I'm looking to start applying for a desert bighorn tag next year but have very little knowledge about the application/lottery systems out west. I only plan on applying in a few states (all I can afford at this time) and based on preliminary research I think AZ and NV would be good choices.
Could someone explain the differences between the lottery systems (i.e. How do bonus points add up, etc.)?
For 2008, Arizona's deadline is tomorrow - so you won't make due to having to mail it and Nevada was due back in April.
Since you have a year, save up enough to start applying in both states. If you were only going to do one, I would think a person would want to do Nevada. Reason for this is simple. In Nevada you can try for three sheep tags each year, compared to one in Arizona.
A somewhat “modified” bonus point program is now in place. You must purchase a hunting license to accrue bonus points. This program had some serious changes in 2005.
From their regulations brochure -
Purchasing A Bonus Point Only
In the event you do not wish to participate in a big game drawing for deer, turkey, javelina,
bighorn sheep or buffalo but still wish to accumulate bonus points for these genus, you may
“purchase a bonus point.”
When completing your application, you must choose the bonus point hunt number established for that genus as your first choice. A bonus point hunt number is established within each applicable Commission Order. If you choose this hunt number, you may not choose any other hunt number on your application. If the bonus point hunt number is any choice other than the first choice or any other hunt numbers appear on the application, your application will be rejected. You may purchase only one bonus point per genus per drawing.
To purchase a bonus point, you must have previously purchased a hunting license or apply for a hunting license through the draw for the year in which the hunt will take place. You must also include the application fee per applicant. If applying for a bonus point, your application will NOT be entered into the draw and you will not receive a refund on the license fee or the application fee. Do not include the fee for the hunt permit-tag for the genus in which you are
applying for the bonus point. A bonus point purchase costs you only the license fee (if needed) and the $7.50 application fee per applicant.
A bonus point program is in place. Nevada squares your points, thus your odds of drawing improve exponentially as you apply year after year. (Examples: If you have two bonus points, your name is in the hat 5 times so to speak. One for the current year’s entry plus two bonus points squared, 2 x 2 = 4. In 2006 I had 10 bonus points, so in the draw I had 101 chances – one 2006 entry plus my bonus entries, 10 x 10 = 100.). You must purchase and keep the hunting license in order to accrue bonus points in Nevada.
From their regulations brochure -
5. Bonus Point Information and Regulations
Bonus Point Program Guidelines
Hunters will again have the option to apply for a bonus point without applying for a tag for a species. Participation requires a nonrefundable $10 application fee for each bonus point only application, and the purchase of the hunting or combination hunting and fishing license. An applicant cannot receive a refund on their hunting license. There is a special bonus point code for each hunt and it is listed above the season table.
Resident and nonresident tag applicants receive bonus points for all hunts that have a quota set by the Wildlife Commission when they are unsuccessful in drawing a tag through the computerized random draw system.
Bonus points are awarded by specific species categories, each encompassing all separate weapons hunts available in that category. Those categories are: antlered mule deer; antlerless mule deer; mule deer depredation; antelope buck; antelope doe; bull elk; spike bull elk: cow elk; depredation elk; desert (Nelson) bighorn sheep; California bighorn sheep; Rocky Mountain
bighorn sheep; mountain goat.
Those points cannot be transferred to another person, or into another species category. Applicants are only able to accumulate one bonus point per species category each year. So if you applied for an antlered deer any legal weapon tag and were unsuccessful, and then applied for an antlered deer archery tag and were unsuccessful, you still only accrue one point because these are both in the antlered deer category. However, if you apply for an antlered deer any legal
weapon tag and are unsuccessful, and then apply for a antlerless tag and are unsuccessful, you would receive a bonus point for each because they are in two different categories-antlered deer and antlerless deer.
Any bonus points accrued in the junior hunt will automatically transfer to the antlered deer category at the time the junior hunter becomes ineligible for the junior hunt by either age, or after 4 years of application for the junior hunt. Those applying as a “party hunt” will have their points averaged (total points of all hunters in the party, divided by the number of hunters) and rounded to the closest whole number. Bonus points are squared by species category, resulting in the number of draw numbers that an individual hunter or hunt party will receive in that drawing. A hunter’s bonus points revert to zero in a particular species category when he is successful at obtaining a tag or fails to apply for that species category for two consecutive years.
If a person requests a hunting license refund, they will not earn bonus points for the current year.
NAC 502.4188 Bonus points: Categories of species.
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, any bonus points awarded by the Department pursuant to the bonus point program must be awarded in one of the following categories of species:
(a) Antlered mule deer;
or an agency of a Canadian province, which bears a number or other unique mark evidencing successful completion of a course of instruction in the responsibilities of hunters.
2. Any person who has been convicted of violating NRS 503.165 or 503.175 may not obtain a hunting license until he has successfully completed a course in the responsibilities of hunters conducted pursuant to NRS 502.340.14
(b) Antlerless mule deer;
(c) Mule deer, either antlered or antlerless;
(d) Antlered Rocky Mountain elk;
(e) Antlerless Rocky Mountain elk;
(f) Rocky Mountain elk, either antlered or antlerless;
(g) Spike Rocky Mountain elk;
(h) Pronghorn antelope whose horns are longer than their ears;
(i) Pronghorn antelope whose horns are shorter than their ears;
(j) Rams, from one of the following subspecies:
(1) Nelson bighorn sheep;
(2) California bighorn sheep; or
(3) Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep; or
(k) Mountain goats.
2. Bonus points awarded by the Department pursuant to the bonus point program for wild turkey and depredation hunts must be awarded by hunt number.
NAC 502.4187 Bonus points: Award and accumulation; effect of refund.
1. Except as otherwise provided in NAC 502.416 to 502.4225, inclusive, an applicant to obtain a tag for a season who is unsuccessful, or an applicant for a bonus point who does not wish to obtain a tag and is applying for the sole purpose of earning a bonus point, must be awarded a bonus point for:
(a) The hunt number of the species for which he applied if he applied for a:
(1) Tag to hunt wild turkey;
(2) Depredation hunt tag; or
(3) Bonus point for a tag described in subparagraph (1), (2) or (3); or
(b) The category of the species for which he applied if he applied for a tag to hunt deer, elk, mountain goat, antelope or bighorn sheep, or for a bonus point for such a tag.
Regardless of the number of applications to obtain a tag or bonus point for a season submitted by a person, the Department shall not award him more than one bonus point per season for each species or category of a species for which the person applied.
2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, the bonus points awarded to a person accumulate until he is successful in drawing a tag for a season for that species or category of a species or he fails to apply for a season for 2 consecutive calendar years during which that type of hunt for a season is open. If an applicant is successful in drawing a tag for a season for a species or category of a species or fails to apply for a season for 2 consecutive calendar years during which that type of hunt for a season is open, he loses all of his bonus points for that species or category of a species.
3. Except as otherwise provided in 502.4189, a person may not use any bonus points awarded to him for being unsuccessful in a junior hunt to apply for a drawing for a tag for any other type of hunt after the person is no longer eligible to participate in a junior hunt.
4. If an applicant requests and receives a refund for the value of his hunting license, the Department shall not award him a bonus point for any species or category of species applied for during the period that the applicant possessed the hunting license.
NAC 502.4177 Submission of application for sole purpose of obtaining bonus point.
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, a person who is at least 12 years of age and does not wish to obtain a tag may apply to the Department for the sole purpose of obtaining a bonus point for a tag other than a restricted nonresident deer tag. Such an application may be submitted by a person who is under 12 years of age if he will attain the age of 12 years before the commencement of the earliest season for the category of the species to which the application relates.
2. A person who is ineligible to apply for a tag for a category of species may not apply for a bonus point for that category of species.
3. The Department shall award a bonus point to a person described in subsection 1 if the person has complied with all applicable provisions of chapter 502 of NRS and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
NAC 502.4189 Bonus points: Use; transfer; applications by group for deer tags.
1. Each applicant in a drawing for a tag for a season receives a number of additional draw numbers that is equal to the number of bonus points that he has accumulated squared, as expressed in the following equation: n=b2 where “n” is the number of additional draw numbers and “b” is the number of bonus points. The number of additional draw numbers determines the number of draw numbers for the species or category of the species for which the application
was submitted. The applicant’s lowest randomly assigned draw number is the number used for the drawing.
2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, bonus points accumulated by a person for a season cannot be transferred to any other person or any other season unless:
(a) The applicant changes his state of residence;
(b) The applicant requests in writing that the Department transfer those bonus points; and
(c) The Department approves the request for the transfer.
Bonus points transferred pursuant to this subsection apply to the same type of hunt to which they applied before the transfer.
3. The number of bonus points applicable to applications submitted by a group pursuant to NAC 502.4185 for tags to hunt deer is the quotient of the total number of points held by the members of the group divided by the number of members in the group, rounded to the nearest whole number.
Thanks for all the information as it was very beneficial. I have just one quick question for clarity. In NV, if I want to accrue a bonus point for all sheep species each year is there only a one time application fee of $10 or would the application fee be $30 and require 3 separate applications?
3 separate applications at $10 each (total $30) plus the cost of the hunting license.
Nevada is a simple on-line application process where Arizona is an on-paper, money-up-front, mail in-only situation.
Thanks again. Now the fun will start as I begin to research the best units to apply in. Any advice on where to start this research?
I suppose this is where the task becomes even more difficult...
Here are three suggestions (in no particular order) on where to possibly begin. What you decide to do will be based upon your personal preferences I imagine.
1. Work with someone that does this sort of thing for a living and apply based upon their advice. One is http://www.hunterapplicationservice.com/AboutUs.htm
2. Talk directly with guides / outfitters that you would like to hunt with. Many of the best advertise in Grand Slam magazine. http://www.wildsheep.org/magazines/grand_slam.htm
3. Subscribe to a publication that enables you to become familiar with the various state draw systems and units. One is http://www.huntinfool.com/
4. I know I said three suggestions, so consider this one non-optional... Join Grand Slam Club / Ovis: http://www.wildsheep.org/join/index.htm
I personally try to do some of all of the above.
Know that unit selection is very important and that things change from year to year. As such, this "research" is not a one-time endeavor but rather needs to be an annual process.
Good advice RamDreamer.
PAGuardian....if you want to hear what I do send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramslam is a good guy to get information from. He's pretty lucky too...
I ran across some additional information that I thought you might find of interest. This tidbit is from a Nevada Big Game Hunting flyer (that I probably picked up in Salt Lake City this past February), it's titled "Facts and FAQs for 2008's Big Game Hunts in Nevada":
HOW DOES THE TAG DRAW PROCESS WORK?
One random number from 1 to 99 million is issued for every application for a different species and gender hunt plus additional random numbers equaling the application's bonus points squared (i.e., 5 bonus points equals 25 random numbers). The lowest random number becomes the application's draw number for the tag award portion of the draw process. This process does not guarantee that applicants with the highest number of bonus points for a hunt will draw a tag. It still provides an opportunity for someone applying for the first time to possibly draw a tag without being totally excluded from the draw. Each tag application, except mountain goat, may have 5 hunter choices (i.e., 5 different unit groups or for deer only, you may choose different weapon hunts). When the computer reviews an application for issuing a tag, all hunter choices are checked for available tags before moving onto the next application.
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