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A Comprehensive Guide

% Public Land
Species Available
# of Hunters

2024 Wyoming Big Game

Wyoming's landscape supports good populations of mule deer, elk and pronghorn. From the sage brush prairies to rugged mountain ranges such as the Tetons and Bighorns, nearly all of Wyoming boasts big game hunting opportunity. Bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose and bison tags are available for those lucky enough to draw an opportunity. Predator hunting seasons are in place for gray wolf, black bear and mountain lion.

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Species to Hunt



Black Bear



Mountain Goat

Mountain Lion

Mule Deer

Rocky Mtn Bighorn

Whitetail Deer



Non-resident Elk                                      January 31
Moose, Sheep, Goat, Bison                     April 30
Deer, Antelope, Resident Elk                   May 31
Leftover Draw                                          June 28
Points Only                                              Oct 31

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Over the Counter Hunts

Residents can purchase a general deer license and hunt deer in many areas throughout the state. General elk licenses are also available to residents. In 2024, a handful of hunt areas offered unlimited cow/calf elk licenses providing some over the counter opportunity to nonresidents. All predator licenses can be purchase by both residents and nonresidents. 

Limited Entry Hunts

In addition to the general license opportunities for residents, they may also consider applying to limited draw hunts for deer and elk. Pronghorn licenses are all allocated by limited draw for both residents and nonresidents. For those wanting a shot at trophy species - bison, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat - they will have to apply to a limited drawing with long odds. This applies to both residents and nonresidents.

The Draw

Wyoming employs both random draw and preference point systems. In a random draw system, every applicant has the same odds of drawing. In a preference point system, applicants build points by either purchasing a point annually or applying and being unsuccessful in the drawing. Preference points allow applicants to move ahead of other applicants with fewer points.


Applicants are ranked from most preference points to least and every applicant receives a random number. Where 2 or more applicants hold the same number of points, they are ranked from lowest random number to highest random number. Licenses are awarded starting at the top and working down through applicants until the quota is allocated or all 1st choice applicants have been awarded a license.

The following hunts in Wyoming use a random draw:

  • Resident deer, pronghorn and elk 

  • Nonresident cow/calf and doe/fawn hunts

  • Resident and nonresident bison and mountain goat

The following hunts in Wyoming use a combination preference point and random draw system. The majority of the quota is allocated using a preference point and the remainder is allocated using a random drawing.

  • Nonresident either sex or buck/bull deer, pronghorn and elk hunts

    • 75% of the quota is awarded using preference point​s and 25% using random draw

  • Nonresident and resident moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat hunts

    • 75% of the quota is awarded using preference points and 25% using random draw​

Wyoming allows applicants to select 3 choices on their application. The first choice hunt uses the applicable draw system. If any quota is remaining after the first choice round, second and third choice rounds are awarded using a random drawing.


For trophy big game hunts - moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, bison - 90% of licenses are awarded to residents and 10% of licenses are awarded to nonresidents. For deer and pronghorn, 80% of licenses are awarded to residents and 20% to nonresidents. Elk quota splits are 84% for residents and 16% for nonresidents.

One final nuance that nonresidents need to consider is if they want to fork over extra money to be placed in the "special" pool. When applying for deer, elk and pronghorn hunts, nonresidents can pay extra money to be placed in the special applicant pool. Of the available nonresident quota, 60% will go to general applicants and 40% will go to special applicants. This can be a good way for applicants to increase their odds of drawing.

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