Hunting applications in Wyoming see increase for May draw

h/t WGFD Stan Harter

Wyoming is one of the best locations in the country for highly-sought big game, and each year the number of hunting applications the Wyoming Game and Fish Department receives increases. The May 2019 application deadline was no different, with higher application numbers for all licenses and types.

“The interest in Wyoming hunting is remarkable,” said Brian Nesvik, Game and Fish director. “We work hard to provide top-notch opportunities throughout the state. We were able to offer more licenses for limited-quota elk, deer and antelope this year. Thank you to all sportsmen and sportswomen for their contribution to wildlife management.” 

The May draw allocates licenses for resident elk and nonresident and resident deer and antelope. Applications for overall licenses increased 5.5 percent from last year and 12.8 percent from three years ago. The most increases for applications were for doe/fawn deer and antelope with 11.2 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively. 

“More hunters applied for their doe/fawn licenses in the draw this year rather than taking a chance with the leftover draw,” said Jennifer Doering, Game and Fish license section manager. “This increase in initial applications means there were fewer leftover licenses.”

Any licenses that weren’t allocated in the initial draw were available for hunters in a leftover draw, which closed June 28. In 2017, Game and Fish changed the leftover license allocation process from a first-come, first-serve system to a second, random draw. In the leftover draw, residents and nonresidents have the same opportunity for available licenses; the quota is not split like the initial draw. The process was changed to be more fair. Most species saw a decrease in the number of leftover licenses available; only deer had a 1.1 percent increase, mainly due to an increase in available doe/fawn licenses.

There are still leftover big game licenses available for resident and nonresident hunters on a first-come-first-serve basis; residents also can buy over-the-counter general elk and deer licenses. License limits still apply.