WYOMING 90/10 UPDATE | The best blog you'll read all year!
By Guy Eastman
I just want to take a minute to cook up a very short and concise blog regarding some clarification on the new Wyoming 90/10 rule for 2023. The new 90/10 tag allocation in Wyoming is NON-RESIDENT tags for bighorn sheep, Shiras’ moose, Rocky Mountain goat and bison ONLY.
Wyoming elk, deer and antelope are NOT part of the new 90/10 allocation. These three key species will continue with the same non-resident tag allocations as they always have; 16% for elk and 20% for deer and antelope.
I just wanted to make sure we are all clear on this as much speculation and hype has been generated on the internet and social media regarding this change to the Wyoming system. I still get way too many emails from out of state applicants who think they have to burn their elk and deer points now while they still can. At this point at least, there is no proposal on the table in Wyoming to make the 90/10 change to elk, deer and antelope.
We certainly do not want anyone to unnecessarily burn their points on a lesser tag out of a simple misunderstanding or miscommunication on the details of this change. Good luck to all in the upcoming Wyoming elk draw.
COMMENT FROM A READER:
Great info Guy! A lot of people I talk to are confused and scared about the 90/10 being for Deer, Elk and Pronghorn. Myself I am a little worried that they will go that route in a few years. What are your thoughts on that? I don’t plan on starting my Wyoming hunting until at least 2024. By then I’ll have 5 points for Elk Deer and Pronghorn. I don’t want to keep dumping money into it if they will go to 90/10 for the others.
Guy Eastmans’ Reply:
Thank you for the question, a very good question indeed. Although I have talked with some folks on the Wyoming Wildlife Task Force as well as various legislators around the state about this topic, there is still no 100% guarantee that 90/10 will not be implemented for deer, elk and antelope at some point in the distant future. No one truly knows what the future may hold. However, that said, based on my interactions with most parties involved in this subject, at this point in time I don’t really see a clear path forward for statewide 90/10 anytime soon. The Task Force shot this idea down after a very lengthy and thorough discussion and debate. Most…well, actually all the legislators I talked to don’t want to touch this with a ten foot pole, the outfitters certainly don’t want it and for the most part most resident hunters I talk to don’t see the current system as a critical problem at this point. And here’s the reason…
There’s no arguing that Wyoming is changing each and every day as more and more folks move into our state. I talk to at least one person a day that wants to move to Wyoming and there seems to be no end to this influx of new residents, most of which hunt and fish, the reason for the move in the first place. But, many of these new, and old residents have friends and family that live outside the confines and frigid climate of our beloved state. For this reason, I believe many of us do not want to see this change, as it would make sharing a hunting camp with a close friend or family member even harder than it already is.
The residents of Wyoming also realize this would be financial suicide for the Game and Fish department and the days of $57 resident elk tags would be a thing of the past let alone the local businesses around the state that benefit greatly from non-resident hunting dollars, and I don’t just mean outfitters. Just ask the crew at the local Maverik store in my neighborhood.
I believe most resident hunters realize the mathematics of this change would not bend the basic fundamentals of statistics. Another eight tags in the resident draw for elk Area-100 would not even change the odds of drawing the tag for a resident by 2%. One of the best quotes to sum this topic up came from a Task Force member who stated that a change to 90/10 for deer, elk and antelope would make a hard to draw area for resident hunters go from really, really, really bad, to just really, really bad and your resident elk tag would go from $57 to $357!
But to reiterate the answer to your question, I really don’t think your points and hunting opportunities in Wyoming as a non-resident deer, elk or antelope hunter are in any near term jeopardy. We would need to see some pretty significant changes on a bundle of fronts to have any chance at all of getting this done in the near future. Your Wyoming deer, elk and antelope points should be safe from now until at least 2025 if I had to put money on it. As one Task Force member I talked to so eloquently put it, “We vetted that topic so thoroughly through numerous channels and angles, that I really don’t see the idea of 90/10 for elk, deer and antelope seeing the light of day in Wyoming again for the next 15 to 20 years.”
I hope this helps. Best of luck in the draw and I wish you the very best on your next hunt in our great state! -Guy