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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2018: Wyoming Sheep, Moose, Goat, Bison

 

2018 Wyoming moose sheep goat bison application strategy article
Photo credit: Dreamstime

Wyoming's 2018 sheep, moose, goat and bison application overview

Jump to: New for 2018 State Information Draw System Sheep Breakdown Moose Breakdown Mountain Goat Breakdown Bison Breakdown

Wyoming is a diverse state with a variety of habitat types and species. While many are aware of the common three (deer, elk, and antelope), if a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Shiras moose, Rocky Mountain goat, or a bison is on your bucket list, then you might consider Wyoming. Wyoming offers more bighorn sheep licenses than any state. Goat and bison populations are healthy and draws are random with no point system. If you started building points for sheep and/or moose several years ago, 2018 is likely going to be a great year to have a permit and, even if you didn’t, there are still some random permits available. The only way to draw any permit is to have your application in the pool and with good populations, good trophy potential, and some random tags available Wyoming is worth applying if you can afford it!

Note: The application period for Wyoming sheep, moose, mountain goat, and bison is open until February 28, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. MST. Apply online here.



Why Wyoming for sheep, moose, goat, and bison in 2018

  • Wyoming issues more Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep licenses than any other state.
  • The three Rocky Mountain goat hunt areas all have stable to increasing populations and the draw is random with no preference point system for goats.
  • Wyoming offers a good number of moose permits and has put more trophies in the book than any other state.
  • There is no point system for bison licenses. Draws are completely random and the odds of drawing a permit are great in comparison to Utah or Arizona.
  • Long season dates include an archery and rifle season on the same license.


New for 2018

  • Significantly higher fees for some species (see table below).
  • Personal data confidentiality: An applicant can opt-in to designate their email address, date of birth and telephone number to be released during a public information request.
  • New any bison hunt in Area 3.
  • Bighorn sheep Areas 18/21 (two licenses) and 24 (one license) for residents.

Amount to remit

Wyoming resident fees for 2018

Item Resident fees Resident
increase
2017 to 2018
Rocky Mtn.
bighorn sheep
$157 $5 - App. fee
$145 - License fee
$7 - Pref. point fee
+$35
Shiras
moose
$157 $5 - App. fee
$145 - License fee
$7 - Pref. point fee
+$40
Rocky Mtn.
goat
$157 $5 - App. fee
$152 - License fee
No pref. point
+$30
Bison
(any)
$419 $5 - App. fee
$414 - License fee
No pref. point
+$12
Bison
(cow/calf)
$265 $5 - App. fee
$260 - License fee
No pref. point
+$8

 

Wyoming nonresident fees for 2018

Item Nonresident fees Nonresident
increase
2017 to 2018
Rocky Mtn.
bighorn sheep
$2,335 $15 - App. fee
$2,170 - License fee
$150 - Pref. point fee
+$69
Shiras
moose
$1,997 $15 - App. fee
$1,832 - License fee
$150 - Pref. point fee
+$581
Rocky Mtn.
goat
$2,177 $15 - App. fee
$2,162 - License fee
No pref. point
+$11
Bison
(any)
$4,417 $15 - App. fee
$4,402 - License fee
No pref. point
+$1,901
Bison
(cow/calf)
$2,767 $15 - App. fee
$2,752 - License fee
No pref. point
+$1,751

Note: Unsuccessful applicants will be refunded the entire amount minus the application and preference point fee. Refunds will be credited to the credit card used to apply.


State information

View important information and an overview of Wyoming’s rules/regulations, the draw system, tag and license fees and an interactive boundary line map on our State Profile. You can also view the Wyoming species profiles to access historical and statistical data to help you locate trophy areas.

Wyoming State Profile Rocky Bighorn Profile Moose Profile Mountain Goat Profile Bison Profile Draw Odds

Important dates and information

  • Moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat application period is January 2 to February 28 at 11:59 p.m. MST.
  • Bison application period is February 1 to 28 at 11:59 p.m. MST.
  • You can apply online here.
  • Application modification/withdraw deadline is April 16.
  • Wyoming accepts online applications only.
  • Results will be available May 10.
  • You cannot return for refund or transfer a drawn license in Wyoming.
  • Separate preference points can be purchased July 2 to Oct 31.
  • If a person fails to either apply for a drawing with the preference point option or purchase a preference point during the preference point only application period for two consecutive years, all accumulated points for that species will be lost.
  • The minimum age to take any big game or trophy game animal is twelve years of age. An applicant may apply for any big game or trophy game license if he/she is eleven years of age, but must be at least twelve years of age when hunting.
  • Any person born after January 1, 1966 must have in their possession proof of satisfactory completion of a hunter safety course.
  • No “special” licenses are drawn for these species.
  • There is a preference point system for moose and bighorn sheep. Applicants that are unsuccessful in the draw will receive a preference point. Moose and bighorn sheep applicants must participate in the preference point system.
  • There is no point system for mountain goats and bison.
  • Party applications are not allowed for moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goats.
  • Party applications are allowed for bison with a maximum party size of six. Nonresidents and residents cannot apply together.
  • Any successful full price bighorn sheep applicant must wait five years to apply for or receive another full price bighorn sheep license.
  • Any successful moose applicant must wait five years to apply for or receive another moose license.
  • A Wyoming mountain goat license is a once-in-a-lifetime license, which means that if you have drawn a goat license in Wyoming you may not apply there again in your life.
  • Any person who is issued an “any wild bison” license (Type 1) and harvests a bull wild bison is ineligible to apply for or receive an “any wild bison” license in any future year, but is eligible to apply for and receive a “female or calf wild bison” license for the next immediate season.
  • Any person who is issued an “any wild bison” license and harvests a female or calf wild bison is ineligible to apply for or receive a “female or calf wild bison” license in the next five years, but is eligible to apply for and receive an “any wild bison” license the following season.
  • Any person who is issued a “female or calf wild bison” license (Type 4) and harvests a female or calf wild bison is ineligible to apply for or receive an “any wild bison” license or a “female or calf wild bison” license in the following five years.

Wilderness areas

Wyoming has some of the most varied and breathtaking terrain within the lower 48. Roughly 50% of the state is public Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service and state lands that feature a diverse range of landscapes, including expansive grasslands in the east, basin deserts and badlands in the central portion of the state, and many mountainous regions. There are 15 Designated Wilderness Areas throughout the state—all of which are off limits to nonresident hunters without the accompaniment of a registered outfitter or Wyoming resident guide. A Wyoming resident guide license may be obtained from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) by any resident possessing a valid big or trophy game license. A resident guide may only take up to two nonresident hunters into a wilderness area per year. There is no cost to obtain a resident guide license. A resident guide cannot accept any gratuity or compensation.

Many of the bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and moose hunt areas have portions that lie within designated wilderness. Be sure to study the Unit Profiles to locate which areas have designated wilderness. If you are a nonresident and would like to legally hunt in a wilderness area, please contact an outfitter. A complete list of outfitters in Wyoming can be found in our Outfitter Directory. Residents need not worry about the wilderness area restriction since they can legally hunt without restriction.

The impact of wolves on Wyoming's herds

The decline in moose populations along the western portion of the state has been well documented over the past two decades. Although disease is likely the cause for some of the decline, a good amount of it is due to predation.

Wolves were finally removed from the endangered species list on April 25, 2017. Wolf management is now being led by the State of Wyoming and hunting is actively being used as a tool to manage populations. The state has defined 12 trophy zones that are located in areas surrounding Yellowstone National Park. Within those 12 zones, seasons generally run from October through December. Each hunt area has a set quota; once hit, the season will be closed. The total quota for all 12 zones is 44 wolves. Hunters can purchase a wolf permit over-the-counter (OTC) and harvest one wolf per calendar year.

Outside of those zones, wolves are managed as a predatory animal and can be harvested without a license any time of year. There are currently an estimated 377 wolves statewide with 269 of those occurring outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Reservation.

During the 2017 season, hunters took 44 wolves out of the Trophy Quota Zone and 32 wolves from the Predatory Zone.

Grizzly country

The initial recovery plan called for a minimum population of 500 grizzly bears. Since 2000, the population has continued to steadily grow and expand well beyond the Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone. The most recent estimate of the population is approximately 700; however, it’s very likely larger than that. Impact to moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and bison populations due to grizzly predation is debatable, but it certainly is not helping those species.

In late June, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing the Yellowstone grizzly population from the endangered species list and, on July 31, 2017, they were officially removed. WGFD are currently exploring management options, including hunting. Time will tell if management is truly turned over to the state and if grizzly hunting will be permitted in the coming years. At least, for now, the option is still on the table.

Many of the bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goat and, even, bison areas overlap occupied grizzly bear habitat. Be bear aware and prepare if you plan to hunt in grizzly bear country.

Snowpack in Wyoming
 

Wyoming percent of snow water equivalent February 2018
Snow water equivalent in Wyoming as of February 4, 2018. Source: Wyoming Water Resources Data System

Snowpack in the majority of Wyoming is looking to be average to a little above average.



The Wyoming draw system

Understanding the draw

The draw system for moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and bison differs from the other species (deer, elk, antelope). For starters, the mountain goat and bison draws are random with no point system. All applicants are on a level playing field.

Moose and bighorn sheep draws work on modified preference point system where 75% of the permits are given to maximum point holders and 25% are randomly allocated. Maximum points for moose and bighorn sheep going into the 2018 draw are 23 preference points. Applicants who are just starting to apply or with fewer accumulated preference points should focus on applying for hunts where there is likely to be a random license available.

The bighorn sheep and mountain goat license split is 75% for residents and 25% for nonresidents. In some sheep hunts you may notice there has been less than four permits total, but still one is available to a nonresident. Wyoming does this occasionally to ensure that the statewide percentage splits are maintained for nonresidents. The moose and bison split is 80% for residents and 20% for nonresidents. Moose applicants should also take note that some hunt areas may not have a random license available so if you are just starting out or have few points, pick areas that have had random licenses in the past.

The points system

The Wyoming moose and bighorn sheep draws work on a preference point system for residents and nonresidents where 75% of the licenses are given to high point holders for each hunt. Applicants can gain a preference point every year that they apply and are unsuccessful in the draw or they can buy a point during the point only purchase timeframe from July through October. If you choose to apply in the draw, it’s mandatory that you participate and the cost of the preference point will not be refunded. The cost of preference points for these species has increased this year for nonresidents from $100 to $150.

There is no point system for mountain goats or bison.



Wyoming's 2018 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep breakdown
 

Wyoming bighorn sheep taken with Shoshone Lodge Outfitters 2
An awesome 2017 ram taken by Scott Looker with Shoshone Lodge Outfitters — A goHUNT Business Member

The bulk of the bighorn sheep population inhabit the mountainous peaks in the northwestern portion of the state. Bighorn sheep Hunt Areas 1 through 5 on the east side of Yellowstone National Park provide about 80% of Wyoming’s annual harvest. Area 5 west of Meeteetse continues to bounce back after a disease problem several years ago and eight tags were added in 2017. Early summer reconnaissance near Dubois of the famed Whiskey Mountain (Hunt Area 10) and the rocky Dinwoody (Hunt Area 9) to the south is a little concerning because lamb production appears to be down significantly. Fortunately, that won’t impact the number of mature rams this fall.

Wyoming six year bighorn sheep tag quotas - 2018

There are also some smaller populations that occur in the northwestern Bighorns, Medicine Bow and Laramie Ranges, but overall Wyoming has a relatively healthy population of bighorn sheep and continues to offer more bighorn tags than any other state. In 2015, Wyoming offered 196 permits, 200 in 2016, and 206 in 2017. Last year, 52 were available to nonresidents, seven of which were randomly allocated. The trophy quality typically falls between 150” and 170” but every year a few 180” class rams are harvested.

Current Wyoming bighorn herd condition

Current bighorn herd conditions in Wyoming

Area Population
objective
Population
estimate
Male:female
ratio
% Public
land
Wilderness %*
Area 1 500 600 31:100 92% 35%
Area 2 750 680 34:100 85% 42%
Area 3 1,000 850 28:100 91% 67%
Area 4 900 875 42:100 57% 83%
Areas 5/22 1,350 710 50:100 93%
99%
17%
0%
Area 6 125 80 NA 96% 30%
Area 7 400 371 36:100 71% 27%
Areas 8, 9, 10 1,350 841 47:100 95%
NA
92%
53%
90%
23%
Area 12 175 263 36:100 92% 0%
Area 17/26 130 300 90:100 71%
NA
0%
Area 18/21 75 350 64:100 NA 3%
6%
Area 19 NA NA 60:100 30% 0%
Area 20 NA NA NA 27% 0%
Area 24 39 65 NA NA 0%

* Wilderness percent in each area is approximate.


How to uncover hidden gem Rocky bighorn areas

Bighorn sheep tags are highly coveted and for nonresidents with less than about 17 points you really only have a handful of options. Wyoming has had five hunt areas that historically offer permits in the random draw, seven total in 2017. Those hunt areas are 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Each hunt area offers one random permit; Areas 3 and 5 have two random permits. If you are below the preference point line (17), applying for one of these five areas is your only chance to draw a bighorn sheep tag. If you have more than 17 points, you should be aware that Wyoming may offer nonresident tags in other hunt areas that will have less than five total tags available (residents and nonresidents combined). In these cases, Wyoming will allow for a nonresident tag on a rotating area/year basis. WGFD does this to ensure it meets the overall statewide nonresident quota. Although it’s important to remember that if the total number of nonresident tags available for an area is less than four, each of these tags will be limited to the applicants with the most accrued preference points (i.e no random chance).

Resident area quotas broken into license allocation for each draw

Area Total
licenses
Resident
total licenses
Resident pref.
point licenses
Resident
random licenses
Area 1 20 15 12 3
Area 2 24 18 14 4
Area 3 40 30 23 7
Area 4 23 17 13 4
Area 5 38 30 23 7
Area 6 1 (2018) 2 2 0
Area 7 12 9 7 2
Area 8 12 9 7 2
Area 10 8 6 5 1
Area 12 6 4 3 1
Area 17, 26 3 2 2 0
Area 18, 21 2 NA NA NA
Area 19 8 6 5 1
Area 20 3 (2018) 1 1 0
Area 22 4 3 3 0
Area 24 1 1 1 0
 
 

Nonresident area quotas broken into tag allocation for each draw

Area Total
licenses
Nonresident
total licenses
Nonresident pref.
point licenses
Nonresident
random licenses
Area 1 20 5 4 1
Area 2 24 6 5 1
Area 3 40 10 8 2
Area 4 23 6 5 1
Area 5 38 8 8 2
Area 6 1 (2018) 0 0 0
Area 7 12 3 3 0
Area 8 12 3 3 0
Area 10 8 2 2 0
Area 12 6 2 2 0
Area 17, 26 3 1 1 0
Area 18, 21 2 0 0 0
Area 19 8 2 2 0
Area 20 3 (2018) 1 1 0
Area 22 4 1 1 0
Area 24 1 0 0 0
 

Wyoming statute states that any successful bighorn sheep applicant must wait five years before applying for or receiving another bighorn sheep license. During this waiting period, the applicant is also not eligible to purchase preference points.



Boone & Crockett entry trends for Wyoming Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

Areas listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Areas in this table are included if any part of the area is found within the county. Data provided below courtesy of the Boone and Crockett Club.

Wyoming's top Boone & Crockett producing
counties since 2010 for bighorn sheep

County No. of
entries
Areas found
within county
Park 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Big Horn 5 12
Albany 2 18, 29
Hot Springs 1 5

TOP B&C SHEEP LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2010 - 2018 Wyoming

Discovering the best ram:ewe ratio areas

You have probably noticed that we provide data on ram to ewe ratios for each hunt area in Wyoming. Male to female ratios are a critical measuring data tool for wildlife managers and indicate the current status of the herd. A higher ram to ewe ratio may indicate that an area could have a higher availability of mature rams compared to an area with a lower ram to ewe ratio. This doesn’t always indicate that the rams will be the highest scoring rams, but more rams equates to more rams to find and harvest. When selecting an area, or comparing several areas, take this into consideration to help your decision. For a complete understanding of male to female ratios, please refer to a recent article covering this in-depth. The best way to find the areas with the best ram:ewe ratios is to use Filtering 2.0 under Wyoming bighorn sheep. And then sort the results by male:female ratio. You can jump to those results here.

Top areas for ram: ewe ratios

Area Ram:ewe
ratio
Area 19 106:100
Area 12 83:100
Area 5 68:100
Area 22 68:100
Area 10 59:100
Area 9 59:100
Area 8 59:100
Area 23 59:100
Area 7 52:100
Area 4 44:100

 



Hit list areas for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

Wyoming bighorn sheep taken with Shoshone Lodge Outfitters

Wyoming bighorn sheep taken with Shoshone Lodge Outfitters — A goHUNT Business Member
 

goHUNT's 2018 top hit list hunt areas to consider for 165" or better rams

Area Trophy
potential
Avg. age ram
harvested in 2017
Ram:ewe
ratio
Harvest % Days/harvest
Area 1 165"+ 6 43:100 95% 12
Area 2 175"+ 7 24:100 92% 8.8
Area 3 175"+ 5 27:100 80% 12.9
Area 4 170"+ 8 39:100 73% 10.3
Area 5 175"+ 7 55:100 91% 7.5
Area 7 170"+ 11 46:100 67% 10.8
Area 12 175"+ 7 48:100 100% 8.8
Area 17/26 175"+ 5 83:100 100% 5
Area 18/21 175"+ No tags in 2017 -- -- --
Area 19 175"+ 8 55:100 100% 3.1

 


Managing points and expectations

The points system for Wyoming Rocky mountain bighorn sheep

2018 maximum bonus points for rocky bighorn sheep: 23

WYOMING RESIDENT SHEEP POINT TOTALS GOING INTO THE 2018 DRAW

WYOMING NONRESIDENT SHEEP POINT TOTALS GOING INTO THE 2018 DRAW

Species profile: Wyoming Sheep points going into the 2018 draw

Find your draw oddS here

I have 0 to 14 sheep preference points. What can I expect?

Residents

For residents, Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, and 19 all had random permits in 2017. Areas 3 and 5 had seven random permits a piece.

Find your resident draw odds with 0 points here

Nonresidents

If you are a nonresident just beginning to apply for bighorn sheep, the only areas that you should consider are 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Those hunt areas have historically all had at least one random permit and Areas 3 and 5 have had two random permits.

Find your nonresident draw odds with 0 points here

The minimum number of preference points needed to be considered for a preference point license in 2017 was 15 for residents and 17 for nonresidents. All applicants who do not draw a preference point permit end up in the random pool and every applicant has an equal chance to draw. The number of preference points you have do not factor into the random draw.

What can I expect with 15 or 23 sheep preference points?

If you have this many points, you should explore the preference point options. By using the draw odds detailed view, you will be able to find what areas you have the best chance to draw. Here is a break down:

Resident areas with 100% draw odds by number of points

Points Areas
16 6, 9
17 1, 6, 8, 9
18 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9
19 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9
20 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 78, 9, 22
21 1, 2, 3, 4, 56, 78, 9, 10, 22
22 1, 2, 3, 4, 56, 78, 9, 10, 17, 1922
23 1, 2, 3, 4, 56, 78, 9, 10, 17, 1922

To be noted: Areas 12 and 20 had 50% odds with 22 points. Area 18/21 offer two resident licenses for 2018. Odds for 2016, which is the last time these permits were offered were 100% with 21 points. This hunt is likely to take 23 in 2018. Area 24 will have one resident permit in 2018. In 2016, odds were 25% with 21. This hunt will likely take 23 points to draw this year.

Find your resident draw odds with 15 points here

Nonresident areas with 100% draw odds by number of points

Points Areas
17 9
18 4, 7, 8, 9, 22
19 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 22
20 1, 23, 4, 57, 8, 9, 10, 22
21 1, 23, 4, 57, 8, 9, 10, 22
22 1, 23, 4, 57, 8, 9, 10, 12, 19, 2022
23 1, 23, 4, 57, 8, 9, 10, 12, 19, 2022

Find your nonresident draw odds with 15 points here


 

Wyoming's 2018 Shiras moose breakdown
 

Wyoming shiras moose taken with Shoshone Lodge Outfitters
A great 2017 Shiras moose take with Shoshone Lodge Outfitters — A goHUNT Business Member

The decline in Wyoming moose hunting opportunities is well known, but, for those just getting into the game, here a few statistics that demonstrates just how bad it’s been. In 2005, Wyoming issued 786 total moose licenses. In 2017, the quota was 322 licenses, which is a 60% reduction the total number of licenses in 13 years. If we take it back a few more years, the reduction in license numbers is closer to 80%. That’s the bad news, but for those lucky enough to draw a license there are still good bulls. Historically, Wyoming has been a great place to harvest a trophy bull. Harvest success rates are typically in the low 90% range and, if you draw a license, the chances to see multiple bulls and harvest one are good.

Trophy quality is mostly confined to a handful of areas. The Bighorn Hunt Areas 1, 34, 42 and the Snowy Range and Sierra Madre Areas 41, 38 on the Colorado border are hands down the best bet for a 40” bull. Beyond those, trophy bulls are tough to find throughout the rest of the state. Almost any area can hold a mature bull, but finding and harvesting one is challenging.

Moose inhabit a wide variety of terrain throughout Wyoming. Moose can be found anywhere from rolling sage and aspen to remote wilderness river drainages, pine-covered ridges and alpine meadows. Review the Unit Profiles to determine what areas meet your objectives for trophy potential, draw odds, terrain, and access.

2018 Shiras moose herd conditions

Undoubtedly, wolves and grizzlies have decreased the number of moose in the western portion of the state. Direct predation and low recruitment rates due to the decline in overall populations are going to make it hard to ever recover to historic populations. Add in some disease issues and moose are definitely struggling. The only real hope it that both wolves and grizzlies have been removed from the Endangered Species List and wolves are actively being hunted. There is even talk of grizzly hunts in the coming years.

Overall, the largest populations in the state are in Areas 5, 24, 25, 2638, and 41.



How to uncover hidden gem Shiras moose areas

Nonresidents with very few accumulated preference points should look for hunt choices with a random tag available. Random draw tags will only be drawn when there are four or more tags available. Check the Unit Profiles and Draw Odds to see the allocation. You can also use the tables below to locate hunt areas that offer tags in the random drawing.

Resident area quotas, preference, and random licenses

Area Total
licenses
Resident
total licenses
Resident pref.
point licenses
Resident
random licenses
Area 1 5 4 3 1
Area 2/30 5 4 3 1
Area 3 10 8 6 2
Area 4 10 8 6 2
Area 5 25 20 15 5
Area 6 5 4 3 1
Area 10 10 8 6 2
Area 11 5 4 3 1
Area 16, 37 5 4 3 1
Area 17, 28 5 4 3 1
Area 18 5 4 3 1
Area 20 15 12 9 3
Area 21 5 4 3 1
Area 22 5 4 3 1
Area 23 15 12 9 3
Area 24 20 16 12 4
Area 25 45 36 27 9
Area 26 32 26 20 6
Area 27 12 10 8 2
Area 34 5 4 3 1
Area 35 3 2 2 0
Area 36 5 4 3 1
Area 38, 41 20 16 12 4
Area 40 3 2 2 0
Area 42 5 4 3 1

 

Nonresident area quotas, preference and random licenses

Area Total
licenses
Nonresident
total licenses
Nonresident pref.
point licenses
Nonresident
random licenses
Area 1 5 1 1 0
Area 2/30 5 1 1 0
Area 3 10 2 2 0
Area 4 10 2 2 0
Area 5 25 5 4 1
Area 6 5 1 1 0
Area 9 5 1 1 0
Area 10 10 2 2 0
Area 11 5 1 1 0
Area 16, 37 5 1 1 0
Area 17, 28 5 1 1 0
Area 18 5 1 1 0
Area 20 15 3 3 0
Area 21 5 1 1 0
Area 22 5 1 1 0
Area 23 15 3 3 0
Area 24 20 4 3 1
Area 25 45 9 7 2
Area 26 32 6 5 1
Area 27 12 2 2 0
Area 34 5 1 1 0
Area 35 3 1 1 0
Area 38, 41 20 4 3 1
Area 40 3 1 1 0
Area 42 5 1 1 0

 



Boone & Crockett (B&C) entry trends for Wyoming Shiras moose

Areas listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Areas in this table are included if any part of the area is found within the county. Data provided below courtesy of the Boone and Crockett Club.

Wyoming's top Boone & Crockett producing
counties since 2010 for Shiras moose

County No. of
entries
Areas found
within county
Sublette 11 4, 5, 10, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25, 30
Albany 6 38
Carbon 6 38, 41
Johnson 6 1, 34
Fremont 5 2, 39
Sheridan 4 1, 42
Teton 4 7, 8, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,
19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 28, 32, 37

TOP B&C SHIRAS MOOSE LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2010 - 2018 Wyoming



Discovering the best bull:cow ratio areas

 

Best bull:cow ratios by hunt area

Area Ratio
38, 41 113:100
1, 34, 42 86:100
7, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 28, 32 72:100
3, 4, 5, 10, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 63:100
26, 33, 36, 40 54:100
2, 30, 39 53:100
27, 35, 44 25:100
6 NA
8, 9, 11 NA
16, 37 NA


Finding the areas with the best ratios can be done on Filtering 2.0 by selecting Wyoming, moose, then in the results section, you'll sort by male:female ratio. You can find the direct link to that filter option here.



Top hit list areas for Shiras moose

goHUNT's 2018 top hit list for Shiras moose hunts in Wyoming

Historically, the Bighorn Mountains that encompass Areas 1, 34 and 42 as well as the Snowy and Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges, which encompass Areas 38 and 41, produce the largest scoring B&C moose in Wyoming. Areas 16, 37 can also produce a handful of bigger bulls.



The point system for Shiras moose

Managing points and expectations

2018 maximum bonus points for Shiras moose: 23

WYOMING RESIDENT MOOSE POINT TOTALS GOING INTO THE 2018 DRAW

WYOMING NONRESIDENT MOOSE POINT TOTALS GOING INTO THE 2018 DRAW

Species profile: Wyoming moose points going into the 2018 draw

Find your draw odds

I have 0 to 10 Shiras moose preference points. What can I expect?

If you are within this point range, you should apply for hunts that have random permits available.

Residents

Residents could apply for any hunt area except areas 35 and 40. The rest of the options all have at least one random permit. Area 21 had the best random odds at 2.1%. Areas 3, 4, 5, 16/37, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25 all had odds between 1-2%.

Find your resident draw odds with 0 points here

Nonresidents

Nonresidents should consider Areas 5, 24, 25, 26 and 38/41 as they all have had a random license in recent years. Area 11 had 50% draw odds in 2017 with 10 points. It's likely to take 12 points in 2018, but it may be worth some research. As a nonresident, applying for any other hunt is wasting your application.

Find your nonresident draw odds with 0 points here

What can I do with 11 to 15 Shiras moose preference points?

Clearly, if you can draw an area at any given point level, you could also draw any below that level.

Resident areas with 100% draw odds at each point level

Points Areas
11 21
12 10, 20, 40
13 3, 18, 22, 23, 24, 27, 35
14 5, 16/37, 25, 36
15 4

Find your resident draw odds with 15 points here

Nonresident areas with 100% draw odds at each point level

Points Areas
11 11
12 -
13 -
14 -
15 21, 35, 40
Based on 2017 draw odds

Find your nonresident draw odds with 15 points here

I have 16 to 23 Shiras moose preference points. What can I expect?

If you are within this point range you have some options and it’s worth digging in and doing some real research. As you can see below, there are many options at a variety of point levels. Clearly, if you can draw an area at any given point level, you could also draw any below that level.

Resident areas with 100% draw odds by number of points

Points Areas
16 26
17 17/28
18 -
19 6
20 2/30
21 9, 11
22 34, 38/41
Based on 2017 draw odds Area 1 had 27% odds with 22 points.

Find your resident draw odds with 23 points here

Nonresident areas with 100% draw odds by number of points

Points Areas
16 2/30, 4, 5, 10, 18, 22, 27
17 3, 9, 16/37, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 36
18 1
19 6, 42
20 38/41
21 17/28, 34
Based on 2017 draw odds; no nonresident applicants applied for a hunt with more than 21 points.

Find your nonresident draw odds with 23 points here

Wyoming cow Shiras moose draw odds

Remember that we now have female draw odds. You can check your draw odds for cow moose below.

Find your resident cow moose draw odds here

Find your nonresident cow moose draw odds here



Wyoming's 2018 Rocky Mountain goat breakdown
 

Summer range mountain goat
Photo credit: Shutterstock

There are three areas that offer mountain goat hunts in Wyoming. Trophy book billies are rare, but the populations in all three areas are stable to increasing and, for the lucky hunters who have drawn licenses, harvest success is very high. One enticing aspect of the Wyoming mountain goat draw system is that there are no preference points. The mountain goat draw is completely random and every applicant has a chance to draw a license.

Area 1

Area 1 occurs in the northwest portion of the state along the Montana border. Terrain is steep and physically demanding. A portion of the herd occurs within the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area, but there are also mountain goats outside of the wilderness area. This area could be successfully hunted do-it-yourself (DIY) style without a guide, but will require some research and effort to do so. Area 1 is one of the better areas if hunters are looking for a trophy book billy.

Area 2

Area 2 encompasses the Palisades goat herd, which is an extension of the Idaho Palisades mountain goat population. Mountain goats have expanded in recent years and populations appear to be stable. There is no wilderness within Area 2, making it the best option for a DIY hunter. Trophy potential has historically been decent and this may be the best option for a Wyoming book billy. The terrain is typical of mountain goat country: steep, rocky and physically demanding.

Area 3

Area 3 is the largest herd in Wyoming. The most recent surveys counted 93 and an additional 108 just inside the Yellowstone National Park boundaries. Two years ago a two hunt structure was instituted in order to thin hunting pressure. The first hunt occurs Sept. 1 to Oct. 31 while the second hunt occurs Oct. 1 to 31. Almost all mountain goats inhabit the high country of the North Absaroka Wilderness Area. Without an outfitter or resident guide, this area will be a tough undertaking for a nonresident DIY hunter. The trophy potential is average, but the remote and rugged nature of the terrain will always allow a number of billies to mature and grow. The terrain is remote, rough, and will require packstock or hunters to be in good physical shape.

2018 mountain goat herd conditions

Even though hunting is limited to only three hunt areas, mountain goats in Wyoming are doing well. Herd numbers continue to remain healthy and exceed their objectives. Grizzly bears generally live in some of the areas where goats are hunted but predation is pretty limited. With high goat numbers, high harvest rates and a random draw, Wyoming should be on your radar for mountain goat hunting.

Herd conditions for mountain goats in Wyoming

Area Survey Harvest % Effort Avg. age % nannies
Area 1 102 100% 3.3 days 5.5 years 41.7%
Area 2 93 90% 5.6 days NA 11%
Area 3 93
(108 within YSNP*)
100% 4.1 days 4.5 years 12.5%
* Yellowstone National Park - obviously off limits for hunting

How to uncover hidden gem mountain goat areas

With only three hunt areas in Wyoming, there are no real “hidden gems.” Below are the anticipated 2018 season dates, tags totals, and draw odds.

Season dates by weapon choice

Area Archery Any legal weapon
Area 1 Aug. 15 to 31 Sept. 1 to Oct. 31
Area 2 Aug. 15 to 31 Sept. 1 to Oct. 31
Area 3-1 Aug. 15 to 31 Sept. 1 to Oct. 31
Area 3-2 Aug. 15 to 31 Oct. 1 to 31
*Anticipated 2018 season dates. Official dates will be set during the spring commissioners meeting. If you draw a mountain goat permit, you can also archery hunt with the purchase of the archery stamp.
 

Resident area quotas and draw odds

Area Total
tags*
Resident
total tags
Resident
draw odds**
Area 1 12 9 0.72%
Area 2 8 6 0.40%
Area 3-1 12 9 1.5%
Area 3-2 8 6 1.4%
* 2017 license quotas and draw odds. Quotas will be set during the spring commissioners meeting.
 

Nonresident area quotas and draw odds

Area Total
tags
Nonresident
total tags
Nonresident
draw odds
Area 1 12 3 1.2%
Area 2 8 2 0.40%
Area 3-1 12 3 1.4%
Area 3-2 8 2 1.8%
*2017 license quotas and draw odds. Quotas will be set during the spring commissioners meeting. It's worth noting that the odds of drawing a mountain goat license are better for nonresidents than they are for residents.


Boone & Crockett (B&C) entry trends for Wyoming mountain goats

Areas listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Areas in this table are included if any part of the area is found within the county. Data provided below courtesy of the Boone and Crockett Club.

Wyoming's top Boone & Crockett producing
counties since 2010 for mountain goats

County No. of
entries
Areas found
within county
Park 3 1, 3
Teton 3 2
Lincoln 1 2

TOP B&C MOUNTAIN GOAT LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2010 - 2018 Wyoming



Managing expectations for mountain goat

As previously noted, there is not a point system for mountain goats. The draw system is random and every applicant has an equal chance of drawing. Research the draw odds, accessibility, and apply. Keep in mind you are required to float the entire cost of the license until the draw is completed. After the results are published, unsuccessful applicants will be refunded the cost of the permit minus the application fee.

Find your resident draw odds here

Find your nonresident draw odds here



Wyoming's 2018 bison breakdown
 

Wild bison in snow
Photo credit: Shutterstock

The opportunities to hunt wild free-range bison anywhere are few and far between; however, Wyoming offers hunts for both bull and cow/calf bison. There is no point system for bison licenses, the draw is random and the odds of drawing a permit are actually fairly good in comparison to states like Utah or Arizona. Applicants may apply for a Type 1 (any bison) or Type 4 (cow/calf). The entire cost of the license must be submitted when you apply. For 2018, that has become a significant expenditure. The cost of a nonresident any bison permit it $4,417 and $2,767 for the cow/calf. If you can afford the license, 2018 may be a great year to apply for Wyoming bison since the cost is likely to deter many applicants from applying.

There are two areas where you can apply: Area 2 and, new for 2018, Area 3. The Jackson bison herd occurs within Area 2, spending the bulk of their spring and summer months inside the boundaries of the Grand Teton National Park. During the fall and winter months, they begin migrating through national Forest Service lands and onto the National Elk Refuge. The Area 2 bison herd is slightly over objective with a herd objective of 500 and an estimated population of 546. In 2017, they cut the number of cow/calf licenses by 80% from 245 to 50 total licenses.

Bison regularly move between the refuge and private lands making it imperative that hunters are familiar with the boundaries. The bulk of the bison harvest takes place on the National Elk Refuge. Hunters that draw bison permits can apply for National Elk Refuge hunting permits prior to the start of the hunting season. When they apply, they must select timeframes when they would like to hunt the refuge. Late season dates are much better as snow and cold temperatures push more bison onto the Elk Refuge.

Bison Area 3 is not likely to have many licenses in 2018 as the overall population of the North Fork herd is small, but this should be a good hunt for a trophy bull. It is reported that there are a decent number of older age class bulls with most occurring on public accessible land outside of the wilderness area. If you can afford the permit, this is likely to be a great hunt for a quality bison.

Resident wild bison seasons and tags

Area Tag
type
Season* Total
quota
Resident
quota
Resident
odds
Area 2-1 Any wild
bison
Aug. 15 to Jan. 31 70 56 2.9%
Area 2-4 Any female or
calf bison
Aug. 15 to Jan. 31 50 40 4.1%
Area 3-1 Any bison Sept. 1 to TBD New
hunt
New
hunt
New
hunt
*Dates, quotas, and odds are 2017. The quotas and dates will be set in the spring at the commissioners meeting.
 

Nonresident wild bison seasons and tags

Area Tag
type
Season* Total
quota
Nonresident
quota
Nonresident
odds
Area 2-1 Any wild
bison
Aug. 15 to Jan. 31 70 14 1.9%
Area 2-4 Any female or
calf bison
Aug. 15 to Jan. 31 50 10 2.6%
Area 3-1 Any bison Sept. 1 to TBD New
hunt
New
hunt
New
hunt
*Dates, quotas, and odds are 2017. The quotas and dates will be set in the spring at the commissioners meeting.

Managing expectations for bison

Since there are no points for bison, hunters that can afford the permit should apply and hope that they have some luck in the draw.

Historic Wyoming bison tag quotas

Year Total
tags
Residents Nonresidents Harvest %
2007 277 257 20 97.4%
2008 307 279 28 84%
2009 288 266 22 49.5%
2010 195 180 15 92.7%
2011 227 208 19 86.2%
2012 265 246 19 76.3%
2013 328 293 62 71.6%
2014 321 259 62 93.1%
2015 311 248 63 71.5%
2016 299 234 65 97.5%
*The 2017 harvest data is not yet available. Total licenses declined in 2017 to 120 total, 96 resident and 24 nonresident licenses.


Boone & Crockett (B&C) entry trends for Wyoming bison

Areas listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Areas in this table are included if any part of the area is found within the county. Data provided below courtesy of the Boone and Crockett Club.

Wyoming's top Boone & Crockett producing
counties since 2010 for bison

County No. of
entries
Areas found
within county
Teton 23 2
Park 1 1

TOP B&C BISON LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2010 - 2018 Wyoming



Managing expectations for bison

Since there are no points for bison, hunters will have to cross their fingers as they hit the submit button on their online application.

Find your resident draw odds here

Find your nonresident draw odds here

Wyoming cow bison draw odds

Remember that we now have female draw odds. You can check your draw odds for cow bison below.

Find your resident cow bison draw odds here

Find your nonresident cow bison draw odds here

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