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Hunter recruitment is why are WY resident draw odds getting worse for antelope

Cornell Cowboy

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Apr 5, 2019
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81
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Laramie, WY
My personal experience over the past two and a half decades of hunting antelope in WY as a resident is that draw odds are getting worse. The draw odds show that this is not only my perception, but it is a reality. After reading the threads on Population Growth and Hunting as well as the derailed discussion on R3, it made me wonder why my odds were getting worse. There are really three options: less antelope (and tags), change in the state population, or increase in resident hunter participation. I wanted to do this analysis for deer and elk too, but I don't have ready access to data on general tags. But since all antelope tags in Wyoming are limited quota, it seems like a reasonable proxy for other species. Anyways, I took the available draw data from 2010 onward (2014 is missing for some reason) and looked at: the population of Wyoming, the number of antelope tags allocated, and the number of applicants. What I found was interesting. First, note that the population of WY has grown from about 565K in 2010 to about 582K in 2020 for an increase over 10 years of only 3%. The number of resident applications has increased from about 26K to 38K for an increase of 46%! During this time, the number of tags have fluctuated, but have generally decreased from about 33.5K to 29.5K for a decrease of about 12%.

Conclusion: The primary reason that my tags have become difficult to draw is because the fraction of residents applying for an antelope license have increased by a whopping 41%!! Decreasing tags are a secondary effect (at least from a long-term perspective) and increase in population is a tertiary effect. I guess I would say that recruiting new hunters in WY is working pretty well!

The data is shown in the figure below:
Picture1.png
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Manetheren
Why is it new hunter recruitment?

565K in 2010 to about 582K in 2020 so +20K
26K to 38K + 12K

So 60% of people who moved to WY in the last year hunt.

If I wanted to move somewhere that had good food, great music scene and sports I'd move to New York/Chicago/Houston/etc etc. If I wanted to shoot critters I'd move to WY.

How is this not just a bunch of 25-65 year old folks from the midwest moving to WY specifically for residency status so they can have better draw odds.

What is the actual data point that says any of these are adult onset hunters?
 

Cornell Cowboy

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Apr 5, 2019
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Laramie, WY
Why is it new hunter recruitment?

565K in 2010 to about 582K in 2020 so +20K
26K to 38K + 12K

So 60% of people who moved to WY in the last year hunt.

If I wanted to move somewhere that had good food, great music scene and sports I'd move to New York/Chicago/Houston/etc etc. If I wanted to shoot critters I'd move to WY.

How is this not just a bunch of 25-65 year old folks from the midwest moving to WY specifically for residency status so they can have better draw odds.

What is the actual data point that says any of these are adult onset hunters?
Maybe you're right...perhaps I should scrap any notion of averages and just assume that any new population growth will be recruited into hunting at 1300% of the previous rate. It is possible that it's not really recruitment, but actually participation. Maybe some of the folks that used to apply every other year decided to start applying every year. It's also possible that folks that used to be able to pick up over the counter tags for their area can't because of the NR rollover now and have to apply during the regular draw. The bottom line is that statistically the idea that either population growth or tag reductions have been a primary driver for the decreased draw odds is not really tenable (although there's always a chance :)).
 

WYelker

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Feb 1, 2021
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I moved in the last 2 years, brought wife and 2 kids all hunters. I know 6 other couples who moved here in the last 10 years. All of them hunt, both husband and wife and a few kids who are old enough.

out of the 22 new residents I know, 20 of them applied for tags this year. The 2 that did not were youth not old enough.
 

MNElkNut

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Jan 27, 2012
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Minnesota
You are also drawing the conclusion that more antelope applications means effective hunter recruitment. I don't think you can necessarily conclude that. I think you may have a person who, years ago, applied for elk only. Nowadays, that person is applying for elk, deer, and antelope. Three times as many applications, but no more hunters. It makes it seem like there are more hunters, but that may not necessarily be the case. What we need is the number of individual people that applied for any hunting license in WY throughout those years. Then do your analysis on that data set.
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Maybe you're right...perhaps I should scrap any notion of averages and just assume that any new population growth will be recruited into hunting at 1300% of the previous rate. It is possible that it's not really recruitment, but actually participation. Maybe some of the folks that used to apply every other year decided to start applying every year. It's also possible that folks that used to be able to pick up over the counter tags for their area can't because of the NR rollover now and have to apply during the regular draw. The bottom line is that statistically the idea that either population growth or tag reductions have been a primary driver for the decreased draw odds is not really tenable (although there's always a chance :)).
Sure.

I think it's probably a bunch of 2-5% increases in the same direction.

People move to WY to hunt/fish/ and be outside, so any new residents are likely to hunt at a much higher rate. If hunting participation for the average American (and I'm making this up 100%) is 1 in 10 and the average in Wyoming is 1 in 8, I think it's reasonable to assume the average rate for someone moving to WY is 1 in 2 for (adults). Point being not that those ratios are correct but the fact that the kind of person that wants to move to WY is more much more likely to be a hunt than the average American. (AK same thing)

Also yes more pressure on the leftover side means more folks in on the draw.

Also I think western hunting is more popular right now via social media, maybe folks who hunted growing up are getting back into it.

Sure there are probably a number of new adult onset hunters. I'd be curious to hear from a WY hunter's safety teacher or see data that shows how many people over the age of 20 are taking the course in WY each year.

When I took my course in CO I was 24 and was the only adult in the class. Similarly a couple of friends of mine did it in MT and were the only adults.

Would also be interesting to see age demos of hunting licenses, are lots of people taking their kids hunting these days, more so then a decade ago?

I think we like to blame it all on one thing, but I'd guess in reality it's a bit of everything.
 

WyoDoug

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Apr 8, 2019
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Cheyenne, Wyoming
I moved to Wyoming due to lack of income taxes and other taxes over all were much lower than in Colorado plus I got offered a job I could not refuse at the time. Hunting just happened to be a benefit until I got laid up or my wife had serious health issues so I could not hunt for 6 years. But since then I hunted antelope and put in for as many tags as I could get. I hunted deer when I could but coming out of near bankruptcy, I hunted antelope almost exclusively. For a long time, I thought no muley doe tags in Wyoming were available. Someone in here, @wytex specifically, proved me wrong. So now I am putting in for doe tags too in addition to the OTC general tag.

There is heavy pressure from residents who complain to the State that they want more opportunities. The State makes big bucks off nonresident hunting though. However, the pressure from residents for more tags and better odds in the draw is more likely the biggest cause is causing the odds for NRs to go up. I attend the G&F Commission meetings when I can and especially now that they do them remotely and that is what I hear is residents wanting more tags.
 

DanWyo

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Dec 18, 2020
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32
I’m guilty as well as a Wyoming transplant.

I saw the same thing happen in Colorado. Say, two decades ago, if ten people moved to the state, maybe 6 would be interested in the outdoor scene. As the state exploded, it went to 10 out of 10. Definitely is stretching and overloading resources.

At least the Wyoming bump is all people paying to play. One of the (many) issues in Colorado is all the “outdoorsy” people not paying for the impact they have on public lands and wildlife.
 

rwc101

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Feb 9, 2019
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WY
God help the idiot who moves to Wyoming just for the hunting. I think the industries that recruit people to Wyoming (however briefly) on average recruit more hunters, or those who find the idea of hunting attractive, than most other industries.
 

timmy

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Jan 29, 2016
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439
Pretty interesting article on meat eater from the good brother Matt. Hunter recruitment is a hoax, numbers are high and we are being played by people trying to make money off of the resource in disguise of conservation. Western hunting is booming. They are just as bad as outfitters that we all hate.😂
 
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