Hunting in Wind River Country

There is no question that Wind River Country has incredible hunting opportunities. Hunting in Wind River Country is walking in the footsteps of generations before. The sport is an important part of the area’s history. You’ll be able to stare up at the same startling peaks, wander near the same quiet creeks, and hopefully take home the same type of meat generations before have harvested in the area. Hunting in Wind River Country is superb due to the hundreds of thousands of public land that is relatively undisturbed. Thea area has one of the highest success rates for hunters in the country.

What really stands out here is the diversity of wildlife. We have everything the Game and Fish manages as a game species in Wyoming except for mountain goats. –Brady Frude, Wyoming Game and Fish warden in Lander

From bighorn sheep to pheasants, the variety of this ecosystem is remarkable, providing a rich and rewarding—if appropriately challenging—landscape for hunters.

The vast amount of public land, even relative to the state of Wyoming, contributes to the wellbeing of wildlife and productive hunting in Wind River Country.

“Species flourish on a half million-plus acres of undisturbed lands south and west of Lander,” said Rene Schell of the Wyoming Game and Fish. “Access for hunting here offers a wide array of public land that is relatively undisturbed.”

If you are thinking of hunting in Wind River Country, your first call should be to Wyoming Game and Fish or to one of the licensed outfitters and guides listed on this page. Applications for many large-game permits must  be completed in the spring and different licenses have different deadlines, so be sure to plan ahead.Some licenses are more rare—draws like bighorn sheep are considered once-in-a-lifetime hunts. Both Wyoming Game and Fish and an outfitter can walk you through the process.

Hunting Resources

Wyoming Game & Fish Department

Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association

Upland Game Birds & Water Fowl

Grassy meadow with lake in the background
Ocean Lake is prime pheasant habitat, with public land and walk-in areas surrounding the lake.

“The bird hunting around Riverton and Ocean Lake, particularly pheasants, attracts people from all over,” said Frude

Chukar and partridge hunting are also great in the “high, rocky, sagebrush, outcroppy stuff,”  in the Twin Creek area, Shoshoni Lake Road, Government Draw, and Lyons Valley, where the mountains meet the desert.

Ocean Lake and other large bodies of water provide excellent water fowl hunting, as the cool weather brings many flocks over Wind River Country.

Large Game

No matter what large game you seek, a lot of research and organizing are necessary. Planning your hunt in Wyoming’s Wind River Country with a guide will make your trip more enjoyable and safer and increase your odds of success. Find a list of local outfitters and guides below.

Pronghorn and wildflowers
It’s easy to spot pronghorn “antelope” in Wind River Country. Harvesting one can be a challenge, though. Photo: Scott Copeland

Pronghorn antelope thrive in the sagebrush flats of Wyoming’s Wind River Country.

According to Wyoming Game and Fish’s Lander Biologist Stan Harter, “This area is one of the richest in the state for supporting healthy densities of pronghorn.”

The edge of the remarkable Red Desert is the best antelope hunting in the world, according to Frude.

Mule deer, like pronghorns, are a common sight in Wyoming’s Wind River Country. A little research on the Wyoming Game and Fish website will help you plan the ideal hunt.

For a size up in ungulates, elk are relatively easy to chase, as almost all the hunt areas in the county are general tags, making changes of drawing a license higher. Of course, there is a reason it’s called hunting, and not getting, so there are no guarantees you’ll fill that tag, though access to promising areas is widespread. From the elusive Red Desert elk to those who transition between hay meadows and high mountain meadows.

Doe and buck deer in snowfall
A buck and doe winter near Lander.

The bigger elk—and the tougher to draw for and find—reside in the Dubois area. In fact, in 2014 a Burlington hunter harvested the largest elk ever taken with a crossbow near Dubois.

Bigger yet is the elusive moose. A tough tag to draw, it may require a guide, as can elk and even trophy deer success.

Events

The One-shot Antelope Hunt is described by the Lander Chamber of Commerce as “an annual festival drawing thousands of returning visitors (politicians, astronauts, and movie stars) to raise conservation funds and compete in a “one shot” sporting event. In 1940 Harold Evans and Hank Dahl hosted the first One-Shot Antelope Hunt, inspired by the pioneers whose guns allowed only one shot before the game would disappear. The event has inspired similar contests around the world and draws people from all over to Lander each September.

The Wyoming Women’s Five Shot Rabbit Hunt takes place in Shoshoni the second weekend of January each year.

My Wind River Hunting Experience

I’m sitting on the couch, finally showered and beer in hand, half asleep but invigorated. The sun has set on an opening day for the books.

My husband and I rose early this morning when our pointer jumped onto the bed and reminded us—in the language of rough-and-sloppy-tongue-to-face—that it was opening day of sage grouse and chukar. I still don’t understand why the snooze button doesn’t work when I tap Duke on the head, but maybe one of these dawns she’ll give me just three more minutes, please.

Read on.

Businesses

307 Outfitters

5766 Hwy 28
Lander, WY

3C Guiding

P.O. Box 493
Dubois, WY

789 Casino Cafe

10369 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

789 Smoke Shop & Casino

10369 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

Absaroka Ranch

306 Dunoir Rd
Dubois, WY

Allen’s Diamond Four Wilderness Ranch

5555 US Hwy 287
Lander, WY

Antelope Hills Golf Course

126 Clubhouse Drive
Dubois, WY

Arby’s

1140 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Atlantic City Cabin

295 Atlantic City Road
Atlantic City, WY

Atlantic City Mercantile

100 E. Main
Atlantic City, WY

B & K Shoreline Stop

14 Bass Lake Road
Shoshoni, WY

Bar 10

114 S. Broadway
Riverton, WY

Bear Basin Adventures

9000 East Fork Road
Dubois, WY

Big Diamond Ranch

4209 US Hwy 26
Dubois, WY

Bitterroot Ranch

1480 East Fork Road
Dubois, WY

Black Bear Inn

505 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Boutique Vacations

645 Main St.
Lander, WY

Boysen State Park, Dam & Reservoir

15 Ash St. Boysen Route
Shoshoni, WY

Branding Iron Inn

401 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Breadboard

124 E. Washington
Riverton, WY

Breadboard

1350 Main
Lander, WY

Brooks Lake Lodge

458 Brooks Lake Rd
Dubois, WY

Brown Sugar Coffee Roastery

303 E. Main
Riverton, WY

Bugling Winds Outfitting

8223 Hwy 26
Crowheart, WY

The Bull & Bistro

1100 W. Main
Riverton, WY

The Bunk House

2024 Mortimore Lane
Lander, WY

Burger King

2100 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Cee nokuu Cafe, Wind River Casino

10269 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

Chamley Outfitters

3 Riverbend Lane
Dubois, WY

Children’s Center for Arts, Technology and Science

120 S. Third St. E
Riverton, WY

Chimney Rock Arena

5114 US Hwy 26
Dubois, WY

China Garden

162 N. 6th Street
Lander, WY

China Panda

302 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Chinook Winds Motel

640 S. 1st St.
Dubois, WY

Classic Cruise Control


Lander, WY

CM Ranch

167 Fish Hatchery Road
Dubois, WY

Comfort Inn & Suites

2020 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

Continental Divide Dogsled Adventures

4338 US Hwy. 26
Dubois, WY

Cowboy Cafe

115 E. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Cowfish/Lander Brewing Co

148 Main Street
Lander, WY

Crooked Creek

76 Fir Road
Dubois, WY

Crooked Creek Guest Ranch

76 Fir Road, Union Pass
Dubois, WY

Crux Coffee

300 Main St.
Lander, WY

Dairy Land Drive-In

977 Main Street
Lander, WY

Dairy Queen

819 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Daylight Donut & Ice Cream

622 E. Main Street
Riverton, WY

Deka-Guy Hee, Shoshone Rose Casino

5690 Hwy 287
Lander, WY

The Depot

110 S. 1st
Riverton, WY

Desert Inn Motel & RV Park

505 W. 2nd St.
Shoshoni, WY

Dickinson Park Public Campground

HWY 287
Lander,

Domino’s Pizza

175 N. 4th
Lander, WY

Domino’s Pizza

1188 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Dubois Chamber of Commerce

909 W Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Dubois Fish Hatchery

5 Fish Hatchery Court
Dubois, WY

Dubois Museum: Wind River Historical Center

909 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Dubois Wind River KOA

225 Welty St.
Dubois, WY

Dunoir Fishing Adventures

1405 Goodrich Dr.
Lander, WY

Eagle Bronze Foundry

130 Poppy St.
Lander, WY

Eastern Shoshone Tribal Cultural Center

90 Ethete Rd.
Ft. Washakie, WY

El Durango

489 S. Federal
Riverton, WY

El Sol De Mexico

711 E. Main
Riverton, WY

El Sol De Mexico

453 Main Street
Lander, WY

Equitour, Ltd.

10 Stalnaker St
Dubois, WY

Evans/Dahl Memorial Museum

545 Main St.
Lander, WY

Fiddlers Lake Public Campground

Loop Road
Lander, WY

Flying W

701 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

The Forge

202 Main
Lander, WY

Fremont County Pioneer Museum

1443 W. Main St.
Lander, WY

Frontier Lodge

808 Main St.
Lander, WY

Gallery of the Wind & Museum

14631 US Hwy 287
Ft. Washakie, WY

Gannett Grill

126 Main St.
Lander, WY

Gannett Peak Sports

351 Main St.
Lander, WY

Glamping on the River

605 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Gone Fishing

P.O. Box 157
Dubois, WY

Green Mountain Motel

2271 Hwy 789
Jeffrey City, WY

Hampton Inn & Suites

2500 North Federal Blvd
Riverton, WY

Hertz

4800 Airport Road
Riverton, WY

Holiday Inn – Riverton Convention Center

900 E. Sunset Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

1002 11th St.
Lander, WY

Holiday Lodge

210 McFarlane Dr.
Lander, WY

Inn at Lander

260 Grandview Drive
Lander, WY

Intertribal Center, CWC

2820 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Jackpine Motel

120 S. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Jim’s Aircraft Service

4700 Airport Road
Riverton, WY

Kai Espresso

109 Main St.
Hudson, WY

Coyote Blue Coffee and Deli

300 W. Ramshorn St.
Dubois, WY

KFC

830 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

Lander Art Center

224 Main St.
Lander, WY

Lander Bake Shop

259 Main St.
Lander, WY

Lander Chamber of Commerce

160 N. 1st
Lander, WY

Lander Children’s Museum

465 Lincoln Avenue
Lander, WY

Lander City Park Public Campground

405 Fremont St.
Lander, WY

Lander Fly Shop & Guide Service

592 Main St.
Lander, WY

Lander Golf Course

1 Golf Course Drive
Lander, WY

Lander Llama Company

2024 Mortimore Lane
Lander, WY

Lander Lodging

2241 Sinks Canyon Road
Lander, WY

Lava Mountain Lodge

3577 US Hwy 26 W.
Dubois, WY

Lazy L&B Ranch

1072 E. Fork Rd.
Dubois, WY

Lazy TX Outfitting

656 Horse Creek Road
Dubois, WY

Paintbrush Grill, Little Wind C-Store

693 Blue Sky Hwy 132
Ethete, WY

Little Wind Casino

693 Blue Sky Hwy
Ethete, WY

Longhorn Ranch Lodge & RV

5810 E Highway 26
Dubois, WY

Louis Lake Lodge

1811 Louis Lake Rd
Lander, WY

Louis Lake Public Campground

1811 Louis Lake Rd
Lander, WY

Spur Steak House & Saloon

1409 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Cutthroat Fly Shop & Adventures

202 E. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Maverick Cafe

808 Main Street
Lander, WY

Maverick RV Park & Campground

1104 N. Second Street
Lander, WY

McDonald’s

235 McFarlane Drive
Lander, WY

McDonald’s

813 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

Middle Fork

351 Main St
Lander, WY

Miner’s Grubstake

150 Main St.
Atlantic City, WY

Morning Star, Little Wind Casino

800 Blue Sky Hwy 132
Ethete, WY

Motel 6

302 E. Fremont Ave.
Riverton, WY

Mountain Pinnacle Properties

3544 US Hwy 26
Dubois, WY

Mountain Shangri-La

30 Pinion Court
Dubois, WY

National Bighorn Sheep Center

10 Bighorn Lane
Dubois, WY

NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School)

284 Lincoln Street
Lander, WY

Northern Arapaho Experience Culture Room

10269 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

Nostalgia Bistro

202 E. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Oriental Palace

202 S. 3rd St. East
Riverton, WY

Outfitters of the Wyoming Wilderness

656 Horsecreek Rd
Dubois, WY

Outlaw Cabins

2415 Squaw Creek Rd
Lander, WY

Outlaw Cafe

204 E. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Wild Willow Campground and Fishing

11124 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

Oxbow

170 E. Main St.
Lander, WY

OxYoke RV Park

1008 Missouri Valley Rd
Riverton, WY

Paintbrush Motel

1550 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Perrett’s

519 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Phil’s Dog Shak

611 E. Main
Riverton, WY

Pizza Hut

215 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

Pizza Hut

607 E. Main Street
Lander, WY

Pizza Plus

201 E. Washington
Riverton, WY

QT’s Restaurant, Holiday Inn

900 E. Sunset
Riverton, WY

Ram’s Horn Guest Ranch

P.O. Box 564
Lander, WY

Red Willow Restaurant, Wind River Hotel & Casino

10269 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

Rent -A- Wreck

715 E. Main
Lander, WY

Ring Lake Ranch

570 Trail Lake Road
Dubois, WY

River Pilot Tours

107 Horse Creek Road
Dubois, WY

Riverton Chamber of Commerce

213 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Riverton Country Club

4275 Country Club Road
Riverton, WY

Riverton Museum

700 E. Park Ave.
Riverton, WY

Riverton Regional Airport

4800 Airport Rd.
Riverton, WY

Rocky Mountain Lodge

1349 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Rodeway Inn

611 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Rodeway Inn & Suites Pronghorn Lodge

150 E. Main St.
Lander, WY

Roomers Motel

319 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel

5690 US- 287
Lander, WY

Shoshone Tribal Service & Food Mart

3 N. Fork Road
Ft. Washakie, WY

Shoshoni Chamber of Commerce

216 Idaho
Shoshoni, WY

Silver Spur Motel

1240 Main St.
Lander, WY

Sinks Canyon State Park Public Campground

3079 Sinks Canyon Rd.
Lander, WY

Sinks Canyon State Park Visitor Center

3079 Sinks Canyon Rd.
Lander, WY

Sixth Crossing

4181 US Hwy 789
Lander, WY

Sleeping Bear RV Park & Campground

715 E Main
Lander, WY

Solitude RV Park

5628 U.S. 26
Dubois, WY

South Pass City State Historic Site

125 Main Street
South Pass, WY

Speedway Cafe

815 S. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Split Rock Bar and Cafe

2297 Hwy 789
Jeffrey City, WY

St. Stephens Indian Mission & Heritage Center

33 St. Stephens Rd.
St. Stephens, WY

Stagecoach Motor Inn

103 Ramshorn St.
Dubois, WY

Subway

900 Main
Riverton, WY

Subway

960 Main Street
Lander,

Subway Wal-Mart

1733 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Sundowner Station

1616 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Sundowner Station Restaurant

1616 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

Super 8 Motel

1412 Warm Springs Dr.
Dubois, WY

Super 8 Motel

1040 N. Federal Blvd
Riverton, WY

Svilar’s Bar & Steakhouse

173 S. Main St.
Hudson, WY

Sweetwater Fishing Expeditions

2939 Sinks Canyon Road
Lander, WY

Taco Bell

1812 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

Taco Johns

870 W. Main St.
Lander, WY

Taco Johns

623 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Taylor Creek Exxon Deli

1426 Warm Springs Dr.
Dubois, WY

Teton Fishing Co. LLC

5700 Hwy 27
Dubois, WY

Thai Chef

975 Lincoln
Lander, WY

The Bike Mill

109 Main St
Lander, WY

The Buffalo Restaurant, Wind River Hotel & Casino

10269 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

The Cove Restaurant

301 E. Main St
Riverton, WY

The Hyde Out

15 North Dexter Ave.
Atlantic City, WY

The Mill House

125 Main St.
Lander, WY

Museum of the American West

1445 W. Main St.
Lander, WY

The Perch Coffee House

132 E. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

The Summit Restaurant

260 Grandview
Lander, WY

Timberline Ranch

4127 US Hwy 26
Dubois, WY

Tomahawk Motor Lodge

208 E. Main St.
Riverton, WY

Tony’s Pizza

637 Main St.
Lander, WY

Trail’s End Motel

511 Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Trailhead Restaurant

203 E. Main
Riverton, WY

Triangle C Ranch

3737 US Hwy 26
Dubois, WY

Twin Pines RV Park & Campground

7345 Hwy. 789
Lander, WY

Twin Pines Lodge & Cabins

218 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

US Forest Service Visitor Center

1403 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Village Cafe & Daylight Donuts

515 W. Ramshorn St.
Dubois, WY

Warm Valley Native Tours

212 Ethete Road
Ft. Washakie, WY

Wendy’s

1800 N. Federal Blvd
Riverton, WY

Wild Iris Mountain Sports

166 Main Street
Lander, WY

Wilderness Boundary Restaurant, Lava Mountain Lodge

3577 US Hwy 26
Dubois, WY

Wind River Backcountry Outfitters

4 Goldeneye Drive
Dubois, WY

Wind River Canyon Whitewater

210 Suite 5 Hwy 20 S.
Thermopolis, WY

Wind River Climbing Guides

636 Lincoln
Lander, WY

Wind River Flyfitter

505 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Wind River Gear

19 N. 1st St.
Dubois, WY

Wind River Heritage Center

1075 S. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Wind River Hotel & Casino

10269 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

Wind River Motel

519 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Wind River RV Park

1618 E. Park Ave
Riverton, WY

Wind River Transportation

2554 Airport Drive
Riverton, WY

Wind River Troutfitters

8116 Hwy 789
Lander, WY

Wind River Valley Artists Guild Gallery

20 Stalnaker St.
Dubois, WY

Worthen Meadows Reservoir Campground

Forest Road 300
Lander, WY

Wyoming Country Outfitters

7696 US Hwy 287
Lander, WY

Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Exhibit

260 Buena Vista
Lander, WY

Private: Wyoming Mountain Properties


Dubois, WY

Smokehouse Burgers & Fries

116 N. 6th
Riverton, WY

Zanmai Sushi & Korean BBQ

140 N. 7th
Lander, WY

US Forest Service Visitor Center

333 East Main
Lander, WY