Wyoming Wildlife magazine - 36

Q: How does Game and Fish physically
do the draw?
JD: All draws are conducted electronically
using a secure system. They are conducted
secretly to maintain the integrity of the system, so only a handful of people know when
they occur. The system deidentifies hunters,
which means the person conducting the draw
can't see names or other identifying information. It takes time to verify applications,
conduct the draw, make sure the results are
completely accurate and then post online.
That's why it takes several weeks for you to
find out if you drew a license.
Q: How do preference points work?

In resident and nonresident draws, each
party member's application is assigned
the same random number. If that random
number is selected, that means everyone
in the party draws the license, even if it
oversubscribes the quota for the hunt area.
Conversely, if the random number isn't
selected, no one draws.
Applying as a party doesn't improve your
odds of drawing, but does give certainty
that everyone in the group will draw or not.
The only exception is a nonresident who
has no points applying with others who do.
In that case you can boost someone's odds
of drawing a license because of the party's
preference point average.

Q: How can you use drawing odds to
inform your elk hunting application?
JD: Drawing odds are very important to
determine your chance at drawing your
desired license. Anyone can study this data
on the Game and Fish website. What hunters
see is data from the prior year's applications,
so it's not foolproof. The number of licenses
and applicants change annually. But, it's a
good way to make informed decisions for
your current-year's application.
The odds are separate for resident and
nonresident draws. Nonresident odds are
more complex because of the special draw
and preference points. Look at all the sets for

JD: Elk preference points are available to
nonresident hunters. Nonresidents can accumulate points at the rate of one per year
that help better their chance of drawing a
license in competitive hunt areas. Preference
points are only for full-price licenses and
first-choice applications. Having preference
points ranks you in the draw. Those with the
highest number of points get first preference
in the application pool for their desired hunt
area in the preference point draw.
Q: Lots of residents want elk preference
points. Why hasn't Game and Fish instituted a point system for residents?
JD: Feedback from Wyoming residents is
consistently split on preference points for
elk, deer and antelope. Through multiple
surveys, Game and Fish heard strong voices
in favor and against the system. So, it's a
topic the department continues to evaluate.
It would require action from the Wyoming
Legislature for a preference point system to
be implemented for residents.
Q: How does applying as a party work?
Does it better my odds of drawing?
JD: Up to six hunters can apply together in
a party group. Party applications must be
identical. That means the same residency,
hunt areas, license types and draw (special/
regular for nonresidents). You can't mix these
components because all draws are conducted
separately.
For nonresidents, the party's preference
points are averaged four decimal places to
determine the party's points total.
36 | January 2021	

Josh Leonard notches his tag to mark the conclusion of a successful day of hunting elk in Wyoming. (Photo by Chris Martin/WGFD)



Wyoming Wildlife magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wyoming Wildlife magazine

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