Hunting in Sublette County, Wyoming
Page Summary: A guide to hunting in Sublette County, Wyoming. Hunting seasons, big & small game, and other general hunting information.
Sublette County, Wyoming has hunting seasons for many big game species including elk, moose, deer, pronghorn, big horn sheep, bear, mountain goat and mountain lion. Hunting is regulated by the State of Wyoming and requires a Wyoming hunting license. The Wyoming Game & Fish Department has a web site with resident and non-resident hunting application booklets, current hunt area maps, seasons, license fees, deadlines, harvest reports and hunter draw results. Visit this web site for the current information for this season for the species you wish to hunt: http://gf.state.wy.us. Drawings for permits occur at various times in the spring, so it is important to do your homework early and find out when the deadlines are for your hunting trip. Some application deadlines are as early as the end of January for the next fall hunt, so this is something that must be planned for well in advance. In Wyoming, you must draw a permit to hunt a particular species. Local outfitters & guides do not have access to permits for their guests.
The Rocky Mountain elk is considered to be one of Wyoming's premier big game species. An estimated 75,000 elk live in the state. Sublette County has 13 elk feed grounds which feed over 6,000 elk each year. Most of the local outfitters offer guide services for elk hunting in Sublette County and have their own closely-guarded knowledge of successful hunting areas.Bridger Wilderness and Gros Ventre Wilderness areas in Sublette County. If hunting with a resident companion, they will need to get a free non-commercial guide license from a G&F office. The law does not prohibit nonresidents from hiking, fishing or hunting game birds or coyotes in wilderness areas. Only nonresident big and trophy game hunters must have a licensed guide or resident companion. Contact the local Forest Service office for a list of authorized outfitters and guides who are permitted on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. You may contact the State Board of Outfitters at , or look for the list of licensed outfitters on web site: http://outfitters.state.wy.us. Hunters should request to see the outfitter license to ensure they are authorized to operate in the area you are hunting. Guides must be employed by, or under contract with, a licensed outfitter and the license must be signed on the back by that outfitter.
Because the wilderness areas are closed to motorized vehicles, these areas provide great opportunities for hunter success. Local guest ranches and lodges often offer outfitter & guide services along with lodging for hunters. Some lodges also provide lodging/meals-only services for those who wish to be self-guided, but would like the comfort of a bed, shower, and hot food while being close to their particular hunt areas. See our lodging page for a list of guest ranches and lodges in Sublette County that may be near the area you wish to hunt.
We are often asked by out of area hunters for a list of landowners who allow hunting on their private land. For the most part, this is not as important here in Sublette County as it is on the eastern side of the state. Sublette County is approximately 80% public land, either BLM, State, or National Forest. Hunters typically have little trouble finding big game on public land and do not need to go onto private land to hunt. If you have a specific piece of private land in mind where you would like to hunt, be sure to contact the landowner for permission. Many of the G&F regional offices have listings of some of the landowners for their area, however these lists are by no means comprehensive. G&F headquarters in Cheyenne also has listings of landowners for some portions of the state. A few chambers of commerce also have names of local landowners. Hunters should be aware that trespass fees are common and the amounts may vary from landowner to landowner.
Hunters wishing to sport hunt for jackrabbits and prairie dogs will need to take hunter education classes. Wyoming law says anyone born after 1965 hunting any wild animal with a firearm -- whether non game, game or predators -- must have passed hunter education. The exception is hunting with archery equipment or persons hunting on land owned by their family.
Coyotes and jackrabbits are legally classified as predators along with raccoons, red fox, porcupines and skunks. Under Wyoming law, these animals may be taken year round and no license is required. However hunters must still abide by other laws pertaining to the taking of wildlife, i.e. prohibition of shooting from roads, fulfilling hunter safety requirements, not using artificial light to hunt, etc. Ground squirrels and gophers are classified as non game animals and are among the non game species which can be legally taken in Wyoming. There is no closed season and no license is required. Further explanation of the do's and don'ts regarding these and other laws is contained in any Wyoming hunting regulation pamphlet.
Hunting big game and birds during archery season is a challenge many hunters find to be the thrill of a lifetime. Season dates vary, so check the current hunter regulation pamphlet for regulations. Several local outfitters offer guide services for archery hunters. As long as you have a bird license you may hunt any game birds in season with archery equipment. There is no restriction on draw weight of bows or types of arrows. Basically if you have a bow, arrows and a bird license you can go bird hunting.
Most of the local outfitters and guides have web sites with photos and tremendous amounts of information about the services they offer, the species and areas they hunt, and success rates. These web sites are a good place to research for additional hunting information.
For more area information:
Pinedale Ranger District
29 E Fremont Lake Road, P.O. Box 220, Pinedale, WY, 82941
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Big Piney Ranger District
PO Box 218, Big Piney, WY, 83113