The Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association
Annual 2018 Winter Retreat
will be held Friday, December 7, Holiday Inn, Cody, WY
8:00am–5:00pm (Board of Directors Meeting & GM Meeting)
5:30pm–8:30pm (Cocktails & Dinner) 

This is a one-day event with a lot of important information and guest speakers followed with a cocktail party and dinner sponsored by the Cody Country Outfitters & Guides Association. Invitations will be mailed November 1st with additional information. Please mark your calendar to attend.

The Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association
2019 Annual Convention & Big Game Awards Banquet
is April 4-6, 2019, Ramkota Hotel, Casper, WY

Watch for your personal invitation with all the details in February.

The game and fish commission voted to leave the application period from January 1-31st. The drawing date will be in May. This will give the game and fish a better idea of what the herds are like in the spring. 

Brian Nesvik and Doug Brimeyer provide a summary of what all the public meetings were about. The overall consensus from the residents were they either wanted the non-resident hunters to have less licenses or keep it the way it is. The residents were against any changes.

There were five broad ideas that were discussed:

1.    Keep the application for the non-resident for January 1-31. Keeping the application date the same will allow the game and fish manage the herds and have a better idea the quality of the herds for the season setting meeting. 

2.    In limited quota areas under prescribed by resident should have flexibly capability of ranging form 16-20% on the quota

3.    Eliminate type 4 and 5 licenses would not count against cap.

4.    Another proposal was to eliminate the cap. This did not fly at all.

5.    Suggested to come up regionalization for non-residents with no cap. 

There was much discussion on these issues, but the commission was not in favor to any to it.

Commissioner Crank made a motion to keep the January application for non-residents and move the drawing date back to May and then all discussion on the other four ideas. The vote was a tie 3-3. In favor of the motion was Commissioner Schmid and Commissioner Culver. Voting against the motion was Commissioner Dube, Commissioner Rael and Commissioner Byrd. In their discussion they wanted to see some ideas on regionalization. Since the vote was a tie, it was up to President Anselmi to break the tie and he voted in favor of Commissioner Crank’s motion. 

In summary, the nonresident elk allocation will stay status quo.

One final note, Brian Nesvik will be attending the Winter Retreat on Friday, December 7th to discuss this further with all of us. Please plan to attend this important meeting. 


As you are aware, the 2018 Big Game Awards were compiled and the results have been posted on the WYOGA website. Congratulatory letters were mailed to your hunter notifying of their placement along with an invitation to submit a story for the publication describing their hunt of a lifetime. If you would like to order your guide a plaque, please email the WYOGA office by November 1st. Each plaque is $54.00 each.


At an early May meeting in Denver we met with U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester Brian Ferebee and his staff to discuss this possibility. In light of the near-impassability of a tremendous portion of our backcountry, Mr. Ferebee remarked that “we can’t crosscut our way out of this problem”. Make note, however, that this is for Region 2 and not all of Wyoming. But, the possibility exists in convincing the other Regions to move forward on this idea as well.

Mr. Ferebee seems very amenable to allowing chainsaws on a case-by-case basis with the idea of allowing Outfitters to clear their trail systems. However, he needs to “make the case”. Hence, we need your help.

All we need over this season are two things: 

1) Documentation of the problem: Logs of how many trees down per 1/2 or 1 mile of trail. And, amounts of hazard trees in and around your camp, both summer and fall. 

2) Pictures: Of usual and unusual trail blockage. Include typical looking trees that are blocking a trail and also those awful blowdown/snags where there are 5, 10 or even more that have fallen together in a lump. Also, take pictures of trail damage done by riders, people going around downed trees, etc.

Please email your logs and pictures to the WYOGA office at gro.agoyw@agoyw. We’ll put together a WYOGA presentation to send to him that will be added to the other Rocky Mountain States that are doing this as well.

Hopefully this will put us over the top to convince him to fully implement the use of Chainsaws. Thanks for your help!

On behalf of WYOGA, we would like extend a thank you to our members and colleagues who donated to the GoFundMe account established for Mark Uptain’s wife Sarah and 5 children. This was a tragic accident that took the life of a member of the guiding community. A lot of unanimous donations were made, but the donations were reviewed and those WYOGA members recognized totaled $6,975.00. Because of the level of response, interest and support for the Uptain family, the goal was increased to $200,000. They have currently raised over $195,000 dollars. If you have not done so and wish to donate, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/mark-uptain 


North American Assembly of Outfitter Associations to discuss sustaining the heritage of hunting, wildlife management issues at Bozeman workshop

Dear Members:

In July, Laurie and I attended the Professional Outfitters & Guides Association (POGA) Workshop in Bozeman, MT. Nineteen outfitting and guiding associations from the United States and Canada representing 20,000 small businesses gathered to share information on leading industry issues in North America. Key themes in this year’s workshop included hunter-angler recruitment, reaching the non-hunting community with proactive messaging, the latest science behind chronic wasting disease, and growing and sustaining member associations. Safari Club International has been sponsoring this workshop since 2001, and this meeting has been one of the best and most productive meetings we’ve ever attended. 

During the breakout sessions, the Professional Outfitters and Guides of America (POGA) was represented by Executive Directors from Alaska, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Laurie and I represented Wyoming to discuss workflow processes to increase member retention, travel insurance programs that benefit both member businesses and outfitting and guiding associations, business partnership programs, raffle models to effectively raise money for associations and benefit member outfitters, and opportunities to secure funding through state tourism grants. Last but not least, Laurie and I were asked to discuss the fundraising mechanism behind the Wyoming Outdoors publication. Our publication was referred to as “The best publication out of all the state associations”. The Executive Director from Nevada said “this is by far the best publication I’ve ever seen”. The Wyoming Outdoors publication is something we should all be proud of.

Experts speaking about initiatives geared toward sustaining hunting’s heritage across North America included keynote speaker Michael Sabbeth, author of The Honorable Hunter: Defending and Advancing Our Hunting Heritage, who spoke about skillfully advocating for hunting; John Boretsky, the Guide and Outfitters Liaison for Safari Club International and a board member of the International Conservation Coalition, shared research on how people without strong preexisting opinions about hunting tend to view it, as well as messaging that connects with this population; Daniel Brooks, Safari Club International Foundation’s Director of Education and Humanitarian Services, who shared information about programs that have a strong track record of recruiting new hunters; and Diana Rupp, the editor-in-chief of Sports Afield, who presented on the Nimrod Society, an organization that uses a state-funded media campaign to reach a broad audience about the beneficial impact of hunters and anglers on wildlife habitat, public lands access, and economic development. 

Samantha Gibbs, a wildlife veterinarian with the Fish and Wildlife Service and a leading expert on chronic wasting disease, shared the latest research on CWD, which has been detected in wild ungulates in approximately 20 states as well as Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

This is the first year that the workshop was held in Bozeman. Attendees had the opportunity to explore some of the touchstone Montana experiences like an afternoon of fly fishing on the Gallatin River, a tour of Ted Turner’s 113,000-acre Flying D Ranch and a horseback ride into the Spanish Peaks.

The workshop closed with an industry night featuring representatives from some of the top outdoor brands in Bozeman including Sitka, Mystery Ranch, Stone Glacier, Kenetrek Boots and Fish Hunt Fight. Representatives from each company explained their outfitter/guide program and provided door prizes from their hunting lines. Laurie and I met the representatives and Laurie provided a media kit to each representative and pitched the publication. 

All in all, this was a worthwhile workshop and I look forward to attending again.

Best regards,

Jeff Smith, President

Casper Star Tribune: Judge returns Yellowstone grizzly bears to endangered species list

BILLINGS, Mont. — A U.S. judge ordered federal protections restored for grizzly bears in the Northern Rocky Mountains on Monday, a move that blocks the first grizzly hunts planned in the Lower 48 states in almost three decades.

>>> Click Here for Full Article >>>


We are pleased to announce that Bill Beres of Buffalo, Wyoming is the new Wyoming Board of Outfitters and Professional Guides law enforcement investigator effective September 17, 2018. The Board is very excited to have Bill as the new investigator.  Bill comes to this position with 14+ years of law enforcement experience with the past 13 years as a trooper for the Wyoming Highway Patrol. He has many years of horse use/horse packing and back-country experience and is an avid outdoorsman/sportsman.  

Bill is very excited for the opportunity to be the Boards new investigator and looks forward to getting to know and work with all of you. Bill is planning to hit the ground running and start doing some back country work soon after he starts on September 17.


WYOGA’s Office has moved to the Ohio Building, 159 N. Wolcott, Ste. 117, Casper, WY 82601. We have the same P.O. Box for mailing and contact information has remained the same.

• November 13-14, 2018 - Casper

All meetings, dates and locations are subject to change.

Beginning this year, the Wyoming Hunter Defense Fund will no longer be managed as a separate organization. The WHDF will be managed under the WYOGA umbrella. This move will provide a more efficient tax structure for WYOGA. In turn, this will allow WYOGA to make the best use of funding to provide members with a continued political presence and influence. 

Here are the New Award Winners for 2018! Congratulations to everyone below for your excellence and dedication!

2018 Guide of the Year: Troy Laird, Tyler Sims Outfitting

2018 Honorary Lifetime Member Awards: Glen Taylor, Gros Ventre Wilderness Outfitters, Inc. & Marion Scott, P Cross Bar Ranch

2018 Hunter of the Year: Jerry Arends, Abaroka Ranch

2018 Agency Personnel Award: Bif Burton, Wyoming Game & Fish,
Saratoga Game Warden

New For 2019: The WYOGA Board of Directors have also decided to have a new award category “Outfitter Staff Award” to include all staff including camp jacks, wranglers, cooks, etc. They work just as hard and deserve recognition as the hunter and the guide. You will be able to nominate your staff in 2019. 


Copyright © 2018 Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association, All rights reserved.

Contact us for more information:
Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association
P.O. Box 2650, Casper, WY 82602

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