Point Creep - is there any light at the end of the tunnel?

I hunt_dm3

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A point system benefits hunters by giving them the ability to plan and the ability to know where they are in the game. It may also be good for hunting in that people invest in the opportunity to draw a tag. If I know that I can hunt an area every 3-4 years then I am motivated to stay in the game. If I know I can draw a tag every 3-4 years in multiple different states then I can plan for a rotation so I am hunting every year.

If every state was 100% random I would have no idea and I could go many years without a tag at all. I may just decide to not apply because I want to actually plan my vacation time so maybe I book a fishing trip instead or just plan an awesome backpacking trip or whatever.

As far as younger people the same applies. A kid not drawing a tag in a random draw for a few years will be no different than a kid buying a point for a couple of years then knowing they will be going hunting. Also, there are a lot of youth opportunities to get kids hunting.
I agree with all of your statements, my problem is that units are needing more and more points to draw. And most system have only been around for the last 30ish years, if it’s this bad now, what will it be 30 years from now. I think random draw with general opportunities is a good option. It has it downsides like every system does. There are no right answer and everyone will not like every system. Just my opinions and thoughts on the issue. I appreciate you taking the time to explain actual benefits rather then “I’ve had to play the game so everyone else should have to as well” which is what most people seem to be saying.
 

mproberts

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Point systems definitely have some benefits, predictability is a huge one... but I do think they fail for once in a lifetime type tags. I also much prefer bonus point systems over pure preference point systems. I think everyone should at least have some chance of drawing a tag. If you wanna throw your draw opportunity away on the hardest to draw/most prestigious unit in a state each year, you should have a chance to do that.
 

I hunt_dm3

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I listened to that podcast in it's entirety the week it dropped. Hunting podcasts are the primary thing I listen to on my drive back and forth to work.

There was another very good article done, I believe on the RokBlog itself, that discussed how the sweet spot for points was in the 4-5 point range. Building beyond that seems pointless to me, but it's a free country.

I'm not a trophy hunter, and have no interest in waiting event 10 years to draw a tag, much less 20. I could care less about creep for the top hunts. As was already mentioned in this thread, people chasing those hunts only make my lower-point draws that much easier.

Having a point system in some states allows me to plan at least 1 or 2 hunts annually while throwing my hat in for other random draws or long shots. I've drawn something in CO every year I've applied. Not so much in my random draw home state. I fail to see the unsustainability argument that some have made. If point systems are unsustainable, so is hunting in general. Point creep is purely a symptom of supply outstripping demand, and it's not like switching to complete random draw makes that conflict go away. It just means your draws become that much more unpredictable.

Let's also not forget that points don't go forever. People age and die out, and those points don't get inherited.
Good points, and in my opinion points don’t necessarily result in higher quality game or opportunities but results in less hunting pressure. There are certain tags that having the points will get you the opportunity at higher quality game, but that’s not my preference. I like hunting and would rather hunt every year rather then every 5 for a bigger animal. But for some people that want to do the points game and draw those type of tags, coming into it now is not an option. They will never be able to catch those tags in Arizona where people maxed out now may never draw. Point systems are great for planning, but that’s about it in my opinion.
 

I hunt_dm3

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Point systems definitely have some benefits, predictability is a huge one... but I do think they fail for once in a lifetime type tags. I also much prefer bonus point systems over pure preference point systems. I think everyone should at least have some chance of drawing a tag. If you wanna throw your draw opportunity away on the hardest to draw/most prestigious unit in a state each year, you should have a chance to do that.
Exactly!
 

mproberts

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If point systems are unsustainable, so is hunting in general. Point creep is purely a symptom of supply outstripping demand, and it's not like switching to complete random draw makes that conflict go away. It just means your draws become that much more unpredictable.
Exactly this... people have also been really spoiled for decades by the amount of opportunity out there. I don't feel like it's really all doom and gloom. I think most guys that just want to hunt and are smart about it can still draw enough tags each year to keep your schedule busy. With the amount of OTC hunts still available there is really no excuse to not have a full schedule each year if you just wanna hunt!
 

MuleyFever

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I agree with all of your statements, my problem is that units are needing more and more points to draw. And most system have only been around for the last 30ish years, if it’s this bad now, what will it be 30 years from now. I think random draw with general opportunities is a good option. It has it downsides like every system does. There are no right answer and everyone will not like every system. Just my opinions and thoughts on the issue. I appreciate you taking the time to explain actual benefits rather then “I’ve had to play the game so everyone else should have to as well” which is what most people seem to be saying.

Some units are needing more. You can look at the draw odds in CO and see units that take less points to draw this year than last year. If you are only looking at the premium trophy type units than yes, they usually keep going up. However, just looking at hunting opportunitie,s the points don't always only go up. I started buying points 12 years ago and people were having this same conversation then and I am still getting tags every year, 12 years later.

It is frustrating that some people will never get to hunt the top tier units but thats just life. That said, states like UT, AZ, NM, ID, NV, WY and probably more all give hunters a chance at great tags.
 

CorbLand

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There was another very good article done, I believe on the RokBlog itself, that discussed how the sweet spot for points was in the 4-5 point range. Building beyond that seems pointless to me, but it's a free country.
The problem here is that point creep does exist and will continue. 4-5 point range hunts are seeing it to. Meaning that eventually(and not that long in the future), these will be 7-8 then 10-11 and so on. I quickly scanned through the 2020 Utah LE Deer hunts. The lowest points that got a guaranteed tag was 2 and there were 10 tags given at the 2 point range out of 19, the other 9 had up to 9 points. The problem is that there are 33 people that applied with 1 point and 40 with 0. So, all held equal, it will take 4 points to draw to get that 33 people out, and then 7 to get the other 40 out. That is all held equal. In 4-5 years that unit will have seen over a 300% increase in points needed.

I put in for arguably the worst elk unit in Utah. When I started 6 years ago, it took 5-6 points to draw. They changed the season structure on it this year so it will be hard to tell what will happen but two years ago, it took 9 points to draw.

Those that dont like point systems arent just holding out for "trophy" units.
 

cal30_sniper

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Good points, and in my opinion points don’t necessarily result in higher quality game or opportunities but results in less hunting pressure. There are certain tags that having the points will get you the opportunity at higher quality game, but that’s not my preference. I like hunting and would rather hunt every year rather then every 5 for a bigger animal. But for some people that want to do the points game and draw those type of tags, coming into it now is not an option. They will never be able to catch those tags in Arizona where people maxed out now may never draw. Point systems are great for planning, but that’s about it in my opinion.
Less hunting pressure IS a higher quality hunting opportunity. I don't go out into the woods to share them with every other tom, dick, and larry. I had way too many years of that while stationed on the east coast.

At least from what I've seen, quality hunts in CO can be drawn reliably with 0 points, and guaranteed with 1 point. That's mainly because most guys are throwing their 1st draw away chasing a super-desirable high point unit. The trick then is usually getting away from the Sitka army of 'general opportunity' OTC elk hunters on your muley hunt.
 

j_volt

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I value the fact there there are differences (some subtle and some not so subtle) in every state's system. There is not a perfect system, nor will there ever be, when demand exceeds supply and the supply cannot be increased.

We all need to think outside the box if we want to hunt frequently. Some ideas include guided hunts/trespass fees, "lower quality" hunts, unique locations such as Mexico, participating in more states, antlerless hunts, whitetails, bears, etc.. Nothing will ever stay the same, and being slow to adapt is always a mistake.
 

cgasner1

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I think it would make a lot more people happy if this was all random with a bonus point and a multiplier on it a guy that just moved to a state shouldn’t have the same odds as a guy that’s been applying for 5-6 years but he should have a chance and that’s the issue with the preface points a true bonus system is the right way to go. If people wanna hoard points let them kinda like blaming inflation on a guy for having a 401k


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CorbLand

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I think it would make a lot more people happy if this was all random with a bonus point and a multiplier on it a guy that just moved to a state shouldn’t have the same odds as a guy that’s been applying for 5-6 years but he should have a chance and that’s the issue with the preface points a true bonus system is the right way to go. If people wanna hoard points let them kinda like blaming inflation on a guy for having a 401k


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The guy that has been apply for 5-6 years would have better odds in a bonus point system. Unless the guy that just moved there was buying points as a NR, they would have a lesser chance than the guy that has been apply for 5 years. If the guy moved there and had been buying points, then he was invested in the system just like the person that had been there for 5 years. No multiplier is necessary.
 

j_volt

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I do love Wyoming with there being a preference point element, a random element, a "market rate" draw, and a "pay to play" draw. No matter what floats your boat, it can be floated in Wyoming.
 

cgasner1

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The guy that has been apply for 5-6 years would have better odds in a bonus point system. Unless the guy that just moved there was buying points as a NR, they would have a lesser chance than the guy that has been apply for 5 years. If the guy moved there and had been buying points, then he was invested in the system just like the person that had been there for 5 years. No multiplier is necessary.

That was the point I was trying to make it seems the biggest problem we have is everyone wants everything now. The points are designed to distribute tags more evenly and they do across what you choose to have your time hunting look like. You take a guy like 5 miles hunts on tags every year say one year he has something going on so throws in and draws a tag with 3% odds because it’s all random not really fair when a guy has been pursing that tag for 10 years


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realunlucky

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That was the point I was trying to make it seems the biggest problem we have is everyone wants everything now. The points are designed to distribute tags more evenly and they do across what you choose to have your time hunting look like. You take a guy like 5 miles hunts on tags every year say one year he has something going on so throws in and draws a tag with 3% odds because it’s all random not really fair when a guy has been pursing that tag for 10 years


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They have exactly the same odds how is that not "Fair"

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cgasner1

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Because over the course of 15 years that guy could of had 7-8-9 other tags then one year jumps in and pulls a tag while the other guy has been waiting for 15 years and has had nothing. It’s funny when this gets brought up that no one ever mentions that some of these states also have waiting periods after you draw. Montana is set up on a true bonus system check out odds tags are still creeping at the end of the day people need to quit hunting for odds to get better


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realunlucky

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Because over the course of 15 years that guy could of had 7-8-9 other tags then one year jumps in and pulls a tag while the other guy has been waiting for 15 years and has had nothing. It’s funny when this gets brought up that no one ever mentions that some of these states also have waiting periods after you draw. Montana is set up on a true bonus system check out odds tags are still creeping at the end of the day people need to quit hunting for odds to get better


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So if someone is born 15 years after that guy starts applying they should never have an opportunity to draw? You consider that "FAIR"

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NoWiser

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Because over the course of 15 years that guy could of had 7-8-9 other tags then one year jumps in and pulls a tag while the other guy has been waiting for 15 years and has had nothing. It’s funny when this gets brought up that no one ever mentions that some of these states also have waiting periods after you draw. Montana is set up on a true bonus system check out odds tags are still creeping at the end of the day people need to quit hunting for odds to get better


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Doesn't Montana square points?

Preference point systems work fine for hunts that can clear out applicants in 5 years or less. The problem is that with the increased popularity of western hunting, all of these low point hunts will soon become high point hunts. Look at the Wyoming general elk tag. That'll be a 6-8 point hunt in a few short years. The crappy antelope units will be 3-4 points in a few years. You can't base the feasibility of drawing hunts with points on the last 20 years. Look at the next 20 years. It's going to be ugly.
 

cgasner1

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So if someone is born 15 years after that guy starts applying they should never have an opportunity to draw? You consider that "FAIR"

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On a bonus point system yes he has a chance everyone does on a preference it is not fair. we have 12 year olds that draw ram tags in Montana show me another state that has that. The entire random thing is a horrible idea sounds good to guys that jump in and out but if you have 15 years invested you should have a few percent better odds than a 12 year old but they deserve to have a chance


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CorbLand

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That was the point I was trying to make it seems the biggest problem we have is everyone wants everything now. The points are designed to distribute tags more evenly and they do across what you choose to have your time hunting look like. You take a guy like 5 miles hunts on tags every year say one year he has something going on so throws in and draws a tag with 3% odds because it’s all random not really fair when a guy has been pursing that tag for 10 years


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So you are saying that point systems make it more fair because it evenly distributes tags? I wouldn't say it even distributes anything, it does the direct opposite. It gives preference or better probability to those that have more points.

I don't see how its a problem to want anything now when a point system artificially push it out. That is like telling your kid that you can give them 100 bucks now or in two weeks and then calling them selfish because they take it now. Its not worth anything more in two weeks then it is now.

I also fully understand that under random system I could go a lifetime with out drawing a tag. I am willing to take that risk for an increased probability of drawing it today than tomorrow. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed.

It is fair to the guy that has been putting in for 10 years because they had the exact same chance of drawing as the other guy did.
 
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