The Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association (WYOGA) recently celebrated its 60th Anniversary at their annual General Membership Convention in Casper on 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. Gunwerks offered a shooting demonstration at the Platte River Gun Club for our guests and members to participate in. 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. WYOGA also had 11 vendors participate and display their outdoor products—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 it was 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 evening was Brad Jones with the Outdoor Dream Foundation, followed closely by WYOGA’s exciting Big Game Awards, sponsored by Dallas Safari Club, Wild Sheep Foundation, and Safari Club International, and ended with 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.