The Unkown Truth About "Governors Tags"


Published: July - 2000

Because of the astronomical amounts they have brought at auction at events like the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS) conventions, and because of the publicity such purchases generate, governors' tags have about them an aura of rarity and exorbitance. Many hunters, I would venture, even assume that a governor's tag is a one-animal-per-state proposition, that there is only one governor's tag, for instance, in Wyoming, and that it is only for bighorn sheep. And that it is completely out of their price range.

Certainly in Wyoming, frankly not even one of the best states for trophy rams, a sheep tag can receive bids of up to $50,000 at auction, but those are more acts of largess on the part of generous benefactors to organizations like FNAWS than an effort by someone determined to get a sheep tag and tired of waiting for the luck of the draw. The Governor of Wyoming, in fact, has five sheep tags to give away each year, and last year they averaged $24,000 apiece (meaning that when that one grandiose bid is factored out, some of those tags went for considerably less than that average). In Wyoming, it doesn't end with sheep, either.

Since 1939, the Governor of Wyoming has been provided, by statute, with 20 complimentary hunting licenses each year that can be given away as the governor sees fit. Along with the five sheep permits, the governor also has five moose permits and 10 permits that can be for elk, deer or antelope. In the past, such tags have gone to friends of the governor, political cronies, maybe the owner of a business being wooed by the state, some celebrity or another, as well as local civic groups for their fund-raisers - in short, the usual suspects.

When current Republican Governor Jim Geringer took office, however, he realized (after receiving a letter from a scout troop thanking him for the Shiras moose tag it had been given by the previous administration, and which it had sold for, like, $400, and asking if it could have........(continued)

 
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