Wyoming Big Game Drawing
College basketball players and big game hunters have something in common this week: both are waiting to hear their fate in a draft.

The annual hunting "draft" or drawing for elk, deer and antelope licenses was conducted June 22-23, nearly two weeks ahead of schedule. All 96,550 licenses and 36,000 refunds should be mailed by July 5, reports Tom Rowe, license draw manager for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Area 31 type 1 south of Rock Springs continues to be Wyoming’s toughest elk at 3.4 percent. This year’s most difficult antelope license to draw was area 78 east of Cody at 11.3 drawing success. For the third year, the late season license near Baggs, area 82 type 1 at 4.2 percent was Wyoming’s most uphill deer drawing.

Resident demand for all three species dropped: antelope 22,995 down 974 applications; deer 12,369 applications off 78; and elk 30,051, down 973 applications.

Nearly 2,000 more nonresidents wanted to hunt Wyoming antelope in 2000 as 24,159 applications were processed. After a 5 percent rise in 1999 demand, interest in nonresident deer hunting jumped another 10 percent to 38,459 applications this year.

Rowe credits the early drawing to his staff working 10- to 12-hour days since June 3. "We receive nearly 70 percent of the resident applications the last week (May 25-31) of the month-long application period, which makes the drawing preparation tough because most of the work comes all at one time," he said.

"To the extent practical, we contact applicants who submit invalid applications," Rowe said. "But with the increased number of late resident-applications this year, to try and reach everyone we would have had to delay the draws several days. So a greater number of applicants who submitted invalid applications did not get entered in the drawing this year."

Rowe says the most common mistakes rendering applications invalid were party application errors, not completing proof of residency, no signature, nonexistent hunt area or type, and bad checks.

Ninety-one different types of elk licenses are leftover in 68 areas. The majority of the licenses are for antlerless elk, although nine areas are offering "any elk tags" and 14 areas have archery-only antlered tags.

Twelve areas and three nonresident regions (B, F and J) have leftover deer licenses. "Any antelope" licenses are available in 29 hunt areas.

Rowe alerts hunters that leftover licenses for both residents and nonresidents — except doe/fawn deer and antelope, and cow/calf elk — will be issued in a second drawing. The application period for the second drawing is July 10-20 and the drawing is scheduled for July 31. Applications are being sent with refunds and are available at license agents and G&F offices.

Any licenses remaining after the second drawing will be sold "as processed" through the G&F’s Cheyenne office.

Doe/fawn deer and antelope licenses were initially issued by drawing for the third year. Rowe reports that demand increased slightly, but is still very light compared to the supply. "I think most hunters want to know if they have buck licenses before they commit to a doe/fawn tag," Rowe said.

Leftover doe/fawn antelope and deer, and cow/calf elk licenses will be sold first-come, first-served at license agents in or near the respective hunt areas beginning August 15.

For more information about 2000 big game licenses, call the G&F at (800) 842-1934, or (307) 777-4600 outside Wyoming.

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