- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming lawmakers are considering a bill that aims to bring parity to men’s and women’s antelope hunting events.

For the past 76 years, men have competed in the One Shot Antelope Hunt each fall in Lander. The event has become so big that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department provides 80 additional antelope tags to the areas where the hunt is held, above and beyond the number provided for the general public, to ensure participants receive tags.

Since 2013, a group of women have gathered in October near Ucross for the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt. But Game and Fish hasn’t provided extra tags for the women’s hunt.

Senate File 60, sponsored by Republican Sen. Jim Anderson, of Casper, would solve that inequity by providing 80 additional tags for the women’s hunt. It has passed the state Senate and is now being considered in the House.

“If the men have 80 tags for the men’s hunt, we should have 80 tags for the women’s hunt,” Anderson told the Casper Star-Tribune (https://bit.ly/2jTDknd).

The Wyoming Women’s Foundation, which organizes the women’s hunt, welcomes the proposal.

“It helps the growing demographic, which is women, some who are hunters for the first time,” said Rebekah Smith, program director with the foundation.

Game and Fish has offered 5,000 licenses in areas near Ucross, Smith said. But some women didn’t confirm they could attend the hunt until a week before the event and it became tricky to obtain licenses, Smith said.

“It will help sustain what I think has become a cool tradition in Wyoming,” she said of the bill.

The Game and Fish Department supports the bill, said Renny MacKay, spokesman for the agency.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, https://www.trib.com

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