Hunting is such a major event in Wyoming that Wyomingites plan their vacations, birthday parties, anniversaries, holidays and even weddings to fall outside of hunting season.

The options for hunting here are better than in most states. With deer, antelope, elk, moose, bear, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, birds and rabbits are all options. The problem is with the larger, rare licenses it's difficult to draw. Some have lived in Wyoming their whole life and never drawn a big game tag, the odds have increased with the passing of a new bill. I've talked with lifelong Wyoming residents that have never drawn for any of the big 5 (bison, moose, mountain goat, bighorn sheep or grizzly), but that could change in 2023.

There are a few different factors that lead to residents not drawing a license:

  • Aren't that many licenses issued per year (Grizzly isn't on the table currently)
  • Not enough preference points
  • No luck
  • Competing with non-resident hunters

One of these factors is about to change though.

Beginning in 2023, the percentage of Wyoming residents that will receive a big 5 license has jumped from 80% to 90%. Meaning, Wyoming House Bill #0043 passed and increases the chances that a Wyoming hunter will draw the license before and out-of-state hunter.

There's no way to tell at this point how many more licenses will be offered to Wyoming hunters in 2023, the numbers won't be figured until after the 2022 seasons are completed, but you can bet it'll be more than a handful. Looking at the Wyoming Game and Fish pricing difference between resident/nonresident license fees, a little bit of money will be lost with the change.

Having seen/heard the stories of frustration Wyoming hunters feel when they don't draw, a 10% increase doesn't seem big to some people, but to the hunter that's been trying for 30 years...it's huge.

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