“Our 80 tags for the traditional One Shot Antelope Hunt don’t make a difference as far as drawing odds are concerned,” said Lewis of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
The winterkill has been so devastating across Wyoming that the department is looking to cut tag allocations in some antelope and deer hunt areas – possibly even cancel the entire hunt this year.
What is the One Shot Antelope Hunt?
The One Shot Antelope Hunt has been an annual tradition in Wyoming since 1940, with astronauts like Chuck Yeager participating in it in the past. It’s a chance to showcase Wyoming’s wildlife culture.
Every year, hunters get ‘Indian names’ during a pre-hunt ceremony hosted by the Shoshone Tribe and receive sacred medicine bags. They also can have their bullets blessed by tribal elders. But with the winterkill, there’s an important question to consider. Does it make sense to have a hunt like this if it doesn’t do much to help wildlife conservation?
Winn of Wyoming Wildlife Advocates questions whether the One Shot is just a way of distributing political favors and isn’t worth doing if it can’t bring in enough money for wildlife conservation efforts.
The commission will meet later this month to discuss the One Shot Hunt. It’s sure to be an important discussion for the future of Wyoming wildlife.
DO’H! – A Final Thought
After reading these accounts, I can’t help but ask myself. What more can we do to protect the wildlife in Wyoming? Especially during times of severe winterkill? Can the One Shot Antelope Hunt be done in such a way that it’s actually beneficial for conservation efforts rather than simply being a political favor? What changes might need to be made, and is it worth pursuing considering all the challenges we face? These are difficult questions with no easy answers, but they demand our attention if we’re serious about protecting Wyoming’s wildlife. So what do you think — how should we go about preserving this piece of our history and heritage?