More and more people are applying for hunting licenses in Wyoming, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The 2018 application rate went up by over six-percent for the May 31 limited quota draw and that’s after a similar rise last year.
Mild winters and good forage in recent years has meant more elk, antelope and deer on the landscape, allowing Game and Fish to increase the number of tags it can sell.
But Game and Fish spokesman Renny MacKay said they’re still having to turn some hunters away from the most popular hunting areas. Just this year, 89,000 applications were declined. But he said Wyoming residents have other options.
“We do want people to continue to be interested,” MacKay said. “And we worry that some people might say I’m done. But I hope they will look at the other options for them and that is, buy a general over-the-counter license. Maybe apply somewhere different where the drawing odds are better next year and we make those drawing odds available.”
Only about five-percent of the public hunts nationally, but MacKay said Wyoming has a strong hunting culture. In Wyoming, he said, about 30-percent of residents applied for a hunting license in the last five years.
MacKay said it’s great to see so much interest in hunting in Wyoming since it’s a billion-dollar industry employing 9,600 people statewide. He said, that’s why the state needs to manage wildlife sustainably for the future.