Archers gear up for fall hunts
by Wyoming Game & Fish
August 22, 2011
One of the biggest gaps in the year for die-hard hunters is the period between the closure of big game seasons in the fall and early winter and the wait until seasons reopen again the following year.
For archers that wait is all but over. Many pronghorn seasons opened for archery hunting on Aug. 15 and archery seasons for most deer and elk areas open on Sept. 1.
Wyoming does not require bow hunting education or hunter education certification before going hunting. Wyoming law requires hunter education only for taking wildlife by use of a firearm, but, there are a number of other laws and regulations that affect archers.
The purchase of an archery permit, in addition to the hunting license and conservation stamp, is one such requirement. Archers hunting in the special archery preseason will need to get an archery permit. The fee is $16 for residents and $30 for nonresidents. The archery permit for youth under 18 is $6 resident and $12 nonresident. Hunters who have one of the type 9 archery-only licenses are not required to purchase the extra archery permit. Also, archers who use archery equipment only during the regular firearmís seasons do not need the archery license. In most instances, archers who are unsuccessful during the archery season can also go hunting with firearms once the gun season opens. The exception is that archers with type 9 archery-only licenses can only hunt during the designated season for that license.
The archery permit is valid for all species. For example, if an archer had general or limited quota licenses for elk, deer, and antelope, only one archery permit would be required. The archery license does not entitle a person to an extra animal, it simply allows archers to hunt during the early archery preseason.
Wyoming laws are quite liberal concerning types of archery equipment legal for hunting. Wyoming law specifies that for hunting most big and trophy game species, with the exception of elk, moose, and bison, the bow must have a draw weight of at least 40 pounds or possess the ability to cast a hunting arrow of 400 grain weight at least 160 yards. For moose, bison, and elk the draw must be at least 50 pounds and/or have the ability to cast a 500 grain arrow 160 yards. In addition, crossbows are also legal during the archery hunt as long as the draw weight is at least 90 pounds and the bolt at least 16 inches long with a draw length of 14 inches. The broadhead on both arrows and bolts must have a minimum cutting width of one inch.
Complete regulations including equipment and seasons for each species can be found on the Game and Fish website http://gf.state.wy.us. Archers can also call the Wyoming Game and Fish Department at 307-777-4600 for more information.