Join Date: May 2005
Wyoming - how the draw works
As discussed in a previous post, Wyoming has two types of non-resident tags, regular and special. The only difference is the cost, with the special tag costing $ 480.00 dollars more than the regular tag. Elk is the one species where putting in for the Special tag usually substantially increases your odds of drawing. For example, in unit 6, there was a 22% chance of drawing the tag with between 2 and 3 points, while there was a 100% chance of drawing the special tag with between zero and 1 point. Remember, Wyoming does NOT average points, so if three of you put in with 8 points, your average in the draw is 2.66.
All non-resident elk tags in Wyoming are draw tags. They have a tag called General, which is good in a fairly large number of units, and is over the counter for residents, but you have to draw the non-resident general tag to hunt those units as a non-resident. Last year tt basically took one point to draw the general regular tag, and zero points to draw the general special tag. For the most part, these units have fairly low success rates, and high hunter numbers, due to residents being over the counter.
There are a large number of limited entry elk units for both residents and non-residents, with a varying number of tags. Residents cannot build preference points, all of their tags are issued in a random draw. Non-residents appear to get around 20% of the number of tags residents get. In Unit 6, for example, there are 150 tags in the resident random draw, 4 tags in the non-resident regular draw, 3 tags in the special non-resident draw, 14 in the non-resident regular preference point draw, and 10 in the non-resident special preference point draw. Non-residents got 3 of 181 tags for this unit in 2011.
Unlike Oregon and Colorado, Wyoming has separate draws for non-residents and residents, and non-residnets get all of the tggs authorized in their draws, unless they are undersubscribed. Better yet, If you put in as a party, say 4, and when you are drawn there are only 2 tags left, they will go ahead and issue all four tags. This is why when you are looking at the draw odds, you will see 6 tags authorized, but 7 issued. In 2011, our group of 4 drew in a unit with only 3 tags authorized, and all four got tags.
Wyoming does not put tags in the random non-resident draw unless there are at least 4 authorized tags. Unit 3, 11 and 22, for example, have no random tags. Only the maximum point holders drew tags in those units. Most units have enough tags that there is at least one in the random draw, but be sure and check it out. If you apply for a unit without a random draw, and without enough points, you are wasting your time.
In Wyoming, you will automatically lose your points if you draw ANY first choice tag, antlerless, any elk, does not matter. If you zero points, this is not a big deal. But if you have points, make absolutely certain you are willing to hunt that unit that year before applying. On the other hand, as long as you could make the trip this year, you should always put in for a first choice for a unit you really want to hunt, 7, 30,31,32,100 etc, as long as they have at least one random tag. Somebody has to draw them, so it might as well be you. Remember, if you draw a first choice tag, you will not only lose your points, but also be unable to but another point for that year. If you draw a second choice or leftover tag, you not only keep your points, but can buy another point that year, even though you are going hunting.
Next up: Wyoming draw strategy for elk
Last edited by scoutdog5; 12-29-2011 at 10:09 PM.