Dear Fellow Sportsmen:
The Wyoming Game and Fish as of several months had about $ 56 million in their “reserve” account. Please read below.
THIS IS IMPORTANT AND WE HOPE THAT YOU CAN READ THIS EMAIL. THERE IS A BILL IN THE WYOMING LEGISLATURE (HB 288) THAT WILL RAISE LICENSE FEES IN 2018. THERE WERE NO PUBLIC MEETINGS HELD IN WYOMING CONCERNING THIS BILL; AND PAR FOR THE COURSE, THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT DID NOT CONTACT HARDLY ANY NONRESIDENT SPORTSMEN TO GET THEIR OPINION. THIS IS OFFENSIVE, AS THE NONRESIDENT SPORTSMEN PAY 65% OF THE WGFD’S BILLS. YOU PICK UP THE MAJOIRTY OF TAB IN THIS STATE. IN RECENT HISTORY, ALMOST ALL RESIDENT SPORTSMEN’S GROUPS HAVE “MARCHED” WITH THE WGFD AND SUPPORT SUCH IDEAS OR BILLS—THIS USUALLY INCLUDES THE WYOMING WILDLIFE FEDERATION, RMEF, DU, PF, MULE DEER FANANTICS, AND THE WYOMING OUTFITTERS AND GUIDES ASSOCIATION (WYOGA). Of course, anybody or any group is entitled to express any opinion, but it is disheartening that the nonresident sportsmen is kept in the dark about these proceedings. Many of the residents care about fairness and the constitutionality of such a bill—it is basically “charge” the nonresidents heavily and let us hunt for 99 cents.
Here are some examples of what is proposed:
It will raise a resident antelope from $36 to a whopping $37 (don’t know if I can bear that burden). The nonresident regular antelope license will go from $286 to $324. Now, $324 is fair taking in rates in surrounding states, but really, a $1.00 increase for residents?
It will raise a resident Bighorn Sheep license from $115 to $118. The new nonresident fee will be $2,318, which is 19 times the resident price. All the different states agree upon a 5 to 10 (nonresident price) to 1 (resident price) ratio. WY residents should be paying about $250-350 for a sheep license.
This bill will raise the price of a nonresident archery license (just lets you use the weapon in the preseason) from $28 to $70. It should be raised to $35-40 or so, but most states don’t even charge a bow hunter ANY extra fee for hunting with a bow.
It raises my elk license a whopping $2. The regular nonresident elk will go up to about $690-700. The “special” license will cost you an additional $576 instead the pasts $480 additional fee.
It will allow them to charge you UP TO $75 on a Preference point. Currently elk is $50, deer $40 and antelope $30. We are currently the highest priced state on preference points, most states are between $0 and $20.
You might agree or disagree with all of this. For me, I am very disenchanted that the WGFD is seeking this bill with hardly any public input, meetings and as usual, almost NO nonresident input.
Let your feelings be known by calling 1-866-996-8683 and telling them YES or NO on House Bill 288.