Wyoming's National Elk Refuge announces new regs for 2023 hunting season

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Hunters after elk or bison on the National Elk Refuge need to be aware of some new hunting regulations this fall. Hunting on the refuge is managed by the refuge and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

For elk hunters, going into the 2023 season, there will be a daily tag limit of one elk tag per day, according to Buckrail. This is in an effort to “maximize safety and reduce common law enforcement issues” while still offering a “quality hunting experience.” There will also be a new Hunting Permit Review system, which will allow the refuge the ability to “withdraw eligibility from individuals who violate, cause damage to resources or property or create unsafe conditions while hunting on the National Elk Refuge.” Please note that those who are withdrawn from the refuge do not lose their Wyoming tags. 

For younger hunters, there will be two, two-day youth elk hunt opportunities during Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 17 to 19. Youth Elk Hunt Area 1 will be open Thursday and Friday and Youth Elk Hunt Area 2 will be open that Saturday and Sunday, according to Buckrail.

“For those two, two-day periods, full-priced youth license holders who have applied for and been drawn for a Refuge permit for that period may take any elk,” said the refuge. “There will be one more opportunity for youth hunters to draw Refuge permits for these time periods. Youth hunters may apply for that draw from Friday, Nov. 17 to Sunday, Nov. 19.”

Bison hunters will also see a change this fall: the National Elk Refuge will no longer use hunt periods. Instead, hunters can attain a permission slip to hunt bison that is valid Aug. 15 through Jan. 1, 2024.


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