Gear, Policies, Safety, etc.
Be sure you are prepared for a safe hunt by familiarizing yourself with the items below.
Hunter Safety and Clothing Requirements
No person born on or after January 1, 1966, may take any wildlife by the use of firearms on land other than that of his own family, unless the person possesses or can demonstrate they have obtained a certificate of competency and safety in the use and handling of firearms. All hunt area 75 and 79 Elk hunters, regardless of age, must possess and exhibit a valid hunter safety certificate. Compliance will be checked in the field.
Big or Trophy Game hunters must wear in a visible manner one or more exterior garments of a fluorescent orange color which shall include a hat, shirt, jacket, coat, vest or sweater. This requirement does not apply to licensed Archery hunters during the Special Archery Seasons and licensed Archery hunters hunting in Limited Quota Archery Only seasons. Muzzle-Loader hunters participating in Limited Quota Muzzle-Loading seasons are required to meet the above clothing requirements.
Firearms & Ammo
Firearms and Ammunition Regulations
No person shall take into or possess in the game fields or forests of Wyoming any fully automatic weapon or device designed to silence or muffle the report of any firearm. Firearms and cartridges which are legal for taking Big or Trophy Game, or Wild Bison, are described in the following paragraphs.
Wyoming statutes authorize the use of a firearm which has a barrel bore diameter of at least twenty-three-hundredths (23/100) of an inch and is chambered to fire a center-fire cartridge not less than two (2) inches in overall length, including a soft or expanding point bullet seated to a normal depth or a muzzle-loading rifle which has a barrel bore diameter of at least 40/100 of an inch and a charge of at least fifty (50) grains of black powder or equivalent, or a muzzle-loading specialty single shot handgun which hasa barrel length of not less than ten (10) inches, a bore diameter of at least 45/100 of an inch and which propels a projectile of two hundred forty (240) grains at not less than five hundred (500) foot pounds at one hundred (100) yards. In addition, the Commission authorizes any other cartridge fired from a firearm that has a barrel bore diameter of at least thirty-five hundredths (.35) of an inch and the cartridge generally delivers at least five hundred (500) pounds of impact at one hundred (100) yards and cartridges used are loaded with a lead, soft or expanding bullet point.
Wild Bison shall only be taken with a firearm which has a barrel bore diameter of at least twenty-seven hundredths (27/100) of an inch and is chambered to fire a center-fire cartridge not less than two (2) inches in overall length, including a soft or expanding point bullet seated to a normal depth. The cartridge shall have a minimum of a one hundred fifty (150) grain bullet. Wild Bison may also be taken by the use of muzzle-loading rifles having a barrel bore diameter of at least 50/100 of an inch and a charge of at least one hundred (100) grains of black powder or equivalent, only on lands off the National Elk Refuge.
Archery & Crossbows
Wyoming Big Game Archery Hunting
Type 9 licenses refer to Archery Only licenses. Special Archery Seasons for Antelope normally open either August 15th or September 1st and close when the regular (rifle) season opens. Archers shall possess a Limited Quota Antelope license in addition to an Archery license in order to hunt Antelope during any Special Archery Season. Special Archery Seasons for Deer normally open September 1st or September 15th and close when regular (rifle) seasons open. Archers shall possess a General Deer license or a Limited Quota Deer license in addition to an Archery license in order to hunt Deer during any Special Archery Season. Special Archery Seasons for Elk normally open September 1st and close when regular (rifle) seasons open. Archers shall possess a General Elk license or a Limited Quota Elk license in addition to an Archery license in order to hunt Elk during any Special Archery Season. Archers with Limited Quota Type 9 Elk licenses are not required to obtain an Archery license in addition to the Type 9 license.
Special Archery Seasons are established for nearly all Big Game hunt areas by the Commission. Season dates are not available at press time, but most open September 1. Some archery seasons for Antelope open on August 15. Information on these seasons will be available on or about May 5.
Hunters holding General or Limited Quota hunting licenses may hunt with bow and arrow or crossbow during Special Archery Seasons if they first obtain an Archery license. Only one Archery license is required for a Big Game and Trophy Game species. This license qualifies the holder to hunt Big Game and Trophy Game during Special Archery Seasons in areas for which they also have a valid hunting license. Archery licenses are available at License Selling Agents statewide. Do not purchase an Archery license until you have received notification of drawing results.
Some Big Game hunt areas offer hunting licenses for Archery Only. These licenses are designated as Type 9 licenses in the Hunting Season Tables. Type 9 Elk licenses are often available as Leftover licenses. Holders of Type 9 licenses are not required to obtain an Archery license in addition to the Limited Quota Archery Only license, but are restricted to hunting only in the area(s) and during the season specified for that license type. Persons hunting with archery equipment during regular firearms seasons need not obtain an Archery license.
When hunting Deer, Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat, Mountain Lion or Black Bear, the archer must be equipped with a bow of not less than 40 pounds of draw weight or possessing the ability to cast a hunting arrow of 400 grain weight at least 160 yards. When hunting Elk, Moose or Wild Bison the hunter must be equipped with a bow of not less than 50 pounds draw weight or possessing the ability to cast an arrow of 500 grain weight at least 160 yards. The crossbow hunter must be equipped with a crossbow of not less than 90 pounds draw weight which has a minimum draw length of 14 inches from front of bow to back of string in the cocked position and a positive safety mechanism. Crossbow bolts must be at least 16 inches long. The broadhead of arrows or bolts shall be of sharp steel with a minimum cutting width of one inch. Archery equipment may be used to take Wild Bison only on lands off the National Elk Refuge. a permit is no longer required to be able to use a leverage gaining device for cocking a crossbow. (Information Source: Wyoming Game & Fish)
Personal Note: I highly recommend using Fixed Broadheads, not Expandable Broadheads.
Youth Big Game Hunting, Wyoming
Minimum Age to Hunt, Youth Licenses: The minimum age to take any Big Game or Trophy Game animal is 12 years of age. An applicant may apply for any Big Game or Trophy Game license if he/she is 11 years of age but must be 12 years of age when hunting. Applicants under age 14 must have a guardian co-sign any Big Game or Trophy Game application. Persons who are less than 18 years of age and at least 11 years of age at the time of application may apply for a youth license and remit youth fees. Applicants must be at least 14 years of age prior to September 1 of the application year in order to hunt Wild Bison.
A Hunter Safety Certificate is required of all hunters, born on or after January 1, 1966, taking wildlife by the use of firearms on land other than his/her own family. Please see page 43 for legal requirements. Nonresidents under 14 years of age may fish or hunt small game and game birds, except Wild Turkey, without a license if they are with an adult who has a valid Wyoming license and their bag limit is counted as part of the adult’s bag limit. Persons under 14 may also buy a Nonresident license and take their own bag limits.
Muzzle-Loading Firearms and Legal Handguns. Type 0 licenses are valid for Muzzle-Loading Firearms and/or Legal Handguns only. See regulations for restrictions. Wyoming has no restrictions on muzzle-loader ignition systems. However, breech loading blackpowder rifles are not legal in Muzzle- Loading Only Seasons. All legal weapons, including Muzzle-Loading rifles, can be used to hunt during the regular firearms hunting season.
Youth with Life Threatening Illnesses. The Commission may issue up to twenty-five (25) Antelope licenses, twenty-five (25) Deer licenses, twentyfive (25) Elk licenses and twenty-five (25) Turkey licenses each year for the exclusive distribution by nonprofit charitable organizations for use by persons twenty (20) years of age or younger with life threatening illnesses. The deadline to apply for these licenses is August 1. Contact (307) 777-4528 for more information regarding these licenses.
(Information Source: Wyoming Game & Fish)
Conservation Stamp Requirements for Wyoming
Each person licensed to hunt or fish in Wyoming must purchase one (1) Conservation Stamp for $12.50, which will be valid for one calendar year. The stamp must be signed in ink and must be in possession while hunting or Fishing. Hunters or anglers who acquire a Lifetime Conservation Stamp or a Conservation Stamp authorization from the Department’s computerized point of sale license issuance system shall not be required to meet this signature provision. Conservation Stamps must be purchased from Wyoming Game and Fish Department offices, License Selling Agents throughout the state or online at http://gf.state.wy.us prior to going into the field. A Lifetime Conservation Stamp may be purchased for $180.50 by applying to the Cheyenne Headquarters office, License Accounting Section.
A $12.50 Elk Special Management Permit shall be required of any person who hunts Elk in hunt areas 70, 71, 74, 75 or 77-98. The Elk Special Management Permit may be obtained from Wyoming Game and Fish Department offices or license selling agents throughout the state.
Hunters with Disabilities
Hunters With Disabilities permits are available to persons who qualify. Application shall be made through the License Section, Headquarters Office, 5400 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82006-0001. This permit entitles the holder thereof to hunt from any stationary vehicle, except aircraft, for Big or Trophy Game animals, game birds (except migratory birds) and small game animals as provided for by Title 23 Wyoming Statutes and Commission Regulations. Shooting from or across a public road is prohibited.
Disabled Hunter & Disabled Hunter Companion Permits:
A licensed disabled hunter may obtain a permit that allows the licensed Disabled Hunter to designate an individual as a Disabled Hunter Companion. This permit allows the Companion to reduce to possession any animal the Disabled Hunter has lawfully wounded or killed which he is physically incapable of pursuing. The Disabled Hunter applicant shall meet one or more of the following qualifications in order to obtain a permit:
- Is permanently unable to walk without the use of, or assistance from, a wheelchair, scooter or walker;
- Is restricted by lung disease to the extent the person’s forced expiratory volume for one (1) second, when measured by a spirometer, is less than thirty-five (35) percent predicted, or arterial oxygen tension is less than fifty-five (55) mm/Hg on room air at rest;
- Has a cardiac condition to the extent the person’s functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV, according to standards established by the American Heart Association;
- Has a permanent, physical impairment that prevents the person from holding or shooting a firearm or bow in hand;
- Has central visual acuity that permanently does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with corrective lenses or the widest diameter of the visual field is not greater than twenty (20) degrees; and, or
- Has written proof that the last official certification of record by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs or any branch for the Armed Forces of the United States shows the person to be at least sixty-five (65) percent disabled.
Qualifications for a Disabled Hunter Companion Permit and applications for Disabled Hunter Permits and Disabled Hunter Companion Permits ($5.00) can be obtained from the Headquarters office or any Department Regional office. (Information Source: Wyoming Game & Fish)
Personal Note: Please contact us for more information on these hunts. Wyoming Game and Fish set aside a few tags just for these hunts, where the hunter does not have to go through the regular draw. We donate at least one hunt a year to disabled hunters or hunters with life threatening illnesses. We look forward to these hunts every year.