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WY strikes again
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
DonVathome 29-Mar-23
DonVathome 29-Mar-23
Huntcell 29-Mar-23
Brotsky 29-Mar-23
DonVathome 29-Mar-23
Orion 29-Mar-23
KHNC 29-Mar-23
DanaC 29-Mar-23
PECO2 29-Mar-23
BullBuster 29-Mar-23
PushCoArcher 29-Mar-23
Orion 29-Mar-23
wytex 29-Mar-23
Saphead 29-Mar-23
wytex 29-Mar-23
DanaC 29-Mar-23
Bou'bound 29-Mar-23
PushCoArcher 29-Mar-23
WapitiBob 29-Mar-23
Quinn @work 29-Mar-23
wytex 29-Mar-23
Aspen Ghost 29-Mar-23
Saphead 29-Mar-23
Orion 29-Mar-23
DonVathome 29-Mar-23
Grey Ghost 29-Mar-23
pirogue 30-Mar-23
mulecreek 30-Mar-23
mulecreek 30-Mar-23
DonVathome 30-Mar-23
PushCoArcher 30-Mar-23
Bou'bound 30-Mar-23
Verdehunter3 31-Mar-23
Orion 31-Mar-23
BULELK1 02-Apr-23
wytex 02-Apr-23
From: DonVathome
29-Mar-23
A few years ago WY shut down the bison hunt in the elk refuge early. I full understand why - they called my friend who had a cow bison tag a week before and let him know he should come out that week if possible. He had a job etc and could change his plans - he lives Ohio, so do I. I drew this year, cow bison, same as he did. Following is the letter I sent them along with all documentation. Keep in mind they refunded my fried a few years ago and they never called me. I learned the hunt closed early by randomly calling them - and it happened to close that day.

Dear WY Game & Fish Department,

I drew a cow bison permit as a nonresident for the 2022-2023 season. From 2019-2021 there have been no cow bison killed off the national elk refuge (NER) and no cow bison killed on NER in any month except January. Every single cow bison killed in the past 3 years was in January and on the NER. In January 2022 cow bison came on the NER 1/23/22, the year before the last couple days of January. I live in Ohio and planned my trip to arrive 1/24/23. Approximately 5 yeas ago my friend, John Doan, drew cow bison and the NER closed early. Jackson G&F called him a few days before to let him know the NER was closing bison hunting and that he should try to come out early. He was not able to and WY G&F refunded his tag fee. On 1/11/23 I called Jackson G&F to see if the bison were on the NER and found out the NER was closing that day, I confirmed this again on 1/17/23. At no point did anyone contact me to let me know the NER hunt was closing early. In the past 24 years I have applied for, and built points for, every big game animal in WY except bear & wolf. I have hunted antelope 3 times, elk aprox. 10 times, bighorn sheep and cow bison (in 2014). Last year I spent over $600 just in nonrefundable fees applying for big game in Wyoming. I have attached documentation showing I had planned to come out at what realistically was the only time and place to harvest a cow bison – the NER in January. I live in Ohio so I am not able to be “around” in case cow bison move into a legal hunting area sooner so I planned my trip for what was the only time period to harvest a cow bison in the last 3 years. I am requesting a refund of my $2,767 tag fee. I would prefer a refund but I would accept a cow bison tag for 2023-2024 if a refund is not possible.

From: DonVathome
29-Mar-23
They denied my request for a refund stating I applied online. Given the circumstances, and my friend getting notice to come sooner AND a refund, and me getting neither I am frustrated with WY. I fully understand my risk applying, but a simple phone call sooner and I would have been there.

From: Huntcell
29-Mar-23
Whoa…..!!!!!

New business model ? Going from Wyoming to Wyscrewme.

From: Brotsky
29-Mar-23
What were the season dates on your tag and what was disclosed on the application? Not saying WY is right or wrong, just wondering?

From: DonVathome
29-Mar-23
For sure they do not have to refund me, but bison is "different" and a grey area G&F told me this. Given my friend got a refund I was salty. GIven the circumstances, and they could easily choose to, bison are on a case by case basis.

From: Orion
29-Mar-23
You had plenty of time to kill a bison. You should have watched the weather and kept your dates more flexible.

From: KHNC
29-Mar-23
Orion must be rich and no obligations.

From: DanaC
29-Mar-23
Just curious, *why* does the NER close bison seasons 'early'?

Might want to cc your correspondence to your congresscritters. This smells of fraud.

From: PECO2
29-Mar-23
$2,767 that's gotta hurt.

From: BullBuster
29-Mar-23
u got screwed. WY should refund fully.

From: PushCoArcher
29-Mar-23
That hunt is so weather dependent and if you don't have a flexible schedule probably not a good idea to apply for it. Winter sped things up this year not WYGF fault you planned your dates off the years before. Was 1/11 the first time you called?

From: Orion
29-Mar-23
Khnc I do well and have a family but with that tag you have to be flexible especially on years like this year when the weather came early and got the buffalo moving.

From: wytex
29-Mar-23
I don't know but folks in the Jackson office have always been very helpful to bison hunters. They have to close the season on the NER when they start feeding elk. With that tag I called and emailed almost every day getting info, gave them my phone number and they called when bison started moving. These tags have had issue with folks filling them for few years now and it is well known.

Did you try early in season on the NF where some cows get taken and many bulls or just wait for them to move onto the NER? KHNC that tag is very iffy unless you have the time to hunt it right, being available to come when bison start migrating. A little research would have let him known to be available when they migrate, they don't push them out of the park, it is weather dependent.

They close the NER when they start feeding the elk and in Wyoming you can not hunt over bait so it is state law Dana, not fraud. That has been policy for years.

From: Saphead
29-Mar-23
He called 2 weeks before he planned to go hunt picking his hunt dates from past Bison migrations. probably what we would all do. They gave no warning . Just closed it. Probably others that were waiting also. Pretty Rough on Wyoming part. Why did they call the other guy a week before closing and refund him when he couldn't go? Pretty nice. But no early call this time

From: wytex
29-Mar-23

wytex's embedded Photo
wytex's embedded Photo
Maybe he gave the Jackson office his number and Don did not. Don di you call Jackson and talk with folks there , give your number and stay in contact with the GW and Bios in the filed watching the bison?

It is all spelled out right in the regs. as far as when the NER is open and when it may close. When we had the tags we called almost every day in Dec through Jan. I left my number and they called , I was out of town, but they tried.

From: DanaC
29-Mar-23
Wytex, thanks for the explanation, but failing to refund his money still stinks. How many more people are they stiffing?

From: Bou'bound
29-Mar-23
That is insane. Possibly less insane than one guys post above blaming you, but insane nonetheless.

From: PushCoArcher
29-Mar-23
Saphead not even close to what I'd do if I had that amount of $ invested in a tag. Especially knowing how dependent on weather the hunt is. I'd have been calling the Jackson office once a week at least starting at the beginning of December. Why is it WYGF responsibility to call? The Jackson office will go above and beyond helping and providing information. I don’t think it's to much to ask the hunters who applied to do the calling and stay on top of THEIR hunt. Anyone with any amount of knowledge about this hunt knows it's a bit of a gamble. Factor in only trying to hunt the NER and not having a flexible schedule and you've basically stacked the odds against yourself.

From: WapitiBob
29-Mar-23
Your recourse may be with the Commission and you should be able to petition them directly. I would contact Pete Dube as he's the president. I would also contact Brain Nesvik, the game dept Director. I've talked to Nesvik a few times and he's a straight shooter. If it was me, I'd probably call Nesvik directly and plead my case. If he shoots you down ask about going to the Commission. You can reach Nesvik at the main number, just ask for him when you call. ph: (307) 777-4600 In the end, you may be out of luck but it's worth a phone call to Nesvik.

From: Quinn @work
29-Mar-23
Don, they have to make up the loss of hundreds of thousands of preference point dollars somewhere. The budget is hurting after screwing the non-residents that will no longer fund their useless preference points and application fees for moose and sheep. This is at least until they can change the rules or prices again to make up for this loss.

From: wytex
29-Mar-23
I do empathize with you. Take WB's advice and take it to the commission. There are 0 cow bison tags this year.

From: Aspen Ghost
29-Mar-23
Obviously this tag is only workable for someone with a very flexible schedule and that can keep up on the bison movements and weather and NER status on a continuous basis. But that is also well known so I'm not understanding why a refund is in order. Planning to hunt the last week of an area with a known chance of early closure has its risks. The biggest mistake Wyoming made seems to be giving the other guy a refund.

From: Saphead
29-Mar-23
Push I meant that we would make a plan based on past migrations. Didn't say anything about not calling to check. I found it curious that they called some apparently but not DonV. Even if he did call weekly would it have changed the out come? "Hey making my weekly call here to see if what the bison are doing..... Sorry for you we just closed it your out 2,700."

From: Orion
29-Mar-23
At least Aspen ghost gets it

From: DonVathome
29-Mar-23
I fully admit I knew the chance the hunt would end early. My friend was not like me, calling Jackson etc, and yes I have gave a phone number - same number and only number I used for 20 years. The fact they called my friend to tell him if he could come out to do so (my friend NEVER called them) and gave him a refund but did neither for me is what does not sit right. I LOVE Jackson G&F, very helpfull and nice. I hunted cow elk on the refuge 7 of the last 8 years. I hunted cow bison almost a decade ago there. I get it.

When I called G&F in Jackson a week before my hunt (I typically called them weekly) the lady seemed really shocked when i asked about bison and then sheepishly said, "ahh they are closing it tonight (it was noon)" I got the impression they might have meant to all everyone and forgot me. I am speculating here but there was some awkwardness.

Keep in mind no cow bison killed off the refuge in 5 years, a NR from Ohio and the last 3 years they came in the last couple days of January, or at best the last week. I made a good plan, my only plan and went with it. The friend who got his cow tag refund years ago was going with me. I could have come early if I was called.

Again I admit I knew the risk BUT my friend got a refund, and a warning. I left the last half of January open just in case.

Several people at G&F said bison was different and they would look at my request on a case by case basis, unlike all other tags in the state.

I am honestly surprised I was denied. I provided data, dates, harvest info etc showing my only option was the elk refuge.

If a rule changed since my buddy got his refund that is different, if not why him and not me?

From: Grey Ghost
29-Mar-23
Umm...I think I would have kept tabs on my own hunt instead of relying on how the G&F handled an isolated case "years ago". But that's just me.

Matt

From: pirogue
30-Mar-23
Take WalatiBob’s advice. Just hope that when you call the commission, they’re not in bed with WYOGA.

From: mulecreek
30-Mar-23
Pete Dube is no longer on the Commission. Ken Roberts is the President. A couple of new members added this month that do not show up on the website just yet.

30-Mar-23
“ last 3 years they came in the last couple days of January, or at best the last week.

Why weren’t you out there hunting the last week. If that’s when they are all killed. I’m not understanding why you are shocked.

From: mulecreek
30-Mar-23
A S The season was shutdown on Jan 11th.

From: DonVathome
30-Mar-23
Thanks guys, yes AS season closed early, I had hotel booked, rental car, flight etc had to cancel everything. Actually the season did not close but the elk refuge did. So I was able to hunt other public land - but remember not a single cow bison was killed off the refuge in the last 5 years. I know a couple serious local hunters and I called the 2 premier bison guides in the area. Everyone agreed I had no chance at killing a cow bison once the refuge closed so I did not bother to waste my time and money coming out to try.

From: PushCoArcher
30-Mar-23
"If a rule changed since my buddy got his refund that is different, if not why him and not me?"

No rules may have changed but the attitude towards NR certainly has especially in the last few years. While I still think WYGF is in the right I'm not so naive as to think this might not be the answer to your question.

From: Bou'bound
30-Mar-23
That is insane. Possibly less insane than one guys post above blaming you, but insane nonetheless.

From: Verdehunter3
31-Mar-23
It’s always someone else’s fault….

From: Orion
31-Mar-23
Bou did the outfitter refund you on your poached lion?

From: BULELK1
02-Apr-23

BULELK1's Link
Harvest Data

2022 season hasn't been finalized yet, although 84% is expected.

Unfortunately, the data doesn't breakdown Forest/Private or the NER to get actual harvest representation.

Good luck, Robb

From: wytex
02-Apr-23
Bison cross and can be taken near Kelly on private land, it happens. You have to make some calls and get access. Probably not easy for a NR though to get that access.

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