From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 36 - 5/4/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Hunting Lottery Held for Moose, Sheep and Mountain Goat Licenses

CHEYENNE - The hunting lottery that's toughest to win - Wyoming's drawing for bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat licenses - was held April 26, reports Tom Rowe, Wyoming Game and Fish Department license draw manager.

Licenses and refund checks are expected to be mailed by May 3. Draw results were posted on the G&F website April 28.

This was the first year for two significant changes to these drawings: 25 percent of the moose and bighorn sheep quotas were issued by a random drawing, with 75 percent of the quotas issued by the preference point system which had been in place since 1995.

Also for the first time, hunters could buy a preference point for $7 while opting not to be in the drawing.

"With the Legislature allotting 25 percent of the quota to a random draw, it gave everyone who didn't draw in the preference point draw a slim chance draw a license," Rowe said.

There were 333 moose and 62 bighorn sheep licenses issued by the random drawing. In its first year, that benefited 40 bighorn sheep and 297 moose applicants who drew licenses with less than the maximum number of preference points. That included six bighorn sheep and 136 moose hunters without a preference point.

The "buy-a-point" provision enticed 6,300 nonresidents and 2,800 residents in its first year. Hunters report the preference point purchase is desirable when conflicts preventing hunting in the upcoming season or, for nonresidents, the $1,000 and $1,500 licenses fees don't mesh with the current budget.

As expected, Rowe said, the preference point purchase decreased the actual license demand.

The chance to hunt a moose attracted 13,598 resident applicants compared to 15,161 last year. Actual nonresident moose applicants dropped to 1,011 from 1,323 nonresident applicants in 1999.

There were 5,694 resident bighorn sheep applicants compared to 8,453 last year. Actual nonresident demand dipped to 1,689 from 1,896.

The lucky nine residents hunting mountain goats this year in the Beartooth Mountains beat out 2,058 other hunters. The second season for the area near Alpine drew 631 applicants for the three resident licenses.

Rowe said that for the third year, the earlier application period of Jan. 1 - Feb. 28 enabled his staff to have the computer drawing ready to run as soon as the G&F Commission set the license quotas at their April 25-26 meeting.

"With the hunters knowing the outcome of this drawing in early May, they will have plenty of time to decide their elk, deer and antelope plans before the May 31 limited quota deadline for those species," he said.

The G&F conducted the moose and bighorn sheep drawing five days earlier than planned.

In the preference point drawing, area 1 in the northern Bighorn Mountains was the hardest resident antlered moose to draw at 1.8 percent. The toughest random draw was newly opened area 38 in the Snowy Range with a .15 percent of drawing.

With a 13 percent (preference point) and .89 percent (random), nonresidents also had the toughest going in area 1.

Only 3.1 percent of resident hunters in the preference draw snagged a bighorn sheep license in area 18, the Snowy Range. The toughest random draw was area 10 near Dubois at .41 percent.

Area 10 was the most difficult in both draws (4.7 preference, .36 random) for nonresidents.

Rowe reminds unsuccessful moose and bighorn sheep applicants to look at their refund check stub to make sure the number of preference points listed is correct. Hunters who opted to buy a preference point will receive a letter listing their point total. If hunters think the preference point statement is incorrect, they should call the G&F at (307) 777-4600.

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