Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon approved significant fee increases for nonresident hunters in 2024, impacting both special draw licenses and licenses for the “Big 5” trophy game species. House Bill 200 was signed into law on Thursday, which mandates these fee hikes to take effect from January 1, 2024. As hunters gear up for the upcoming seasons, it’s important to understand the changes in fees and their implications. Wyoming Applications are now open with varying deadlines through May 31st.

Special Draw Fee Surge

The fee changes primarily affect the special draw licenses, where 40 percent of nonresident hunting licenses are allocated. For the general draw, NR hunters pay only the base license fee, which remains unchanged under HB 200. The base fees are $326 for antelope, $374 for deer, and $692 for elk.

However, for those applying for the 40 percent special draw licenses, a substantial increase in prices comes into play. The special draw prices have seen significant increases this year, including a jump from $1,258 to $1,950 for the elk special license draw price, from $288 to $825 for deer, and from $288 to $874 for antelope. These fees are added onto the license price of a regular license, so the totals are even higher. For example, a nonresident seeking a 40 percent special drawing elk tag would now have to pay the $692 base license fee, along with $1,258 for the special draw license fee, resulting in a total of $1,950.

Total Prices for 2024:

Elk: $1,950
Deer: $1,200
Antelope (Pronghorn): $1,200

Big 5 Trophy Game Species Prices Soar

Nonresident hunters pursuing the “Big 5” trophy game species, including Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep, Rocky Mountain Goats, Moose, Bison, and Grizzly Bears, will also face increased license prices.

The updated fees for these species are as follows:
Bighorn Sheep: $2,318 to $3,000
Mountain Goat: $2,160 to $2,750
Moose: $1,980 to $2,750
Bison: $4,400 to $6,000

Implications for Hunters

The fee increases, particularly for special draw licenses and the “Big 5” species, will undoubtedly impact nonresident hunters’ budgets. As the cost of pursuing coveted tags rises, hunters may need to reevaluate their hunting plans and financial considerations.

It’s crucial for hunters to stay informed about these changes, plan their applications accordingly, and be aware of the financial implications associated with pursuing special draw licenses and trophy game species in Wyoming. As the 2024 hunting season approaches, hunters should factor in these fee adjustments to make informed decisions and ensure a smooth application process.

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