Home / General / Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce Rejects 90/10

Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce Rejects 90/10

By harrycollinsphotography

 

For the past 14 months, the Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce has debated some of the most contentious issues in wildlife management for the Cowboy State. Everything from license allocations to landowner licenses and habitat improvements have been at the table for this group. Throughout the entire process, members of the taskforce noted how many of these issues are intertwined with one another often remarking “when you pull one string with a change, the whole ball unravels.”

To try and encompass all the different impacts of a recommendation for license changes within deer, elk, and pronghorn in the state, the Taskforce put together a plan they referred to as the “Comprehensive Proposal.” Within the proposal were 6 independent pieces presented as a package to the Taskforce which they voted and made recommendations on in the August Wildlife Taskforce meeting.

 

They are as follows: 

  1. Establish high demand and standard demand hunt designations in Wyoming for deer, elk and pronghorn.
  2. Create 90% resident, 10% non-resident allocation split for high demand hunts, 85% resident, 15% non-resident allocation split for standard demand hunts.
  3. Create a waiting period of 3-years for someone who holds a high demand hunting license for that species
  4. Give residents preference to draw licenses first in the leftover drawing before the non-residents draw a license in the leftover draw.
  5. Weighted bonus point system for resident pronghorn, deer, and elk 
  6. Create an outfitter draw requiring non-residents to apply with an outfitter or with a landowner sponsor for 50% of the license non-resident allocation

 

Most of these six items were originally put out for public comment in June, however the Taskforce members recognized the package was large and complex, so the comment period was extended for two months. 

In that timeframe, there were over 2,000 comments in support, against, and for status quo on all of these six items. Additionally, the Taskforce discussed preliminary results at the July 7th meeting based on what they were seeing from comments. 

By the time the August 8th meeting rolled around, the Taskforce had spent months on these issues and gathered significant public comment – especially related to the 90/10 allocation, outfitter draw, and weighted bonus points. 

The co-chairs, Rusty Bell and Josh Coursey, directed the Taskforce to take the package apart piece by piece based on the comments they all had received. The first recommendation was moving the resident preference in the leftover draw (proposition 4) forward to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. From here, the Commission will draft logistics and discuss implementing a resident preference in the leftover draw.

Secondly, proposition 1 and 3 were advanced for further discussion on how to make a waiting period work for resident deer, elk, and pronghorn draws. The modeling presented to the Taskforce showed that a waiting period is the most effective tactic in improving the drawing odds for residents in a random drawing system. However, to make a waiting period for hard-to-draw areas, the Taskforce wanted to create a threshold for hunts to enter waiting periods. That way easy-to-draw hunts, like some whitetail buck licenses that often have leftovers, would not be included in the waiting period. 

The last, and most continuous propositions received very little discussion from the Taskforce. The weighted bonus points system recommendation (proposition 5) was rejected with only one member of the Taskforce supporting it in voting. Then, both the 90/10 and outfitter draw (propositions 2 and 6) were voted for rejection. Again, there was little to no discussion held at this meeting. After the previous conversations that had taken place at the other meetings and from the amount of feedback the Taskforce received, the Taskforce seemed to have its mind made up. Again, only one member of the Taskforce voted in favor of keeping propositions 2 and 6. 

At the end of the day, what does this mean for Wyoming hunters? First, the Wildlife Taskforce looked deeply into these controversial issues, sifted through thousands of comments, and came up with a decision to maintain status quo on three of the six items presented in the Comprehensive Package. Resident preference in leftovers will move forward as a recommendation to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department from here. Also, the waiting period and high-demand hunt language is going to be drafted and available for public comment in the near future. 

If you are interested in staying involved with the Taskforce’s decision regarding resident only waiting periods for high-demand deer, elk, and pronghorn licenses, be sure to check the Taskforce web page and submit public comment ahead of the September meeting. 

There are many more topics for the Taskforce to cover in their final three meetings, including solutions to hunter access issues, landowner licenses, and license fees, so stay tuned for more!

About Jaden Bales

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15 comments

  1. You should make sure when you write the article that you have the correct information. The task force is the one that initially recommended and put on the ballot discussions of 90/10, High demand and standard units, only drawing once every three years if you draw a premium tag and the outfitter only draw. It was the sportsman of Wyoming and across the United States that rejected the proposal of the outfitter draw but was for everything else. Well all of this was a package deal and if ya got one ya had to take them all. Well there was overwhelming favor to not have an outfitter only draw so therefore they kiboshed absolutely everything else.

    • Hey Tyrell, I hear what you’re saying that hunters of Wyoming rejected these proposals with their comments. That said, when I was sitting in the meeting on Monday, the Taskforce members also talked about the hundreds of comments they got in support of the outfitter draw by outfitted clients. So, the Co-Chairs spit the package into pieces for voting then each of the Taskforce made their decisions. That’s why the waiting period and resident preference inn leftover draw went forward.

      You can all find the comments here: https://sites.google.com/wyo.gov/wyomingwildlifetaskforce/home/meeting-materials?authuser=0

      I’ve been at the last three meetings and watched the rest of them, plus did a round table event representing Wyoming hunters that the Dallas Safari Club put on with WYOGA. Just wanted to know that I wrote this article with having been involved along every step of the way. 👍

  2. Outfitters have a enough say on Wyoming hunters. Wyoming Game and is supported by Wyoming public. Wyoming people financially support them there say should matter. It doesn’t matter how any other state operates..

  3. What now you think you’re like Alaska no non-residents shouldn’t have to have an Outfitter or landowner if I want to come out there and get a license and hunt on public land I should be able to doesn’t matter what the species is

    • Triple negative sentence. What are you saying? Alaska does not require guide for deer, black bear, caribou, and moose. Alaska requires guide for sheep, goat and grizzly/brown bear. Requiring a guide is horseshit. I say take yer chances and pay search and rescue fees if you screw up, or require a search and rescue subscription, policy. Restricting federal wilderness land is unconstitutional, and should be challenged in court.

      • I agree with this. Let us hunt the wilderness areas and I’ll gladly pay for Search and Rescue insurance. I but it anyways no matter where I hunt out West. I also carry a Sat phone with a personal locater beacon for emergencies and a trauma kit. Everyone should have this.

  4. Non residents need to learn and fully understand the pref pt system and draw odds and only apply for licenses when they have a good chance of drawing. Minimize the $ spent with Wy game and fish since the they want to cut nonresident tags in half.

  5. Great article, that surmises/addresses the problem, and the State cannot figure out an equitable answer to satisfy everyone involved… Tough day!

  6. Outfitter set aside tags is wrong. Of course outfitters and outfitters clients want guaranteed tags. It is just a form of government welfare. Why not make 50% of the resident tags also outfitter only?

  7. Excellent coverage! Thank you!! It’s great to know our comments to the G&F are noticed and reviewed.

  8. Great coverage and thank you for a well written and concise article. Tough issues to deal with on the task force and no one is ever going to be happy. They took comments, listened, and voted. That’s the way its supposed to work.

  9. I’m 71 years old. I have 3 points. I did not draw a general bull tag this year. I will buy one more point this fall. If I don’t draw next year I am done trying to elk hunt in Wyoming. My age has caught up to me and I feel that Wyoming has made it too hard to draw a tag.

  10. Just as long as Sy from S&S Outfitters doesn’t get his set-aside outfitter only tags I’ll be happy.

  11. i spent a lot of money by scouting labor day week in 95 degree weather. come back an hunted 15 oct. managed to get ave. buck in 10 below. had to come to town an stay so i could plug in truck in order to get it started.i live in mo. an spent couple thousand. can fish an game maintain what they are doing now on residents spending. remember fed. land belongs to me as much as you. what about motels, restaurants campgrounds hardware stores. that was 2020 , got another tag this year by paying you extra money, but no more.

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