Bonus Point Proposal for Idaho – PLEASE READ! | Elk101.com | Eat. Sleep. HUNT ELK!

Bonus Point Proposal for Idaho – PLEASE READ!

Despite the voices of a majority of sportsmen in Idaho, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is adopting a bonus point system for 2011 and is currently taking input on the specifics of such a system. Please read the proposed ideas from the Department, followed by the Bonus Point Proposal by Elk101.com. Our Proposal is still in draft form, so please comment and add your thoughts and ideas on how to make this system work for sportsmen. Please forward this to anyone you know who may be interested as we only have until June 30 to comment.

Bonus Point System for Idaho (Proposed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game)

Bonus Points: A Bonus Point System is a way to reward hunters who have applied for controlled hunts for several years and have not yet drawn a tag.
In controlled hunts, a limited number of tags for a specific species in a specific location is allocated by a random drawing. A hunter’s odds of drawing a tag depend on the number of tags available and the number of applications. Under the bonus point system, the more years hunters apply for controlled hunts without drawing, the more “points” they accumulate, and the more times they are entered in subsequent drawings – thus the better their odds are of drawing in the following years.

The 2009 Idaho Legislature authorized a bonus point fee of $4.50 (plus $1.75 vendor fee for each transaction), generating the revenue to cover the cost of the program and perhaps raise additional funds for other programs.

  • Hunters would receive one bonus point for each species in each year they apply but do not draw.
  • In the following year, the number of points would be “squared” to determine the number of chances the hunter has to draw for that species.
  • For example, if a hunter has five points for deer from previous years, then in the next year, the hunter would have five times five plus one for the current application, or 26 chances to draw.
  • Hunters can accumulate points separately for each species. The points for that species would be reset to zero when the hunter successfully draws a first-choice tag for that species or fails to apply for a bonus point for two consecutive years.
  • Persistence is rewarded by increasing the number of chances in the drawing over time, but it never guarantees a tag.

Additional Information: In 2009 there were a total of 3,723 applicants for once-in-a-lifetime tags, not including cow moose tags. Because applicants are not allowed to apply for multiple species if they apply for a “once-in-a-lifetime” hunt, there were 3,723 individual applications (673 for Mountain Goat, 2,226 for Sheep, and 5,179 for Moose).

In 2009 there were also 36,835 1st choice applicants for deer, 45,411 applicants for elk, 18,114 applicants for Pronghorn (Antelope), 1,239 applicants for Spring Bear, and 1,541 applicants for Fall Bear.

Elk101 Proposal for Bonus Point System in Idaho

Bonus Points: A Bonus Point System is a way to reward hunters who have applied for controlled hunts for several years and have not yet drawn a tag. Additionally, it should maintain opportunities for new hunters coming into the draws in future years to have a chance of drawing tags each year that they apply.

Lastly, a Bonus Point system should not drastically lower the draw odds of a particular species.

In controlled hunts, a limited number of tags for a specific species in a specific location is allocated by a random drawing. A hunter’s odds of drawing a tag depend on the number of tags available and the number of applications. Under the bonus point system, the more years hunters apply for controlled hunts without drawing, the more “points” they accumulate, and the more times they are entered in subsequent drawings – thus the better their odds are of drawing in the following years.

The 2009 Idaho Legislature authorized a bonus point fee of $4.50 (plus $1.75 vendor fee for each transaction), generating the revenue to cover the cost of the program. A Bonus Point system should not strictly be a fund-raising effort for the Department, but should balance the concerns and needs of sportsmen with the need for additional revenue for the Department.

Elk101 Proposed Bonus Point System

  1. Hunters may apply for one “once-in-a-lifetime” hunt OR they may apply for hunts in the general draw (deer, elk, antelope, bear, turkey, etc) – no change to the current draw process).
  2. Applicants who are unsuccessful in the “once-in-a-lifetime” draw (moose, sheep, goat) will receive one bonus point for the species they apply for in each year they apply but do not draw.
  3. Applicants who are unsuccessful in the general draw (deer, elk, antelope, bear, turkey) will receive one bonus point for each species they apply for in each year they apply but do not draw.
  4. The points for each species would be reset to zero when the hunter successfully draws a first-choice tag for that species or fails to apply for a hunt for that species for two consecutive years.
  5. Bonus points may NOT be purchased and are only awarded for each species a hunter applies for during the controlled hunt draw process.
  6. 33% of available tags for each hunt will be set aside in a maximum point draw pool. Only applicants with maximum points will have a chance of drawing these tags.
  7. The remaining 67% of available tags for each hunt will be placed in a general pool draw, and those who do not have maximum points, as well as those with maximum points who do not draw in the maximum point draw, will have an opportunity to draw these tags (i.e., an applicant with 1 point will have one chance, and applicant with 7 points will have 7 chances).
  8. Non-residents will still not be able to draw more than 10% of the available tags in each hunt or for each species – no change to existing process.
  9. Successful applicants in a general hunt draw will be required to sit out one year before they may apply for that species again – no change to existing process.
  10. Bonus points will not be set to zero when applicants are successful in unlimited hunt or 2nd choice hunt drawings.

Validation for Proposed System: In 2009, there were 45,411 1st choice applicants for elk. Those applicants were not allowed to apply for any “once-in-a-lifetime” hunts. Under the Department’s proposal, all 45,411 elk applicants would be able to “purchase” a bonus point for mountain goat, a point for sheep, and a point for moose, while still applying for deer, elk, antelope, bear, and turkey. This could create an absolute disaster for the draw odds not very far down the road, particularly in “once-in-a-lifetime” hunts. At only $4.75 per species, it could be fairly assumed that a high percentage of those currently applying for elk and deer would also “purchase” a bonus point for all 3 “once-in-a-lifetime” species each year. A new hunter entering the draw in 10 years would receive one chance in the draw where several thousand applicants would have 100 chances in the draw. This system does not encourage new hunters or youth hunters to apply, and is very short-sighted and selfish, only benefiting those who jump in on the ground floor.

The Bonus Point system proposed by Elk101 would reward those who have waited the longest for a tag, as well as create a better chance for those who are entering the draw for the first time. At the same time, it wouldn’t drastically affect the draw odds one way or another. Hard-to-draw hunts and “once-in-a-lifetime” hunts would give those who faithfully apply a guaranteed tag at some point in the future, while still giving everyone else a weighted chance based upon how long they have applied. This system also would not bog down the “once-in-a-lifetime” draws, while rewarding those who apply faithfully for a species AND giving first-time applicants the same decent odds they have today.

We strongly urge the department to consider the long-term ramifications of implementing a bonus point system, especially one similar to the system they have proposed. While it will generate a great deal of money, it will not be a benefit to sportsmen today or in the future.

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