The future of Preference Points

wllm

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I'd wager that people actually interested in hunting would see drastically higher odds of drawing because with out the ability to "buy" a preference point, and this mythical idea that you're actually getting something for your money, most joe-schmoes wouldn't even bother applying.

Point schemes are simply sales pitches, you're buying a mythical opportunity that isn't actually doing you any good.

There are >500 people at the same Mountain Goat bonus point level as me. They issued 17 goat tags this year. In the next 50 yrs of buying points they may not even get through my point level, let alone all the people above me and the hoards below me. 19k people put in the 17 goat tags. IT'S A JOKE! THERE IS NO APPRECIABLE DRAWING ADVANTAGE!

Edit: I see that while I was actually working the master @wllm provided much better info
I think the most hilarious case of this in all of hunting is CO bear hunting.

There is 1 unit in the state that takes more than 3 points.

That unit has 1 tag for NR.

In 2020 there were 847 people with more than 3 points, ostensibly hoping to draw that tag.

847 for 1 tag in a pure preference point system. 🤦‍♂️

No one with 2 brain cells should buy NR bear points in CO (above like 3)
 
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Firedude

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You guys ever actually graph out draw odds under different systems? I think it's time that everybody stop screaming and start doing the data and see what works best for everybody. Because guess what, it changes over time.

A while ago I was talking to my dad, who doesn't hunt, and I mentioned the draw systems. Just for fun we started doing the math and graphing out odds. He has a degree in computer engineering and software development. Just shy of a second minors in math. Pretty sharp when it comes to this stuff. And because he doesn't hunt, he had no biased scewing of "fair". That some people do.

I suggest you guys try it on your own. Because everybody's variables come into play here. What we used to figure graphs was number of tags, number of participants, draw results, and lifespan of participants.

The problem with random is it's not completely equal outcome once participant numbers increase. If you graph out results of random out of a hat style with 5 or so participants you get a curve that never starts at zero and climbs to average odds then zeros going back down. Everybody draws. But adding numbers of participants at some point that tail may never zero before the lifspan of the participant. This shows some lucky people at the front drawing frequently and unlucky people way out in the weeds just never pulling a tag while others pull 3, 4, or more times.

If you throw in a point system to work the way it's SUPPOSED to work and give a small number of tags to top point holders it zeros out that tail eventually. Meaning eventually every participant gets a tag. You might draw 3 before they do but at some point they will get a tag. Honestly, this system works the longest and fairest. But it stops working eventually. Sigh...

As participant numbers grow the system falls appart again. People die holding max points while again some people are drawing multiple tags by random chance. So invariably the answer becomes less random and more point tags. This does work to drop that curve again before people die but yet again, it has a finite lifespan. Cough, Wyoming Sheep, cough. It bandaids the issue and causes HUGE problems down the road. You get 2 curves. 1 huge max point guys drawing most of the tags and a smaller random group that gets smaller and smaller as more people jump in. The basis for the top chance at drawing a premo tag? Timing. That's it. Eventually that group on the lower curve declare horseshit because the math falls appart and they realize they will very likely never draw and the older guys are almost guaranteed tags. And revamp the system again. We're pretty much there.

The answer from there? Heavily lean back on random with long wait out rules or make it one and done draw? Modify points? Bonus points? Or come up with something better?

I dunno maybe we should do the math before we decide. Eventually one and done random is going to be it.

You can literally graph out everything that's happened, is happening, and will happen and more importantly WHY it's happening.
 

wllm

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@bigfin has made the point on numerous threads that pref point systems lead to a lot of people just buying points...

CO bear is the most epic example. In 2022 there were 4 hunt codes NR drew that required more than 1 point.

1 tag for each of these units
1656356521363.png

2 tags
1656356528283.png
6tags
1656356533607.png


9507 apps... 6770 of which are preference points only... literally WHAT?

I swear if CO introduced Jackalope preference points they'd get 2000 application for preference point only.
1656356698510.png
 

wllm

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But adding numbers of participants at some point that tail may never zero before the lifespan of the participant.
Meaning eventually every participant gets a tag.
Yeah here's the thing 19,000 applicants for 17 tags. Even if you're out after 1 tag and everyone applies for 50 years you are only through ~4.5% of folks.

Any system other than pure random is turd polishing, most people will never draw in their lifetimes.
 

Mighty Mouse

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Yeah, but it only works till about 5 points. Preference points work great up to 5 points.

Case and point if you are a NR and you have less than max points -1 or 2 and you are over 20 years old you will never draw the Oso bear tag, it's mathematically impossible.

Same for elk 2/201 for NR over maybe 40 with less than like max -7.

There are just too many people in front of you, even if you are extraordinarily long lived and everyone else is doing meth you still don't have a chance.
Point creep isn't a flaw in the preference point system; it's the natural consequence of demand for tags exceeding the available supply. The same factors that cause creep in a preference point system also exist in bonus point and random draw systems, they just manifest as continually decreasing draw odds (instead of as an increasing minimum point threshold). A preference point system doesn't "stop working" at 5 points or any other arbitrary amount.

I have little desire to chase premier trophy tags (which likely colors my opinion on point systems); I just like to hunt in the mountains (preferably archery elk) and like to be able to plan when/where/what I'll be hunting with some confidence years in advance. I'm perfectly content knowing that I have no realistic chance at drawing a top tier Colorado tag in my lifetime (currently 32 years old with single digit point totals and plans to use them all within the next 1-2 years). If a "once-in-a-lifetime" quality tag like unit 201 elk were my goal, I should have chosen to start accumulating points in my 20's and probably would've been able to get that tag someday. Those that do/did make that choice will have earned their tag by virtue of patience when they do finally draw it.
 

Firedude

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Yeah here's the thing 19,000 applicants for 17 tags. Even if you're out after 1 tag and everyone applies for 50 years you are only through ~4.5% of folks.

Any system other than pure random is turd polishing, most people will never draw in their lifetimes.
I've got several pieces of coprolite I've polished to a mirror finish... Just takes some time and somebody who knows how to do it!

I agree. At very low odds random is the way to go. But at higher odds there's better ways to draw. Randoms aren't as pretty as they appear to be by common logic.

The best way as it's been pointed out by Big Fin is increasing herd numbers. That lowers and shortens the curve in every single data set.
 
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BrentD

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...

One hunter lives there, pays taxes, votes, contributes to the overall well-being of the state while the other is merely a visitor. Going to a 50/50 allocation for R & NR would be an unequitable shift, IMO.

Ben, keep in mind that a nontrivial proportion of those game animals probably live on land that is paid for by the NONresident to a greater degree than the resident. We could pencil that out, and devid the allocation appropriately. Perhaps MORE than 50:50 would be rational. No habitat, no wildlife.
 

Shangobango

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I'd sacrifice every point I have to make all States and all species true random.

Just gonna be honest and say that for all of us holding preference points and losing out on that preference, little as it may be: that is the risk we take when participating in questionable investments. I have yet to hear of any State that does not have the right to change the draw system.

As much as it hurts personally it is the best thing for the future of hunting IMO.
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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Counter point: No preference or bonus points at all. Have a real democratic allocation of the resource: 1 application - 1 chance. No more buying your way to the front of the line, etc.

Just a straight up random draw for everything. Resident/NR split still remains negotiable within the wide range of 90/10.
I wish. Idaho to me has the best system you put in you might draw you might not. No sweating if you have enough "points". Don't know how long it's going to be that way tho.
 

wllm

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A preference point system doesn't "stop working" at 5 points or any other arbitrary amount.
This is inaccurate. Maybe not with "the system", but by the way the system is marketed to applicants. The idea of a random/bonus point/ etc system is that you have a chance every year to draw a tag, the points weight the odds to reward loyalty.

Preference point systems are marketed as, you forgo any chance at drawing a tag until some point where you have a guaranteed chance, the problem is if you never have a chance. Preference points systems are great if you get in early, because you guarantee your tag by forcing everyone else to forgo any chance at a tag for decades.

Preference point systems "work", ie are favored by folks, when:
I have little desire to chase premier trophy tags (which likely colors my opinion on point systems); I just like to hunt in the mountains (preferably archery elk) and like to be able to plan when/where/what I'll be hunting with some confidence years in advance.
My point is that you like preference points because it works, for you, because you are one of those less than 5 year applicants.

If you started chasing a premium unit you'd be pissed as you realized you never actually had a chance... kinda by design.
 

neffa3

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I wish. Idaho to me has the best system you put in you might draw you might not. No sweating if you have enough "points". Don't know how long it's going to be that way tho.
ID has the worse NR system imaginable.

Take a day off work, get in an online que that will crash, will kick you out, and when and if you get a low enough random number you then get to see what tags are actually available you may have just wasted an entire day because there aren't actually any elk tags left.

but the rest of it is good. I love the apply for M or G or Sh or D/e
 

JT13

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I think the most hilarious case of this in all of hunting is CO bear hunting.

There is 1 unit in the state that takes more than 3 points.

That unit has 1 tag for NR.

In 2020 there were 847 people with more than 3 points, ostensibly hoping to draw that tag.

847 for 1 tag in a pure preference point system. 🤦‍♂️

No one with 2 brain cells should buy NR bear points in CO (above like 3)
Are the bears made of gold in Colorado?

I didn't know there were places that high in demand for black bears
 

WapitiBob

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Points aren’t going anywhere, eliminating them doesn’t even get serious discussion at a state game commission meeting.
 

Ben Lamb

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Ben, keep in mind that a nontrivial proportion of those game animals probably live on land that is paid for by the NONresident to a greater degree than the resident. We could pencil that out, and devid the allocation appropriately. Perhaps MORE than 50:50 would be rational. No habitat, no wildlife.


The cost of public lands is separate from the management of wildlife. Like it or not, the Federal Gov't does not manage hunting. We're talking about the allocation of that state-managed resource, not the public lands it takes to maintain them.
 

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