Wyoming lawmakers kill bill that would change preference point system

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Last month, the Wyoming House tabled a bill that would make major changes to how Wyoming doles out preference points for moose and bighorn sheep. Senate File 88 (SF 88) had garnered support in the state Senate as well as multiple committees, but died during its third reading in the House with a 22-40 vote, according to the Cody Enterprise.

SF 88 came to fruition following a recommendation by the Wyoming Wildlife Task Force and would have changed the state’s preference point system into one that used weighted bonus points instead. The bill would make the random drawing more favorable to hunters who had been in the system the longest for the hard-to-draw tags. 

“This is not perfect in any shape or form, but it does address what is currently a failing system,” said Rep. Sandy Newsome (R-Cody), who voted in favor of the bill.

However, Dalton Banks (R-Cowley) disagreed and voted against SF 88, calling it “akin to ‘fixing a leaky roof with rotten wood.’”

“It’s a drastic change and a change that’s going to affect a lot of people in the state,” said Banks. “I’ve got a lot of constituents who are sportsmen, guides and outfitters that this will directly affect. This changes the course of what we’ve had for decades. In essence, we’ve had a contract with those who have put in for these tags for 30 years, and now we’re going to come in and say we’re not going to honor that contract.”

Rep. John Winter (R-Thermopolis) also voted against the bill. 

“There’s too many instances where the bonus point does not work any better than the preference point,” said Winter. “So we just need to figure out some way to take care of these people who have spent all this money and time trying to get a license.”


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