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Proposed Wyo NonRes Elk 'Regions'
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
cnelk 10-Jan-23
cnelk 10-Jan-23
jordanathome 10-Jan-23
cnelk 10-Jan-23
jordanathome 10-Jan-23
cnelk 10-Jan-23
jordanathome 10-Jan-23
cnelk 10-Jan-23
PushCoArcher 10-Jan-23
grasshopper 10-Jan-23
brettpsu 11-Jan-23
pav 11-Jan-23
Sivart 11-Jan-23
Jethro 11-Jan-23
cnelk 11-Jan-23
KSBOW 11-Jan-23
huntabsarokee 11-Jan-23
KB 11-Jan-23
JTreeman 11-Jan-23
mulecreek 11-Jan-23
Old School 11-Jan-23
Sivart 11-Jan-23
ohiohunter 11-Jan-23
mulecreek 11-Jan-23
Mule Power 11-Jan-23
808bowhunter 11-Jan-23
Cheesehead Mike 11-Jan-23
Tracker 11-Jan-23
mulecreek 11-Jan-23
azelkhntr 11-Jan-23
wyobullshooter 11-Jan-23
'Ike' (Phone) 11-Jan-23
cnelk 11-Jan-23
Tracker 11-Jan-23
Treeline 11-Jan-23
Mule Power 12-Jan-23
mulecreek 12-Jan-23
From: cnelk
10-Jan-23

cnelk's Link
See link for proposed elk regions for nonres - Like? Dislike?

From: cnelk
10-Jan-23
To clarify - the areas that are hashed out are LE areas

From: jordanathome
10-Jan-23
Thanks Brad. Meh. Don't really care.

WY created a monster with the pref point program many years ago and now is looking for any way out of it but still preserve or increase non res license revenue. And cater to outfitters. And keep resident hunters happy. They can dance, and sing, and wave their cane, tippy tap their toes, makes no difference to me. Its all a game they rig in their favor. Which is their prerogative. I always thought WY made hunting overly complicated....this is just more of the same.

From: cnelk
10-Jan-23
This is exactly what Colorado needs to do for elk - by DAU

From: jordanathome
10-Jan-23
Brad, humor me here. Do you mean limit the number of non res general license hunters by region? Just trying to follow. :)

From: cnelk
10-Jan-23
Jordan - if you're talking about Colorado... yes

Id like to see nonres have to apply for a specific DAU - in lieu of otc. The CPW could manage both hunter & elk numbers a lot more easily.

Hell, make it for Residents too.

From: jordanathome
10-Jan-23
I hear you there....but go back to my complaint that WY always made hunting too complicated. Hate to see CO go down that road.

I am in the minority in that I have no problem with CO going all LE for elk, like with deer. Adding general tag regions on a random draw, for res and non res alike, with res friendly quotas, why not?

I don't think the elk know where the draw GMU lines are drawn, or care. The regions might make the management side a little more accurate and useful.

From: cnelk
10-Jan-23
Im not seeing where Wyo is complicated. Hell, I can archery hunt elk or rifle hunt elk every year in Wyo if I wanted to.

From: PushCoArcher
10-Jan-23
I don't hate it! Seems like it would help game and fish manage the resource and maybe pressure too. Complicated is better than unlimited OTC NR elk tags.

From: grasshopper
10-Jan-23
So 7250 total licenses of which about 3800ish are general, and it looks like the general quota is really a slight increase?

I kinda quit the wyo point game but picking a region doesn't seem like a bad idea.

From: brettpsu
11-Jan-23
I like it. And yes Colorado needs to do the same thing.

From: pav
11-Jan-23
I hate it...pretty much shuts me out of ever hunting elk in the Bighorns again in my lifetime. Had already given up much hope of ever hunting my favorite unit in the Bighorns again. This proposal shuts down the entire Bighorn region based on my point total.

Edit: Apparently, I misunderstood the maps. The region lists every unit in the Bighorns at the top, but only 36 and 37 will be affected? If so, I hate it less.

From: Sivart
11-Jan-23
I hear ya. I'm not against having regions. I just don't agree with how they have divided these regions.

From: Jethro
11-Jan-23
Doesn't shut down entire Bighorns. There's only 2 Gen areas in the Bighorns.

From: cnelk
11-Jan-23
There will be a link on the WGF website to submit comments - some may want to partake in that

From: KSBOW
11-Jan-23
I would also like to see Colorado go here, I like this plan actually and think it will allow same experience in Wyoming as well as opportunity for General tag every 3-4 years.

11-Jan-23
I think anytime a unit is more controlled (knowing how many hunters will be there) the hunt quality can be more defined. Doesn't mean its better but should have a good idea on quality. It probably takes more work on the states part. They could take every unit and make it LE just use quotas to determine the hunt quality. The problem with OTC and General units is that some can get over run with hunters some seasons/years and then harder to manage because the # of hunters is not known or consistent. Of course as hunters this can be looked as impacting our opportunity to hunt.

From: KB
11-Jan-23
I don’t necessarily have an issue with it. However, if passed there really isn’t a “general” tag anymore. Sure, you get a handful of units in some, but unit 7 alone is bigger than a few of these regions. This essentially makes the entire state LE units, and some of these regions will take more points than many previously established LE hunts in pretty short order I’m guessing. 3-4 points will be a pipe dream for the popular areas going forward.

From: JTreeman
11-Jan-23
I will say I’m probably not informed enough to have an educated opinion, but on the face of it with my limited knowledge I would consider it a net positive.

—jim

From: mulecreek
11-Jan-23
Totally and completely unnecessary. Removing the 7250 NR cap and moving to NR Gen elk regions will do nothing to help manage Wyo elk populations. Many Gen units are open for either sex. However, the NR Gen tag is primarily filled with bulls. Populations are managed largely by number of cows killed. If G&F believes the number of bull in any Gen units is too low they currently have mechanisms to address that. Limiting spike harvest, season length, etc. If there are any Gen units that have too many bulls, please let me and the rest of Wyo know which units those are. For Gen areas that are over population and need more cows taken then the G&F already has a mechanism to do this, the type 6 tags or even the Type 4 tags. But this idea isn't really about management of elk populations. Direct quote from Director Nesvick "Cant say the current method of distributing NR Gen tags is constraining us at all." He said this during a public Task Force meeting. No one paid attention to him saying it. The Regions that are over population objective are largely that way due to access not because of a lack of tags. If access was better on the Eastern side of the State then NR Gen hunters would flock there as the terrain is significantly easier to navigate. The elk over population is an access problem not a 7250 cap problem. Regions wont fix this.

The current proposal wont even help out gen areas that are perceived to be over-crowded. Look at the numbers proposed. Only one region, Bighorns, has any meaningful percentage decrease in NR Gen hunter numbers when compared to 3 yr average. All others are either the same or an increase. If anyone is truly concerned about over-crowding due to too many NR gen elk hunters, then doing away with the Wyo Wilderness guide law for NR's would have far more impact. If this law went away it would be like adding another 90, 91 and 92 units for hunters to disperse themselves on their own. Once again this is an access problem not a 7250 cap problem. Regions wont fix this.

Going to regions is nothing more than a gift to some outfitters. This will make it far more likely for Eastern Wyo Outfitters to get their clients Gen tags so they can then be filled with mature bulls. Pure and simple. It will also be an easy way for Outfitters to ask for increases each year for the regions they outfit in. Mark my words the first year after this goes in effect Outfitters that run in primarily Wilderness Gen units will be asking for more NR gen tags in those regions. Why do I know this, because they have already done this at Commission meetings, TF meetings and Season Setting meetings. Some are pissed because their paying clients have to wait in line with the rest of the DIY guys and they would love a mechanism that would allow them to have an easier time to get guided NR hunters tags. I say some outfitters because I have spoken to several outfitters that do not like this idea. Their exact words to me have been they know other outfitters will push for increases in region tags each year and they would rather not have more people in the areas they guide. The quote I got from one was that he likes quiet hunting just as much as I do and that wont last under the region proposal.

This proposal does not fix the problems that exist with elk and elk hunters in Wyo. It only exacerbates it and has the potential to hurt the Wyo Gen units, which are easily the best thing Wyoming, or any State for that matter, has going in regards to relatively easily obtained elk tags coupled with a fantastic elk hunting experience.

From: Old School
11-Jan-23
Thanks for that informative post Steve.

The one thing I find consistent in most of the proposals to change draws, etc… is this - it’s not about better management of game (which should be their primary objective). Rather, it’s about finding a way to increase revenue or line someone’s pockets. Sad times.

From: Sivart
11-Jan-23
I agree with everything that Steve mentioned. I do think the regions will help some w/ management info. IE the harvest info will be more specific, rather than lumping all gen areas harvest info into one.

From: ohiohunter
11-Jan-23
Very insightful MC, thank you. OS, I agree and its happening more and more as states piss away funds and WANT more revenue. Wallet management seems to be the priority over any form of wildlife management.

From: mulecreek
11-Jan-23

mulecreek's Link
Here is the link to provide your comments to the G&F on the proposal. Regardless of your opinion, make them known to the G&F and Commission.

From: Mule Power
11-Jan-23
Huntabsarokee… managing units individually wont help. Population objectives are largely based on forage on available winter range. In many of the regions all of the elk winter together in just a couple areas . Sometimes one area.

This proposal doesn’t bother me. But I don’t think their goal is better game management. It’s people management. It’s money management. It’s also taking some licenses from one area and moving them to where outfitters want them to be. Outfitter welfare is one thing I hate to see. It’s privatization of hunting.

From: 808bowhunter
11-Jan-23
I think this is a good idea. Was always curious how CO or Wy could manage OTC or general tags not knowing where hunters concentrated. I notice in WY, certain areas had tons of guys and some none. This might help draw tags in some of the regions not as crowded. Idaho already has done the with regions. But hopefully no state uses their draw process.

11-Jan-23
Steve makes some great points that with my limited understanding I hadn't realized and possibly this proposal is just a solution looking for a problem.

That being said, I hunt general on the west side of the state and other than limiting some of my freedom to jump around I don't see any huge effects on my situation. I guess time will tell what the true impact is if this gets enacted.

From: Tracker
11-Jan-23
So would this eliminate the Limited entry draw for units in these regions. So no more draw for say 38 or 45 in the bighorns?

From: mulecreek
11-Jan-23
tracker, no it would not. The only units a NR with a gen tag could hunt with a region are the ones that are general units. LQ units remain as they currently are.

From: azelkhntr
11-Jan-23
I thought segregation was Unconstitutional.

11-Jan-23
“I thought segregation was Unconstitutional”

I’m almost afraid to ask, but do you mind explaining that comment?

11-Jan-23
Interesting...

From: cnelk
11-Jan-23
If outfitters have been asking for more NR quotas in the past, and haven’t been given them, why would this be an avenue now to do so?

From: Tracker
11-Jan-23
Mulecreek Thanks! I was confused as I often am at my age.

From: Treeline
11-Jan-23
All archery tags should be draw in Colorado for Non Residents before any resident has to draw that hunt.

Problem is, CPw makes group of units draw for both Residents and Non Residents for archery and continues to have unlimited rifle tags…. Then, the OTC NonResidents all pile into the remaining open units. Resident hunters in Colorado get the shaft.

From: Mule Power
12-Jan-23
Cnelk…. Because it’s a new way of going about it. A way where they don’t actually ask. They’ll never give up.

I know several outfits on the west side that are having to return deposits because of hunters who thought they’d draw a tag and didn’t. Meanwhile outfitters in the east on private land like Triple Three are booked years out and you won’t be on their schedule until you have more points than you need.

From: mulecreek
12-Jan-23
Mule Power is correct in his assessment. Currently we have the 2022-23 push to create more NR Gen licenses. Last time this was attempted was 2017-2018. Prior to that was the NR elk license Committee in 2015. Prior to that was 2005. Prior to that was 1998. Prior to that was 1995. Prior to that was 1990. Each of theses dates where timse WOGA asked for a restructuring of NR Elk license allocation or the creation of an Outfitter pool. Each of these dates resulted in either Committees or Task Forces made up of G&F, Outfitters and G&F personnel. Each time they either failed to reach consensus, lawsuits were filed by WOGA, resident pushback was sufficient to stop the process or the recommendation was voted down by the Commission. The last time in 2017-18, they almost convinced the Commission to approve removing the 7250 cap. Lost by 1 vote if memory serves me right. The reason for the loss was due to resident pushback. G&F had a series of meetings around the State to discuss. Overwhelmingly residents said they did not want this. This idea was then brought to the recent Task Force. Hard to know all the inner workings of the TF but they had all the same talking points. 1) Need to do this because elk are over population objectives. 2) Need to reduce the number of NR gen hunters in the Greys and the Sierra Madres. 3) The 7250 cap is just an arbitrary number. 4) Need to increase the licenses in Wilderness areas. 5) Need to increase NR Gen licenses because it is taking longer for guided clients to draw. Either convinced or coerced enough TF members into voting to approve a recommendation to the Commission to remove the 7250 cap and make regions. Now its up to the Commission to once again look at this idea. But look at the proposal. It doesn't solve any of the problems brought up in the talking points except number 5. I assume they will get the same answer from residents. Maybe not, I could easily be wrong. I think most residents will be particularly against the idea given that moving to 90/10 in LQ areas for elk is not on the agenda at this time. For me, I am not supportive of moving to 90/10 for elk, unless the 7250 cap goes away. If that happens and there are no more constraints on how many NR gen licenses can be issued then 90/10 for elk will become my focus. With the cap there is no need for 90/10 on elk, IMO.

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