Is there a "point creep" solution?

TNHUNTER

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Wondering out loud a bit as it feels like demand for hunting opportunities is only going up... Your thoughts on the increase in demand for hunt opportunities (i.e. point creep). Is this more a function of additional hunters or the same number hunters putting in for more states... or both. Do you think lack of access is the main driver?

Here's why I ask. I do not live in the West and am amazed at the lease pricing around me and access has become shockingly hard to come by. Almost everything worth hunting is being leased and lease prices are crazy. We do have some public land (and that's all I hunt even locally) but nothing like the West and it feels like NR pressure is a very real thing in every state - including in the East (you'd may be shocked to hear the local complaints about NR hunters for turkey, waterfowl, deer, etc.)

My impression is folks back East are looking for alternatives because they are being priced out of the market locally. If you can't find property to lease for say $5,000 you can now put that same $5,000 towards a hunt elsewhere. Now the question is where - there are so many options and people do their research and put their name in the hat somewhere. Now there's an additional person after a limited resource let's say in WY. The person in WY feels the same pressure and branches out by also trying for a tag in say ID - this process is repeated again and again.

I personally don't believe trying to shrink the number of hunters is the best answer (fewer people contributing means less land conserved and less "political sway"). I love what organizations like RMEF do (and I think every hunter should be a member). Are there other ways to address "point creep" that aren't being talked about?

Probably better stated is what can we do as hunters to support the hunting community and lower the pressure on the resource?
 

LopeHunter

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A random, no-point system treats everyone as equal and your loyalty is rewarded as you got all those years to have a chance to get a tag before later participants start to apply.

That is the only way to prevent point creep. Period.

Look at NM. Unlike WY that locks up 75% of primo tags where a new participant has 0% chance to draw or CO where 100% of primo tags are locked up there is NM where you, me, your teen child and Grandma have the same chance in Year 1 of applying. And, if you want to hunt sooner rather than later can shift to applying for units taft recently had relatively easier draw odds.

A modified approach would to cap max points at 10 then you has lesser odds at first but after a decade you have equal odds with everyone who began applying more than 10 years before you started.
 

winmag

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The only way to get rid of point creep is to get rid of points.

Increasing the resource to meet demand isn’t a realistic goal given habitat challenges nationwide.

I don’t think attempting to decrease demand down to meet the resource is a great long term strategy if we want our children and grandchildren to be hunters.

I’d love to see states transition to a NM-style full lottery, no points system. That transition could be structured a few different ways. I don’t know what the transition should be, but come up with some transition where the people paying into the points system over the past 20 years don’t get totally screwed. One way would be have a points draw and a full random draw. Once you burn your points, you never get points again and are forever in the random draw. Maybe the transition is over 20 years. Year 1 5% of tags are in the random pool, year 2 10%, and so on.
 

nontyp

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Habitat. Lots of work could be done on our public land so that more wildlife could be supported. Support more private land programs that incentivize wildlife habitat. Those things would create lots of new opportunity over time.
 

Islander

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Hunt New Zealand or just enjoy the wide range of hunting opportunities in your home state. Most point systems are pyramid schemes that essentially steal your money. Hope rides on the backs of the success stories of the tiny minority that literally get lucky and get a draw. Like Vegas, the odds are not in your favor.
 

TNHUNTER

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I guess I'm looking at the point creep as a symptom not the real issue. In my mind its supply and demand on a larger scale. We look at point creep as applicable to only states with a point system - technically true but pressure is real in all states.

I don't think point systems will ever go away - in fact my home state of TN just introduced a point system last year for certain duck blind draws with the same inevitable results and issues. Honestly if you take the point system away that simply masks the issue.

If hunter pressure is here to stay and point systems are here to stay is there something we can do as hunters to build a larger pie and reduce pressure (point creep).

For example, everyone should be a member of RMEF - the work they do is tremendous and opens up access. If the corner crossing issue ever gets solved that could open up millions of acres to access (that will reduce pressure).

Are there other steps we can take collectively?
 

brymoore

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Hunting pressure will go down soon with the upcoming recession. Idaho couldn’t sell all of its non-resident tags for many years after the 2008 recession. Everyone has a pocket full of stimulus money to spend right now. The Fed will make sure we burn that cash.

Point systems are stupid and should never be considered “here to stay”.
 

TNHUNTER

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I agree with them being stupid and hopefully other factors will contribute to lessening the pressure. My point is if we can't change the rules right now (and who knows how many years into the future) can we as hunters make changes for the things we can control to make a difference going forward...
 

HighDesertSage

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If I were King for a day, get rid of all point system scams. Because that’s exactly what they are. Current Point holders can use what they have as bonus Points, extra name in the hat, etc., and then gradually phase them out. Might take a few years, but eventually one person gets one entry.

To the op regarding access, My advice, as much as it sucks, is to plug yourself into a well paying career, and keep your operating/household expenses low. Right or wrong, those with the most disposable income are going to have the best opportunity. I don’t see it getting better. I don’t see how it can.
 

runningmt

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Hunting pressure will go down soon with the upcoming recession. Idaho couldn’t sell all of its non-resident tags for many years after the 2008 recession. Everyone has a pocket full of stimulus money to spend right now. The Fed will make sure we burn that cash.
You mean the couple thousand bucks people got two years ago?

I really doubt that people are still holding on to much of that.
 

TN2shot07

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A random, no-point system treats everyone as equal and your loyalty is rewarded as you got all those years to have a chance to get a tag before later participants start to apply.

That is the only way to prevent point creep. Period.

Look at NM. Unlike WY that locks up 75% of primo tags where a new participant has 0% chance to draw or CO where 100% of primo tags are locked up there is NM where you, me, your teen child and Grandma have the same chance in Year 1 of applying. And, if you want to hunt sooner rather than later can shift to applying for units taft recently had relatively easier draw odds.

A modified approach would to cap max points at 10 then you has lesser odds at first but after a decade you have equal odds with everyone who began applying more than 10 years before you started.
I think this is pretty close.

Also making people choose between you either hunt a general tag or build points for a limited entry could change up and keep people from occupying two spots. Another option is the penalty box like some states already use, draw and you are out for 3 years or whatever the system can support to help rotate through people.
 

brymoore

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You mean the couple thousand bucks people got two years ago?

I really doubt that people are still holding on to much of that.
$5 Trillion in stimulus funds between individuals, business, state and other categories. The effect is more than a few dollars in your pocket directly from the government. The economy boomed as demand for products occurred, salaries are higher, record level low unemployment rate and inflation is spiking. The economy is full of the stimulus cash as can be seen by the cash rich balance sheets of banks.
 

RyGuy

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I think the OP touched on a few things that play a big role in point creep. I think the limiting resource is not game, because we have tons of game on the landscape (even though we could always use more) and success rates are often low in general hunt areas. Which means that people are still able to get out and enjoy hunting even without taking an animal.
I think the biggest problem is access. There is seemingly less and less public land as time goes on and private land is nearly impossible to get permission on these days.
There is so much private land and landlocked public in the West that if “unlocked” I think would alleviate much of the problems with high demand and low supply. The East is even worse it sounds like, with properties being leased and posted to not allow the masses to hunt.
Im sure we’ve all had those times out hunting where we’ve been near a boundary line of public/private and the orange army is in full force behind you, while you glass over and watch a herd of 200 elk lazily graze across an open hillside in the well posted “no trespassing, NO HUNTING, no fishing” private land.
 

Wallydeuce

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Not an original idea but I would advocate for no point buying. You're either in the draw or you're not. If you don't draw, only then will you get a point. If you draw but turn your tag in, you don't get your points restored.
 

Irishman

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Maybe you give 75% of the permits to people who take part in the points game. Give 25% to people in a random draw who don't have points.
 

runningmt

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$5 Trillion in stimulus funds between individuals, business, state and other categories. The effect is more than a few dollars in your pocket directly from the government. The economy boomed as demand for products occurred, salaries are higher, record level low unemployment rate and inflation is spiking. The economy is full of the stimulus cash as can be seen by the cash rich balance sheets of banks.
Your quote was that everyone has a pocket full of stimulus cash.

Of course it had an effect on the economy, that was the point of the stimulus
 
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ccc23454

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We are all the problem! But i do see some relief when we have a economic recession and eventually many hunters will have a experiance to check it off to-do list and not return atleast somewhat for financial reasons. For example when a idaho unit that barely even contain any of the targeted species sells out of tags first day, that a couple years ago you could buy tag on drive into unit otc at hardware store. So these low quality hunts (CO otc another example) can only hold strong demand so long before people expect more for the cost of the experiance. The pool of hunters trying to experiance a western hunt will cycle thru at some point. How many years will guys from midwest spend thousands of dollars to camp for a week possibly never even see a legal animal? Maybe they get lucky and get one so that refuels their desire, maybe that completes the experiance enough to never do it again. Post initial/couple experiances i expect it becomes a law of diminishing returns for many people: costs, phyical requirements, time devotion and quality tag availability will all be significant factors. Theres a saying that "10%of hunters kill 90% of the elk" if theres any truth to that this chaos will eventually be some what self correcting.
 

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