Sitka Gear

Point Riding and "Gaming Applications"

@fulldraw

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
16
Location
Austin, TX
This topic came up on the Arizona draw thread and I think it makes sense to have a separate conversation on the matter so as not to take away from all of those discussing the lack of AZGFD charges to their credit cards. :D

I recently listened to a conversation regarding the "application strategy" of "pointing riding." For those of you that have not heard of this, it is a method of taking advantage of systems such as Arizona's "Point Guard" to permit you to apply for units that would otherwise be out of reach. A variation of this concept is as follows:

A Hunter is married with two children. For simplicity sake, lets assume neither Hunter's wife nor his children hunt. Every year during hunting season, Hunter applies for elk in Arizona for he, his wife and his children (perhaps points only for the wife and kids). After 15 years of applying, Hunter draws the tag he has been waiting for. The following year, he resets to 1-2 preference points but will now submit his application as a party application with his wife--thus enabling him to draw units requiring 8-9 preference points (Hunter's 2 points + wife's 16 points = average 9 points). He and his wife draw a late season rife unit and, because his wife doesn't hunt and has paid for Point Guard, returns her tag. Her points are restored and her husband, Hunter, enjoys the hunt himself.

The following year Hunter repeats this process but now applies with his son as a party application (Hunter 2 points, son 17 points). Again, using point guard, the son can return his tag and restore his points and Hunter enjoys another 9 point hunt. The following year he can do the same thing with his daughter's application and apply for hunts as though he has 10 points. Further, because Hunter's family members have taken advantage of Point Guard, he can now go apply again in years 4, 5, and 6 using the same methodology only this time, his family member can't return the tag.


The above description may be a bit off but that is my understanding of how this concept works. In effect, by "riding on the points of others" and returning tags, Hunter can hunt in Arizona 7 consecutive years as though he had near double digit points each year.

I go back and forth on how I view "gaming" or "taking advantage of" the system in this manner. Part of me views this as unethical and a "loophole" that should be closed by, at a minimum, requiring all party applicants to return tags if one member of a party returns their tag via Point Guard.

However, I will be the first to admit that when it comes to other complex regulatory structures, I too take full advantage of the rules to my benefit so long as it is legal (I'm thinking of the tax code here and the various legal methods used to defer or shield yourself from additional taxes).

I'm curious to hear thoughts of others. How rampant do you think this is? At the very least, this becomes economically burdensome for the out-of-state applicants. Are there other questionable methods you're aware of that you think merit discussion?

Would we be better off if I deleted this thread all together so as not to bring any more attention to this "application strategy"?
 

utah400elk

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
705
Location
Sterling, VA
The hunter in this example would be paying a lot...especially if he is a non-resident. He would be forfeiting the the tag fees. I would argue that in your scenario, it would be worth it for me personally and I would like to see this loophole closed. However, it’s the system they have in place and I will play by the rules until they change them. My problem, no way on god’s green earth would my son allow me to use his points😳. I feel more than blessed to have a son desperate to hunt with me. If others use non hunters to apply...that’s their game. A quick and simple solution would be to require all fees up front but that comes with a entire different set of issues. Just my two cents...
 

gwhunter

Active member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
540
Location
Michigan
While not the same exact thing as you guys are describing, but a friend of mine (and his kids) hunts bears here in Michigan. I have no interest whatsoever in hunting bears. But, we have a point system and can transfer tags to youth hunters(under 16). One time we were talking about it and it came up that if I wanted to I could start building points and when his kids were old enough to hunt (his youngest is 4) I could transfer the tag to his youngest and he would reimburse me for the amount of $ that was spent building the points. Some of the zones in Michigan take 6-10 points to draw so it would effectively allow them to hunt more frequently together when his kids are young. While this is entirely within the scope of what is allowable, is it actually ok? The kids grandparent is building bear points to be able to transfer a tag in 10-12 years and that seems legit to me? Why not me? Why not all his buddies at work? Where do we draw the line?
 

Big Fin

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
15,205
Location
Bozeman, MT
Easy solution. Make it like Colorado. If a party application is submitted, don't average the points, rather the party gets assigned the point level that is equal to the lowest point holder in the party.

End of discussion. Problem solved. I'd be all on board with that, though I've helped some and benefited some from the point averaging that most states currently allow.
 

Lyfter1013

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
391
Easy solution. Make it like Colorado. If a party application is submitted, don't average the points, rather the party gets assigned the point level that is equal to the lowest point holder in the party.

End of discussion. Problem solved. I'd be all on board with that, though I've helped some and benefited some from the point averaging that most states currently allow.
I think the OP was More referring to the act of using point guard to get the higher point holder points back while the individual Who had less points get the tag they wouldn’t have drawn without the other persons points. Who then got there points restored due to point guard.
I like the point guard system but it opens a
Loop hole For guys to do this. I hadn’t heard of this before the topic came
Up in the other Thread about Arizona results but I can see where people
Could Take advantage of it.
 

FlatlanderAZ

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
275
Location
Arizona
Yeah, but the point guard problem solves itself if the group app gets rounded down to the lowest point holder. This should be a top priority of AZGFD if they truly value the North American Model. Time will tell as this is certain to come up.

I must say, I’d be out some sunk cost if it happened, but I’d be on board (or else I wouldn’t have brought it up).

Those points are selling behind closed doors (and sometimes right out in the open) for thousands of dollars.
 

@fulldraw

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
16
Location
Austin, TX
Easy solution. Make it like Colorado. If a party application is submitted, don't average the points, rather the party gets assigned the point level that is equal to the lowest point holder in the party.

End of discussion. Problem solved. I'd be all on board with that, though I've helped some and benefited some from the point averaging that most states currently allow.
This would certainly put an end to the problem.

I think the OP was More referring to the act of using point guard to get the higher point holder points back while the individual Who had less points get the tag they wouldn’t have drawn without the other persons points. Who then got there points restored due to point guard.
I like the point guard system but it opens a
Loop hole For guys to do this. I hadn’t heard of this before the topic came
Up in the other Thread about Arizona results but I can see where people
Could Take advantage of it.

Correct. Party applications generally and the averaging of points as part of the application doesn't offend me at all. It's the use of PointGuard to pull up another hunter's points without any intention of hunting as part of that party application that I find questionable. I don't have a strong opinion one way or another and do applaud the ingenuity of those that thought it up on their own.
 

Lyfter1013

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
391
Yeah, but the point guard problem solves itself if the group app gets rounded down to the lowest point holder. This should be a top priority of AZGFD if they truly value the North American Model. Time will tell as this is certain to come up.

I must say, I’d be out some sunk cost if it happened, but I’d be on board (or else I wouldn’t have brought it up).

Those points are selling behind closed doors (and sometimes right out in the open) for thousands of dollars.
You are right and I see both sides of it. I don’t mind the averaging of points because
Either way both individuals are going back
To zero and starting over but when people abuse It and as you say money gets involved it ruins it for everyone
 

FlatlanderAZ

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
275
Location
Arizona
You are right and I see both sides of it. I don’t mind the averaging of points because
Either way both individuals are going back
To zero and starting over but when people abuse It and as you say money gets involved it ruins it for everyone
But when the higher point total person doesn’t hunt, there is no deterrent. They are simply point mules for people who use them to build bonus points.
 

Falcon75

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
276
Utah had to revise their rules around party applications since averaging worked for applying then the "fake hunters" turned in their tags to get points back. Rinse and repeat. Easy fix: All party members keep their tag upon drawing or all forfeit tags.
I like all get tags and use or all give back in as a party better than using the lowest point holder. Average and all or none.
 

nontyp

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
446
Location
Kansas
I don’t like the way AZ is set up with point guard and party apps, but I play the game just like everyone else because if you don’t you’ll get left behind.
 

ImBillT

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
2,352
Easy solution. Make it like Colorado. If a party application is submitted, don't average the points, rather the party gets assigned the point level that is equal to the lowest point holder in the party.

End of discussion. Problem solved. I'd be all on board with that, though I've helped some and benefited some from the point averaging that most states currently allow.
As much as I think averaging points is actually more fair than reducing points to the lowest number on the app, that is the only solution that prevents cheating the system and doesn’t not require a person with legitimate reason to turn his tag in to be punished because others were cheating.

You sold me. Stop averaging points on party apps.
 

warmer

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
Messages
770
Location
SE South Dakota
Easy solution. Make it like Colorado. If a party application is submitted, don't average the points, rather the party gets assigned the point level that is equal to the lowest point holder in the party.

End of discussion. Problem solved. I'd be all on board with that, though I've helped some and benefited some from the point averaging that most states currently allow.
That's how we do it in South Dakota.
 

ElkFever2

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
3,320
Location
Iowa
Everyone wants a shortcut to the front of the line for coveted tags, and those who are ingenious or persistent enough to find one will do so. The reissue tags for CO are a current example, and have favored different hunter demographics every time the process changes. As long as state G&F commissions are staffed primarily by people who don’t hunt multiple states as a NR (or even hunt at all), these kind of loopholes will continue to pop up.
 

3darcher2

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
50
Location
SW PA
Certainly, I've seen some people post on some other sites about sharing points in WY, and I guess it happens at least some. Usually it's either a guy who is willing to pick up the cost of someone else's tag if it gets them a tag. Another variation is a guy with zero-few points averaging with a guy with a max points and then taking them to their spots - instant hunting buddy! As someone who is entering no man's land for points in WY, it's a little intriguing, but IDK if I'd do it. I'd think I'd be more likely to do it for some good hunting than for money.
 

FlatlanderAZ

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
275
Location
Arizona
Certainly, I've seen some people post on some other sites about sharing points in WY, and I guess it happens at least some. Usually it's either a guy who is willing to pick up the cost of someone else's tag if it gets them a tag. Another variation is a guy with zero-few points averaging with a guy with a max points and then taking them to their spots - instant hunting buddy! As someone who is entering no man's land for points in WY, it's a little intriguing, but IDK if I'd do it. I'd think I'd be more likely to do it for some good hunting than for money.
The operator of another popular hunting forum openly advertises each year that he will take a partner to great spots and help them harvest in return for a party app that earns him enough points to secure a specific region every year.
 

gburk

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
69
Spend more money, get more tags. It’s like AZ version of the WY special draw, just a little greasier. No I don’t like it either but Azgfd could close the loophole if they didn’t want the money.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
96,146
Messages
1,452,432
Members
30,217
Latest member
rockpuck51
Top