think about it as leave it as you found it leave it better, no matter if you’re a resident or non resident. Some that are complaining about pricing of hunting in Wyoming tags, food, gas. Ask your self how much did that guide charge you plus a tip. Go and hunt Africa and then when you get back back you can bitch about that on a blog. Some people are so busy bitching about how unfair the world is the world passes them by. Be thankful for what you have not envy of what others have.

    • What you and other residents who support this measure fail to realize is the untold damage it will do Wyoming’s small business owners, guides and the like. This a greedy play and ultimately a huge job killer. The proof will be in business shut downs, and decrease in revenue in Wyoming Fish and Game. You will have no one to blame but yourselves.

      • Vann Kirkland you must have missed the part that land owners get to sell their land owner tags and outfitters will get even more tags to sell! Add no cross corner hunting that gives thousands acres of public paid for and maintained land to land owners to use for their private hunting clubs!

        • Yep, it sounds like all you give a crap about is money apparently and you’re obviously not a sportsmen. You forget about your fellow Americans that dream to come out West their entire lives and hunt, and pass that tradition onto their children. We are all Americans, and we can’t all live in the same state because it’ll hurt the animal population, and your way of life.

          I can understand why you’d be upset about some people leaving trash behind, and trespassing, etc, but that is a small number of people, and not true sportsmen. Most of us are very respectful of public and private lands.

          While I respect that the state of Wyoming owns the wildlife in the state, non residents own the public land, just as much as residents do and we have the right to access ALL of that land. I don’t understand the hatred towards fellow sportsmen just because we don’t live in your state.

          You will soon see that landlocked land and corner crossing will come to an abrupt end, and land owners will be required to provide access to public land or they will be heavily penalized. Easements will be required in the very near future.

          You’re welcome to come to our states in the South and hunt any time. We don’t have Elk, Moose, Sheep, or Goats, but we have lots of deer, turkeys, hogs, and alligators, etc.

          A lot of us have been dreaming our entire life of hunting these animals and paying hundreds and thousands of dollars a year or more to have a chance to hunt them, only to now have that dream crushed. It’s a very sad day for sportsmen.

          We should be in this together and not turn against each other. If we don’t stick together, then this way of life will die.

          • I totally agree with you Dean. My name is also Dean and I have been hunting elk in Colorado for 23 years as a non-resident. We hunt on federal land and pay taxes just like residents do but we pay 20 times more to hunt on that same federal land.

    • It’ll be coming in the near future, fingers crossed.

      • You just made a lot of non residents wolf lovers,we got to get wolves back on the ESL

        • Heck yeah!!! I hope they eat up all of “shootbrownelk’s” deer, elk, and antelope. I’ll bet he voted for Liz Cheney!

          • Oh Oh, some wolf lover is throwing a tantrum because they didn’t get their way. boo hoo.

  10. This will also hurt the RMEF, who’s going to give money to buy land that you’ll never get a chance to hunt

  11. Definitely going to affect outfitters trying to make a living off of Nonresident hunters!

    • The outfitters will do even better… they get more tags and NR will have to use them!

      • Don’t count on Outfitters doing better just because they get more tags because NR’s won’t have to use them because NR’s won’t come !

  12. Second, the wildlife inside the borders of the state of Wyoming and any other state for that matter, is the sole property of the residents of that state, period. The residents of the state of Wyoming through their governmental representation have the full right and responsibility to regulate as they see fit, the full management of that wildlife in its entirety. Sometimes that can be a tough pill to swallow for nonresident hunters who are at the full mercy of the residents of said state, particularly when those nonresidents are so heavily invested financially and emotionally into a preference point system.

    Don’t agree with this statement. What about Federally owned land, BLM land, this wouldn’t be the case that just residents of Wyoming own the animals on this land. Agree with managing the wildlife, but non-resident fees along with resident license fees support wildlife fees. The mentality that residents of the state own the animals is bullshit. Especially true on Federally owned land which is owned by the US govennent. Which represents the people of the US despite who lives where.

    • Agree with you 100%. As an attorney that statement makes no sense to me and you bring up the point re federal land and federal tax dollars

    • Shawn….I had to research the wildlife ownership question a few years ago for another state discussion. As I recall, you may be correct. I’m saying this from memory in a Readers Digest version…..the federal govt “owns” the resources and delegates the oversight and management to the states. This went thru the courts.

      That aside….I have 7 or 8 points for deer and antelope. The set asides for the outfitters is known as outfitter welfare. Montana just did that again, even though they tried it a while back and stopped it. I guess they want to repeat the same mistake again??

      This portion below from the above article should be a wake up call for WY residents who have tunnel vision and think this is good for them. 60% of $80 million is $48 million. That is what the NR’s bring to WY G&F Dept budget according to the article. I don’t know what portion of NR’s will actually bail out, but if the stated 30% – 40% is accurate….that is a lot of money for the Dept to loose. Then, if the remaining NR’s who do hunt in WY are expected to pick up the Dept’s budget shortfall….good luck on that one lasting a long time.

      Keep in mind this doesn’t take into account the lost revenue these NR’s bring into the local economies. That has to be factored into the WY’s total loss too.

      “””Of the total $80 million budget, nonresident hunters and fisherman account for more than 60% of the revenue. This change could cut the department’s revenues by 30-40%. A cut of this magnitude would essentially be unsustainable. The residents will not bear this financial burden, we are confident in that, possibly leaving, yet again, the nonresident hunters to pick up the financial tab.”””

      This change doesn’t look good for NR’s or sustainable for Wyoming.

    • Shawn, your argument has been made by many before you, and you’ve all been wrong. Residents may not “own the wildlife but states hold wildlife in trust for the benefit of their residents. Landowners don’t own the wildlife on their land just like USFS and BLM don’t own the wildlife on federal land. There is case law on people who sued feeling the same and lost if you care to find it.

      Doesn’t mean I like this. The residents of WY have every right to want similar % carve outs as other states. That said, the WY residents already had the best resident big game hunting preference of any lower 48 state by a mile. They already hunt mule deer tags OTC that take NR 8 years to draw. Elk tags OTC that now take NR 4 years to draw. And can do both wherever they want without having to hire a guide to legally hunt on big swaths of federal land.

  13. They are trying to end elk hunting in se washington state because the wolves have devastated the herds. No other plan or proposal. Try choking that one down. Be thankful you have elk to hunt.

  14. Having hunted for years it has always been a question while sitting in the forest or plains when the number of hunters would outpace the animals. Having an investment in points myself I understood that I may never realize the joy of hunting any of these animals. If you are a true hunter and conservation of the land and animals living on it is truly a goal, this was inevitable. More people, more problems.

  15. Thanks for the timely update Guy! Very bad news indeed, but as you note just look at the trend Across the west. You have been saying for years it was becoming a sport for the rich… Now the really, really rich! I have 25 years of pref points for OR elk. It has gone from 10%, to 5% to 2.5% NR tag allocations. If the states broke out archery tags vs. rifle that might create more chances to at least get to go in WY. I burned my WY elk points last yr, deer points this year and antelope next. Then I will retire, go fishing and tell stories and pictures of the incredible memories of Wyoming hunting! The pressure on our resources and the outrageous hunting price increases will make me a better fisherman 😎.

  16. Maybe wyoming residents should be limited to hunting on non-federal lands. The state owns the game, not the land!

  17. The win is land owners and outfitters!

  18. Don’t see how it jumps to 50 points. They aren’t giving everyone double points. I really hope they don’t allow transfer of landowner tags. It will be as bad as new Mexico.

  19. This is just Awesome,I want all my money back with interest for changing the rules in the middle of the game

    • When you go to the neighborhood gas station and buy a lottery ticket for a chance to win mega-millions, do you get a refund of your money plus interest when you don’t win?

  20. Trying NotTo Get ChewedOn

    If the Federal Gubernment recognized that the animals within the borders of Wyoming (I’ll concede the park) are the sole property of Wyoming citizens and are ours solely to manage as we see fit, we’d have a grizzly bear hunt.

  21. Orion-Cazadores

    Poor Guy Eastman – never good to be the bearer of bad news cause u end up taking a beating.
    Fellas we’re all on the same Team as avid hunters and Eastmans has been an awesome resource for all of for decades, Gordon was in a class by himself and his sons are great Americans. We all envy the opportunities they have been afforded and is easy to make them a target when they “inform” us. To my knowledge no one at Eastmans has been ever been anything but an ally and advocate for hunting. Look in the mirror and see if u can say the same ?
    Every year we will continue to see these horrible declines and no way it will stop. The question is how fast – it left me along with all of you in the dust and I’m pissed as hell also! Money and connections have and always been the key to enjoying hobbies. No money no connections – with landowner, a rich friend, owning a Cable TV hunting show, being a hunting equipment sponsor etc – u will never taste it. Destined to watch and sit the sidelines. Go get one of those awesome Colorado OTC Elk tags and be happy. It’s gotten to be a big joke and gonna get much worse, stay tuned !

  22. Hunting pressure from non residents seems to be a big deal stated by residents. Is this the driving factor behind this?
    If so taking all these tags away from the non resident and giving them to the resident will increase hunting pressure substantially! Instead of having a non resident come and hunt for 5-7 days and then gone, now you are going to have a ton more resident hunting pressure the whole season.
    A true sportsman should want to share the experience with as many people as possible no matter where you live. Not keep it for themselves.
    I’m from the Midwest and love to go out west most years. My young son can’t wait to go out west and hunt. Now the way it’s heading I might have to inform by the time he’s old enough unless he’s rich or extremely lucky that might not be a possibility.

  23. i see increased poaching.. Looks like it will be cheaper, even if caught. I got out of the point game for Antelope a few years ago.. No more for anything. Sad day for those holding points.

  24. Timothy Oesterreich

    I understand that there has been change in numbers of animals and also the higher number of hunters that have dreamed of hunting in the western states. The state and their legislature should bear a financial responsibility for reimbursement to those hunters , they have had these issues on their docket for several years yet they continue to take out money? Weather it bankrupts the DOW or not that’s business, poor business that that yet another government has taken our money and ran.

  25. Perhaps all other states should reciprocate for WY hunters who want to hunt out of state?

  26. There is an easy solution for non residents. Move to Wyoming, become a resident after 1year. Now your odds have increased 80% .

    • And when you do become a resident you’ll complain like us when you see non residents driving on foot or horseback only areas. If you do move to our great state don’t try to change it leave it great the way it is

      • And don’t forget to vote Liz Cheney back in. She’ll be sure to stop us NRs from driving on wilderness areas. Funny, why would a NR be driving there? Your STATE won’t let us DIY hunt there, even though it is Federal land, That’s probably why ONLY non-resident drive in the wilderness areas, we just have to do something there. I’ll bet even you cowgirls do it from time to time.

  27. P.s. If you have construction skills, come see me for a job when you hit town!

  28. 48.19% of Wyoming is federal land… payed for by the tax payers of the whole country.

    “Second, the wildlife inside the borders of the state of Wyoming and any other state for that matter, is the sole property of the residents of that state, period. “

    This perspective from Guy is the same as a kid that hunts his daddy’s ranch and claims it as his.

  29. Orion - Cazadores

    If facts are presented don’t shoot the messenger ! Without Guy and Eastmans this discuss would not take place. I appreciate the facts – don’t spin it. Opinion is another thing in itself.
    Yes, migratory waterfowl are federally managed but outside of that the States have authority – like it or hate it, opinion from there.

  30. Wildlife within a state is not the property of the citizens of said state. If that was so you wouldn’t have to buy a license as citizen, nor would it matter if your generation eliminated a species that the next generation wouldn’t have a chance to see on the landscape. The basis of wildlife conservation in the US revolves around principals of public trust. Wildlife is held in trust by government wether it be federal or state to ensure responsible use/take for current and most importantly future generations.

    In regards to nonresident tags, this is the way it’s going in pretty much every state and it’s sad to see.

  31. Gamey told me same thing. He owned the wildlife and we purchase access to such property through tags and licenses.

    Reduction of NR tags will intern raise prices for resident hunters to meet their shortfall whilst the local economy suffers.

    Makes you wonder if there is functioning brain cell left in these people making these decisions.

    Wait they will eventually take killing wolves off the table and then this conversation is mute in Wy state as is ours.

  32. You mentioned the Big 5 will now be once-in-a-lifetime tags. Will this be retroactive to all that have drawn in the past?

    • The way I read it John, it would only apply to those who are currently in their 5-year waiting period. But I could be wrong on that.

  33. Get rid of non resident hunters, be prepared to lose nonresident conservation money. This will backfire.

  34. Well, after 21 years of applying for moose and sheep and paying big $$$$ to buy these very expensive preference points, it looks like it’s time to bail out, especially with the thought of a bonus point system taking over. So glad I already burned my antelope points. Hope to burn the elk this year and will then just bail out on deer. Good luck to Wyo. Game and Fish Dept staying afloat after all non-residents bail out. And, I hope they do. Also, bring on the class action suit, I will surely be a part of it. Gonna go now and add up all the money I’ve WASTED on preference point over the years.

  35. Won’t need TagHub anymore either….. or the magazine for that matter. Nothing against Eastmans, you guys are great. But, why spend money on info I don’t need. I used it pretty much for Wyoming draws info.

  36. Regarding the potential of the 90/10 for DEA. Residents need to stand up and be heard! Guy says they will only get 90% of the otc, general, unlimited region g tags now.😅. Or, does it mean residents will get their unlimited, otc G tags, plus 90% of the 400 NR tags? What in the hell is 90% of unlimited tags anyway?😅

  37. Big game tags are once in a lifetime in our state and mostly never. Now you can’t even plan a destination hunt without spending your retirement for average person. Hunting numbers are dropping but there is too many hunters? I see no reason that hunters should cut the throat of other hunters. But, there is always this selfishness for resources or $. Well I guess I can shift to a different sport and not give a shit when the anti hunters want to turn your BML land into animal sanctuaries. That also means I can end my support of mule deer and elk foundations. I don’t need 6 rifles, backpacks, or clothing for cold weather hunting. I don’t need a trailer or UTV or to use the butcher shop. So, that all adds up to a trip to Cancun instead of a hunt.

    • And, I never have to go to Wyoming again and buy gas, food, gear, etc. If I can’t hunt there, I’m certainly not gonna go for vacation. I’ve been to Cody enough times. Been there, seen it, done that.

  38. Well Wyoming every year I have spent money with yall. I have never gotten a speed goat but did get a few eaters.

    Let me explain something, yea you set the outfitters up. But you screwed yourself. You will not get one more motel night or 10 days of my money for anything!

    I am done with ya!

    For your idiotic ideas I will take my money and go to Africa. I can hunt Africa cheaper than Wyoming.

    • We’ll all be sad to see you go.

      • You are the only “tool” on this blog. Nothing you have been saying really makes any sense at all. Ur comments just show how ignorant you are. You suck as much as that desert you live in.

        • Do us all a favorite and stay were your at we love our open spaces don’t come here and take up that beautiful space with a crap

          • Do us all a “favorite”???? Stay “were” your at??? Did you make it past the 3rd grade????

        • LizCmustgo… If you don’t like the way Wyoming G&F and the legislature set the rules. Hunt elsewhere. Some other NR will take your place. And please GFY.

  39. United we stand… divided we fall…sad

  40. By the way, this was an excellent piece of journalism by Mike Eastman. Very well written

  41. Well let’s make it fair, when the woods catch on fire, require that 90 percent of the wildland firefighters have to be Wyoming residents.

  42. Everything has gotten weird, but the knuckleheads in Wyoming are the strangest of them all. This reminds me of a saying: “You’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

  43. I just don’t see how this will benefit the residents or hinting in the long run. BTW, last I looked the number of NR hunters has been declining in WY over the past ten years. Good job I guess?

  44. One thing I don’t see mentioned by any body in any of these comments is the question I raise in all these states that have ridiculous ratios for non resident draws for all big game in the west.
    Though I understand resident responsibility and rights, but if these gross proportions for tag allocation continue. I feel that federal land in any state should be more equally distributed on Resident to Non Resident Draw.
    IF NOT
    I think said states should receive federal funding in the same ratio as distribute tags if it’s your soul responsibility own it without help from those who pay federal taxes but do not get use of their federal tax dollars.
    OWN IT ALL WYOMING AND ALL OTHER WESTERN DRAW STATES, COLORADO NEW MEXICO,ARIZONA, UTAH, NEVADA, OWN IT A-Z
    or SHARE YOUR TAGS OR YOUR JUST CHOSING TO BE PART OF THE UNFAIR PROBLEM !!!

    • Great point. Money usually is the driver behind many decisions. Allocate federal tax dollars the same way a State allocates use of federal lands. If CO follows WY on this, then my big game hunting out west will be done. I quit applying in NM yrs ago because of the low NR tag allocation. So glad I didn’t invest in PP in WY.

      Thanks for the timely update Guy. Much appreciated. Great magazines.

    • The simple solution is to get the USFWS to control the hunting on all Federal land and distribute the tags in a lottery to all hunters and then Wyoming can distribute their 90/10 split on private and state land, simple

  45. Why is everyone upset at Wyoming when they are basically going to the same allocation model of the neighboring states (Colorado, Utah, Montana, etc.). I realize it was a good deal for non-resident hunters, but now it is aligned with other states. I think that is the primary argument for getting it passed.

    • Because they are changing the rules in the middle of the game, take our money on a promise of getting a tag in the future at a set goal and then changing it after they get your money at alot worse odds

      • There was NEVER a promise made of ever drawing a tag. You paid for a chance to draw a tag. All western states have to change rules depending on various circumstances. Like bad winters and wildlife diseases. It’s simple really. Supply exceeds demand.

        • shootbrownelk.you obviously dont know the difference between PREFERENCE points and bonus points so im not going to argue with someone who is ignorant of the facts

        • You mean demand exceeds supply? If it was the other way around wouldn’t everybody be getting their tags?

  46. Wyoming absolutely has the right to manage their wildlife as they see fit. However, Wyoming does NOT have the right to steal money from non-residents or anyone else! Every resident that is saying: “this is great,” “it’s about time” or “now we are in line with every other State” should have to put their money where their mouth is, ante-up and pay back EVERY PENNY that is owed to EVERY non-resident who purchased Preference Points for the “Wyoming Big 5” or in the actual case, the Big 4. Either pay it back directly or the Game and Fish can raise Resident license fees across the board and the money can be paid back to each non-resident over time. No lawsuit that way. Residents cannot have it both ways. And, before any of you residents lose your mind over my post, I am planning on becoming a Wyoming resident in the next 5 years, and my opinion will not change one bit and I have no PP’S for the Big 5. Those non-residents deserve to be paid back every freaking penny. Period. They were not guaranteed a tag, but each of them were guaranteed a chance to draw a tag and now that chance has been arbitrarily removed without repayment. That is NOT right no matter which side of the fence you are on.

  47. Hunting is becoming a rich man’s game and only the rich or connected will hunt. Sad state of affairs. Yes the residents will prosper for a shot time until the la s owner greedy.

  48. John G Radzinski

    Thanks Guy for the heads up. I am one of those nr hunters, but I don’t litter. I have enjoyed hunts to your state for many years and lately burned my elk and antelope points and probably will burn my max deer pts this year. I did that because I’m getting older and can’t hunt like I used to. I have always loved to be in Wyoming. On a deer hunt diy I was fortunate to see deer, black bear, elk and three moose on one hillside at the same time! Never saw that in Canada! I don’t like the way big game hunting is headed, way too expensive and turning into a competition. I had my truck tire cut in Idaho one year helping a friend on a mtn goat hunt all because of my Utah plates. I stopped going to Idaho. I hope new and young hunters will still be able to hunt Wyoming but how much can the average guy afford?

    • As an Idaho resident I apologize for your tire incident! That is inappropriate and unacceptable morally and legally, we would do well to treat others as we would like to be treated. Hunting is supposed to be a place for enjoyment and comradery not harassment and struggle with each other.

      • That situation is becoming more common in Idaho. The hatred of non-residents has made it hard to justify spending money in Idaho anymore.

  49. So when New Mexico jerked non residents around a few years ago. Taking non resident tags. I quit applying there but I haven’t heard if it hurt them or not. Any comparison

  50. We nonresidents just look forward to getting our refunds these days. Go to Alaska for moose and a total random draw state for sheep.

  51. Canadian outfitters are extremely happy with WY legislators right now. Most non-resident hunters to WY were DIY hunters. When you are forced to pay an outfitter, Canada is much more attractive than WY. No need to apply for tags, and roughly the same cost as WY w/outfitter. Better country, much more land to hunt in Canada. The state of WY is going to have to make up the budget shortfall somehow, either raised taxes or raised resident prices. Raising non-resident prices won’t accomplish anything when the 12,000 applications drops to 2,000 or less. The comical thing is this does nothing to reduce hunting pressure, it’s just giving more tags to residents instead of non-residents. When the next bill for deer/elk/antelope for the same 90/10 rule goes into effect in a few years, the budget loss will be much more severe and more burden to pay will shift to residents (either in hunting costs or in other taxes to make up the budget shortfall). I don’t apply for WY anymore already, but since 60% of WY F&G budget is non-residents…..I don’t think residents did the math very well on this one regarding the future impact to their fees/taxes.

    • Harrie Dennison

      I like you thinking! What province do you recommend for elk?

      • Either Alberta or British Columbia for elk. I’m planning a moose hunt in British Columbia, given how hard it is to get a moose tag in the lower 48 and I can just drive into Canada rather than deal with flights to Alaska/etc. Outfitters are required in Canada, but at least you have a guaranteed tag as part of it. COVID hit as I was making my plans so delayed things (thankfully I hadn’t made my deposit yet), so looking at next year for my 50th birthday if I can find an outfitter that has slots. Am looking at a few outfitters.

        • Harrie Dennison

          Excellent info. I’ll be looking into Elk in BC. We got caught in a fishing charter in the Vancouver Island area when Covid restrictions hit. Had to fight but after 1.5 years we got our deposit back. I appreciate the input!

  52. I could only dream of Colorado’s CPW commission putting resident hunters first like Wyoming is doing or all the other western states.

    • Gerald Wilding

      Disagree.. we have the best system in Colorado and I hope we never change it.. They were talking about eliminating the OTC tags and I think thats an incredibly bad idea. I love the preference point system that keeps it a fair chance for everyone to draw a tag and pray it never changes here.

  53. Well so much for that few grand$$. Can’t wait to see the class action suites pop up, WY has just screwed a whole lot of folks out of a whole lot of money. All of it predicated on a system that was designed & forever promoted as a way to award tags to hunters who remain dedicated to that system. Now if they do the same for deer/elk/antelope, the shit storm is going to get a lot worse. Saddest part of it all is that it will really screw the younger / newer hunters out of any chance at decent DIY hunts. You might as well just pick 1 species every year or 2, go on a guided hunt that is within your means, and screw all of these states’ point systems.

    Excellent reporting, as always, thank you Guy.

  54. This is a very sad read for me. Myself and my family really enjoy going out to WY for the adventure and the outdoors. If and when they change deer and antelope allocation it will probably end.

  55. Well…..many of us are members of sporting and shooting organizations (RMEF, NRA, SCI, DU, MU, etc). I have long advocated these organizations get on top of these NR issues before things implode for everyone (R’s and NR’s) and advocate for their members. IMO they should work together to address the way states hammer NR’s with over-priced licenses and tags, and in this case….the reality of all your PP’s (money) being marginalized to the point where drawing is anywhere from tough to nil. So…..ask your organization where they stand and what they are going to do. Let them know how you feel. My two cents…..

  56. Hey Guy, maybe I am missing something, but how does a non-resident acquire 50+ points to draw a tag when the preference point system has only been around for roughly 25 years? Are you saying that statistically it could now take twice as long because the quota for nonresidents is half? If people are drawing tags at less (22) then the probable maximum preference points (25), then being the engineer that you are, it must have been some complex math to arrive at 50? In short, I think your statement is a stretch and you should revise. Also, I am curious how the G&F plans to balance their budget with these changes….someone has to be reading the tea leaves here? Lastly, opportunity for Wyoming residents to shoot quality animals has dwindled in result to exploration of the resource (marketing by hunting influencers – social media, video, offering advise on the best hunt areas etc). Influencers have also had unintended consequences for outfitters. In short, I think your organization has dug it’s own grave as far as outfitting is concerned.

  57. DUSTIN T ROSENCRANSE

    I have not commented on this, as I see both sides of this issue. I feel the need to say something. The wildlife task force was tasked with increasing resident hunting opportunity in WY. This 90/10 thing was the avenue they chose to go. I have sent in my comments on this and would like to share my view as a resident with kids just starting to hunt, and myself being a part time guide. I sent in comments with other solutions to provide increased resident opportunity. I have many friends who have cattle leases on the USFS. They do a good job, and we need them there. However, there are some permit holders who do not take care of our public lands. In the northwest corner of the state, we are allowing gross overgrazing of land that is designated crucial winter range. In fact, there are cows that have spent this entire winter on a critical winter range in park county. This is the 3rd year in a row that this has happened. This issue needs to be rectified if we are going to increase opportunity for anyone in WY. I know this is a topic that no one wants to bring up, however it needs to be addressed. We need to be able to have a civil conversation about this, we need grazing on public land, but we need it done correctly. We also need to address our beetle killed forest if we are going to increase opportunity. Deer, elk, and sheep do not even migrate the same trails they did 10 years ago as a result of the down timber in these areas. Our G&F is not managing our wildlife. They are managing us, and us only. We need to have them actively manage habitat, predation, grazing etc. as part of wildlife management. If this was done for the last decade, we would not see the need to go to a 90/10 split. If they were raising cattle, or running any other business, they would be broke! We need to put pressure on the G&F to push land management agencies to take care of public land in Wy. I know there are many very good people at G&F, however I think they are pressured from the top, and are hamstrung, and no one wants to talk about the real issues impacting our resources in Wy. Just to be clear, the 90/10 split was done through legislature not G&F. Sorry for the long rant, but these are the real issues I see every day on the mountain. I do not think we need to go down the road of residents vs non-residents, nor hunters vs livestock producers. We hired the G&F to manage our wildlife for us, not for us to have to do it, or fight amongst ourselves.

  58. After living in Colorado for 19 years I think it’s interesting reading all the comments about NR driving and camping where their not supposed to. I had just as many encounters with Wy residents in Colorado doing the same thing. I always left a clean camp can’t say much for the Wy residents I ran across. Watched a rancher haul a crippled horse out onto public land and kill it north of Thermopolis a few years back, he then had the nerve to come and get in my face about it should have turned him in especially when his passanger tried to sneak out and pull their gun. Wife was with me otherwise would have been an issue.
    Have 18 points after looking at it this year it will take minimum another 20 years to maybe draw, if I’m lucky.
    Always enjoyed WY inspite of the dickheads . Used to vacation there in the summer as well not anymore.
    And for you residents who’s doing all the poaching ,residents.
    Eventually they will bankrupt the coal industry and you’ll have nothing left. And your game department will be as well. They’ll start shutting down your hunting in an attempt mitigate issues with bear wolves and ranching. If you don’t shoot as many animals then the predators won’t have to attack the cows for something to eat.
    Got my Eastman’s renewal won’t be needing that anymore.

  59. Having grown up in Idaho and now living in Texas, I have been on both sides of the fence—feeling great resentment towards “invading” nonresident hunters (especially from California-ha!), and then feeling the sting of being discriminated against as a nonresident and not being able to legally do anything about it. I sympathize with many of the commentators on both sides, and I am glad that Guy has written this. The DIY western hunter faces more perils than Pauline ever did, between wolves (a whole generation of hunters really don’t know what plentiful elk herds look like), CWD, bans on trapping and predator hunting, drought, habitat loss, public land access issues, and now this trend which is becoming pervasive. The recent changes in Idaho regarding nonresident tag allocations and related unit restrictions have made a quickie north Idaho deer hunt much more difficult for me and is just another sad example of waning opportunity for a hunter whose runway is getting shorter. New Mexico’s actions awhile back should have been a warning to me. I do regret all the money I have spent chasing what has turned out to be the fool’s gold of preference points in most cases. It will be interesting to see what the economic impact is to these states (and, eventually, to residents’ fee rates) as a significant portion of these agencies’ budgets seem to come from nonresident tag fees. Ultimately, hunting and the big game itself will suffer as we squabble and lose interest in the sport we love because it becomes too difficult and expensive to pursue.

  60. By being a Wyoming resident you “own” all animals in Wyoming then as a US citizen should I own all animals on US land? I believe there is 17 million acres of it in Wyoming alone? Stay off of it please.

    • Gerald Wilding

      Animals don’t stay on US land or Private or state lands. They move around therefore just the animal itself is the property of the state’s residents. regardless of what property they are on. private land can tell us we cant hunt them but they still have to abide by the laws set for the animals no matter what.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Quite opinionated for some one that needs the public for income. Screw the Eastmans from now on since we know your real feelings. What a disappointment.

  61. I’m an old dairy farmer from western New York and grew up whitetail hunting on our farm with an old12 gauge single shot shooting deer slugs. I got over 60 bucks the hard way – spot and stalk – never sat in a tree stand!
    When my daughter moved to Wyoming (eastern) I had a chance to draw a deer tag 7 years in a row and I hunted public land (there’s a lot of it) mostly by myself and I got a nice Muley every year – three over 28″. I hunted with an inexpensive 300 Win mag, no outfitters, no points to worry about and just felt thankful to be able to walk 60-70 miles in a week (spot and stalk) and eventually be able to take a good mature buck. I also was able to take 4 nice antelope, haven’t missed a shot on a buck in over 40 years! I think that today we have a lot of dumb ass spoiled hunters that go west and pay big bucks for guided hunts that really are not good hunters and then have even dumber politicians that that don’t even care about the game animals but their own personal gain!! Its a deep subject. So welcome to the changing country we live in and at 72 I’m just going to keep hunting where-ever God lets me hunt!!

    • Hey Rich Fuller, good for you “old dairy farmer.” Man, you sound like such an incredible hunter, hiker and awesome shot I’m glad you’re not going moose hunting in Wyoming. Those moose wouldn’t stand a chance! You’d be about 102 years old though before you would have enough preference points to hunt one.

    • Gerald Wilding

      So you’re admitting you illegally hunted with resident tags in Wyoming as a non-resident? somebody report this guy!

      • Nope – drew a non-resident tag every year! Thats $330.00 per year! My point really is that non- residents can hunt in other states if you take the time and do your research as where you can hunt on public land DIY. So, Gerald, I guess you missed the part I wrote I drew a tag every year.

    • I’ve worked hard all my life and stay in great shape and when it comes to shooting, I would never take a shot at an animal that I know I couldn’t kill with that 1st shot. (Unlike a lot of hunters out there! And no, I’m not waiting for years to (maybe) get enough points to (maybe) go on a hunt someday!!

  62. Dustin Rosecrance, you’re mistaken if you think the Game and Fish Department can accomplish anything regarding over-grazing by cattle. Are you nuts, man? The second game biologists said anything about over-grazing BLM or Forest Service land they’d be labeled communists trying to over-throw God, country and flag! I’ve seen the same here in Idaho where I live. Honest to God, some of these old ranchers are criminals with their grazing practices.

  63. As opportunities dwindle and prices go up, fewer people will be hunting and passing along the tradition to their kids. Fewer hunters, fewer people to support the 2nd Amndt.
    Last thing I ever want is the Fed Gov’t controlling hunting on Fed lands. That will lead to a quick directive from someone like Biden to halt all hunting on Fed lands while the problem is studied by an environmental comm. Easy to know what comes next.

  64. Awesome! Instead of waisting $2.5k a year for pre-requisite licenses, bonus points, application fees, bogus cc fees, and now worthless preference points I’ll just save that money and go on a guided Canadian or foreign hunts every 3 years. Easy to do since tag costs are 1/3 of the western states…

    • This is sort of where I’m heading. Continue hunting my home state of Oregon, and stop applying to western states for bonus/preference point systems. Possibly still apply in NV and NM since there are no points there, and hope to get lucky one year. Then use the savings from not applying to those other states and putting towards Canada hunts as often as financially feasible.

  65. Wow, seeing a lot of hate for non-residents here. I also see some on the blog, sounding like WY residents blaming the non-resident hunters for all the bad stuff that happens in the WY wild!!!! Are non-residents really the only ones that disregard trespass laws, pay no attention to and break game laws, litter, leave gates open, and crap in the woods?!?!?!
    Hmmmmm, aren’t you Wyoming folks “non-residents” when you come to my state to hunt??? I do see plenty of you here in the fall. I guess it’s time to start blaming you for anything nasty of bad or wrong that I see here.
    HEY….. WYOMING RESIDENT HUNTERS….. Instead of spewing a bunch of BS…… just tell the truth. You just want better draw odds for yourselves. I totally get that and don’t see anything wrong with that at all.

  66. As a nonresident, I don’t blame Wyoming for getting on par with other states when it comes to nonresident allocations, the problem I have with this is changing the rules of the game after the game has started. In other words, they should honor current preference point holders with the original tag allocations and apply the new allocations to people just entering the preference point system

  67. I am a relatively new resident of Colorado. I see tons of non res hunters here every year – their right under current management laws. I moved from Idaho, leaving family there. With the new non res laws there, I am LUCKY to get ANY tags to hunt with them, let alone the traditional areas we have hunted for years as a family. I have hunted Wyoming before and was planning on doing so again via built up points. Sounds like those plans will have to change. In all states I’ve hunted, I respect and abide by all laws of the governing game and fish departments as well as all lands and private property owners. I have worked for both game and fish depts and federal land management agencies alike. From personal experiences, both non res AND res alike are guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct. The actions of a few do not qualify the collective.

    All I can say, I understand Wy res in favor of this bill. Less pressure in the field. I can also say, from experience, if those same res sportsmen enjoy hunting in other states, that will change. Idaho has done it. Wyoming did it. And Colorado is about too. Others will soon follow. What has happened, is hunting is becoming the aristocratic activity that I have hoped it wouldn’t. The fallout of these decisions have done one thing – they have dissolved much of the unification western hunters had for protection of the wildlife resources. Those fighting transplanted predator management will now be doing it alone. Energy development on public hunt-able lands will not have the same voice of opposition it once had. Non res sportsmen in each of these states had a “dog in the fight.” That vested interest is rapidly being removed.
    The states and their resident sportsmen and women have the right to manage as they see fit. I am concerned about the unplanned fallout of these exclusionary actions though.
    Raw thoughts.

  68. A couple people higher up the comment section posted about long range shots from non residents and the animal ownership. I’ve hunted Wyoming for 15 years and am a non state hunter but the Federal land is just that, federal government land. I’ve taken only ethical shots and never left a non kill shot animal in the field. You need to provide some facts to support your statement. I also would like you to think of the local economy. I spend $100+ a night on hotel, $125+ on processing, plus money on food and gas. I have no data to show how much less is spent by in state hunters but it is presumably less. Plus the cost of out of state kill tags is higher and I do not have a problem with that. They changed the game after charging for points all these years not right.

    • Well said – the money from hunting and fishing license’s alone help support a lot of the Wyoming conservation programs and we out of state hunters provide income for the local business owners. You are exactly right about the federal land.

  69. Hugh R Adair III

    “Of the total $80 million budget, nonresident hunters and fisherman account for more than 60% of the revenue. This change could cut the department’s revenues by 30-40%. A cut of this magnitude would essentially be unsustainable. The residents will not bear this financial burden, we are confident in that, possibly leaving, yet again, the nonresident hunters to pick up the financial tab.”…..”Your confident of that”? Really? I haven’t done the math, but you expect non residents are going to pick up $48 Million (60% of 80 Million) when there will be minimal tags distributed. The residents are going to pay one way or another….I am confident of that!

  70. I have been addressing this issue for years to anyone who will listen. Most of the hunting out west is done on Federal or BLM land and is owned by everyone and because I held a good paying job all my life I definitely paid more in federal taxes than the average Wyoming resident so I definitely have more invested in it. If they limit the non residents on federal land then the residents should be limited also, after all, we all own it. Residents pay taxes on their own private land and that gives them the right to control access so why does that not fly on federal land to everyone paying taxes on that land. Non residents should have no say in what states do on private and state land but we have as much invested (or more) in federal land as residents.

  71. This will ultimately hurt a lot of residents that make money off all the out of state hunters. Meals, snacks, motel rooms, meat processors all will cut into their income. Not to mention a drop in the meat donated to food banks as I will guess the majority of the residents plan to keep all their meat.
    Wyoming joins other western states to take our money without providing the service. I have no doubt Wyoming will join other states and require you to buy a $200 general license to even apply. I am at the point I will use my points I have now for elk, mule deer and antelope then I am done with western hunting. Done with my support for conservation organizations that provide public land access and habitat restoration that will only be for the residents of the western states and done with these magazines and certainly will not need tag hub.

  72. I usually don’t comment but after reading a large portion of the COMMENTS I DID not see any mention of the impacts all of this will have on our young hunters who may some day want to hunt the West. I have a grand daughter who is 12yrs old that is very into hunting but may never get to go on an elk hunt because of the point system if she started buying preference points now she may have a chance to hunt when she is75yrs old not realistic. She will probably give up befor getting started good. Way to go for helping to recruit young hunters will be the beginning of the end of hunting!!

  73. well it was nice while it lasted and like everything going on today it figures we the people get the shaft.

  74. I am a NR point holder with over 20 points and really looking forward to a dream tag in the next few years. I was planning to spend over $20,000.00 for a sheep and moose guide plus several thousand in other expenses. That plan is now cancelled indefinitely. Here is a post from the WYOGA last year when a similar bill failed miserably. Why the change in thought process only a year later?

    Defeating the latest 90/10 allocation bill in the Wyoming Legislature
    Post published:March 7, 2020
    Post category:Bills in Wyoming Legislature / Press Release
    The Wyoming Legislature recently dealt with a second attempt by a lone state Senator to cut by half non-resident hunting licenses. The members of the Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association (WYOGA) were ready. In 2014, we faced an unexpected attempt by this same Senator when he introduced a similar bill. In 2014, we killed the bill in the Senate Travel, Recreation, and Wildlife Committee by a vote of 4-1. This recent attempt was crushed on the introduction vote by a 1-28 margin. The lone yes vote was Senator Hicks, the bill’s sponsor.

    What exactly is the motivation behind these attacks on Wyoming’s tourism industry which happens to be our second largest industry? The rhetoric most often used by supporters of a 90/10 concept is other western states have instituted it. This formula only allows for 10% of available big game and trophy animal licenses issued to non-resident sportsmen. This is true except these same states also issue significant numbers of transferable landowner licenses. Wyoming has never allowed transferable landowner licenses. Wyoming’s current system is woefully inadequate as an incentive for landowners to manage their property for the benefit of wildlife. A landowner can only receive two licenses per species and it’s the same whether you own 160 acres or 100,000 acres. If a 90/10 license concept were to ever be instituted by the legislature, we would surely have to overhaul and increase significantly landowner big-game licenses.

    In addition to the significant harm a 90/10 license concept would do to Wyoming’s tourism industry, it would also have drastic effects on the coffers of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Currently, approximately 20% of big game hunting licenses are issued to non-resident sportsmen yet this provides 80% of the department’s budget. Resident hunters receive approximately 80% of the hunting licenses yet this only provides 20% of the Game and Fish license revenue. Wyoming resident big game hunters only amount to 12% of Wyoming’s total population right at 70,000 citizens. Wyoming doesn’t have enough hunters to adequately fund the Game and Fish or to harvest the amount of big game needed for proper management. Just under half of Wyoming’s resident hunters only buy one hunting license per year even though they have access to buy or draw for several species and extra cow or doe tags. We simply do not have enough resident hunters to adequately manage our elk, deer and pronghorn antelope herds.

    Will we see more attacks in the future? We anticipate that we will but rest assured we will continue to educate the citizens of Wyoming as to the value traveling sportsmen bring to our tourism economy. WYOGA has built strong relationships with all the organizations within the state dedicated to business, tourism and the Ag community. We will also continue to educate and inform our out-of-state sportsmen and be their lone voice in Wyoming politics.

    The members of WYOGA are determined to fight for our tourism industry and reasonable access to Wyoming’s hunting licenses and outdoor opportunities.

  75. Everyone has the opportunity to make their choice to hunt WY or not. I’m sitting on eight PP for elk. First point creep hit and now this. My choice will be to not to keep throwing good money after bad. It will cost me the lost opportunity but I can live with that.
    I also apply in NM. Low odds but at least I get a CHANCE at a tag every year.

    I am starting a new organization-NASA (North American Squirrel Association) going to promote the taking of the Grand Slam of North America squirrels. Currently no draw process, just got to figure out how many species there are.

  76. well,theres alot of nuts on here you can use them as bait

  77. One thing I think most don’t understand about the preference point system is that it does guarantee you a tag when you have allocated the points for the unit you want to hunt. The problem is everyone trying to get the max possible points and just putting in until they have the max points to hunt the very best unit in the state. That’s where point creep shows up. If you were to settle on a lower point unit then you can easily guarantee yourself a tag for that unit period. Those who understand the system don’t want it to ever change and those who don’t think it’s true that you’ll never be able to build enough points for a tag. You don’t have to all put in for the 25 point unit you can easily guarantee yourself a tag in a 15, 10, or even a 5 point unit where there are still trophy animals. I believe if everyone understood how it worked there would be a lot less point creep. You use up your points when you hunt so it’s supposed to be the number of hunters you’re competing with at the same point level goes down every year and your chances get better. Educate yourself on the preference point system if you don’t understand what I’m talking about. Good luck y’all

  78. Hey Wyoming- Appreciate you stabbing all of us fellow hunters square in the back after decades of unconventional support. Although I won’t be sending you hundreds of dollars in preference point fees any longer each year, I will guarantee you one thing. I’m still planning to invest the same amount to your state. Only now, every red cent will be donated to the Western Watersheds project with an expressed desire to see the wolf relisted and the grizzly to remain protected in the Cowboy state. When the feds pull the trigger and take over management, perhaps you can use that same cute tag line…. But it’s ‘our’ wildlife and this is just not fair to our residents.

    • Rite On👍👍👍👍 I love it! I myself will also look into some WY wildlife “protection” organizations to donate my yearly $400+ dollars to.

    • I will do the same. A min. of $300 a year to fight wolf and bear delisting and to stop cougar hunting in Wy.

  79. Gerald, thank you for the explanation on point creep. Unfortunately it is not as cut and dried as you explained. There are many variables that lead to point creep-number of applicants with points, applicants with high points jumping into lower point units, numbers of available permits, etc.
    It is not an isolated situation in WY. Any state with preference point systems can experience it. We have it in WI for our bear hunt. It’s the reality of the number of people applying for a tag and the number of tags available.
    The 8 PP I have for WY elk were for a unit that took 8 points 8 years ago. Last year it took a minimum of 13 PP. It is not a 25 PP “premium unit”
    Yes, I could burn the points on a 5 PP unit and get a tag and then someone with 5 PP will experience point creep!

  80. Justin D Horton

    Lots of concerns and lots of rebuttals. I personally disagree with this not boiling down to money vs. wildlife. They pretty much go hand in hand. For those of us that have been investing in preference points in WY they just stole from us. I can not argue that WY wildlife is for WY residence and locals are always going to vote for themselves over outsiders. Even within the state, county to county, area locals always feel like they deserve the lions share of a resource and I do not fault them for wanting that. The voters spoke.

    However, when I signed up in the early 2000’s I agreed to pay into a system that had very high odds of allocate me a sheep tag if I should live long enough. My guess at the time was by 70 I would draw.

    With over 700 people still in my sheep bracket I will never obtain a tag before I die of old age. From here on I feel like I would be giving WY a 100% donation of my hard earned money. I personally feel WY owes me the option of a refund of my preference points or the ability to ROLL THEM OVER TO a family member that might live to see the day.

    This is simply theft. I wouldn’t be surprised if the state finds itself in a court room over this. If WY had to reimburse for preference points they would be looking to pay back millions of dollars in what outside hunters considered an investment opportunity and NOT a donation for the operating budget of the WY Dept. F&G.

  81. I’ve already commented on my dissatisfaction on the continued screwing that all western states have been giving non residents for years now. Too much to rehash but taking all of our money for these PP’s and stealing our dreams of a once in a lifetime hunt is one of the most dishonest and unethical acts they could have done. If your a young person and are just getting or thinking of getting into the point game I would highly discourage it, not just for Wy but any of these western states because they are all the same. I’ll once again call for a boycott on spending hard earned money in WY and we can all enjoy watching their G&F Dept implode, shamefully but they have been bringing this calculated plan together for years now. And for all you residents with such disdain for us non residents you better stock up on your crying towels because your going to need them when your wildlife programs are destroyed due to the loss of revenue your state is going to experience, its inevitable when you bite the hands that feed you. I’ll definitely miss the experience but we have absolutely awesome elk country here in PA which by the way non residents have an equal chance to draw for some amazing bulls.

  82. Wyoming just adjusted their tag allocation to match the surrounding states. If you really want to take advantage of the hunting opportunities in the west and it is REALLY important to you, just move and become a resident. If offshore fishing or upland bird hunting was a real passion for me, I would move to a state that offers those opportunities.

  83. Seems as though Wyoming broke a contract with non-residents who already hold preference points. Wish I had the money to make that case in court. I have 11 points each for elk, deer and antelope. They will also be putting Wyomings guides out of business as non-residents must hire a guide to hunt in wilderness areas.

    • First….they have not gone 90/10 for Elk/Deer/Antelope…YET. But it’s coming

      As for the Wyoming outfitters. They will be getting 40-50% of the remaining 10% of the tags for E/D/A. The outfitters lobby has been killing 90/10 for years and they will kill 90/10 again if they don’t get a carve out of the tags guaranteed for their clients. .They’ve been killing it for years and the only way to get them to buy and was to give them tags

      Yeah outfitters will have plenty of tags for their clients.

      It is the nonresident DIY under that is going to take some major hit. They will be competing for 50% of the 10% (aka 1/4 the tags) and their points will be highly devalued as the number of tags consuming points will be cut by 3/4. The point consumption will take 4x longer and point creep will be point major jump

      If you are a NR and go with and outfitter it will be about the sane or even easier to get a tag. If you go DIY as a NR iit will be 4x harder or more

      FYI … I am a NR

      • I hate outfitter set asides. I live in New Mexico. Our outfitter set aside is 62.5% (10/16) of the tags available for nonresidents. It is wildly unpopular among both resident and nonresident hunters. It is an egregious affront to the public trust for a state to require a hunter, resident or nonresident, to pay a private individual (either and outfitter or landowner) for the privilege to hunt the public’s wildlife. Outfitter organizations in some states have far to much say in their nonresident preference advocacy. Especially since it is usually for nonresidents that have the wealth to pay an outfitter to obtain the tag.

  84. Your title is correct. It is (one of) of the worst articles I have read this year. But in a way that is opposite of what was intended. That a Wyoming resident would use their platform to advocate for nonresident preference over Wyoming resident’s opportunity to hunt their own bighorns, moose, and goats is gross. There is a saying that we are all nonresidents in 49 states that is used to argue for nonresident preference. But this is backwards. We are all only residents in one state. If we don’t have strict resident preference in our home state none of us has a place where we have preferred hunting opportunity. This is especially an acute issue for residents of western public land states where the barrier to the ability to hunt is access to tags, not land on which to use them. With our relatively small populations if there are not strict and small nonresident draw quotas, we do not hunt. What you are advocating for here is that everyone, including your fellow Wyomingites, are treated more like nonresidents at home than residents. You want less, not more, hunting opportunity for your fellow residents. Any Wyomingite that wrings their hands over a measure to bring its draw quota in line with other western states for sheep, moose, and goats had lost the script. Good for you that you have the ability to hunt all over so resident quotas barely impact your ability to hunt. But what about the majority of Wyomingites that either hunt their own state or don’t hunt? You barely mention that side of the coin. The only thing wrong with the WY nonresident reduction from 25% to 10% is that it occurred decades later than it should have.

    • Brandon,
      In the last sentence of your recent post you stated the following. ” The only thing wrong with the WY nonresident reduction from 25% to 10% is that it occurred decades later than it should have”. I agree with that, however I believe that there is one other issue that is really at the center of the heartburn for all of us non residents that have been purchasing preference points for years and that is the WYGF dept. has put a real screwing to us and I believe they knew what was coming for some time now and did nothing but keep on taking our money for these points and that is very wrong. I agree whole heartedly that residents of any state should have 1st dibbs on tag allocations without question. The NR trying to draw for our PA elk tags has the same chance as I as a resident does and that’s always pissed me of so I know where your coming from. I also believe that the money and time spent and the expectation of being able to fulfill a life long dream being swept out from under our feet should be compensated for. I don’t know what but something meaningful ought to happen. So with that being said I know full well that nothing will ever happen to correct the unjust screwing we all just got so I will say this. Go ahead with the 90/10 STOP the insane preference point system altogether and just go with a flat out luck of the draw for each of the NR, and Res tag pools, what ever they end up at. Some folks may not ever draw this way but at least its fair and people wont be lured into a system and then having the rug pulled out from under them down the road.

  85. It’s not the Game and Fish Department doing the yanking of the rug. The knuckle head, un-Wordly state legislatures are the funny guys. I just read there’s talk now of charging to use state land. Not surprising.

  86. Brandon Wynn

    You make excellent points with much validity in your articulate reply to my post. It would have been better had WY stopped the pts insanity long before it did. But better late than never. Your notion that WY should quit pref points altogether gives me an idea that might be fair for all the people that have bought points. Stop issuing new pts, convert accumulated pref pts into bonus pts. Then everyone that has pts already realizes value and advantage until they draw, stop applying, or die.

    I think the reason I am less sympathetic to any degradation of the value (even to no value) of points for people that have them is I don’t share the majority opinion that points purchase was any guarantee of future value. The purchased value of pts has already been realized when people that had them made applications while they were applying and had slightly better odds of drawing. That is what was bought. I don’t think the widely held assumption that pts in the WY system was a guarantee of a future tag. Especially for bighorn. It is not difficult when points where created to have looked at the number of resident and nonresident applicants every year compared to supply and realize that no matter what kind of system or points only a very small percentage of applicants can ever be awarded a tag. So nothing has really been lost except the somewhat fantastical belief by thousands upon thousands of nonresidents that believed they had a tag coming. All that said, it is reasonable and to be expected that nonresident pt holders are pissed and unhappy. But o think much of the anger is from a belief that an tag entitlement was bought when it wasn’t. An odds boost while it lasted in its old form and the odds boost that will continue under a bonus pt system is what has been purchased.

    I have had and still have a fair number of pts in quite a few western states. I honestly would only wince a little if they were to be erased because my advantage from the fortune of being born during the 60’s would no longer take from my 4 children’s generation and later that were born during the 90’s. Birth year is no way to allocate hunting opportunity.

  87. You are correct. The preference point system does not nor did it ever guarantee anyone a tag. I new that when I started acquiring my points for OIL tags in WY 20 some years ago. If there are people out there that have this notion they just aren’t paying attention to what they are applying for. However with that being said, and this is right of the WYGF web site the preference point system is designed to improve an applicant’s odds of eventually drawing a license in a hard-to-draw hunt area. So even though its not a sure thing they sure do make the implication that if you play their game for a long enough amount of time you have a pretty good chance of acquiring one of these highly coveted tags. So in my case I had 22 points for moose and BH sheep and thought I was getting close and they moved the goal post. I think they are very deceitful and dishonest group of people who new full well this was going to happen yet they kept on taking peoples money. Your idea of converting peoples PP to bonus points sounds like a viable option to those that have the points. I had to make a tough decision a couple of years ago. I was at my two year requirement to purchase points or lose them (another rule the WYGF has that really burns my ass). I actually had my CC number in the box and my finger on the submit button when I thought I’m sick and tired of this B.S. So I let mine go 2 yrs ago when I saw what was going on so it wont do me any good now. If WY or any other of the 3 western states I hunt goes back to a plain random draw, and I really hope they do, I would probably start participating again. Until then they can kiss my ass. I’m through with there nonsensical way they treat people and hope they really pay a hard price for biting the hands that feed them. Good luck in all you upcoming draws and hunts.

  88. gregg Rickabaugh

    Non resident s got screwed.

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