Wyoming a Popular Place for Elk Hunters

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Hunters seeking a western adventure continue to choose Wyoming to pursue elk. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) saw an increase in non-resident elk applications for the 2019 season. Nonresidents submitted 23,750 applications, a 2.9 percent increase from 2018.

“Anyone who hunts in Wyoming knows the experience is unlike anywhere else in the country because of the quality of wildlife, our hunting access programs, large tracts of public land and the spectacular views,” said Brian Nesvik, WGFD director. “We thank nonresidents for their support to conserve the state’s wildlife, and look forward to hosting you this fall.”

Each January, Wyoming opens a month-long application period for nonresidents. The application period is short and the draw is earlier than most other Western states to help nonresidents plan their hunts. Nonresident hunters take a chance at 7,250 licenses in the draw. This number is based on regulations set by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, but the allocation of general licenses within that varies annually.

There is one last chance for nonresident elk hunters to pick up a license. After the resident draw is complete, the remaining licenses will be offered through a random leftover draw both residents and non-residents can enter. No preference points can be used and general licenses are not available.

In the leftover draw, residents and non-residents have the same odds for drawing a license; in 2018, 1,225 full-price elk licenses were issued as leftovers —70 percent to residents, 30 percent to non-residents. The leftover draw application period is June 24-28. Most of the licenses available in the leftover draw are from parts of the state where there is more private land and public access is more limited.

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(Photo source: County 10 Vision by EZ)