Do you think point creep may lead to better quality animals?

prm

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No, same number of licenses are going out. Point creep is due to having more applicants than available licenses.
 

Ucsdryder

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In many areas, especially WY lately, point creep is making it quite the investment of money and time to get a chance to hunt. Do you think that as the investment to hunt increases people are more likely to hold out for a bigger buck/bull thus increasing the over all quality of the units?
I think sometimes we forget that rokslide represents a tiny portion of the general hunting population. The vast majority of people aren’t rokslide “crazy” about hunting. They wait for their tag, go hunt, shoot the first 3 point along the side of the road, and go home happy. The more I hear about BOALS, stolen antlers, naming target bucks, following bucks around all summer, poaching, etc, the more I think the guy shooting a 3 point and going home thrilled has it figured out…
 
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MuleyFever

MuleyFever

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I think sometimes we forget that rokslide represents a tiny portion of the general hunting population. The vast majority of people aren’t rokslide “crazy” about hunting. They wait for their tag, go hunt, shoot the first 3 point along the side of the road, and go home happy. The more I hear about BOALS, stolen antlers, naming target bucks, following bucks around all summer, poaching, etc, the more I think the guy shooting a 3 point and going home thrilled has it figured out…
For sure.
 

5MilesBack

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As units take more points will expectations rise? That was my question.
That's a different question and completely independent to the overall quality of animals in that unit. I can't tell you how many times I've heard something along the lines of "I used 25 points to draw ZZZ tag and never saw a bull over 250". I hunted a unit a few years ago, and met a few guys in there that had NR ML tags. It was a 2 point resident archery tag (so no overinflated expectations). But it was almost a 20 point NR ML tag. Do you think those guys that used that many points to draw the tag had higher expectations? You bet they did.......and they left pretty disappointed.
 

Sled

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I waited 6 years and while I did kill the animal on the 1st day of season it was the 7th day I was there. I could have maybe held out for a bigger animal. There are certainly bigger in there but I think I would have had to get pretty lucky.

This kinda goes back to my original thought. I set an expectation and I found an animal that met that. We all have our own expectations. As units take more points will expectations rise? That was my question. I get it that if everyone holds out to the last day for big animals that more will get killed. I guess my perception is that then there would be more young animals growing up.

I'm glad you were able to harvest and animal that met expectation. Mine are rather low most of the time but I'm an experience and meat hunter. I'd be hypocritical to not say that if I drew a tag in an area that took 20 years, I'd hold out for an animal representative of the area.


Food for thought, if everyone held out for the BOAL and fewer harvested, then you'd have more animals dying of old age and less recruitment. Those younger bulls/bucks are quite virile. They may get pushed off by the bigger, older BOAL that has slow swimmers. My point is that managing for only old mature trophy animals has unintended consequences.
 

JasonWi

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I agree with Ucsdryder comment that RS group probably isn’t a fair representation of what the average hunter thinks in regards to when they get a tag regardless of points taken to draw that tag.

Someone mentioned it earlier that people either have the ability to pass animals knowing they may not shoot whatever goal animal they’ve set, and are fine with that, but as far as Oregon goes (on the western part of the state anyways) there are far more shoot anything legal just to say they did, vs being willing to make the hunt more about the experience.

In regards to points creep and the original question, I know for me I’ve become more picky about what I shoot, not needing a trophy…but wanting to ensure I’ve given my very best effort to locate that upper tier of animal(s) the unit has potential of growing since I realize as a NR I’ll never draw that unit again either general or LE tag and want to feel I did the tag justice and that doesn’t have a score attached for that benchmark to be achieved.
 

Sled

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Manage for a healthy population and the big ones will still be big if you want to chase them. There will be plenty of opportunity for the opportunity hunters. There are enough high fence hunts if someone wants a rack.
 

Firestone

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I think sometimes we forget that rokslide represents a tiny portion of the general hunting population. The vast majority of people aren’t rokslide “crazy” about hunting. They wait for their tag, go hunt, shoot the first 3 point
Nailed it. The majority of hunters just want to fill a tag. Sure they would rather shoot a trophy but few actually have the skill set required to consistently do that. So they take what they can get, and that usually happens to be a dink off the road.
 

Mojave

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Every year I buy points, in hopes of some day getting a tag where I can pull the trigger.

Not necessarily the biggest or BOAL.

Every year the number of points required increases.

I am also a huge fan of the DOCEOTY (doe or cow elk of the year). Almost to the point, that next year I am going to put in for way more doe and cow tags. Especially in high success units, that don't have a hundred thousand other hunters in them at the same time.

If you want to hunt every year you need to game the system and put in for enough states and a good mix of female and male tags that you get to hunt.

The world has changed, starting with Mike Eastman, and reinforced in the modern era with Randy Newberg and a hundred other people. Anyone can figure out what used to be a tough thing to gather information on.

Living in Southern New Mexico on the Texas/Mexican border I am a long ways away from hunts in Western Montana, Idaho and Utah. I am an easy days drive from most of Colorado and all of Arizona. Some of you are in worse shape than that.

Cow elk tags are generally the same price as bull tags in most states. So it is the FORK that keeps on FORKING.

I have the following philosophy on tags.

1. No one owes you a tag.
2. You may never draw
3. Someone has to draw
4. There will always be a drought, wolf problem, fire, winter die off, or a disease that kills all the BOALS the day before the opener.
5. Any tag that was a good tag at 5-8 points 30 years ago is not worth the 15-30 years it takes now.
6. No tag is worth waiting more than 3-6 years for.
7. Points systems are bullshit.
8. Have a 2 year, 5 year, 10 year and BOAL plan. Count on not drawing any of them.
9. Eastmans Journal, GOHUNT and these other schiesters are good tools. But they are not the gospel. 10,000 other hunters are using the same data. Build your data based off the state websites first, then adjust fire using mapping software.
10. It is a numbers game. If you want to kill a BOAL you are going to need to have 5-8 states worth of points and applications going on, so you can be in enough permit programs to draw a tag.
 

sndmn11

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That's a different question and completely independent to the overall quality of animals in that unit. I can't tell you how many times I've heard something along the lines of "I used 25 points to draw ZZZ tag and never saw a bull over 250". I hunted a unit a few years ago, and met a few guys in there that had NR ML tags. It was a 2 point resident archery tag (so no overinflated expectations). But it was almost a 20 point NR ML tag. Do you think those guys that used that many points to draw the tag had higher expectations? You bet they did.......and they left pretty disappointed.

I think this is spot on, and becomes drastically more apparent when people (as in this thread itself) stand on "representative for the unit".

Unless you have scouted the unit year round for multiple years in a row, you really don't know what is representative for that unit. Unless you have hunted that season or scouted that season multiple years in a row, you don't know what is representative of that season.

The number of points that it took to draw a unit is only a measure of the perceived value of the demand for what supply there is.

Most folks who haven't studied inches of antler or horn can't tell wheat they are looking at unless it is small or a new record.

Most folks who do hunt for inches year after year, are going to do so whether it is a premium tag or a throw away. Most folks (like me) who hunt for grins and other goals, are probably going to shoot the first chance they can regardless of the value others place on their tag.
 

prm

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When points were steady, they had some consistent correlation to potential quality. Now, you really need to look at licenses sold vs. game population.

Does anyone not in the business of hunting still think we need more hunters?
 

Pro953

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I say the whole concept of “quality animals” is total
BS. Every hunter with a tag should harvest the animal they are proud of. We can keep our opinions to ourselves and make decisions for our tag. Stop shaming folks for decisions they make with the tag they are awarded.

Some folks hunt for giant racks, some for time with friends and family, some for meat. It’s not our place to tell someone what a tag is “worth”.
 

Schmitty

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When my wife drew a coveted early rifle bull tag in a premier unit, I was amazed at how many small 6 pts hit the ground on opening day. Most of those folks waited 20 years to draw that tag. My thoughts were that it had been so long since they had hunted. they had no self control when they had a live target in their sights.
I once spent 18 days in a blind one year hunting a specific Coues buck passing multiple nice if bucks along the way. The next two years I didn't even shoot because I couldn't find a buck with enough age on him. That kind of discipline for me comes from notching tags on quality animals in earlier years so that Idon't need to kill something in order to consider a hunt successful.
 

def90

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No. In theory tags are allocated based on traditional odds of harvest and the number of animals the wildlife division wants to harvest.

If people with more points and money than know what to do with them hold out for the record bull vs harvesting an animal then at some point game managers will need to allocate more tags.

Also, many of these high point units aren't high point because you are going to get a giant rack but because your odds of harvesting anything regardless of size are exceptionally high. Going in to a unit where you know you have a 70% sucess rate vs the statewide 7% average is probably worth a few points.
 

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