Wyoming elk hunters enjoying an increased harvest
According to the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish, Wyoming elk hunters are enjoying their “good ol’ days” right now.
Game and Fish harvest surveys show Wyoming elk hunters in 2013 killed 25,968 elk, slightly under the record 26,365 elk taken in 2012.
In 1995, elk hunters killed 17,695 elk, more than 8,000 fewer than the average Wyoming harvest of the past few years.
In comparison, Colorado in 2013 reported 219,166 elk hunters killed 43,606 elk, including 22,766 bulls, 18,593 cows and 2,247 calves.
Colorado is the only state selling unlimited over-the-counter bull elk licenses. Those licenses are available in the second and third regular-rifle seasons.
The cost of a Colorado elk license is $46 for a resident and $601 for a nonresident (cow license is $451).
Wyoming has totally limited elk licenses with a range of prices, including the $5 pioneer license (65 and older with 30 years of residency); Pioneer Heritage, $27-$32; resident, $52; nonresident, $577 (cow $288).
Resident tags have a $5 application fee. Nonresident licenses have a $14 application fee.
Wyoming Game and Fish officials said elk hunters in the Cowboy State during the past five years consistently have seen a success rate greater than 40 percent. Elk hunters experienced 45 percent success in 2013.
Officials said the increased harvest is a result of good habitat conditions resulting in increased elk numbers and favorable hunting conditions.