G&F Big Game Survey
Hunters are alerted that they could be getting a phone call from April 15 to May 15 asking their opinion on how hard-to-draw elk, deer and antelope licenses should be issued in Wyoming.
The Game and Fish Department has commissioned the survey to contact around 1,200 hunters who applied in the drawing for these species. The survey is asking hunters their feelings about preference point, premium price, waiting periods or Internet application systems for hunt areas that are difficult to draw.
"We just want hunters to know if they get a phone call saying "This is the Game and Fish. Would you answer a few questions about how elk, deer and antelope licenses are issued? that it is legitimate," said Chris Burkett, G&F strategic management coordinator.
The survey will contact 600 residents and 600 nonresidents randomly selected from those who applied for licenses in 2001. Each group will be split equally between elk, deer and antelope applicants.
"Structuring the survey like that lets us identify different preferences between the groups," Burkett said. "It could be nonresidents like something that residents don't. Or, changing the system could be more imperative to elk hunters than deer hunters. Those are the type of preferences we need to find out."
Burkett says this survey is somewhat involved and will take 10-15 minutes, because considerable background about the benefits and costs of different proposals will be presented to help the hunter make a more informed opinion.
After receiving many suggestions to modify the license drawing for elk, deer and antelope the past few years, the G&F asked for hunter input on this topic at hunting season meetings in early April.
"The Game and Fish is still in the early stages of 'scoping' public opinion on this issue," Burkett said.
Even if public opinion was in favor of a change, the earliest modifications could be implemented would be 2004. Many of the changes would be new statutes, requiring legislation to be passed.
The G&F periodically conducts public opinion and hunter expenditure surveys to help the agency better understand and serve its constituents, Burkett says.
All survey information is anonymous and cannot be traced back to the respondent.