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

Mtnhuntr

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Sep 26, 2017
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461
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
Although, if you made OIL species just that, only once in a person's lifetime, then you would solve that problem in a random draw for those species. However, that would never happen for all other species like elk, deer, and antelope.
 

HONEYBADGER

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Aug 24, 2013
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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.
I agree on Antelope but Wyoming does not have the market cornered on deer and elk, especially deer.
 

vanish

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Nov 25, 2015
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For Colorado:

Stop issuing preference points. Don't change anything else. As points get spent, eventually everything will be random draw. It doesn't take anything away from current point holders, and doesn't disenfranchise new hunters either.

No, new hunters won't be able to draw the glory units for a lifetime, but they can't now either.

Edit: PS: This will never happen because $$$$
 

Twolftg

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Jul 16, 2018
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Twin cities, Minnesota
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.
I have a friend that is 36 and has 20 something points in Colorado. He stated applying in his youth. Now he is putting in for his children, me I just cant see the point. Overall the states love the money and maybe it isnt something talked about as much out west, but here hunter recruitment is a big talking point. It's bad business for recruiting that's for sure.
 

Twolftg

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Twin cities, Minnesota
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.
I have always been curious why nobody had ever attempted a legal challenge to the non resident fees, especially in western states where alot of hunting is happening on federal lands.
 

schmalts

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WI
I am just done with the points game in many states now. Once I draw out I will not start over at my age unless it is for units that can be drawn in 4 or less years at the current status. I have max points in WY for deer, along with a lot of other guys but I need to research that one out and be done with it and then apply for the lower point units. When I draw out lope I will apply for 1-3 point units. Elk, I am just not doing it anymore, it's somewhat of a loss of interest. I apply for NO big 3 in any state anymore.
 

ImBillT

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Oct 29, 2018
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My biggest problem with point schemes is that they force a hunter to choose between opportunity and quality. Drawing an easy to draw tag is punished in the same way as drawing a glory tag. That sounds fine to lots of hunters, but very often a hunter applies for the highest odds tags he can for a few years, and after accruing 5-10pts begins to feel like they would be wasting their “investment” to draw the “easy” tag. After 5-10 more years they either get to go on their first hunt in that state when they finally draw the glory tag, or finally realize that if they hold out any longer they’ll be too old to enjoy it, so they “burn” their points on something they could have drawn 3-6 times over that 10-20yr period. Under a purely random drawing with multiple choices you can shoot for the stars with one choice and accept an “opportunity” hunt with a later choice, and there is no punishment for drawing.

Another thing that I dislike about point systems is that they overestimate demand. Many of us, myself included, have no intention of going on a particular hunt his year, but we apply for a point so that we can draw that hunt in a future year. Essentially it allows us to hold our place in line, so that a few years from now, when we are actually ready to go on that hunt, we at the front of the line ahead of someone who is applying for the first time BECAUSE THEY WANT TO GO THIS YEAR! The only fair argument for point systems is that they help someone who was UNSUCCESSFUL at drawing for many years finally get to go. When they become place holders(that are sold) for people who do not actually want to hunt this year to the detriment of those who are actually ready to go hunting when they apply, they are highly unfair.

To the answer the OP, simply removing the ability to accrue new bonus points would be the simplest way. The rest would take care of itself. Current point holders should actually love it, because they can never be worse off than they are today.

It would actually be more fair to cap bonus points at some moderate number, five for example, while preserving any bonus points already held. Skip a single year on any species and all bonus points disappear and you could slightly accelerate the process. Then, once all point holders with more than five points are eliminated, remove bonus points altogether. That would allow the newcomer to avoid permanent disadvantage during the transition.

A state could make up the money. Add a few bucks to the license, a few bucks to the app fee, and 5-10% to the tag and they could make up for a reduction in applications.

In other systems you could transition from preference points or squared bonus points to regular bonus with a small preference round similar to AZ and WY.

I’m against points schemes, but simple bonus points systems are far less likely to implode than preference point, hybrid bonus point, and squared bonus point schemes.
 

ImBillT

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Oct 29, 2018
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617
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.
Between Randy and the internet I believe we’re in a window of increased multi-state applications that is likely to level off(no necessarily drop off) at some point in the future. I honestly believe that the increased number of applicants will simply hasten the eventual crash of point schemes(particularly preference and squared) as more and more people realize they will never reach the top of point pile.
 

Scott85

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Nov 22, 2018
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457
Just think about all the private companies getting rich off of draws since most states use a 3rd party.
 
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