CO bighorn app conundrum

fap1800

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I’m really trying to figure out if it’s worth continuing to apply to sheep anymore. I apply to four states most years and $2k is a big hit. Anyway, I have 5 weighted points out of 13 max weighted. I checked last year’s draw summaries and there are a total of 1,214 NRs with more than 5 weighted points. That’s a lot considering that NRs only get 10% of the tags, which was just 24 last year. In going through the units, my best opportunity to ever draw a tag would be to apply for an archery tag and last year there were 6 available to NRs. Two of those units had 40 or more NRs with more than 5 weighted points apply for just one tag. So they wouldn’t be an option. I would have to look at less desirable units. There are a few archery units that look like viable options. Unit 35 only had 3 NRs with more than 5pts. 44 with 6>5pts. 12 with 8>5pts and 49 with 11>5pts. Obviously those will vary from year to year. Odds for success are about in line for most big game during an archery season. 9 was 22% last year. 35 was 40%. 44 was 25% and 49 was 33%. I don't really understand how CO awards a tag in the weight PP draw. It's sound very convoluted as randomly assigned numbers are reversed then divided or something. So do weighted points even really play a roll or is it just a lottery and really not worth continuing to apply given the large pool of NRs in the draw?
 

Jorgy

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Easiest way to think of weighted points is that every one is a extra name in the hat that gets drawn for a tag. Your points don't get "weighted" until you have put in for 3 years (so starting your 4th year)

If you have 5 wp, then you name goes in the hat 5 times

so the easy math example looks like this

There are 4 tags available - you have 5wp

100 hunters have 5wp = 500 names in hat
80 hunters have 6wp = 480 names in hat
60 hunters have 7wp = 420 names in hat

1400 names are in the hat now, 4 names will be drawn, your name is in that hat 5 times

The questions of is it still worth putting your name in the hat is a good one. Statistically, you only have a .28% chance of drawing that tag (above example), but, just like dumb and dumber "so your telling me there is a chance!"
 

Oak

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The short answer is that draw odds for non-residents are terrible anywhere, and the total structure of the CO draw play in the favor of guys like you who stick it out. If you are questioning whether you want to stay in any state draw for sheep, then only you can decide. But given the points you have already accrued, CO is probably one of your best options.

Go to the website and look at how many people actually apply for each non-resident license and apply accordingly.

If you have 5 wp, then you name goes in the hat 5 times
This is not correct. It has been posted before, but here is how it works: http://www.bighornsheep.org/HowColoradoSheepGoatDrawWorks.pdf
 

fap1800

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The short answer is that draw odds for non-residents are terrible anywhere, and the total structure of the CO draw play in the favor of guys like you who stick it out. If you are questioning whether you want to stay in any state draw for sheep, then only you can decide. But given the points you have already accrued, CO is probably one of your best options.

Go to the website and look at how many people actually apply for each non-resident license and apply accordingly.


This is not correct. It has been posted before, but here is how it works: http://www.bighornsheep.org/HowColoradoSheepGoatDrawWorks.pdf

Appreciate the input. That's quite the draw process. I think I need to sack up and just part with the money.
 

BuzzH

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A couple 100% conclusions that I've come to:

1. The best way to ensure you'll never draw is to not apply.

2. The best thing you can do to improve your odds of drawing is to apply and get your name in the hat.

You can improve your odds by staying the course and applying smartly (like Oak recommended).

Believe me, its easy to get discouraged, filling out application after application year after year.

Going to be some people hunting sheep this year, but wont be you if you don't apply. Stay positive and good luck in the draw!

I never thought I would draw a desert sheep tag, and of the States I applied in, this one would have been the last place I thought I would draw. But I snagged an AZ desert tag. Really glad I didn't quit applying and get bummed about all the times I didn't draw:

IMG_0988.JPG
 
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fap1800

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A couple 100% conclusions that I've come to:

1. The best way to ensure you'll never draw is to not apply.

2. The best thing you can do to improve your odds of drawing is to apply and get your name in the hat.

You can improve your odds by staying the course and applying smartly (like Oak recommended).

Believe me, its easy to get discouraged, filling out application after application year after year.

Going to be some people hunting sheep this year, but wont be you if you don't apply. Stay positive and good luck in the draw!

I never thought I would draw a desert sheep tag, and of the States I applied in, this one would have been the last place I thought I would draw. But I snagged an AZ desert tag. Really glad I didn't quit applying and get bummed about all the times I didn't draw:

IMG_0988.JPG

Those are some encouraging words and an even more encouraging pic! Congrats on a beautiful ram.
 

npaden

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The way I look at it is that more than likely I will never be able to hunt Bighorn sheep in my lifetime.

The statistics just don't support it with the number of folks applying and the number of tags available for nonresidents.

But I do have a chance if I continue to apply. And the odds are better than winning the lottery.

I figure with all the applications combined each year I might have about a 1% chance to draw a sheep tag each year. If I do that for another 20 years who knows, maybe I might get lucky.
 

LopeHunter

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I used to track the expected odds as applied for a sheep tag and then look up the actual odds once the state posted actual statistics.

Consider the states in the West that use a draw application system to award one or more NR bighorn sheep tags annually to NR. CA was not on my radar since no guarantee of NR tag last time I checked. Same for TX.

AZ
CO
ID
MT
NM
NV
OR
UT
WA
WY

Might have missed a state or two but think those are the NR options.

Odds are sometimes easy to calculate such as a state like CO where specific tags are set aside just for NR. Other states such as MT or ID are more challenging since no specific tag is set aside but rather you are competing with R as well until the NR cap is hit or the tags are gone. Other states such as NV allow multiple choices to be considered per applicant and this adds a twist. AZ does not break out statistics between R and NR.

Bottom line after I reviewed the data for three years, there are no 1 in 10 draw odds for a NR bighorn tag unless you are in the max point pool such as WY or you opt for the MT Unlimited tag.

Odds are realistically 1:60 to 1:600 per application so if you are putting in for 10 states you have combined odds around 10:250 to draw a bighorn tag each year. You can get slightly better odds if apply archery when available and for low harvest rate units and where rams tend have smaller horns and for wilderness units.

Apply for 25 years in all 10 states and you will probably get drawn. Probably. Maybe not. Maybe drawn more than once.

During those 25 years of applying in 10 states, you will spend around $1200 a year as buy the various mandatory licenses, application fees, conservation tags, convenience fees, etc. You will need around $8000 in a slush fund to cover the states that require prepaid tag fees at time of application.

25 years is a significant length of time. Expect costs to apply to go up. Expect NR odds to worsen through herd die offs or reduction in NR allocation. Your health may erode a bit or a lot as you wait. Family time and financial needs in some years may displace hunting spplications.

Is it a better strategy to set up a savings account and drop the $1200 in the fund and then in 25 years take the $40,000 and shop for a bighorn hunt in Canada? $40,000 might not be enough in 25 years. You might draw more than 1 bighorn tag over the 25 years.

I apply for bighorn knowing the expected result this year is another series of "Not Drawn" will trickle into my inbox. I have been doing this annually for 3 - 10 states for over 20 years. Have never drawn a bighorn ram.

This might be my year. Or next. Or never. I no longer hunt with a bow so I am told the hardest part of killing a bighorn ram with a rifle is to draw the tag. If that is the case, I have been on more memorable hunts. The ram hunt might be a letdown. I will take the risk.

Good luck in your draws.
 

Oak

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Bottom line after I reviewed the data for three years, there are no 1 in 10 draw odds for a NR bighorn tag unless you are in the max point pool such as WY or you opt for the MT Unlimited tag.

You can get slightly better odds if apply archery when available and for low harvest rate units and where rams tend have smaller horns and for wilderness units.

There are some very good odds for archery NR licenses in CO, coming close to your 1:10.
 

Oak

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Are there ewe tags anywhere other than Wyoming and Montana?

I think WY cut all of their ewe tags this year, but I could be mistaken.

There are ewe tags in NV, but they might be R only? Not sure.

NM offers one NR ewe tag, I believe.

Ewe licenses in CO are pretty much a guaranteed draw for NR, but they are the same price as a ram.
 

SFC B

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I asked myself a similar question about moose and have concluded that I will just save my money and take a trip to Canada in a few years. Saves me the worry and apps and in the end will be a similar outlay in my opinion. Plus I get to see new country!!
 

npaden

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I asked myself a similar question about moose and have concluded that I will just save my money and take a trip to Canada in a few years. Saves me the worry and apps and in the end will be a similar outlay in my opinion. Plus I get to see new country!!

That's my conclusion on Moose as well, but pricing a Bighorn hunt in Canada or Mexico gets real steep in a hurry.
 

LopeHunter

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There are some very good odds for archery NR licenses in CO, coming close to your 1:10.

You are correct there are CO rocky bighorn archery tag odds around 1:10 most years. I no longer hunt archery (left elbow issues) so overlooked those tag odds.

Once an NR applicant bides time to get beyond the 0% odds for each of the first 3 years then some of the archery-only tag units offer amazingly good odds. Apply for those tags each year and a NR should draw a CO archery-only tag in around 15 years of applying. Then can get back in line after the 5 year wait and 3 years of 0% so draw a second archery-only tag in another 20 years, on average. In theory, if you first apply at age 20 then would draw Tag 1 around age 35 then draw Tag 2 around age 50 then Tag 3 at age 70. Heck, Tag 4 at age 90.

4 bighorn tags drawn in a lifetime in just one state is a dream come true.

Apply, draw, arrow, repeat.
 

fap1800

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Well, my refund check arrived. I chose CO's unit 12 archery. Draw number ended up being 3,557 with my 6 weighted points. Originally thought I had 5. Spoke with a hunt planner and it seems to have a real shot you need to get your number down into the hundreds. Should know June 1st what numbers drew. My old man failed for the 13th straight year as well. One day...one day. lol!
 

fap1800

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fap1800 - I'd like to see that draw # listed so I can check my refund when I get home. Previous history a 3000 series number would have been pretty low.

http://www.bighornsheep.org/HowColoradoSheepGoatDrawWorks.pdf


Are you a Res or NR? 9 tags vs 1 tag would make a big difference.

Sandbrew

I'm an NR so I was just vying for one tag. That was my original assumption...that 3,557 was pretty low considering my inverted number randomly assigned was 21,342.

The hunt planner said it would post on the DOW's website June 1st, but that they would have the numbers of those that drew each unit on the 30th. He also mentioned that the draw stat table is going to finally change as well.
 

Sandbrew

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So my 2 checks for Mt Goat mine and my sons show # 15GOA004870 and #15OA004858 are those the #s you are thinking are your draw # or dd they give you a # over the phone?

Sandbrew
 
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