Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association

Guiding America since 1959

photo by Mark Gocke

Sy Gilliland

Greetings from the president of WYOGA!

Dear fellow hunters and outdoor enthusiasts:
Wyoming outfitters and guides are busy wrapping up the 2021 seasons as many hunting seasons extend through the end of the year. 2021 presented many challenges to our industry, one of which was drought in many areas of Wyoming. Our state did receive some significant fall moisture which resulted in a fall green up. This fall green up will be key in helping our wildlife populations build up fat reserves for the coming winter.

WYOGA continues to be at the forefront in defending and preserving our states winter elk feed grounds. The Wyoming Game & Fish Department recently entered into a collaborative
effort with representatives from all interested stakeholder groups to study and work towards a management plan for the 22 state
run elk feed grounds. How we manage wintering elk in north western Wyoming will be critical in maintaining elk populations.

In addition to the elk feed ground issue, we continue to work on wolf management issues, grizzly bear de-listing, CWD and
resident/non-resident big game licensing quotas. All of these issues present challenges to our wildlife and how we distribute
opportunity to hunt our big game animals.

WYOGA recently hired Southwick Associates to update the Big Game Hunting & Outfitting Economic Contributions study
originally conducted in 2015. The update was requested by the members of the Wyoming Wildlife Task Force which is studying
several issues including how Wyoming distributes license quotas between resident big game hunters and non-residents. Here are some highlights from the economic study:

  • The entire economic study can be found on our website.
  • In 2020, the total economic contributions to Wyoming’s economy was $339,215,678.00.
  • State & local taxes collected from big game hunting activity was $31,866,737.00.
  • Big Game hunting activity in Wyoming results in creating and maintaining 3,497 jobs.
  • Outfitters contribute significantly to the revenue stream for landowners to the tune of $11 million annually.
  • Elk is the most targeted species for guided non-resident hunters.

It’s obvious the decisions that affect the allocation of big game licenses must carefully consider the far-reaching economic
benefits that are created to ensure optimal economic benefit for all Wyoming residents. The task force over an 18 month period
will be sending proposals to the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission and the Wyoming Legislature for their considerations.

If you’re considering a future hunt in Wyoming, Check out the 2022 WYOGA Big Game Awardsit’s very important to plan ahead. The Wyoming Outfitting industry has seen a huge increase in demand for our services. The pandemic changed many things in society and the outdoors have been rediscovered. Our summer tourism season this past summer was a record setter
and our outfitters were booked full with pack trips, guest ranch stays, fishing, float trips and trail rides. It’s expected that the 2022 season will at the very least equal last summer. WYOGA outfitters are reporting record setting phone calls, emails and bookings for the hunting trips they offer.

Sportsmen and sportswomen are looking towards the mountain west for their future hunting trips like never before. The Wyoming Game & Fish Department reported record numbers of license applications from traveling sportspersons. This bodes well for our industry and our state as these dollars are a very important part of our thriving tourism economy.

When planning your hunt in Wyoming, always use a member of WYOGA as
they are the very best in the business.

Good luck and happy hunting,

Sy Gilliland, President of Wyoga
Sy Gilliland, President
Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association

Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association is proud to announce the release of Hunting Safely in Grizzly Country.

You may make a donation to the efforts to save the Wyoming feedgrounds here.

WYOGA Featured Outfitter

Big Game Awards

Click here to view the 2022 Big Game Awards results for the 2021 hunt season

Our sponsors of the Big Game Awards: Dallas Safari Club Wild Sheep Foundation

Get a copy of
Wyoming Outdoors

Wyoming Outdoors, the official publication of the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association

Click to get Wyoming Outdoors — the official publication of the Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association.

($5 postage and handling)

You can also view the latest issue online here!

Wyoming License Application Deadlines

Elk: Non-residents: Feb. 1
Elk: Residents: May 31
Deer: May 31
Antelope: May 31
Moose: March 1
Bighorn Sheep: March 1
Mountain Goat: March 1
Spring Wild Turkey: Feb. 1
Wild Bison: applications open March 1

Wyoming Game & Fish Department helpful links

Outfitter-Client Yearly Statistics

Wyoming State Board of Outfitters & Professional Guides

Year End Statistics: 2021        Outfitters: 319

Species# of ClientsSuccessful %
Black Bear1797944%
Mountain Goat231670%
Mountain Lion1269475%
*The actual number of individuals utilizing the services of licensed outfitters may be slightly less than the totals reflected above due to some clients hunting more than one species.

Preference Points explained

Unraveling the Preference Points Mystery

by Jim Schell, Rough Country Outfitters & Guides

"WHAT THE HECK DO YOU MEAN, I didn't draw my dang Wyoming elk license again!!!" I'm sure most of us have either said, or at least heard this very statement, quickly followed by a few other choice words of disappointment! So, if you are like many non-resident sportsmen, you have at least a few questions surrounding Wyoming's big game preference points system.

In an effort to help folks better understand how the preference points system works, a few facts, figures, opinions and application strategies will be presented. Understanding the dynamics of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's big game license drawing may be of real benefit to you in successfully drawing that coveted antelope, deer, elk, bighorn sheep or Shiras moose license, when, where and how you wish to hunt them in future years!

2021 Southwick Economic Impact Study cover

The economic impact of big game hunting in Wyoming

  • Wyoming hosted more than 120,000 big game hunters in 2020, of which 60 percent were residents and 40 percent were nonresidents.
  • Those hunters, that same year, spent $250 million on gear, travel, guides and other goods and services in Wyoming, which in turn generated economic benefits that extended to all state residents.
  • These same dollars went on to support 3,500 jobs…
These results are contained in a study commissioned by the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association and its partners, and produced by Southwick Associates. You can download the 2021 summary report here.

Elk is the most targeted species by resident and guided nonresident hunters.

Antelope and mule deer are the most targeted species by unguided nonresident hunters.

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