Above: A forum post on monstermuleys.com offers to sell points to another nonresident and apply for a "party" tag under Wyoming's liberal point sharing rules.
Nonresidents Are Selling Preference Points Under Wyoming's Liberal Party Hunt Draw Regulations
By Mountain Pursuit
For $1,499, Mr. Latturner promises buck location, glassing, trailhead, camping and other information to increase the odds of harvesting a 1-2% buck for nonresident hunters from "1 in 100" to "1 in 5 for a 5-7 day hunt."
Mr. Latturner himself has deer hunted the prized Region G in western Wyoming as a nonresident an astounding 9 of the past 10 years, according to the Wyoming Game & Fish Department.
According to the draw odds at gohunt.com, in 2018, a nonresident applying for a Wyoming Region G Deer tag with less than 6 preference points, had a 4.9% chance of draw. With six points, the draw odds increase to 84%, and with 7 or more points, 100%.
Nonresidents can accumulate at most one preference point per year. This means a nonresident must apply and be unsuccessful for 6 years on a row before having a reasonable chance at drawing a Region G Tag. Further, it means based on the current number of applications, the most a nonresident could hunt mule deer in Wyoming's Region G is once every six years.
So how has Mr. Latturner hunted Region G nine of the past 10 years? For 8 of those years, he's traded the $1,499 value of his "Consulting/Scouting" service to other nonresidents with a high number of preference points so together they could apply as a "party" for the draw.
Under current Wyoming Draw regulations, when two or more people apply as a part for a tag draw, their preference points are averaged. So, if Mr. Latturner with zero preference points submitted a party application with another nonresident who had 12 preference points, together they would go into the draw with six preference points - and greatly increase Mr. Latturner's chances of drawing a tag.
Essentially, nonresidents are offering to share their preference points to Mr. Latturner in exchange for Mr. Latturner's $1499 counsulting/guiding services. In return, Mr. Latturner gets to apply for a Wyoming deer license as one hunter in a "party" and average his low preference points with the other nonresidents in the party.
Jennifer Doering of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department confirmed last week that point sharing like this is not illegal under current Wyoming regulations, even if money or services are exchanged in the process.
Mr. Latturner doesn't hide this practice and in a post on his website, admitted to providing his scouting/consulting service in exchange for applying as a party for his 2018 Wyoming Region G mule deer hunt. In a post describing his 2018 hunting season, Mr. Latturner wrote, "What a fun hunt for my Wyoming hunting buddy and I. Right now I have to thank him for sharing his points with me to put me in the game." In another post, he defended this practice. See below:
Mr. Latturner is not alone in this practice. Monstermuleys.com, has a vigorous forum section, and on January 14, 2019, "wapitiman" published a post openly offering to sell his Wyoming elk preference points to another nonresident who would apply with him as a "party" in the draw.
Wapitiman's solicitation drew significant interest from other forum members, but also controversy about the legality and ethics of nonresidents selling preference points. Many of the back and forth posts responding to wapitiman's "I have extra WYO elk points ...." post have been scrubbed from Mr. Latturner's website.
However, under the "Wyoming" section, another forum user, "Benhuntn" posted on February 6 that he was proposing a change to the Wyoming Preference Point System where the person with the lowest points in the party would have his/her points used in the draw, rather than Wyoming's current method of averaging the points.
In the post below, Mr. Latturner responded that if they Wyoming changed, he had other hunting opportunities.
He continued by again offering to trade his Wyoming consulting/scouting services in exchange to share points with another nonresident as part of a party application for 2019.
It's unclear at how widespread selling nonresident points is, but forum posters at monstermuleys.com indicated several other hunting personalities like Mr. Latturner have taken advantage of Wyoming's Liberal Party Draw System.
About Mountain Pursuit - Mountain Pursuit is a western states hunting advocacy nonprofit which champions ethical hunting, license preference for resident hunters, conservation and new hunter education and recruitment. More at www.mtnpursuit.org.