"Pulling the Rug Out" - Preference/Bonus Point Systems

WalkingBird

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Exactly, but guys really need to dig in to get the real odds to estimate the rewards, as I am convinced that those odds are not easy to get for a reason in some states. I just don't want to see guys who are barely making ends meet buy points thinking the odds are better than they are. Most noobs have little concept of point creep.
I'm one of those Noobs. I'm not an adult onset hunter either, but I am new to hunting the west. I moved to Arizona in the summer of '16 and am just now getting what I think is a firm grasp on the draw process. It's pretty daunting to think about someday being able to draw a sheep tag here in the desert, but dang, I think it's 29pts right now for a sheep, and with the creep I'll be in my 60s by the time I can even get to the point where I can get my hopes up for a tag. On a Bios salary I sure as heck ain't goin to BC or AK on a sheep hunt either.

I do wish it was easier to draw tags for some good hunts. I've been pouring over the draw reports and whatever I can find to get some legwork in before the draw in February, but with only 1 point going into this season it's looking like if I wanna chase a bulls this year, I've either gotta put in for the late hunts or travel and hunt OTC
 

Bluejeep

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I am an adult onset hunter. With the points being where they are and the yearly point creep, I would likely never draw any of my dream hunts. I will also never be able to afford a sheep hunt in Alaska and I know this.

It leaves a person like me in a real sour spot and as such I will never apply for any NR moose, sheep, or goat hunts in a state with points. Instead, that money will go into other aspects of my hunting.

I believe if points were to go away, it should be done in a manner similar to what Wllm1313 said.
I would assume that you would want to get rid of the system quickly maybe with 5 years? So maybe take the max number of bonus points, say 30 for a given species, square them so 900 and then multiple them by 6 (30 points, divide by the five year time period) so 5400. Don't allow anyone to buy any more points.

Essentially give everyone with skin in the game a gigantic advantage for 5 years and then pull the plug. I don't think there is any way to refund people for points, and it isn't possible to let everyone in the system draw so I think you just need to toss a bone to people who have played the game for years and then pull the plug.
And then everyone else would get a T-shit to the tune of "I applied for preferance points in (whatever state) for years and all I got was this shirt" LOL

All kidding aside, it does seem like a pyramid scheme in which only the state truly wins.
 

ShootsManyBullets

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I just play in the sandbox I'm given. Yeah it's a scam to collect more money from us but there are times that I like knowing what I can draw so I can plan my season a little bit. I quit applying for stuff I figure I'll never draw or didn't find that exciting anymore. I was crazy enough to start doing apps in my 20's before I had a wife and kids so now I get to hunt somewhere out of state every year with 15 years in the various systems.

If point systems went away the world would keep spinning and I'd keep hunting like most of us.
 

Alabama

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South Alabama
I understand the hatred for preference points but not bonus points. Bonus point systems where you get 1 chance for every year you apply seems the fairest way to me. You get a slight advantage but no one is ever excluded from having a chance. It betters the chances for people with rotten luck of eventually getting a tag but never guarantees it. I don't mean like the Arizona or Utah bonus points, they are really preference points in the 1st portion of the draw then act like bonus points in the 2nd portion of the draw. If you didn't get in the ground floor you are excluded from a guarantee (on the high demand tags) but if you got in the 1st year you will eventually draw. If you really want to improve the odds in states like UT, CO, MT, and ID make all units limited. You lose your points for drawing ANY tag, no getting points and getting to hunt. No landowner tag and getting points. If you hunt for a species and your points go to zero for that species.
 

LopeHunter

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Participation in point systems will decline the next 20 years. States need to put a plan together. The average age of big game hunters is rising. Death happens faster than recruitment of young applicants. How many of the upper 1/3 of CO deer point holders are going to start over after waiting 25 years to get a tag in a primo unit when point creep is about 1 point per year? I predict not many and the guy who waits 20 years to hunt a species in a state is not suddenly going to be happy hunting a 3 point unit for 140 class bucks every fourth year.

Every state with a point system is struggling to keep the 10 year-year plus point holders on board and, if draw, to get those guys back in line. Wyoming was quite proud about the increase in applications in 2018. Congrats. Economy was strong and had been for years. The increase in cost to apply and hunt finally got some non-residents to start applying for an actual tag. If you were patiently buying points for pronghorn/deer/elk the past decade plus then that got a bit more expensive for the tag yet most of those "point only" folks are not able to hunt a primo pronghorn plus a deer plus a elk hunt in the same year. The draw odds for a primo tag are not 100% for max point folks so that had to cause some head-scratching when Mr. Max Pool got "unsuccessful" on results day. I predict some of those "unsuccessful" 2018 guys will be swallowing some pride and dropping down to a tag that took Max-1 or Max-2 in 2018 so can burn the points on a really good hunt. Point creep is going to cascade downward into middling units.

In another 2 or 3 years the Max folks will mostly be gone and may not get back in line. WY had the benefit of being after CO, NV, etc, so a lot of non-residents hopped on the point train for pronghorn/deer/elk. Year 1 cost for points was around $30 for pronghorn, $40 for deer and $50 for elk. Some new applicants jumped on the sheep and moose point train as well but were a day late and a dollar short then, even if did not know it back then.

There are a lot of economic studies that deal with gaming theory. Allocating a limited resource when some potential buyers are will to pay a lot more than the amount the average potential buyer always creates a tricky game. WY could sell every non-resident bighorn sheep tag for $10,000 this year if did a first come, first served land rush. Next year would see demand ease off though since not everyone wants to spend $10,000 to hunt a 2nd ram. One may well be enough at that price. So, the real game is how to keep people paying for the "hope" of winning the lottery. PowerBall meets F&G. The smugness of the 2018 press releases may lead to a serving of cold crow over the next 5 - 10 years.
 
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BuzzH

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Lopehunter,

I think your post has some good points, but I also think you leave out one fact with Wyoming that I'm seeing happen. That is in the lower point pools. Not that long ago, many tags that now require a point, or two, or three were available as leftover licenses. Now those same leftover areas are taking points to draw.

What I'm seeing is more applicants in the lower desired units, because in many cases, even a 1-3 point unit is more desirable and easier to draw, and better hunting than a 5+ point tag in other states. Plus, where else do you go where you can get the same quality of, say, a pronghorn hunt with 0-3 points? NV? UT? CO? NM? MT? AZ?...nope, none of those. WY has the pronghorn market cornered. But the same thing with the quality on their "low point" deer and elk tags. Wyoming is in its own class, because we have a good product...both in quality and quantity.

I don't see Wyoming suffering a crash in applicants for deer, elk, pronghorn for sure. Maybe sheep, moose, goat and bison...Could be wrong. The only declines seen in 2017 NR license applications were moose and bison.

Time will tell.
 
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wllm1313

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Does Wyoming have demographic info for all applicants?

I wonder what portion of max point holders for any state are baby boomers/ gen-x/ millennial. Is there an equal proportion of point holders across generations or is there a huge gap, i.e. is the youngest person to have 20 elk points in CO 60 and the most points a 35 year old in the state has is 10, meaning that in 15 years there all max point holders will be 45 because all of the current max point holders will be dead or too old to hunt? It's possible there are a number of 35 year olds that got into systems with help with their parents and are sitting on max points in some states.

I'm curious to see if as time progresses if the max point number jumps dramatic down, perhaps the 2019 max point holder has 25 points but in 2022 the max point hold has only 16 because a ton of people age out of the sport without drawing. I definitely noticed a couple of people with max CO moose points opting for cow tags.
 

Flatrock

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Participation in point systems will decline the next 20 years. States need to put a plan together. The average age of big game hunters is rising. Death happens faster than recruitment of young applicants. How many of the upper 1/3 of CO deer point holders are going to start over after waiting 25 years to get a tag in a primo unit when point creep is about 1 point per year? I predict not many and the guy who waits 20 years to hunt a species in a state is not suddenly going to be happy hunting a 3 point unit for 140 class bucks every fourth year.

Every state with a point system is struggling to keep the 10 year-year plus point holders on board and, if draw, to get those guys back in line. Wyoming was quite proud about the increase in applications in 2018. Congrats. Economy was strong and had been for years. The increase in cost to apply and hunt finally got some non-residents to start applying for an actual tag. If you were patiently buying points for pronghorn/deer/elk the past decade plus then that got a bit more expensive for the tag yet most of those "point only" folks are not able to hunt a primo pronghorn plus a deer plus a elk hunt in the same year. The draw odds for a primo tag are not 100% for max point folks so that had to cause some head-scratching when Mr. Max Pool got "unsuccessful" on results day. I predict some of those "unsuccessful" 2018 guys will be swallowing some pride and dropping down to a tag that took Max-1 or Max-2 in 2018 so can burn the points on a really good hunt. Point creep is going to cascade downward into middling units.

In another 2 or 3 years the Max folks will mostly be gone and may not get back in line. WY had the benefit of being after CO, NV, etc, so a lot of non-residents hopped on the point train for pronghorn/deer/elk. Year 1 cost for points was around $30 for pronghorn, $40 for deer and $50 for elk. Some new applicants jumped on the sheep and moose point train as well but were a day late and a dollar short then, even if did not know it back then.
I just don't see it man. The number of people in the system as a whole go up every year. Here are the number of people that have preference points for WY elk the last few years:

2012: 40,829
2013: 43,848
2014: 47,860
2015: 52,458
2016: 59,378
2017: 67,256
2018: Somehow I don't have this number...
2019: 87,969

Here's antelope:

2012: 30,819
2013: 35,454
2014: 39,647
2015: 44,454
2016: 50,287
2017: 57,631
2018: Don't know
2019: 76,249

Just look at the last 2 years. Both elk and antelope have roughly an additional 20,000 people with points. That's crazy. I don't know what the numbers are in other states but in WY, point creep is going to keep going gangbusters. And for antelope, just imagine what it will be like when they get a bad winter and quotas are cut by 30-50% in a pile of units. Could see a 2-4 point jump in some units.

As for the elk max point holders, there are still about 1,600 people with max points and they're dropping out at a rate of about 200 per year. That's going to take quite awhile for those guys to go through the system. For antelope, there are about 600 with max points and they've been dropping out around 100 per year.

Looking out 20 years, it's damn hard to know what will happen but I just don't see participation slowing down in the point systems. When the next recession comes though, it'll be interesting to see how many people continue to buy points.
 

1_pointer

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Indiana
I just don't see it man. The number of people in the system as a whole go up every year. Here are the number of people that have preference points for WY elk the last few years:

2012: 40,829
2013: 43,848
2014: 47,860
2015: 52,458
2016: 59,378
2017: 67,256
2018: Somehow I don't have this number...
2019: 87,969

Here's antelope:

2012: 30,819
2013: 35,454
2014: 39,647
2015: 44,454
2016: 50,287
2017: 57,631
2018: Don't know
2019: 76,249

Just look at the last 2 years. Both elk and antelope have roughly an additional 20,000 people with points. That's crazy. I don't know what the numbers are in other states but in WY, point creep is going to keep going gangbusters. And for antelope, just imagine what it will be like when they get a bad winter and quotas are cut by 30-50% in a pile of units. Could see a 2-4 point jump in some units.

As for the elk max point holders, there are still about 1,600 people with max points and they're dropping out at a rate of about 200 per year. That's going to take quite awhile for those guys to go through the system. For antelope, there are about 600 with max points and they've been dropping out around 100 per year.

Looking out 20 years, it's damn hard to know what will happen but I just don't see participation slowing down in the point systems. When the next recession comes though, it'll be interesting to see how many people continue to buy points.
With regards to WY, I'm with this guy. I don't see it participation going down.

IMO, the only way to pull the rug, is to pull the rug. Overnight all points go to zero and a random draw afterwards. Not very likely to happen...
 

Greenhorn

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Let me modify your tablet to show the reason they won't "pull any rug soon" even better..
2012: 40,829 X$52 each = $2,123,108.00
2013: 43,848 = $2,280,096.00
2014: 47,860 = $2,488,720.00
2015: 52,458 = $2,727,816.00
2016: 59,378 = $3,087,656.00
2017: 67,256 = $3,497,312.00
2018: Somehow I don't have this number...
2019: 87,969 = $4,574,388.00

antelope at .... $31 each

2019: 76,249 = $2,363,719.00
That total is just the price of the preference point alone, not the licenses.
 

neffa3

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Wenatchee
I would love to see applications drop in the future, but I don't see it happening. A quality hunt is worth paying for, and as hunt qual goes down across the country hunters will be more willing to pay to hunt the last bastions of the "good stuff" i.e. the rocky mountain states.
 

BuzzH

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Laramie, WY
That total is just the price of the preference point alone, not the licenses.
Not sure how they're projecting 2019 applicant totals, but don't forget that all preference point fees, at least in the past, were refunded to all successful first choice tags drawn.

I guess this year, there is no option to purchase preference points until later in the year after the draw.

I agree that applicants wont decline, its about the quality Wyoming has over most other Western States.
 

Whiptail

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Apr 2, 2015
Messages
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IMO, the only way to pull the rug, is to pull the rug. Overnight all points go to zero and a random draw afterwards. Not very likely to happen...
Can they just change what a preference point means? Instead of requiring them to draw could they just use them to increase the odds. That is, an applicant with 1 point would have double the odds of someone with 0 points. That way, someone with 0 points could draw but someone with 20 points would have 20 times the odds.
 

Trial153

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Jan 4, 2016
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New York
From an ethical perspective a state shouldnt promote a system that is self defeating if it continues. Preference point system are just that and they need to be phased out.
I am not picky how that happens and will gladly give up my points in favor of a random draw. I understand that some feel that Restitution is in order...maybe it is and maybe it isnt. If it was need ed to "sell " switch over to random I am sure that something can be worked out maybe in the form of charge back towards future fees ect. Even a conversion to bonus points is Palatable to me.
Right now we are propping up a ponize scheme that cant pay out with any reasonable certainty for enough stakeholders. It not a question Guaranteeing fairness of out comes but of fairness in Opportunity.
 

dmandoes

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Nov 3, 2010
Messages
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coming to fish and game soon, a points exchange. it will be like the stock exchange. buy, sell, trade, inherit gift etc...... game and fish will collect fees from buyer and seller. whats better than selling points? selling the same points more than once.
 

WapitiBob

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Bend, Orygun
The point totals are the numbers going into the next years draw.

2018 Elk 77,484

2018 Ant 66,574
 
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magnum44270

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Apr 3, 2019
Messages
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Both systems have their negative; point creep with PP, or random draw where one person "randomly" draws the same unit 7 years in a row while you dont draw...... its a lose lose
 

MTTW

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Apr 1, 2016
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Montana
In my opinion Mt should just pull the rug on the squared bonus pt system. It is the squaring that makes it drastically unfair. No one paid anything for the squaring. I don't think that they will do anything unless the new hunters quit playing their silly game. There is a huge difference between 18 pts and 324 pts and 306 of them were free.
 

BluegrassBilly

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Kentucky
A system that phases the existing points over time makes great sense, until you pause to consider political cycles. Big game hunting is a voting issue in these states, and you basically are setting it up to be a campaign issue ("As Governor, I'll restore the points you've spent a lifetime accumulating!").

A more likely demise would be a well-funded legal challenge. I think the state constitutional amendments preserving the right to hunt and fish created unintended legal strategies that haven't yet been fully explored. If you have a constitutional right to hunt subject to reasonable restrictions, with good statistical analysis, one could prove that the point system is an unreasonable infringement on the would-be hunter's ability to exercise his or her right.
 
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