Don’t forget to put in for your hunting licenses

I’m sending out this reminder to you, as well as to myself. Almost every year, I remind you to get your applications in for limited-quota licenses, but then I forget to do my own. I’m hoping by reminding you a little earlier this year, I’ll remember, too.

If you want to hunt in a limited-quota area for elk or deer, or anywhere for antelope, you need to get your hunting license applications in. And they’re due a week from now, on May 31.

That’s not a ton of time, but it should give you enough time to look up the drawing odds on the Game and Fish website. If you look at last year’s draw, you can figure out where you’ll more likely get a tag – or how to apply so you don’t waste a second- or third-choice pick.

If the area you’re looking for has more first-choice applicants than the number of licenses available, you’re not going to get it on a second choice. So reserve your first choice for areas where the demand outpaces the supply, and only use your second choice and third choice picks for areas where there are more licenses available than applicants for them.

Keep in mind some areas have very little public access, and that might be why the demand is lower than the supply. If you don’t have permission to hunt on private land in that area, you might want to find a different one. There’s not much worse than drawing a license and not being able to use it.

If you haven’t applied for licenses before, you might be surprised to find out you have to pay now to get in the drawing. But the good news is that if you get your tags, you won’t have to buy them later. That’s all taken care of already. If you don’t draw, you’ll get your money back. I usually put in for a general license as my third choice for elk and deer so I don’t have to buy those licenses later, or I could be pleasantly surprised by drawing a limited-quota tag.

Get your applications in now, while you’re thinking about it.