Wyoming Bison Hunting 2024

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Wyoming Bison Hunting

Wyoming’s Jackson bison herd in area 2 is doing well, and going into the 2022 season, the population was estimated to be around 700 animals, slightly above the state’s management objective. With enough weather to push animals out of their summer range in Grand Teton National Park and onto the National Elk Refuge and adjacent Forest Service lands, this can be a fun hunt. That being said, hunters have not had the cooperation needed from Mother Nature over the past few years and harvest rates have been way down as a result. Without migratory weather, these hunts are going to be best suited for someone with plenty of time and patience.

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Wyoming Bison Draw

There is no point system in place for bison; all applicants go into a random pool and have an equal chance of drawing a license. Applications are available starting March 1st and close April 17th. You can apply for area 2 type 1 (any bison) or type 4 (cow/calf). The entire cost of the license and fee must be fronted at the time of application, which is $4,417 for any bison and $2,767 for cow/calf. Draw results should be posted by May 4th. There is currently no hunt available in hunt area 1, but an area 2 license holder can hunt within the Clark’s Fork River and Soda Creek drainages. Hunt area 3 is expected be closed for 2024.

A total of 125 any bison licenses were issued for area 2 in 2022, 25 of which went to non-residents. However, that number will be less with the 90/10 split for 2024. The non-resident draw odds for the any bison license were 1 in 19. In 2021, the any bison harvest success was 66%. Type 1 hunters have been averaging over 17 days in the field to harvest a bison on this hunt. A total of 25 cow/calf licenses were issued for area 2 in 2022, 5 of which went to non-residents. The non-resident draw odds for the cow/calf bison license were 1 in 8. Resident draw odds for the any bison license were 1 in 11 and for the cow/calf license were 1 in 10.

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Cow/calf hunters in hunt area 2 should be aware that almost all of the harvest occurs on the National Elk Refuge. This is a very tough hunt, and hunters may want to think about not applying for it. In 2021, the cow bison harvest success was 73%. It is tougher to harvest a cow bison than it is a bull in unit 2. The cow bison have been hunted hard over the years and offer more of a challenge. In late July, those who successfully draw a license can apply online for a license to hunt the National Elk Refuge. You can only apply for one hunt period. Given the fact that migration is weather-dependent, you should apply for late season dates. The results of the computerized random draw will be posted on the application website in early August. Licenses will be issued through the WGFD Hunter Management Area program at https://wgfd.wyo.gov/public-access. Some alternate licenses and hunt periods may be available after the draw, and that information is available through this website as well. If you are successful in harvesting a bison, you must submit a completed hunter information card to the Department regional office where the bison was harvested within 72 hours of the harvest.

Wyoming is one of only a handful of states that offer hunters an opportunity to hunt free-range bison. No state offers better draw odds for bison, and there are typically a few Boone and Crockett bison harvested every year in area 2. If you’re willing to pay the expensive license fee and roll the dice on migratory weather showing up in 2024, make sure and get into the draw.

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Wyoming Bison Season Dates

General Season Aug. 15-Jan. 31*

*Season start and end dates vary by region. For more information, visit the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website.

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Application Dates for Bison in Wyoming

The application deadline for WY Bison is 11:59 p.m. MST on April 17, 2024.

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Wyoming Non-Resident Bison Hunting Fees

2022 WYOMING NON-RESIDENT FEES (Fees do not include the $15 non-refundable application fee or the 2.5% processing fee on the total transaction amount.) SPECIES LICENSE FEES PREFERENCE POINT FEE Youth Regular Special Youth Regular Bighorn Sheep $2,335 $150 $150 Moose $1,997 $150 $150 Mtn Goat $2,177 $150 $150 Bull Bison $4,417 N/A N/A Cow/Calf Bison $2,767 N/A N/A Elk $290 $707 $1,283 $10 $52 Wolf $187 N/A N/A Wyoming Bison Hunting Articles from Huntin’ Fool Magazine

  • The Old Warrior by Kevin Orton
  • Taking Things As They Come by Randy Morrison
  • White Patch by Jared Behr
  • Ask Logan by Thomas Ostrander
  • Wyoming Sheep, Moose, Goat, & Bison Draw Overview
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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>