Don’t forget to apply for hunting licenses

I remind people to put in for the resident license draws every year, and every year, I somehow forget to put in for them myself.

It’s time now for my annual “Do as I say, not as I do” lecture. I should have done this earlier, but the deadline has already passed for the bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat license draws. If you missed that one, like I did, I apologize for not telling you about it before the deadline.

At least if you missed it, though, you didn’t miss your chance to buy a preference point. You can still get preference points for moose and bighorn sheep, but you can’t do that until July 1. I’ll try to remind you again when the preference point application period opens.

But now it’s time to get your application in for elk, deer and antelope. You can get a general tag for elk and deer that’s good in scores of really good areas, but there are no general antelope tags. If you don’t want to take your chances with whatever’s left over for antelope after all the drawings are concluded, get at least your antelope application in. The deadline for elk, deer and antelope license applications is June 1.

No matter which species you’re applying for, do your homework before you apply. You have a couple of weeks, so do a little research. Look at the drawing odds on the Game and Fish website to figure out which areas have the most demand. If you want to hunt one of those areas, make it a first choice. If an area has fewer licenses available than the number of hunters who apply for it as their first choice, you’re never going to get it with a second or third choice.

Use your second choice on an area that traditionally has some licenses awarded to second-choice applicants, and the same for your third choice.

Then get online and apply for your licenses. You’ll have to pay for them all when you apply, but if you don’t draw, you’ll get a refund. Good luck! And don’t forget. Get your applications submitted by June 1.

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