Among the proposals are an across-the-board rate increase ranging from an 11 percent hike on nonresident bighorn permits (from $2,250 to $2,500) to a 68 percent increase (from $310 to $520) for nonresident deer. Most of the proposed increases are in the 20- to 40-percent range. Only cow bison tags would drop in price from $2,500 to $1,500. Wyoming has published a chart of all the proposed changes. You will find a copy on our website under Web Uploads.
They are also considering creating a big game license super raffle and floated the possibility of issuing separate licenses for whitetail and mule deer. In addition to increasing revenue, this latter move would, in theory at least, also help wildlife managers adjust population densities in areas with both whitetail and mule deer.
Additionally, there is also a proposal on the table for fee indexing, which would give the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission authority to adjust license fees based on the rate of inflation with periodic commission and legislative review. Currently, nearly all license fees must be approved by the legislature.
"These proposals, if adopted, will allow the department to maintain its current level of service for four or five years, and maybe a little longer," says Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD) Deputy Director John Emmerich. "Beyond that, there is a real need to find new and alternative sources of funding. Hunters and anglers currently pay for 80 percent of our operating costs and will continue to be a vital source for funding support in the future. However, it is no longer fair for them to bear such a high percentage of our budget, especially in a state like Wyoming, where so many people benefit from our wildlife."
The department has set up a page on its website for the public to submit comments. Go to http://gf.state.wy.us/WGFD_WebSurvey/CommentOnly.aspx........(continued)