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Wyoming Preference Point Transfer Bill

Thank you for taking time to listen to me about my son Tyler and his Wyoming Preference Points. Tyler and I have hunted Wyoming since he was 14 and have been buying mule deer points together for 9 years and were looking forward to drawing in 2021. Tyler died January 19, 2021. I have made several requests to Wyoming to transfer Tyler’s points to his wife, back to me or another family member and they are very clear that this is not allowed under current regulations.  

Pursuing this further with Senator Lummis’ office they referred me to Representative Cyrus Western from Sheridan that had sponsored a Bill to make these very changes in 2021 (https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2021/HB0130) but the legislative session ended before it could get traction.  

I have spoken to Cyrus and he is willing to re-submit the Bill in the 2023 Session that begins in January and welcomed me to work on public opinion in support of the Bill. Unfortunately, under current regulations Tyler’s points will be wiped out as he did not buy a point for 2020 or 2021.  This Bill will fix that and make preference points transferable to family members which supports more hunting in Wyoming by hunters that have taken time and spent money to invest in the opportunity of drawing a tag.

I realize it’s most likely too late for Tyler’s points but am hoping this change can and will benefit others in the future. ” – N. Jones via email

Preference points are a hot topic right now, from 90/10 tag allocations to the possible dismantling of Wyoming’s current system, everyone is waiting for the other boot to fall. While we are possibly restructuring the system here in the Cowboy State why not take a hard look at transferable preference points? Mr. Jones makes a compelling case for change and I think that in cases such as his, preference point transfer is a good idea. 

Of course there are inevitabilities that must be planned for and abuses of the system, both current and revised will still occur, that’s the world we live in. However, personally, I do not see an issue with changing to transferable preference points given certain provable criteria are adhered to. 

Mr. Jones requested our assistance with public opinion on this topic and we are happy to oblige, the only question that remains is, what’s your take? 

If you’d like to express your opinion to Wyoming lawmakers we would urge you to contact Rep. Cyrus Western’s office and or other Wyoming legislators and weigh in. 

About Todd Helms

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The letter below came through my email this morning. I’ll not divulge who wrote it …


  1. F. Joseph Stockbridge

    I support this because as I get older I may not be able to use the points I’ve paid for but would appreciate the ability to donate the points to a youth or veteran


    now that points are seperate and require purchase ,they have value and should be able to be recliamed upon death our family shopuld recieve the option to transfer these rights

  3. No way. Everyone knew the rules when they bought their points. Buy your ticket and take your ride. Logic, not emotion, is what should guide here.

  4. Not to be the other side spitfully…but we already have a problem in other states (Arizona) where every family member with a pulse gets put into the draw…this will have every Senior Citizan family member with no intention of ever hunting or using the points applying for points and then transferring them to family members. Dumping decades worth of points on hunters and causing even more point creep..
    Won’t feel great when you’ve been applying for 15-20 years and then the other members in the same point pool get a 15 point bump or the people with 2 points suddenly have 17, etc etc.

  5. Great idea. Let’s transfer points down the line and down the line so that one day after I transfer my points to my son and he transfers mine and his to my grandson he’ll get to draw a tag

  6. I like the option.!! My dad has a lot of moose points and doesn’t know if he can make the hunt happen because of his age .. he has expressed that he would love to pass them on to his grandson

  7. I support the point transfer system but the system must be designed with some type of built -in enforcement procedures so that points cannot be sold to the highest bidder.

  8. The whole point of a preference point system is to try and make drawing a tag somewhat more fair. Handing things off to someone who didn’t earn them is rarely a good thing. Now people with few points will be moved up to the front of the line because of some extenuating circumstance or simple goodwill from a family member?I’m sympathetic for Jones’ loss but now he’s supposed to go from 9 points straight to 18? Or someone who hasn’t been in the game goes from 0 to 9 and cuts the line completely? Ever heard of point creep?! There are no positive results from this move other than a few feel good sentimental PR stories that will be written. This is just about as bad as telling people they don’t have to pay back student loans that they took out…

  9. If the points can’t be transferred the state should pay off the family in a case like Mr. Jones.

    I get the hurt feelings for people who have been waiting for years to draw but, those points have a value and if no one is going to benefit from them at least the family could get their value returned.

    • Do you get your money back when you don’t win the powerball? How is this different? It’s a gamble and there aren’t enough tags to go around. Plus the money goes to a game and fish department that already doesn’t have enough budget. In no way shape or form is putting in for a tag a guarantee. Also another example of a legislature trying to over ride the game and fish department. I feel for Mr. Jones loss but I don’t feel someone should get to capitalize on the death of another. This will cause massive point creep which is already a big issue. I agree with the previous commenter this will be ripe with abuse. Everyone will just be buying points for people that don’t hunt so they can transfer them. I think just get rid of the preference point system, it doesn’t work.

  10. Tough pill to swallow loosing your kid, or loved one….who also loved pursing the love of hunting. ..but when it’s over, it’s over. No transferring points to anyone. Sorry. Take the ride, invest in a comprehensive plan, but when it’s over, it’s over.

    • I’m all for being fair – game and fish already spent the money to manage wildlife. It’s fair to let them keep what they have already allocated in the budget.
      Seeing my dad lose my brother a few months ago – I see where these thoughts can come up and be considered “fair”. But it would be more “unfair” to those who have waited in line longer and who have spent their own money.
      If I die – I do not want my family using my death to get a deer or elk or big horn sheep tag unless I leave them money to buy it at an auction my memory.
      I know my brother had something to do with me arrowing my first velvet buck last week, the big bulls I found and followed until i laid eyes on it also. Can’t wait for the future hunts he will be with me on. The memories of hunting while walking through the forests we explored many years ago together before the military followed by law enforcement changed our lives and demeanors… I had to go through the same process as everyone else and to be given it would have taken away from the experience.
      Don’t give me any refunds or a penny due to a death – death is more serious than any amount of money or freaking bonus points.

    • The way your point system is in Wyoming is ridiculous at any rate. If you choose not to do the point transfer system then set up a program and let the state buy them back. Your point creep will never change and you will never catch up with it. The state understands this which is why they let you buy a “special” tag to put you into a different drawing. If we would have understood how things worked within this state for hunting big game in the beginning we would have never wasted our time or money on points.

  11. The only way the younger generation will get to hunt is when the baby-boomers age out. There are thousands who just build points every year without even applying, and this would make that situation worse. Allowing point transfer would just mean even more point creep.

    • Agree on no point transfer – it sounds fair, and I sympathize with the situation, but there’s a cost to everything and that would be to all of the rest of us.

  12. Buckets fulla points

    Being from Arizona and applying every year for Wyoming because I cant draw in Az., I can tell you firsthand that this is a slippery slope! Every year kids are elk and sheep hunting because of a giant loophole that allows point transfer. To make it “right” those points or tags should be donated to worthy non profit groups ie: disabled veterans or terminally ill children. What better way to honor someone’s memory than to pass it forward?

  13. No point transfer! This is a sad story but is not fair to everybody else that buys points & then has some new person jump in line ahead of them just because they are relatives. I’m a 70 yr old Arizonan, it’s a mess here. Just like poachers, there will be people ‘gaming’ the system for an advantage. I have 14 Wyo antelope points & will be there this year. I have 14 Wyo deer points & ‘maybe’ get there next year. Unless ‘relatives’ get to jump in.

  14. Preference point systems in general are broken. Just another money grab for state wildlife departments. Although I participate in them in multiple states each year, point creep has made it almost impossible to draw a quality tag where you may actually be young enough to participate. I would suggest that preference point systems be eliminated and go back to pure lottery drawings or cap the maximum points for any unit/species at 3 years. Not a popular opinion for wildlife agencies, but again in general these systems have ran their course.

  15. I wish to express my deep condolences to the family of Tyler, it is a gut wrenching experience to lose a loved one… It is unfortunate but we all go through that horrible experience and none of our lives are better for it.
    However, in my OPINION I do not think points should be transferable to anyone… We all knew the rules when we purchased the points and in a sense the State of Wyoming made a legal binding contract with all of us…. As far as changing the current allocation system to a 90% resident / 10% resident system this too should be opposing at all costs….. Most all of the big game hunting occurs on Federal lands…. Currently Fossil-fuel Royalty Payments are split 50;50 between the State of Wyoming and the Federal Treasury (Nonresidents) So great is the amount of money that Wyoming receives that the State has a low property tax rates and no income taxes.. Perhaps Wyoming should leave the allocation alone at 80/20, just to be more fair to the Nonresidents that share the mineral wealth on Federal (nonresident) lands at a 50/50 split. Do this change and you invite a law suit that will examine many different issues and controversies that exist in the State/Federal land relationship…….. Changing the allocation system will HARM many nonresidents………….

  16. very much agree, they are a huge negitive for young hunters and spell the end for older hunters to ever draw, cap at three points and let everyone have a shot at a quality tag

  17. I support the idea of the transfer of points to family members in the event of death or disability. The devil is in the detail to come up with a system to prevent the gaming of a system to advantage certain hunters, say a hunter with multiple progeny, who might might get points for each family member and then transfer same to himself or herself, disadvantaging the hunters hoping to hunt the Cowboy state.

  18. The way I see it the points that I have are mine they are bought and and paid for and I should be able to do whatever I want to do with them within my family..

  19. Points should be transferable with no limitations. Going forward all points systems should be stopped.

  20. I am all for being fair, fair isn’t always kind. While our emotions maybe pulling us from the logical outcome. It’s like buying a lotto ticket, should we expect a refund if we don’t win? No. While this young man’s life ended way too soon, we shouldn’t allow our emotions drive the legislation for changes that are one sided.

  21. Maybe in Mr. Jones’ case where there is a death in the family. OK, I can see that, but NOT as a matter of course. Transferring points just to transfer points will create a nightmare scenario of draw predictability and worse yet, will increase point creep substantially. That is not in the public’s interest. So I say yes to a death in the family but no to any and all other scenarios.

  22. How about making it an option to transfer points upon death? The state could charge an additional fee for those who wish to transfer points and no charge for those who don’t. If the fee were significant enough it would minimize the likelihood of fraud and make it less attractive to those who may be attempting to simply buy points for elderly family members. And only the points that were acquired with the additional fee would be transferable. There could also be a cap/limit placed on the number of points that could be transferred. Just some ideas. Personally, I am not a fan of the idea of point transfers in general.

  23. I’m a little late to the party here but I have been buying points in Wyoming for several years for Elk and Antelope. I have never applied for Elk but have hunted antelope several times. My self, my son-in-law and 2 of my grandsons were building points for a pronghorn hunt, not a trophy hunt per se but just a few days spent together hunting. In January 2021 my oldest grandson and USMC combat vet Sgt. James A. Cook was murdered at work leaving a wife and 2 young daughters so I can sympathize with Mr. Helms and offer my most sincere condolences. I would like to see James’ points donated to a disabled vet (combat related) or first responder (on the job injury) but I would not be in favor of any other transfer options, there is simply too much room for abuse.

  24. I agree with point transfer but only for un timely death or becoming disabled. Must be proof of the situation. Points can be transferred but not added to. ( grandpa has 15 points grand kid has 5, grandkid forfeits his 5 to take the 15 points. No adding of points!!) that way there is no real change. The 15 points stays in the system just the same as always.

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