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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2020: Wyoming Sheep, Moose, Goat and Bison

2020 Wyoming Application Strategy

Wyoming's 2020 sheep, moose, mountain goat and bison application overview

Jump to: NEW FOR 2020 State Information Draw System Sheep Breakdown Moose Breakdown Mountain Goat Breakdown Bison Breakdown

Wyoming is one of our favorite states to hunt. The scenery is unmatched and, for the lucky hunters who draw a license, the hunting is incredible. The biggest hurdle is getting a license to hunt one of these amazing animals. Whether you are interested in bighorn sheep, Shiras moose, bison, mountain goat or all four species, we cover the application details in this article. For most of us, it’s going to take a lot of luck to draw any of these licenses, but, like the saying goes, you have to play the game if you want to win!

Note: The application period for Wyoming bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat is open until March 2, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. MST. Bison applications are accepted from March 2 through March 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. MST. Apply online here.


New for 2020

IMPORTANT: New for 2020, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) will not publish tentative season information in the application packet for moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and bison. Instead, hunters can reference the 2019 regulations. Final season information will be published on May 1, after the April commission meeting, which determines permits and seasons. 

Nonresident applicants have until April 15 to modify or withdraw their applications for moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and bison. Draw results will be posted in May. Wyoming’s draw system still requires you to front the entire cost of license with your application. Those funds will not be refunded to your card until late May if you are unsuccessful in the draw. 

INSIDER feature: goHUNT displays the number of applicants at each point level below the cut-off draw line for each hunt. This gives applicants a much greater understanding of point creep for each hunt and allows them to apply with a much better understanding of their chances. Refer to the detailed Draw Odds pages for hunts you are considering to see the point breakdown.

Amount to remit

Wyoming fees for 2020

Species Total cost nonresident fees Fee breakdown Total resident cost Fee breakdown
Rocky Mtn.
bighorn sheep
$2,434.38 $15 Application fee
$2,210 License fee
$150 Preference point fee
$59.38 Credit card processing fee
$168.10 $5 Application fee
$152 License fee
$7 Preference point fee
$4.10 Credit card processing fee
Shiras
moose
$2,200.68 $15 Application fee
$1,982 License fee
$150 Preference point fee
$53.68 Credit card processing fee
$168.10 $5 Application fee
$152 License fee
$7 Preference point fee
$4.10 credit card processing fee
Rocky Mtn.
goat
$2,231.43 $15 Application fee
$2,162 License fee
No preference point
$54.43 Credit card processing fee
$160.93 $5 Application fee
$152 License fee
No preference point
$3.93 Credit card processing fee
Bison
(any)
$4,527.43 $15 Application fee
$4,402 License fee
No preference point
$110.43 Credit card processing fee
$429.48 $5 Application fee
$414 License fee
No preference point
$10.48 Credit card processing fee
Bison
(cow/calf)
$2,836.18 $15 Application fee
$2,752 License fee
No preference point
$69.18 Credit card processing fee
$271.63 $5 Application fee
$260 License fee
No preference point
$6.63 Credit card processing fee

For nonresidents who are considering applying for moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and bison you could be floating a total cost of $11,393.92 or $9,702.67, depending on the bison permit. If unsuccessful for all species, you would receive a refund for all of it except $637.92 or $596.67, depending on which bison license was applied for. 


State information

View important information and an overview of the Wyoming rules/regulations, the draw system, preference points, SuperTag and SuperTag Trifecta, tag and license fees and an interactive boundary line map on our State Profile. You can also view the Wyoming moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat and bison profiles to access historical and statistical data to help you find trophy areas.

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

Important dates and information

  • You can apply for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat now.
  • The deadline to apply for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat is March 2, 2020 by 11:59 p.m. MST.
  • The deadline to apply for bison is March 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. MST.
  • Apply here. Applications are only accepted online.
  • The deadline to amend or withdraw your nonresident moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat or bison application is April 15, 2020 by 11:59 p.m. MST.
  • Draw results will be available by the third week of May. 
  • Refunds for unsuccessful applicants will be returned to the credit card that was used.
  • The preference point only purchase period is from July 1 to Nov. 2, 2020.
  • Failure to apply or purchase preference points for two consecutive years will cause all previous points accumulated to be purged.
  • You cannot return a license for a refund or get preference points back 

Designated wilderness areas (DWA)

A nonresident cannot legally hunt a DWA on their own; they must be accompanied by a licensed Wyoming outfitter or licensed Wyoming resident. A DMA is a United States Forest Service (USFS) designation. 

A Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is a BLM designation and a nonresident can hunt those areas without a guide. 

The bulk of Wyoming’s bighorn sheep occur in the northwest part of the state and many inhabit the high country within DWAs. Areas 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, which have typically been the only areas that have had random licenses for nonresidents, all have large portions of wilderness. If you are planning on applying for one of these or another of the units in the western portion of the state, it’s worth doing some research to plan accordingly.

The bulk of mountain goat Area 3 is within a wilderness area. Area 1 has some wilderness as well, but mountain goats inhabit terrain both inside and outside of the wilderness area. Area 2 is a good choice also for do-it-yourself (DIY) hunters; it contains limited wilderness with mountain goats inhabiting both wilderness and non-wilderness.

Generally, wilderness is less of a concern for many of the moose areas, but there are still some that have a good portion of wilderness. Moose also inhabit a wide variety of habitat that ranges from the backcountry river drainages and high country to the rolling sage and high desert terrain through the southwest and south-central portions of the state. Wilderness may or may not be an issue. Some research may be required before picking a hunt area. Areas 5, 24, 25, 26 and 38/41 are often the only areas that offer random licenses that are available to nonresidents and, of those areas, 5 and 38/41 have some wilderness but very little overall.

Wilderness is not a major concern for hunters who draw bison licenses. Most of the hunting occurs on the National Elk Refuge and the surrounding forest service lands.

Grizzly country

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.

  • Bighorn sheep areas that overlap grizzly bear habitat: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 22 
  • Mountain goat areas that overlap grizzly bear habitat: 1, 3, 4 and 5
  • Moose areas that overlap grizzly bear habitat: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24

Current snowpack in Wyoming

2020

Wyoming current snowpack

Snow water equivalent in Wyoming as of February 12, 2020 . Source: Wyoming Water Resources Data System

2019

Wyoming snow water equivalent February 2019

Snow water equivalent in Wyoming as of February 11, 2019. Source: Wyoming Water Resources Data System

The Wyoming draw system

Understanding the draw

Mountain goat and bison licenses are randomly allocated, which means that there is no point system and every applicant has an equal chance of drawing. The bison license split offers 80% to residents and 20% to nonresidents. The mountain goat license split offers 75% to residents and 25% to nonresidents.

The license split for moose is 80% for residents and 20% for nonresidents. The license split for bighorn sheep is 75% for residents and 25% for nonresidents.

The moose and bighorn sheep draw is a modified preference point system for residents and nonresidents. Under this system, 75% of the licenses are offered to the applicants with the most preference points for each hunt and 25% are randomly allocated. Most moose and bighorn sheep areas do not offer enough nonresident licenses that there are both preference point licenses and random licenses available.

The points system

The maximum number of moose and bighorn sheep preference points going into the 2020 draw is 25. Applicants gain a preference point each year that they are unsuccessful in the draw or they can buy a point only during the July 1 to Nov. 2 point only time-frame. You cannot gain two points in the same year. 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. 

There is no point system for bison or mountain goats!

If you just started applying for moose and bighorn sheep in Wyoming, you should only apply for hunts that have a random tag available. Buying a point alone is not recommended. Under the current system you will never catch up to the preference point permits.


Wyoming's 2020 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep breakdown

Wyoming offered a total of 176 bighorn sheep licenses in 2019; nonresidents were allocated 44 of those. 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIGHORN SHEEP AREAS

Wyoming bighorn sheep tags are very highly coveted. If you did not start applying 18 years or more years ago, you really only have one choice and that is to apply for a unit that has random licenses available. There are typically five units that will have random nonresident tags available. Last year, Area 1 did not have a random tag, which it has had in the past. We will break down the quotas in the table below. Everyone in the random draw has an equal chance of drawing. There is no weight given the number of points you have in the random draw. So, review the odds or select the one that has the best DIY public access and apply.

Quotas broke into license allocation for each draw 2019

Area Resident preference
point licenses
Resident random licenses Nonresident preference
point licenses
Nonresident random licenses
Area 1 7 (100% w/17) 2 3 (20% w/18) 0
Area 2 12 (73% w/19) 3 4 (20% w/20) 1
Area 3 19 (92% w/19) 6 6 (86% w/20) 1
Area 4 14 (75% w/ 18) 4 5 (22% w/19) 1
Area 5 19 (6.7% 20) 6 6 (67% w/20) 1
Area 6 N/A N/A 1 (100% w/17) 0
Area 7 7 (63% w/21) 2 3 (33% w/20) 0
Area 8 5 (17% w/17) 1 2 (100% w/19) 0
Area 9 3 (25% w/17) 0 1 (100% w/19) 0
Area 10 3 (67% w/21) 0 1 (100% w/19) 0
Area 12 3 (75% w/ 24) 1 2 (25% w/23) 0
Area 17, 26 3 (34% w/23) 1 1 (100% w/23) 0
Area 18, 21 Closed 2019 Closed 2019 Closed 2019 Closed 2019
Area 19 5 (26% w/23) 1 2 (100% w/23) 0
Area 20 2 (40% w/23) 0 1 (100% w/23) 0
Area 22 3 (100% w.20) 0 1 (50% w/20) 0
Area 24 N/A N/A 1 (100% w/22) 0

 

goHUNT's 2020 top hit list hunt areas to consider for 165" or better rams

Area Trophy potential
2 175"+
3 175"+
4 170+
5 175"+
7 170+
12 175"+
17/26 175"+
19 175"+
20 175"+

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
Albany 6 18, 29
Park 6 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Big Horn 5 12
Hot Springs 1 5
Sheridan 1 12

Map of Wyoming's top producing B&C bighorn sheep counties all time - 2020

TOP B&C SHEEP LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2010 - 2020 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 20 110:100
Area 6 64:100
Area 19 59:100
Area 8 58:100
Area 9 58:100
Area 10 58:100
Area 21 50:100
Area 17 47:100
Area 1 38:100
Area 2 38:100

Managing points and expectations

The points system for Wyoming Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

2020 maximum bonus points for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep: 25

WYOMING RESIDENT SHEEP POINT TOTALS GOING INTO THE 2020 DRAW

WYOMING NONRESIDENT SHEEP POINT TOTALS GOING INTO THE 2020 DRAW

Wyoming Sheep points going into the 2020 draw

Find your draw odds here

When comparing the number of applicants from 2018 to 2019 there was a 1% decrease in nonresidents and there was a 6% increase in residents. We anticipate that the later draw dates in 2020 will cause a decrease in nonresidents once again.

I have 0 to 16 bighorn sheep preference points. What can I expect?

Residents

For residents, Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17/26 and 19 all had random permits in 2019. Areas 3 and 5 had six random permits each. Every unit required more than 16 preference points to be considered for a preference point permit in 2019. Applicants did not get into contention for any unit until the 17 point level. Review the random odds and Unit Profiles and apply accordingly.

Find your resident draw odds with 0 points here

Nonresidents

The only areas that you should consider are 2, 3, 4 and 5. Those areas have historically all had at least one random permit available. Review the Draw Odds and Unit Profiles and apply accordingly. Areas 3 and 5 have the best trophy potential. 

Find your nonresident draw odds with 0 points here

What can I expect with 17 or 25 bighorn 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 breakdown:

Resident areas with 100% draw odds by number of points

Preference points Areas
17 1
18 1, 8, 9
19 1, 4, 8, 9
20 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 22
21 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 22
22 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 22
23 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 22
24 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 17/26, 19, 20, 22

Area 12 had 75% odds at the 24 point level. Be sure to check the “detailed Draw Odds pages” for the units you are considering to see the number of applicants at each point level. This can help you further determine your chances by evaluating how many applicants are at your same point level.

Nonresident areas with 100% draw odds by number of points

Preference points Areas
17 6
18 6
19 1, 6, 8, 9, 10
20 1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10
21 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 22
22 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 22, 24
23 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 17/26, 19, 20, 22, 24

Area 12 had 25% odds at the 23 point level. Be sure to check the “detailed Draw Odds pages” for the units you are considering to see the number of applicants at each point level. This can help you further determine your chances by evaluating how many applicants are at your same point level. Area 18/21 was closed in 2019 but should be open to hunting in 2020. 


Wyoming's 2020 Shiras moose breakdown

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.

Quotas broken into license allocation for each draw 2019

Area Resident preference
point licenses
Resident random licenses Nonresident preference
point licenses
Nonresident random licenses
Area 1 3 (38% w/ 24) 1 1 (7.1% w/19) 0
Area 2/30 3 (100% w/19) 1 1 (100% w/18) 0
Area 3 3 (100% w/16) 1 1 (100% w/18) 0
Area 4 6 (50% w/15) 2 2 (67% w/18) 0
Area 5 15 (51% w/15) 5 4 (43% w/18) 1
Area 6 3 (34% w/20) 1 1 (100% w/20) 0
Area 9 2 (100% w/23) 0 1 (50% w/18) 0
Area 10 6 (14% w/11) 1 1 (33% w/17) 0
Area 11 3 (34% w/22) 1 1 (100% w/18) 0
Area 16, 37 3 (51% w/16) 1 1 (50% w/20) 0
Area 17, 28 3 (17% w/16) 1 1 (50% w/19) 0
Area 18 3 (100% w/14) 1 1 (33% w/15) 0
Area 20 9 (23% w/12) 3 1 (100% w/11) 0
Area 21 1 (100% w/13) 0 1 (100% w/11) 0
Area 22 3 (100% w/14) 1 1 (100% w/17) 0
Area 23 9 (10% w/13) 3 3 (40% w/18) 0
Area 24 12 (67% w/14) 4 3 (34% w/18) 1
Area 25 28 (95% w/14) 9 7 (100% w/19) 2
Area 26 21 (21% w/16) 6 5 (67% w/19) 1
Area 27 9 (58% w/13) 3 3 (25% w/18) 0
Area 34 3 (17% w/23) 1 1 (100% w/23) 0
Area 35 3 (100% w/12) 1 1 (50% w/17) 0
Area 36 3 (21% w/14) 1 1 (50% w/18) 0
Area 38, 41 12 (15% w/23) 4 3 (40% w/21) 1
Area 40 2 (100% w/12) 0 1 (100% w/17) 0
Area 42 3 (75% w/24) 1 1 (100% w/21) 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 14 4, 5, 10, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25, 30
Albany 8 38
Carbon 7 38, 41
Teton 7 7, 8, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,
19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 28, 32, 37
Johnson 6 1, 34
Sheridan 6 1, 42
Fremont 5 2, 39

Map of Wyoming's top producing B&C moose counties all time - 2020


Top hit list areas for Shiras moose

goHUNT's 2020 top hit list for Shiras moose hunts in Wyoming

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 Booone and Crockett (B&C) moose in Wyoming. Areas 16 and 37 can also produce bigger bulls. The majority of the areas do not typically produce trophy caliber bulls.


The point system for Shiras moose

Managing points and expectations

2020 maximum bonus points for Shiras moose: 25 

WYOMING RESIDENT MOOSE POINT TOTALS GOING INTO THE 2020 DRAW

WYOMING NONRESIDENT MOOSE POINT TOTALS GOING INTO THE 2020 DRAW

Wyoming moose points going into the 2020 draw

Find your draw odds

When comparing the number of applicants from 2018 to 2019, there was a 8% decrease in nonresidents and there was a 2% increase in residents. We anticipate that the later draw dates in 2020 will cause a decrease in nonresidents once again.

I have 0 to 11 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 40, 21 and 9. The rest of the options all have at least one random permit. Area 35 had the best random odds at 2.4%.

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. All five hunt options with a random tag(s) had odds of less than 1%. Area 21 did have 100% odds with 11 preference points in 2019.

Find your nonresident draw odds with 0 points here

What can I do with 12 to 16 Shiras moose preference points?

Resident

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 breakdown:

Resident areas with 100% draw odds by number of points

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

Be sure to check the “detailed Draw Odds pages” for the units you are considering to see the number of applicants at each point level. This can help you further determine your chances by evaluating how many applicants are at your same point level.

Find your resident draw odds with 15 points here

Nonresident 

Area 21 had 100% odds with 11 preference points in 2019, but there was only one license and very few applicants. In previous years, that hunt has required between 14 to 17 points to draw. Area 18 had 100% odds at the 16 point level. The best advice is to apply for one of the five areas that have random licenses available. 

Find your nonresident draw odds with 15 points here

I have 17 to 25 Shiras moose preference points. What can I expect?

Resident

If you are within this point range you have some options and it’s worth doing some real research. There are many options at a variety of point levels. If you can draw an area at any given point level, you could also draw any below that level from the table above.

Resident areas with 100% draw odds by number of points

Preference points Areas
17 16/37, 17/28, 26
18 16/37, 17/28, 26
19 2, 16/37, 17/28, 26
20 2, 16/37, 17/28, 26
21 2, 6, 16/37, 17/28, 26
22 2, 6, 16/37, 17/28, 26
23 2, 6, 9, 11, 16/37, 17/28, 26
24 2, 6, 9, 11, 16/37, 17/28, 26, 34, 38/41

Area 1 had 38% odds and Area 42 had 75% odds at maximum points (24).

Find your resident draw odds with 20 points here

Nonresident areas with 100% draw odds by number of points

Preference points Areas
17 18, 21, 22, 40
18 2/30, 3, 10, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22, 35, 40
19 2/30, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 35, 36, 40
20 1, 2/30, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 17/28, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 35, 36, 40
21 1, 2/30, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 16/37, 17/28, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 35, 36, 40, 42
22 1, 2/30, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 16/37, 17/28, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 35, 36, 38/41, 40, 42
23 All including 34

Find your nonresident draw odds with 20 points here

Wyoming cow Shiras moose draw odds

Remember that we now have cow moose 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 2020 Rocky Mountain goat breakdown

For 2020, there are five areas that offer mountain goat hunts in Wyoming. Areas 4 and 5 were added last year and are part of what the state is calling a Type A license. The intent is to rid those areas of all mountain goats. Under the Type A license, hunters can and are encouraged to harvest any mountain goat. If you harvest on a Type A, it does not count as your once-in-a-lifetime mountain goat. If you have already drawn another area and harvested a mountain goat in Wyoming, you can still apply and hunt the Type A mountain goat hunt in Areas 4 or 5

In Areas 1, 2 and 3, trophy book billies are rare, but the populations in all three areas are stable to increasing. The Wyoming mountain goat draw system has no point system; it’s completely random.

2020 herd conditions

Area 1

Area 1 is located along the Montana border in the northwest part of the state. 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 DIY-style without a guide, but will require some research and effort to do so. The terrain is rugged. Be prepared physically if you plan to hunt this area. This is the second largest herd in the state.

Area 2

Area 2 encompasses the Palisades herd, which is an extension of the Idaho Palisades mountain goat population. Mountain goats continue to expand and populations appear to be stable. This area is a good option for a DIY hunter. Trophy potential has historically been good and is the best option for a record book billy. The terrain is typical of mountain goat country: steep, rocky and physically demanding.

Area 3

Area 3 has the largest herd in Wyoming. Wyoming uses a two hunt structure in Area 3 in order to reduce single season hunting pressure. The first hunt occurs Sept. 1 to Oct. 31 while the second hunt occurs Oct. 1 to 31. The bulk of the herd inhabits 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 pack stock or hunters to be in good physical shape.

Area 4

Area 4 sits between the Idaho border and Grand Teton National Park. Most of the herd inhabits the rocky, high mountain terrain on the border of the park. The park estimates that there could be close to 100 mountain goats near the park boundary. The bulk of this area is within DWA and would require a guide/outfitter or a resident to accompany you. We currently do not know how many licenses will be allocated.

Area 5

Area 5 covers a tremendous amount of country and the number of mountain goats is relatively low. This hunt is going to be difficult and would require preseason scouting to be successful. The terrain is extremely rugged and the mountain goats are almost assuredly going to be found in pockets in remote wilderness areas. A guide would likely be required to have a chance to be successful for a nonresident. 

Harvest for mountain goats in Wyoming during 2019

Area Harvest % Effort
(days/harvest)
Billy harvest Nanny harvest
1 88% 5 6 1
2 100% 6 8 1
3 (Type 1) 83% 7 10 4
3 (Type 2) 67% 10 1 4
4 56% 9 14 9
5 17% 10 2 0

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 that 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 Mtn Goat draw odds here

Find your nonresident mtn goat draw odds here

Resident and nonresident area quotas and draw odds 2019

Area Resident
total licenses
Resident
draw odds
Nonresident
total licenses
Nonresident
draw odds
1 6 .52% 2 .91%
2 6 .47% 2 .37%
3 (Type 1) 12 1.5% 4 2.1%
3 (Type 2) 6 2.2% 2 1.8%
4 36 14% 12 100%
5 12 11% 4 100%

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

Map of Wyoming's top producing B&C mountain goat counties all time - 2020


Wyoming's 2020 bison breakdown

In 2019, there was only one area that applicants could apply for: Area 2. It’s unlikely that there will be any other areas open for hunting in 2020 and, once again, applicants will be able to apply for either the any bison Type 1 or the cow bison Type 4 license in Area 2. 

Area 2 comprises the Jackson bison herd. The herd spends their spring and summer months within Grand Teton and, later, move out onto the National Elk Refuge and surrounding Forest Service land. The population objective is 400 to 600 bison and the recent counts suggest that the herd is close to 700. Almost all of the cow/calf harvest takes place on the elk refuge. Over the past several years, bison have become more sensitive to hunting pressure on the refuge and will vacate the open hunt area. Reports suggest that a large portion of the herd did not migrate in 2019 out of the park and harvest success suffered. Be aware that if the weather is not severe early enough in the season, then bison do not migrate to the refuge until late January, which can make harvest difficult. We have not yet seen the 2019 harvest statistics from the state. In 2018, harvest success was 64% for the Type 1 and 25% for the Type 4. 

If you draw a bison license you can then apply for a license to hunt on the National Elk Refuge. That draw occurs in late July. When you apply you must apply for a specific hunt period. The later the period, the better, given the fact that bison migrate into the refuge later in the season. Apply for late season dates in this draw. The draw is random and results will be posted in early August. 

A few final noteworthy thoughts: the draw for bison is completely random with no point system and licenses are extremely expensive for nonresidents. Applicants have to front the entire cost of the license that they apply plus a 2.5% processing fee and a $15 application fee. For a nonresident to apply for the Type 1 any bison license, they will need to float $4,527.43. The Type 4 cow license costs up front would be $2,835.80.

Wild bison license quotas and odds for 2019

Area Resident licenses Resident odds Nonresident licenses Nonresident odds
2 (Type 1) 100 5.2% 25 4.9%
2 (Type 4) 40 7.6% 10 16%

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 29 2
Park 1 1

Map of Wyoming's top producing B&C bison counties all time - 2020

TOP B&C BISON LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2015 - 2020 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 bison 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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