What We Learned From HB112

Wyoming House Bill 112 provided a rallying cry for the organization of the Wyoming Hunter Defense Fund in 2014. In researching the points of our opposition to the bill, we came across several statistics to strengthen our stand. Scroll down to see how much non-resident and resident sportsmen mean to Wyoming and its wildlife and economy.

You can also read and/or download the fine article written by Ryan McSparran that appears in the 2014 Wyoming Outfitter and Guides Association (WYOGA) publication, Wyoming Outdoors. Just click on the image below:

WYOGA article by Ryan McSparran
WYOGA article by Ryan McSparran

Regulations

Currently, big game species of bighorn sheep and mountain goat are a 75/25 split for license issuance (resident/non-resident), while moose is 80/20.* Trophy game species are over the counter licenses with mortality quotas across the state.

 

Elk licenses are 84/16 split with a maximum of 7250 licenses available for initial drawing to non-resident hunters. Deer and antelope are an 80/20 split.

 

*Wyoming State Statute 23-1-703
(e) The commission shall reserve eighty percent (80%) of the moose and seventy‑five percent (75%) of the ram and ewe and lamb bighorn sheep, mountain goat and grizzly bear licenses to be issued in any one (1) year for resident hunters.
Primary Components of HB 112

90/10* split of big game licenses for elk, antelope, deer, sheep, mountain goat, and moose, for a 50% reduction in non-resident big game license sales, and a 90/10 split of trophy game species, mountain lion, black bear, wolf, etc.

*90% of the licenses go to resident hunters while only 10% will go to non-resident hunters

HB 112 Author & Primary Sponsors

Robert Wharff, Executive Director for Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife, wrote House Bill 112.

Primary sponsors:

Allen Jaggi
Republican, House District 19
Lyman, WY

Hans Hunt
Republican, House District 2
Newcastle, WY

Robert McKim
Republican, House District 21
Afton, WY

Bunky Loucks
Republican, House District 59
Casper, WY

Garry C. Piiparinen
Republican, House District 49
Evanston, WY

Larry Hicks
Republican, Senate District 11
Baggs, WY

License Revenues

It has been estimated that non-resident hunters spend around 200 million dollars each year in Wyoming. 74% of license related revenue comes from non-resident hunters and anglers (mainly antelope, deer and elk).

Non-resident hunting
62%
Non-resident fishing
12%
Resident
hunting
19%
Resident fishing
7%

G&F Expected Revenues

License Fees 54%
Federal Aid 19%
Grants 7%
General Fund 9%
Interest Received 6%
Access Fund 2%
License Recoupment 2%
Boating Registration 1%
Fiscal Year 2015 projected revenues for the Wyoming Game & Fish Department are $70,587,000.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Hunting and fishing licenses, conservation stamps,
application fees, and preference point fees
make up the license fees.

Revenue Loss

HB 112 would have cut Wyoming Game and Fish Department license sales by 6.7 million dollars.

SpeciesNR Special licensesNR Regular licensesTotal NR licensesTotal Resident licensesTotal all licensesNR %Resident %90% to residents10% to non-residentsLoss of NR licenses Lost revenues estimate
TOTALS5,58865,43271,020136,412207,43234.24%65.76%171,68631,88039,361$6,751,737
Antelope1,52513,78915,31418,51233,82645.27%54.73%30,4983,32811,986$3,260,192
Antelope: Doe/Fawn18,55518,5556,51125,066 74.02%25.98%22.6082,45816,101$547,434
Deer1,72516,82718,55244,43962,99129.45%70.55%41,45717,668933$291,096
Deer: Doe/Fawn4,3514,3516,26710,61840.98%59.02%9,5831,0353,329$113,186
Deer: Doe/FawnnUnlimited1,6261,6262,4114,03740.28%59.72%3,6383991,227$41,718
Elk2,3385,4797,81743,35151,16815.28%84.72%46,1125,0562,879$1,661,183
Elk: Cow/Calf4,8054,80514,92119,72624.36%75.64%17,7901,9362,906$836,928

Statistics based on actual sales in 2013

More Revenue Losses

Losses in Search and Rescue, Access Yes, and Conservation Stamp Funds will be substantial.

For every $1 a resident donates to Search & Rescue and Access Yes, a non-resident will donate $1.50. That is 46% more than a resident. If non-resident hunters see diminished opportunities to hunt Wyoming by 50%, donations by non-residents could easily be cut in half; HB 112 (90/10) could cause a $25,000-$30,000 loss in donations to each of those programs. Significantly lower donations will dramatically affect search and rescue operations and access availability for resident hunters as well.

$1 of Access Yes funds equals 4.2 acres leased for the public. 90/10 will cause an estimated 250,000 fewer acres enrolled by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department in the Access Yes program.


Conservation Stamp funds are distributed in this manner:

    Conservation Stamp—$12.50

  • $3.12 to Access Yes
  • $4.69 to Wildlife Trust Fund
  • $4.69 to Game & Fish Fund
    Lifetime Conservation Stamp—$180.50

  • $90.25 to Wildlife Trust Fund
  • $90.25 to Access Yes

90/10 would cause a 50% reduction in Conservation Stamp sales to non-residents. In 2012 Wyoming Game and Fish sold 37,000 Conservation Stamps to non-residents; that is $462,500 worth of stamps that go to Access Yes, the Wildlife Trust Fund and the Game and Fish Fund. If we cut that in half it would be a loss of $57,720 to Access Yes, $86,765 to the Wildlife Trust Fund and $86,765 to the Game and Fish Fund.

Resident Big Game Hunters

The total number of resident licenses issued is 135,466. Unique resident big game hunters total 69,236. Based on the 2013 census showing a population of 584,000, this means only 11.8% of the residents hunt big game in Wyoming.

Resident licenses by species

SpeciesNumber of resident licenses
Mountain goat22
Bighorn sheep163
Moose393
Antelope24,752
Deer52,633
Elk57,503
Totals135,466

Number of licenses held by each resident hunter

Number of resident licensesNumber of resident huntersNumber of resident licensesNumber of resident hunters
131,385974
221,9511037
39,1271123
43,8281215
51,5781310
6694144
7347152
8159232
Total69,236
Information provided by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Economic Impact

Out-of-state hunters represent one of Wyoming’s largest sources of tourism revenue. We might think of their impact in terms of their direct spending on things like taxidermists, meat processors, hotels, restaurants and gas stations. But non-resident hunter spending actually affects a whole range of Wyoming businesses, including automotive dealers, feed dealers, landowners, insurance agents, real estate agents, and much more.

To put non-resident hunter spending in perspective, let’s compare it to another big tourism industry: skiing. The 2013 ski season was the 2nd best ski season ever in Wyoming. Jackson Hole Resort recorded 600,000 skiers. At $100 per lift ticket, that amounts to $60 million–and remember, that only impacts one county in Wyoming. Non-resident hunters, on the other hand, spend about $200 million dollars each year in Wyoming, dwarfing the ski industry figure. And that wealth is spread to all parts of the state, not just a single county. That is a massive economic impact, and one that we shouldn’t underestimate.