The Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association (WYOGA), recently celebrated its 60th Anniversary this year, tt their annual General Membership Convention, held in Casper, April 4th through the 6th, 2019. With near record attendance from Outfitters and Guides from around the state, elections of new officers and directors was held at the end of business on Friday afternoon, with WYOGA’s membership electing Sy Gilliland of Casper, as the new President, Budd Betts of Dubois as Vice President, and Dax McCarty of Douglas, remaining as Secretary /Treasurer. Outgoing President, Jeff Smith as well as eight other outfitters and two professional guides from across Wyoming make up the balance of this highly qualified, WYOGA board.
Convention attendees, Outfitters, Guides, and Guests enjoyed several excellent workshops and presentations over the busy weekend. To name a few, Air Idaho Rescue again presented an exceptional course in wilderness first aid. Counter Assault Bear Spray presented a Grizzly Bear training seminar devoted to wilderness safety tips for Outfitters, Guides and their Guests, while in Grizzly Bear country. An informative questions and answers session was presented by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, as well as the Wyoming State Board of Outfitters and Professional Guides. All in all a very productive, informative weekend!
WYOGA’s annual Big Game Awards Banquet was celebrated Saturday evening with over 270 members and guests attending! Without question, the most well attended, successful banquet and fundraiser in WYOGA’s 60 year history! The sell-out crowd was proud to welcome the evening’s Keynote Speaker and newly appointed Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director, Brian Nesvik, to kick off the banquet! Outgoing WG&FD Director Scott Talbott and veteran WG&FD Game Warden, Biff Burton were also in attendance and were presented with awards from WYOGA in regards to their many years of outstanding service to the people and wildlife of Wyoming. Guest speaker of the the evening was Brad Jones with the Outdoor Dream Foundation, followed closely by WYOGA’s exciting Big Game Awards and a very lively Fundraiser/Auction finale.
The WYOGA 2020 Annual Convention
will be held April 2-4 at the Ramkota in Casper. For general or media information,
please contact Sy Gilliland, President, moc.oywtnuh@sns
or Laurie Marcovitz, Administrator for WYOGA, gro.agoyw@agoyw
The WYOGA Board of Directors held a board meeting on Monday, April 22nd in Riverton. This meeting was in conjunction with the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission meeting. Thank you to the WYOGA members who were able to stay and attended the commission meeting. Sy Gilliland, Lee Livingston, Jeff Smith, Terry Pollard, Carl Sauerwein, Todd Stevie, Carlton Loewer, Mike Aberle, Jim Schell, Dusty Schell, Dustin Stetter & Laurie Marcovitz.
Media kits for the 2019 Wyoming Outdoors publication will be mailed in May.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Expo is May 9-11th in Casper. WYOGA will be participating and providing a pack horse demonstration, elk call demonstration and handing out calls and junior guide licenses to the kids participating. Thank you to Todd and Bev Stevie, Thomson Outfitters for providing the mules and tack and to the WYOGA members who are volunteering their time to attend.
WYOGA also donated two lifetime game bird/small game/fishing license and conservation stamp combinations for the game and fish to raffle. Any youth 18 and under with 10 years of continuous Wyoming residency that participates in the “Trek into Summer Challenge” will be eligible to win one in a special drawing.
WYOGA’s 2019 Annual Winter Retreat will be held:
Friday, December 6, 2019
9:00am-8:00pm (Lunch and dinner will be furnished)
Lander Convention Center
Mark your calendar and plan to attend this informative one-day meeting. Invitations will be mailed later this fall with all the information.
Big Game awards will be finalized and winners announced August 1st.
Thank you to our members for your entries.
Each outfitter has one employee that stands out above the rest. WYOGA has established the “Outfitter Staff of the Year ” award. This award will be presented annually at the Big Game Awards Banquet. If you would like to honor your employee (excludes guides for this category), please submit this application to the WYOGA office. The applications will be reviewed by the WYOGA Board of Directors. Each outfitter is entitled to nominate ONE employee per year for this award. Outfitter must be a member of WYOGA.
Additional awards are Guide of the Year and Hunter of the Year. If you would like to nominate a deserving employee, guide or hunter, please email Laurie Marcovitz at the WYOGA office and she will get the application to you. Applications due June 1st.