I wanted to make a post and remind you all that the time to think of next fall, and the fall after that, and the fall after that has come. While many are still winding down on the 2017-18 season you need to start putting in the time in front of your laptop and marking your calendars for this year’s western application season. As I noted in my prior post it does not take a lot of money, or time to get yourself into an elk or deer or antelope tag in the western states, but it does take some thought and effort.
Wyoming’s non-resident elk deadline is approaching at the end of January. However, the good news is that if you don’t plan on hunting the cowboy state this year you can still apply for preference points later in the summer. My 2019 hunting party has been banking points for several years and will do so again this year in anticipation of our elk and antelope combo hunt. One of the best parts of applying for Wyoming is that they average your preference points across the party rather than defaulting you to the member with the lowest number of points (like Colorado). Wyoming by all accounts is worth the price though that price is climbing this year. However, for deer in the western part of the state you might consider holding onto your points. The winter of 2016-17 was brutal and reports are many mature bucks paid the price as well as the young of the year. So three more years from now you may find mature bucks lacking as well.
Arizona’s elk and antelope draw deadline is also approaching. Everyone knows about the trophy elk and antelope that Arizona has to offer and its true that it may take some time to draw (10 years or more) for an archery elk rut hunt but it could be less if you think beyond those boundaries. Listening to recent podcasts has seen Randy Newberg and the Gritty Bowmen talking up the opportunities that exist in Arizona and there is a lot more than you may be thinking. You might want to take advantage of this as attempting to draw Arizona requires purchasing the general hunting license for $160. Preston and I have decided to make this state part of our application strategy, but given the costs we don’t apply for every western state requiring purchase of their general hunting license. So you will likely want to look into states like Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona where this requirement exists.
Good luck to everyone as we head into an exciting time of year. Who knows what this fall will have in store!