Preference Points

Darkhorse

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
10
I'm curious to see how people manage their preference points in various states and for various game.

Which states?? Which species?? How many do you have??

Also, which states have the best "bang for the buck" when it comes to tags and preference points?

Thanks for the input!
 

Brock A

Super Moderator
Staff member
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Apr 30, 2012
Messages
2,850
Location
Buckley, WA
Washington - Deer, Elk, Moose, Goat & Sheep
Wyoming - Deer & Elk
Arizona - Deer, Elk & Antelope
Colorado - Deer

I just started the points game last year except in Washington I have a handful.

I have only hunted out of state in Idaho & Wyoming so I cant really answer your question about "best bang for your buck" but I would be willing to say I bet Colorado is near the top.
 

Craig4791

Well Known Rokslider
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Dec 2, 2012
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2,164
Location
Soldotna,AK
I just started applying last year for about half of the states. This year though I plan on applying in 11 states (Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico) for all species available except for ibex and oryx in New Mexico.

I figure I won't really draw anything good for about 5-7 years but then I should be able to draw a tag or two every year. Then start the process over again.

I'm going all in lol.
 

cali_hornhunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 12, 2012
Messages
548
Location
Tehama County, CA
Obviously CA (deer 0,Elk 6,Antelope 7, Bighorn 6) elk and antelope I'm behind I've already drawn tags for each :p
CO (deer)
NV (deer 1, antelope 1)
ID & OR are maybes haven't decided yet lol
 

unm1136

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
426
Location
Albuquerque NM
No preference points available in NM. Our state game comission is highly political and answers to no one. No preference points, but if you own a single acre in designated elk country tha tcan be classified as a ranch, you can have a free landowner elk tag that you can use or sell for fifty times its value.

pat
 

Craig4791

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Dec 2, 2012
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Location
Soldotna,AK
Obviously CA (deer 0,Elk 6,Antelope 7, Bighorn 6) elk and antelope I'm behind I've already drawn tags for each :p
CO (deer)
NV (deer 1, antelope 1)
ID & OR are maybes haven't decided yet lol

Cali,

How many years did you put in to get the Elk tag!? Long time or did you just get really lucky? I want a Tule tag bad!! lol
 

cali_hornhunter

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Apr 12, 2012
Messages
548
Location
Tehama County, CA
@Craig4791 I got the junior northeastern either sex tag and I started putting @ the age of 12 so like I had 4 points which I guess would be max for a junior hunt so I guess I got lucky too lol
 

tstowater

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
1,208
Location
Iowa
The short list:
Montana: Sheep and Goat
Wyoming: Sheep and Elk (elk will go this year as I should draw)
Colorado: Sheep, elk & deer (just started last year on elk and deer)
New Mexico: Depends on the attitude of their Game & Fish people, usually sheep for sure and maybe elk or deer
Arizona: Elk, sheep, deer & antelope
Nevada: Basically everything, drew elk in 2011 so out of that one for a long time
Utah: Sheep & elk, just started on the rest when they allowed you to give them more money
Idaho: Sheep
Oregon: Sheep & points for elk, deer & antelope

I should average about 10 points on most. Some more, some less
I manage my own. I have a file for every state. I subscribe to Huntin Fool so I get some baseline information on due dates, etc.
Best value: I would say Montana or Colorado. California, Washington and Oregon seem to hate nonresidents (My opinion). The rest fall in the middle. I like Nevada's model, but I end up spending about $250 there every year for great animals.

Takes a lot of money to do this program.
 

4g0t3n1

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Nov 29, 2021
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50
Location
Washington State
What state would someone have the best odds of hunting some sort of bighorn sheep? Keeping cost of preference points in mind…
 

Fitzwho

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Apr 18, 2017
Messages
845
Location
Midland, TX
I apply in:
Arizona - deer, elk, antelope, sheep
New Mexico - whatever I feel like
Texas - many things
Utah - everything
Nevada - everything
Colorado - deer, elk, Antelope, desert bighorn
Kansas - deer
South Dakota - deer, Antelope, bison
Wyoming - deer, elk, antelope
Montana - deer, elk, antelope
Iowa - deer
Idaho - only if I don’t draw elsewhere
Alaska - not every year, but when I get a wild hair if I know I have some extra time

I have 5 to 7 points in most of these places, some less, but no more than that. Track everything on a huge spreadsheet that tracks my points, unit profiles, gear inventory, and every species you can apply for in almost every state. From Maine moose to California blacktails. Whether I apply or not, and why’s.
 

dtrkyman

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Oct 2, 2014
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1,864
Good luck searching for the holy grail.

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
Montana, basically has an OTC Big Horn unit, allocates like 2 tags per season, when it is filled it is closed, I believe some years they do not even kill a ram? Get you some!
 

dtrkyman

Well Known Rokslider
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Oct 2, 2014
Messages
1,864
I have Elk points in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Arizona. Whitetail in Iowa, now living in New Mexico I apply for everything they let me throw an arrow at, still drew nothing!
 

Rich M

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Jun 14, 2017
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3,326
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Orlando
Sounds like you are trying to figure out what you want to do.

When you apply to diff states, you pay fees, some guys spend thousands $,$$$ to manage their hunting and diff places to go. They also have the entire fall off and hunt from Sept 1 thru Dec 31 every year.

Is that what you want to do? Can you afford it? Do you have the vacation time or can your business live without you for 4 months?

Do you want to hunt a specific animal? Say elk, bear, mule deer, antelope, moose, buffalo, sheep, billy goat, exotics in TX, Aoudad, sambar deer, whatever.

Some of those animals will take 30 years of tags to get the permit, if ever. Others you can hunt every 0-5 years. For those 30 year tags, it is cheaper, easier, and more likely if you travel somewhere to hunt them.

For the 0-5 year tags, those are high pressure hunts, you go, jump in the busy pool and try to outswim the other guys. Fun but not like the hunts you seen on You Tube.

Again, I ask - what do you want to hunt. And once you say X. I will ask you where you want to hunt. Then you say I want to hunt Y. OK - that's when you start applying for what you want to hunt where you want to hunt.

The points game is really crazy right now. Someone put some numbers up and they were inspiring. This is just roughly how the numbers fell:

20 points+ = 2,000
15 points = 3,000
10 points = 5,000
5 points = 15,000
2 points = 30,000
1 point = 70,000

The whole concept is that the shallow end of the pool is very wide and that the top end point hunts - bison, moose, sheep, mtn goat, elk in "trophy monster gorge", mule deer in "jumbo canyon", etc. are going to be beyond the reach of many hunters, even if they collect points for a lifetime. You need to do your calculations and make your best guess.

SO what is starting to happen - the hunters who realize that they have a snowball's chance in July regarding getting drawn for Superhunt #2 want to ruin it for everyone who is in line way ahead of them and change the preference point system to go random draw for everything. Say you spent 10 years at $200/yr ($2,000) and then the state changes it to 100% random draw cause the guys with no points who have been hunting every year feel entitled to have the same opportunity that you do for holding points for 10 years and not hunting cause the end prize was worth not hunting a lesser unit every year. You can search on here and find the discussions - they happen and lots of entitled guys are pushing for the random only draws. Or at least some crazy mathematics to even the odds out. My thought is if you aren't willing to sit it out and wait, you don't deserve the same opportunity as the guy who sat it out.

As with everything else - take this with a grain of salt. It's an opinion.
 

Fitzwho

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Joined
Apr 18, 2017
Messages
845
Location
Midland, TX
I’ll add that I only hunt 2-4 tags per year, due to limited vacation time.

Pure application fees I spend about $1000 per year. And around that on tags depending on what I draw.

I apply to hunt, especially with so few points. With so many applications year to year and limiting the number of tags I draw, I should be able to rotate and hunt 2-4 tags per year, each year hopefully drawing slightly better tags. I don’t want to end up with 20+ points anywhere, but I also know that I’ll likely die with points, but it won’t be for a lack of trying.
 
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