Without question, the Consultants at WTA, field as many calls inquiring about Wyoming hunting opportunities than any other state in the West. This can be attributed to the diverse hunting possibilities that exist across the state.
Wyoming truly offers a hunt that falls under every sportsmen’s “bucket list” of must do adventures. If the following trips are not on your “bucket list” I highly suggest penciling them in:
1. Eastern Wyoming Mule Deer/ Pronghorn Antelope Combination Hunt
The high prairies of eastern Wyoming are home to enormous private ranches that contain plentiful numbers of mule deer and antelope. Generally speaking northeastern, Wyoming contains higher deer and antelope populations than anywhere in the country. Most hunters leave completely amazed at the overall deer and antelope numbers found in such open country.
Moving south you begin to get into larger mule deer bucks with certain ranches producing trophy size deer on an extremely consistent basis and more than ample overall antelope numbers. These hunts average almost 100% success making them a great option for every sportsmen from the first time hunter to expert looking to add a great set of mounts to the collection.
2. Wyoming Must Do Elk Hunts
No hunt embodies the West quite like climbing aboard a trusty horse and heading into some of the wildest country left in the lower 48. Occasionally giant bulls are harvested on these hunts but the norm falls under nice 5X5 & 6X6 bulls. More importantly the stories made and experiences lived on these wilderness hunts lie where the true trophy is.
Hunters seeking trophy bulls have a plethora of options, but few exceed what is offered in Wyoming’s famed Area 7. Within Area 7 you will find much of the premier habitat is under private ownership. WTA has established relationships with the top outfitters hunting the most desirable ranches available. Here the elk are managed and allowed to develop to their full genetic potential. Trophies will typically fall in the 310-330 range with bulls over 370 being harvested every year. Currently Area 7 is taking nine preference points to draw, but the opportunity to draw in the “random” is available.
3. Trophy Antelope
Wyoming is home to the largest population of antelope and due to improved range conditions we are set to experience the “glory days” of Wyoming antelope hunting over the next few years. Wyoming not only leads the U.S. in overall population, but it also leads in overall Boone & Crockett Record Book entries. The southwestern and central portions of Wyoming lead the state in trophy production with certain units within this area being drawable with as few as three preference points.
The one common denominator to all of these hunts- You must have preference points to draw a tag! Understanding the Wyoming licensing process or leaning on a service such as WTA TAGS is pivotal when planning these hunts.
Tags in Wyoming are issued through a fairly predictable, preference point, draw style system that contains a random element. This meets the best of both worlds as those who need to plan hunts can do so and those looking to “get lucky” always have a chance. Tags for most hunts are split with 75% of the tags being awarded to applicants with the most preference points and the remaining 25% going randomly to all other applicants regardless of preference point status. Each and every year WTA has countless clients harvest once-in-a-lifetime type of trophies utilizing the random draw but this is no fluke. To maximize random draw odds, applicants need to be up to date on unit trends, historical draw data and any/all changes in tag quotas which can be extremely time consumptive.
Wyoming does allow hunters to purchase preference points for all species each year during the “Point Only” period which takes place from July 1st– October 31st. For everyone who is just getting started applying in Wyoming and those who did not apply into the draw in the spring must take advantage of this opportunity as the deadline is quickly approaching. Even if you have no intention of hunting Wyoming in the next five years do yourself a favor and begin building points!
If you would like to begin purchasing preference points in Wyoming, have questions regarding the Wyoming draw system, or would like to discuss one of WTA’s great Wyoming hunts please shoot us a email at [email protected] or feel free to give us a call- 800-755-TAGS (8247).