Wyoming General Elk Draw Odds - Fair warning to rookies

Laramie

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Apr 17, 2020
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I have seen people blame 90/10 discussions and many other reasons for point creep with Wyoming General Elk. The reality is there has been a steady increase over time that is starting be felt at a more rapid pace due to exponential increases in applicants over the past few years while elk tags have remained very constant. Here are the number of applicants in the regular draw for general elk since 2010 for anyone interested. Essentially this tag is going to become a once every 10+ year tag very soon... Someone just starting out in the points game needs to go into this with eyes wide open - it is a long term investment, even if you choose to do the special.

2010 4052 applicants 1719 tags .5 points to draw
2011 4046 applicants 1603 tags 1 point to draw
2012 4416 applicants 1766 tags 1+ points to draw
2013 4286 applicants 1695 tags 1+ points to draw
2014 4687 applicants 1737 tags 1+ points to draw
2015 5247 applicants 1787 tags 1+ points to draw
2016 5541 applicants 1842 tags 1+ points to draw
2017 5834 applicants 1764 tags 2 points to draw
2018 6002 applicants 1787 tags 2+ points to draw
2019 5982 applicants 1775 tags 2+ points to draw
2020 5777 applicants 1689 tags 3 points to draw
2021 7582 applicants 1608 tags 3+ points to draw
2022 8316 applicants 1575 tags 4 points to draw

The drop in the number of tags can be explained by fluctuating numbers in the LE tags. Wyoming offers a constant number of elk tags yearly. If 90/10 passes, there will be a significant increase in the number of general tags offered. However, if 90/10 passes, there will be a significant number of point holders who choose to use their points on general permits so point creep will likely remain constant.

When you draw those general tags, make the most of them. It will likely be a long time before you get another one!
 

Bubba

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Apr 28, 2012
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Idaho was a big OTC option for Elk and Deer. I believe that idahos changes has shifted some to burning their points else where. If Colorado makes Changes to their OTC elk hunt you ill see a lot of point creep in other states. I hunted Idaho for elk till and it washy go to state while a built up points in other states. Know with limited tag in zone specific areas, it a pain to try and get a tag with my hunt buddies. Thats why this year I burned my points for a gen tag in wyoming. Hunting is becoming very popular and competitive.
 

ScottR_EHJ

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Idaho was a big OTC option for Elk and Deer. I believe that idahos changes has shifted some to burning their points else where. If Colorado makes Changes to their OTC elk hunt you ill see a lot of point creep in other states. I hunted Idaho for elk till and it washy go to state while a built up points in other states. Know with limited tag in zone specific areas, it a pain to try and get a tag with my hunt buddies. Thats why this year I burned my points for a gen tag in wyoming. Hunting is becoming very popular and competitive.
Irony of Irony, and depending on if you the numbers but hunting overall seems to be down. However, western hunting has become the in thing and Covid exasperated it with lots of people not being able to do things like Africa, Canada or even Alaska. Weird world.
 

kentuckybowman

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Jun 12, 2020
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I just burned 12 points got drawn today I believe. I will have to decide weather or not to buy any more points. I am 56 yo so I may see if I can draw a general tag in the next ten years. Probably won't go for it, something to think about though.
 

CoStick

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May 18, 2021
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I just burned 12 points got drawn today I believe. I will have to decide weather or not to buy any more points. I am 56 yo so I may see if I can draw a general tag in the next ten years. Probably won't go for it, something to think about though.
It is being made clear that tourists are not wanted or needed. Shift the funds in a different direction.
 

Indian Summer

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Feb 17, 2013
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Laramie I agree completely with your reasoning. If there’s any one thing to blame it’s the internet. It opens doors. But without doing any data digging in 2010 we didn’t need any points. We were drawing a general license as a second choice then. That may be true for 2011 too long f my memory serves me correctly. We’d get the license plus a point back then. Just wanted to put that out there.
 

Bighorner

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Nov 15, 2017
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I look at it as a large cycle with negative impacts. The harder it is to draw, the more valuable the tag, the more vaulable the tag the more media is created and goods marketed, the more media and goods the more popluar it becomes and demand increases. Rinse and repeat.

I do have a lot of sympathy for despair from point creep.
 

Next Ridge

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Jun 29, 2020
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Long term there will be fewer hunters and more opportunity again, but this next period of people burning points could be ugly to get through.

I think elk hunting increases have been largely a social media driven trend (I mean how many new spins on a hunt can they have left, it seems even the hosts are getting tired of new Schtick at times.) It will correct/transition and people will move on to something else. I don’t think it is as sticky to most people as it seems.

Three things would help accelerate this point purge and allow people to still use points they’ve built. 1) CO ends unlimited OTC for non-residents during archery and rifle seasons.
2) For all States, no missing an application year or you lose your points.
3) See number 1.
 
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Next Ridge

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Jun 29, 2020
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I think I meant to break #1 down more, but figured my edit was more to the point.
 

Elkangle

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Jun 16, 2016
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Few thoughts

1... one of the biggest generations is retired and well supplied with money...

2...The next biggest generation should be acquiring enough wealth and vacation time to actually go hunting

But that 1st generation is aging out and the 2nd generation is heading for a huge financial hit

Idk if this is good or bad news 🤷‍♂️
 
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