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What to do with 8 Wyoming elk points?

Birddog916

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Hi Hunttalkers,
I'm interested in burning my Wyoming elk points and I'm considering 4-5 different units. I started to save points 8 years ago when the unit I've been applying for only took 5 points to draw...now it takes 11 and it seems I'm not really catching up. I have hunted that unit 3 times for cows, but am giving up on drawing a bull tag there. I'd rather hunt bulls now that wait especially with all the talk of changing the non-resident tag allocations. In a perfect world, I would like to avoid wilderness areas because we are DIY kind of guys but would consider a drop camp situation it that get us into the wilderness, have a success rate at or above 40% and have an opportunity to hunt both the archery and rifle seasons (type 1 or 2 tag). There will be 2 of us. I'm seeking input about specific units and would like do reach out to hunttalkers who know Wyoming well. I'm not interested in specific locations rather general information about specific units. Right now I'm considering units in the bighorns, one in the northwest, and one in the eastern central part of the state. I'd rather not post the unit names of units for all the typical reasons. I do have Gohunt and have already narrowed it down, but there seems to be negative information around the internet about nearly every unit we are considering.

I do not care about grizzly bears, wolves or lions....I do care about overcrowding, lack of access, and success rates. If anyone is willing to chat with me it would be much appreciated please reach out by messenger.

Joe
 
on the right track here. I am probably down for a couple more years of gathering points and then out. Random or maybe if I do get just enough points, general, going forward and even then I envision 2 and probably no more than 3 bull hunts in WY over the next 20-25 years if I even try for that long. Use those points and enjoy the hunt!
 
I’m in a similar position with 6 WY elk points. Had hopes of eventually drawing a good limited entry tag, in a few years from now, but thats not going to happen. Looking at a general tag and point splitting with my son. Seems like a better option than chasing creep and risking getting (too) old!
 
Same story here 7 points and no clear path on what to do. Part of me hopes the masses listen to Big Fin and burn their points this coming season then with the increased tag prices maybe in 2024 I can mortgage the house and swing a good limited hunt with the new super expensive special tag. (Insert crazy emoji here!!!)
 
I’d burn them because of the changes being made to non-resident hunting. In my opinion settling for a less quality hunt is better than not hunting.
 
So if a bunch of people get into this burn your points no matter what trend isn’t it theoretical that point creep could go down after?
 
So if a bunch of people get into this burn your points no matter what trend isn’t it theoretical that point creep could go down after?
The last guy to do the right thing wins the prize.

I keep thinking that if the those in the middle burn their points, they are dumping on those below them.
There is no way to crash a Ponzi scheme without people getting burned. Still, it needs to be done.

I've never held a point, or bought a point. The Lotto ads say, "If you don't play, you can't win." I say, "If I don't play, I can't lose."

I will go places I can go without points and save my money for trips and gear.
 
I know this is a DIY type mentality site at its core but if overcrowding, lack of access, and success rates is your most concern than I would go with a private land outfitter in a general unit. Esp, if you have limited time to hunt and by limited I mean 7-10 days. I have done both, the DIY and outfitted and even though valuable life lessons were learned going DIY the outfitted hunt on private with family/friends is worth every penny. I don't care how hardcore DIY you are its almost impossible to find public land that wont be crowded, wont have multiple people accessing all the same spots and your success rates are very low.
 
So if a bunch of people get into this burn your points no matter what trend isn’t it theoretical that point creep could go down after?
I spend way too much time each winter analyzing this information and trying to predict behaviors. I have mountains of spreadsheets like the one below. It is my effort to further analyze applicant behavior and predict what might happen in the year in question. Below is one of my many Wyoming elk sheets going into the 2022 draw, a copy and paste from 2021, 2020, and as far back as 2010. Waiting to see the same data going into the 2023 to see if my expectations were close or if I am just a numbers nerd who has insomnia.

Wyoming Elk Point Analysis.jpgTo the question above, I've tried to figure out that same thing. I agree with the stated premise. Yet, when I try to model that out in the future, I have doubts. Looking at the fact that Wyoming has almost 150K non-residents in their elk point system. Only 30K+/- normally apply for a tag, with 120K just buying points.

With 80% of the point holders not even showing up in the draw odds, where and how do they get churned through a system that only has a fraction of that number as actual tags being issued? That's part of my effort in these spreadsheets. Interesting to see how many churn out each year, which I suspect is due to going two years without applying or buying a point. And, how many new applicants show up, likely those who burned points the prior year, some who get back in due to churning under the two-year rule, and brand new applicants.

With only 7,250 non-resident tags issued, there are 20+ years of non-residents in their system. And large percentage of people who drew last year jump back in the following year and more new applicants show up than what churned out for other reasons. So, the tube never gets cleared, rather gets even more crowded. Same applies in other PP systems.

The question becomes, how long does it take to clear most of them out before I can rely on the theory that point creep could/would go down if there was a big rush to "burn and bail" in 2023 and 2024? I've come to the conclusion that creep won't subside and like disruption in any system, it is best to "buy on the rumor, sell on the news."

For 2023, I think it is a complete crapshoot with the Special draw price changes coming in 2024. We have tens of thousands of non-residents using application services and consultants to do their apps, some of their clients being friends of mine. From what they tell me, those services are warning clients that things are changing in Wyoming. Merely a guess on my part, but I suspect they are going to tell a lot of their high-level "point collector" clients to finally burn their Wyoming points, mostly elk points, in 2023.

I also think that if that happens in 2023, there becomes a bit of "panic burning" in 2024. My rationale is that when folks see the point creep due to point burning in 2023, combined with the new price increase in the Special for 2024, it will cause a lot of point collectors to finally to "burn and bail." But, with only 7,250 non-resident tags, the "burn and bail" process can only churn so many of the non-resident point holders.

I also expect this based on what my spreadsheets show when previous changes have happened to other Preference Point systems. It usually takes about two years of turmoil before things start to have some level of predictability again; usually by the third year following a big change. Whether that will happen in Wyoming, time will tell. I do think the application services will use this event to have many of their high-level point collectors jump in and actually apply. When there is creep at the top, my spreadsheets show that it trickles down to lower point levels most dramatically the following year or two.

Damn, what a long-winded way of saying, "I don't have a clue."

Upon my death, I hereby grant @wllm my volumes of spreadsheets and useless modeling to share with the Hunt Talk crowd in some presentable and useful manner. Given HT costs nothing, those piles of bits and bytes, going back to Lotus123, are probably worth less than the cost of a HT membership.
 
As we discussed before, when I had the dept create a report showing those who did not apply but only bought a point, it was eye opening and depressing. Oregon used to show those point only guys in their odds reports but they changed vendors a cpl years ago and now that info is unavailable. Those guys riding the pine really need to be taken into consideration when looking at future plans.
 
@Big Fin, very well stated. I’m one of those elk side line sitters buying points and not applying. I think I have my exit strategy planned but I may be a year behind the curve, I guess I’ll see this year.

I remember having talks with an Idaho bio years ago when pts were kinda on the table here. It was really easy to show that for the one unit we broke down just starting at the current years applicants and adding none, only removing them when they drew, that it would take well over 100 years to get through everyone. Pretty well showed pts were no guarantee for a tag on any sort of schedule
 
What bothers me most is NR youth don’t have a chance beside the random. I will be saving my points and splitting them with one of my kids when they are old enough with the hope of drawing a general tag.

I fear that even with 6 right now after the price increase it will never be enough in the regular draw.
 
@Big Fin, very well stated. I’m one of those elk side line sitters buying points and not applying. I think I have my exit strategy planned but I may be a year behind the curve, I guess I’ll see this year.

I remember having talks with an Idaho bio years ago when pts were kinda on the table here. It was really easy to show that for the one unit we broke down just starting at the current years applicants and adding none, only removing them when they drew, that it would take well over 100 years to get through everyone. Pretty well showed pts were no guarantee for a tag on any sort of schedule
That is why I think Idaho (and NM and AK) should be commended for resisting that feel-good temptation of a point scheme, with schemes mostly pressed for by old gray-haired farts worried they won't get their fourth moose tag before they're done. If ever you see that idea again taking hold in ID, please use these platforms to combat such foolishness.

This same analysis I provided above holds true for the preference part of the UT system and the entire CO system. Just different churn rates due to different tag numbers, different numbers/percentages of non-residents as point collectors, and different maturity of the system based on how long it has been in place.

My Colorado spreadsheets are the oldest. They are a great historical road map to what happens as preference point schemes mature. And that history supports the same conclusion you and the Idaho bios came to. We are not many years away from some folks having applied long enough to accumulate 40 elk points in the Colorado system.
 
That is why I think Idaho (and NM and AK) should be commended for resisting that feel-good temptation of a point scheme, with schemes mostly pressed for by old gray-haired farts worried they won't get their fourth moose tag before they're done. If ever you see that idea again taking hold in ID, please use these platforms to combat such foolishness.

This same analysis I provided above holds true for the preference part of the UT system and the entire CO system. Just different churn rates due to different tag numbers, different numbers/percentages of non-residents as point collectors, and different maturity of the system based on how long it has been in place.

My Colorado spreadsheets are the oldest. They are a great historical road map to what happens as preference point schemes mature. And that history supports the same conclusion you and the Idaho bios came to. We are not many years away from some folks having applied long enough to accumulate 40 elk points in the Colorado system.
Sadly, there is always someone floating the idea in Boise every couple of years.
 
I spend way too much time each winter analyzing this information and trying to predict behaviors. I have mountains of spreadsheets like the one below. It is my effort to further analyze applicant behavior and predict what might happen in the year in question. Below is one of my many Wyoming elk sheets going into the 2022 draw, a copy and paste from 2021, 2020, and as far back as 2010. Waiting to see the same data going into the 2023 to see if my expectations were close or if I am just a numbers nerd who has insomnia.

View attachment 258077To the question above, I've tried to figure out that same thing. I agree with the stated premise. Yet, when I try to model that out in the future, I have doubts. Looking at the fact that Wyoming has almost 150K non-residents in their elk point system. Only 30K+/- normally apply for a tag, with 120K just buying points.

With 80% of the point holders not even showing up in the draw odds, where and how do they get churned through a system that only has a fraction of that number as actual tags being issued? That's part of my effort in these spreadsheets. Interesting to see how many churn out each year, which I suspect is due to going two years without applying or buying a point. And, how many new applicants show up, likely those who burned points the prior year, some who get back in due to churning under the two-year rule, and brand new applicants.

With only 7,250 non-resident tags issued, there are 20+ years of non-residents in their system. And large percentage of people who drew last year jump back in the following year and more new applicants show up than what churned out for other reasons. So, the tube never gets cleared, rather gets even more crowded. Same applies in other PP systems.

The question becomes, how long does it take to clear most of them out before I can rely on the theory that point creep could/would go down if there was a big rush to "burn and bail" in 2023 and 2024? I've come to the conclusion that creep won't subside and like disruption in any system, it is best to "buy on the rumor, sell on the news."

For 2023, I think it is a complete crapshoot with the Special draw price changes coming in 2024. We have tens of thousands of non-residents using application services and consultants to do their apps, some of their clients being friends of mine. From what they tell me, those services are warning clients that things are changing in Wyoming. Merely a guess on my part, but I suspect they are going to tell a lot of their high-level "point collector" clients to finally burn their Wyoming points, mostly elk points, in 2023.

I also think that if that happens in 2023, there becomes a bit of "panic burning" in 2024. My rationale is that when folks see the point creep due to point burning in 2023, combined with the new price increase in the Special for 2024, it will cause a lot of point collectors to finally to "burn and bail." But, with only 7,250 non-resident tags, the "burn and bail" process can only churn so many of the non-resident point holders.

I also expect this based on what my spreadsheets show when previous changes have happened to other Preference Point systems. It usually takes about two years of turmoil before things start to have some level of predictability again; usually by the third year following a big change. Whether that will happen in Wyoming, time will tell. I do think the application services will use this event to have many of their high-level point collectors jump in and actually apply. When there is creep at the top, my spreadsheets show that it trickles down to lower point levels most dramatically the following year or two.

Damn, what a long-winded way of saying, "I don't have a clue."

Upon my death, I hereby grant @wllm my volumes of spreadsheets and useless modeling to share with the Hunt Talk crowd in some presentable and useful manner. Given HT costs nothing, those piles of bits and bytes, going back to Lotus123, are probably worth less than the cost of a HT membership.
Ironically my first gig out of college was converting a couple thousand Lotus 123 spreadsheets into a database for the Geologic Survey.
 
My Colorado spreadsheets are the oldest. They are a great historical road map to what happens as preference point schemes mature. And that history supports the same conclusion you and the Idaho bios came to. We are not many years away from some folks having applied long enough to accumulate 40 elk points in the Colorado system.
I still remember magazine articles from when Colorado started there system that essentially said that it was a recipe to get you top tier tags every 4-5 years. Apparently that wasn’t quite accurate…
 
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