By Rob Shaul
Governor Gordon is offering up one of his Governor bison tags for a raffle limited to Wyoming residents only. A raffle ticket offered through the Wyoming Wildlife Foundation website will cost you $10, and the "lucky winning ticket" will be drawn during Cheyenne Frontier Days on July 27th.
If Governor Gordon really wanted to demonstrate he cared about Wyoming resident hunters, he would insist the Wyoming Legislature change Wyoming's annual give-away of our valuable hunting tags to nonresidents. Wyoming is, by far, the most liberal state in the West when it comes to nonresident hunting tag allocation.
Wyoming gives 25% of our Bighorn Sheep tags to nonresidents. Other western states? Ten percent at most.
Wyoming gives 20% of our Bison tags to nonresidents. Other western states? Ten percent at most.
Wyoming gives 20% of our Moose tags to nonresidents. Other western states? Ten percent at most.
In 2018, Wyoming gave 18% of our Elk tags, 31% of our deer tags and 52% of our antelope tags to nonresidents!
You read right, in 2018, more nonresidents purchased antelope tags in Wyoming than Wyoming residents!
Why are we so liberal with our tags? Blame the outfitters, hospitality industry (motels/restaurants), and Wyoming Game & Fish Department which have all for years fought any decrease in nonresident tag allocation.
Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose are once-in-a-lifetime hunts for Wyoming residents. Every Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose tag that goes to a nonresident means a Wyoming resident will never get the opportunity to hunt for these species in his or her lifetime.
Back to Governor Gordon's Bison Tag Raffle....
Governor, if we drop Wyoming's bison tag allocation from it's current 20% of the total to 10% like other states, twenty-four more Wyomingites would have hunted Bison in 2018. Please don't let this happen again.
Rob Shaul is a 5th Generation Wyomingite and the Founder of Mountain Pursuit