WYOMING'S first recreational appeal is one of natural setting, the contrast of mountain and plain, of forest and lake and sagebrush waste. Outdoor sports are emphasized, and they are still individual and recreational. There are no professional baseball or football leagues, and no 'booked' horse racing. Although prize fighting was legalized in 1921, no important matches have been held. But Wyoming has 15,000,000 acres of mountain country, with steep game trails in summer and ski slopes in winter. Half of the mountain area is forest; and in the forests are 33,000 elk, 30,000 deer, 2,500 moose, 3,300 mountain sheep, and 2,200 black and grizzly bears. There are 14,846 miles of fishing streams, exclusive of those in national parks, and 107,410 acres of lake water for boating, swimming, and fishing. There are 25,000 antelope on the plains.
Since the times of Bridger and Buffalo Bill, sportsmen have come to the Wyoming plains and mountains to hunt. Many of the bird species that Bridger recommended for the table are gone; others are protected. The ring-necked pheasant today is the only widely hunted nonmigratory game bird, and it is not native to the State.
But all the game mammals, except the buffalo, may be hunted. The only restrictions are on antelope, moose, and mountain sheep; these are hunted with special permit. In 1939, 3,000 antelope permits were authorized, 60 sheep permits, and 50 moose permits.
The best elk hunting is in the green forest area that extends east and south of Yellowstone Park in the western quarter of the State. Here also moose, sheep, and bear are hunted. But antelope, deer, ducks, and geese may be taken within a few miles of arterial highways from Cheyenne to Yellowstone.
For unparalleled natural phenomena there is Yellowstone Park. For sheer grandeur there are the Teton and Wind River peaks. Both of these are approached by arterial highways, but each is penetrated only