View Full Version : Best Sheep Unit Besides The Breaks?

Elkoholic307

01-03-2012, 10:12 AM

My dream of all dreams was to draw a sheep tag for the Missouri River Breaks. But, am I overlooking other great units that could be drawn sooner? I have heard Unit 424 is 'supposed' to be the next best. Your thoughts...

Bitterroot Bulls

01-03-2012, 11:43 AM

My thoughts are what is the difference between a <1% chance and a 1.5% chance of drawing?

Not much.

If you are shooting for the best, the breaks are it. It is almost a foregone conclusion the next world record will come out of those units.

Just about every LE unit in Montana will produce a B&C ram. Every LE unit also has terrible draw odds.

It is a hope and prayer for any unit, so you might as well choose the one you want the most.

Elkoholic307

01-03-2012, 03:15 PM

I haven't looked at any draw odds because I'm really not planning on applying for anything other than 680. It would take A LOT of convincing to steer me from that unit.

I was bored, and noticed there wasn't much MT sheep discussion. So, I thought I'd start some.

So, in your opinion, the best units besides the breaks are..?

Bitterroot Bulls

01-03-2012, 03:28 PM

680, 482, and 622 get top honors. Even a quick look at the record book tells the tale. These units have 200 inch sheep.

After that you get to 216 and 210, but they got the cough recently, and aren't quite up where they were. My next best would be 122 and 124.

In my neighborhood, 261 and 270 have decent trophy quality, too, but the cough hit them bad recently. These two units have a lower high end than the others mentioned above.

It is hard to find a bad LE unit in MT. Utah has big bull elk. Colorado has big mulie bucks. Montana has the monster rams, no doubt.

Elkoholic307

01-03-2012, 03:48 PM

I've heard of your monster rams, that's why I'm applying there ;)

But realistically, I don't see myself getting a B&C ram. A respectable, mature ram will do. (When and IF I draw a tag.)

Is there any way to guess how many points a NR needs to draw a LE unit?

hvfd21walker

01-03-2012, 04:07 PM

Elkoholic307 there is no true bonus point system for Montana. You can apply for bonus points but all that does is give you an extra chance the next year. Like Bitteroot Bulls says the breaks is the best. Down in our neck of the woods the sheep have been hammered with the cough.

mntnguide

01-03-2012, 08:48 PM

Having worked up in the Rock Creek (210,216) area for 4 summers, it sure sucked when the "cough" hit there. I took a group of guys on a sheep hike up there every month for the past 4 summers. 3 years ago we counted 72 rams in one day all within 500 yards during the day. The largest 5 we saw easily broke the 180 mark, and 1 true beauty i believe would have pushed the 200 milestone. It was just great getting out and seeing rams of that quality. Last year I found about 10 rams in three different hikes through the summer, and none were of the high quality. I did hear the older rams really took a bad hit with the pneumonia. Unfortunate to lose a place that grew record book rams within 6 years of age....

Bitterroot Bulls

01-03-2012, 09:40 PM

Having worked up in the Rock Creek (210,216) area for 4 summers, it sure sucked when the "cough" hit there. I took a group of guys on a sheep hike up there every month for the past 4 summers. 3 years ago we counted 72 rams in one day all within 500 yards during the day. The largest 5 we saw easily broke the 180 mark, and 1 true beauty i believe would have pushed the 200 milestone. It was just great getting out and seeing rams of that quality. Last year I found about 10 rams in three different hikes through the summer, and none were of the high quality. I did hear the older rams really took a bad hit with the pneumonia. Unfortunate to lose a place that grew record book rams within 6 years of age....

mntnguide,

A total of 5 rams 199 and higher have come out of those units, including the state record 204 7/8 ram taken by James Weatherly in 1993. All but one of them were taken in 1992-1994, which was the heyday of those units. They will come back, but not for a few more years.

Elkoholic307,

If you draw a 680 tag, you better see yourself getting a Booner. A 180 plus sheep wouldn't be too hard to come by. A 190 ram is a reasonable expectation.

Elkoholic307

01-05-2012, 09:22 AM

190 is hard for me to wrap my mind around, but very good to know that it's a definite possibility.

I drove up to the hi-line yesterday morning and came back home through the breaks in the afternoon. Probably shouldn't have since it just made me really excited. That is some awesome country though. I kind of wish there was a way to 'predict' when you'll draw like Wyoming's system.

By the way, it was 60 degrees in Havre yesterday. Crazy!

Montana

01-06-2012, 09:48 PM

190 is hard for me to wrap my mind around, but very good to know that it's a definite possibility.

I drove up to the hi-line yesterday morning and came back home through the breaks in the afternoon. Probably shouldn't have since it just made me really excited. That is some awesome country though. I kind of wish there was a way to 'predict' when you'll draw like Wyoming's system.

By the way, it was 60 degrees in Havre yesterday. Crazy!

There is a hidden secret in the land of giant rams. One that if you find you will not believe it is true. Bitterroot Bulls may know but this is definitely not the place to discuss. I found it, from a little tip after a successful applicant. No monster but I got to live the dream.

2335

Elkoholic307

01-08-2012, 10:10 AM

Is that a riddle?

Firearrow

01-08-2012, 09:21 PM

Well I know that the Gallatin Range is not known for monster Rams, and I just want to say that is true. I was there a few years back with my buddy on this goat hunt. We saw two bands of sheep, and two total rams. Both not even half curl, and the one that I got close enough to to count rings was 4.5 years old, and not greater than a half curl. I know this doesn't help, but I was board, and I hope this helps you out from NOT putting in for this unit. And yes we covered some ground. Good goats though.

Bitterroot Bulls

01-08-2012, 10:27 PM

Firearrow,

The Southern end of the Gallatin Range is an unlimited tag. If you put in for it, you are a sheep hunter. The trophy quality is not like the rest of Montana, but the hunter opportunity is exceptional. The rams have to be 3/4 curl to be legal, and the season closes when the low quotas (2 in 2011) are met. If you don't mind putting it all on the line for a short hunt, and aren't looking for a big ram, it is an option. the Northern end of the Gallatin Range is limited with only one tag. Trophy quality is lower here also, but you wouldn't be crowded with other sheep hunters.

Firearrow

01-09-2012, 01:23 AM

Our first spot was the south Easter ish portion of the unit. This is where we saw the sheep. We were focused on goats. Found two billies treat we're right at ten inches. Never got a shot damn snow storm came and blew us off the mountain. Other spot was just north of the park. Saw no sheep, but a few sheep hunters, with lots of nannies, and kids. My buddy arrowed the only good billy we were able to find. He did it on the last weekend of the season too.

Montana

01-09-2012, 09:42 PM

Is that a riddle?

Lol... It does sound like one after reading it :) Sorry didn't mean to sound like a a$$

Elkoholic307

01-13-2012, 07:01 PM

I didn't think you sounded like one, haha. Do I have to draw a tag first to learn the hidden secret or is there an easier way?

Jon Boy

01-13-2012, 08:47 PM

Firearrow,

The Southern end of the Gallatin Range is an unlimited tag. If you put in for it, you are a sheep hunter. The trophy quality is not like the rest of Montana, but the hunter opportunity is exceptional. The rams have to be 3/4 curl to be legal, and the season closes when the low quotas (2 in 2011) are met. If you don't mind putting it all on the line for a short hunt, and aren't looking for a big ram, it is an option. the Northern end of the Gallatin Range is limited with only one tag. Trophy quality is lower here also, but you wouldn't be crowded with other sheep hunters.

I havnt heard of this before so forgive me for my ignorance. Does this mean everyone who applies gets a tag but theres a very small quota so it ends in a day or 2?

hvfd21walker

01-13-2012, 09:39 PM

Jon Boy, for that unit everyone that does apply gets a tag. The quota usually closes the first day of the season.

Montana

01-14-2012, 09:12 AM

I havnt heard of this before so forgive me for my ignorance. Does this mean everyone who applies gets a tag but theres a very small quota so it ends in a day or 2?

You hunt this differently than you would hunt any other hunt... You scout all season, then when the it comes to the opening day (Sept 15th), you take a week off. You "hunt" 5 days before the season, bivy every day, once you locate a ram, you stay with him, keep your distance, a mile or so, then the last evening, once it's dark, you move in, 1,000 yards or so, bivy, and then hope he is doing the same thing you've watched him do for the previous few days. You weeks worth of hunting only allows you to pull the trigger 1 or 2 days. The mental discipline will be the greatest challenge. the 1st and 2nd day you feel you are the luckiest man in the world, by the 4th day of hardly moving out of your seat and looking through glass I promise you are the most board individual on the planet, then the emotional roller coaster of the 5th day, the day before it opens, almost seems impossible to bare.

It's not rocket science but for some reason very few people hunt it properly... And oh yeah, you have to hope that 1 of the 1,000 people who arrive the day before to "scout" don't bump your ram :)

Jon Boy

01-14-2012, 11:18 AM

Dam that sounds like my kind of hunt! :) haha Ill have to look into it. Is there much wilderness to it and are there weapon restrictions?

ceby7

03-06-2012, 07:36 PM

Not all the unlimited areas close quickly. I know one unlimited area last fall where one guy killed a ram the day before Thanksgiving and another guy got his on Thanksgiving. Though I do agree that scouting before the season is the way to go.

Bitterroot Bulls

03-06-2012, 07:55 PM

Not all the unlimited areas close quickly. I know one unlimited area last fall where one guy killed a ram the day before Thanksgiving and another guy got his on Thanksgiving. Though I do agree that scouting before the season is the way to go.

ceby7, now you are giving away all the secrets!

Just kidding,

Those units are on migrating rams. They move anywhere from 5 to 15 miles a day through the unit. Some lucky hunters have taken a book ram out of that hunt. Not really for an out-of-state hunter, but if you live in the area ...

HuskyMusky

03-07-2012, 05:48 PM

there are many great units in MT that are not located in the breaks. which btw an "average" bighorn in MT of 180" would be a "monster" in another state, if not a state record!

odds are odds, you have twice the chance of drawing in a unit of 1.5% than you do in a unit with .75% odds, which is similar to saying would you rather apply in a unit with 50% odds or 100% odds of drawing? or 30% vs 60% ??

Bitterroot Bulls

03-07-2012, 06:12 PM

there are many great units in MT that are not located in the breaks. which btw an "average" bighorn in MT of 180" would be a "monster" in another state, if not a state record!

odds are odds, you have twice the chance of drawing in a unit of 1.5% than you do in a unit with .75% odds, which is similar to saying would you rather apply in a unit with 50% odds or 100% odds of drawing? or 30% vs 60% ??

I disagree, Husky. When doing your comparison, the difference in odds between the 60% and 30% is 30%, and the difference between the 1.5% and .75% is .75%. So comparing the differences, the 60 vs. 30 is a 40x better advantage than the 1.5 vs. .75.

Edelweiss

03-29-2012, 03:54 AM

I am building in Points in Montana for sheep and Goat, but not moose.

I am working on sheep points in the following states UT, NV, AZ, WY, MT and CO.

It is stupid that CO's desert bighorns are for residents only.

If I was rich I'd put in for everywhere. NM has some awesome bighorns as well. They bought a lot of Alberta Argali genetics through the Game Dept swaps.

Edelweiss

03-29-2012, 03:55 AM

Anyone hunting in the Unlimited Areas near Red Lodge before?

CoHiCntry

03-29-2012, 08:24 PM

It is stupid that CO's desert bighorns are for residents only.

There's one Colorado Desert Sheep tag for S56 this year...

Edelweiss

03-29-2012, 08:26 PM

Nice! Thanks!

HuskyMusky

03-29-2012, 08:37 PM

I disagree, Husky. When doing your comparison, the difference in odds between the 60% and 30% is 30%, and the difference between the 1.5% and .75% is .75%. So comparing the differences, the 60 vs. 30 is a 40x better advantage than the 1.5 vs. .75.

not following your math...

math is math, odds are odds.

1.5 is twice that of .75, just as 60 is twice that of 30.

not that any sheep odds are 60%, but when comparing low % hunts, you're 100x more likely to draw a 1% unit than a .01% unit.

I'm not even sure what max pts for sheep in MT is, but I would assume it's well over 15 or 20,

my advice to most people is to apply for MT sheep in just about any unit other than 680 or 482.

there are booners in most units. so would 180" make you happy? or must you have a 200" ?

HuskyMusky

03-29-2012, 08:42 PM

I disagree, Husky. When doing your comparison, the difference in odds between the 60% and 30% is 30%, and the difference between the 1.5% and .75% is .75%. So comparing the differences, the 60 vs. 30 is a 40x better advantage than the 1.5 vs. .75.

I see what you're saying, and yes the difference of 1.5% and .75% is .75% which is twice the odds, ie 200% or 2x better odds of drawing a 1.5% unit than a .75% unit.

so in this example a .75% difference is a 2x or twice the chance. We're both correct.

another example, 1 unit has 2 tags, another has 4 tags, both have 100 people applying, so 2/100, and 4/100, you're twice as likely to draw the 4/100 tag, ie 4% vs. 2%, so 2% difference and twice the chance, so 2x or 200% greater chance at drawing the 4/100(4%) tag.

3 guys go to a motel and get the last room for $10.00 each. $30.00 dollars total. They go to the room . The manager decides he charged them too much so he gives the bell boy 5 $1.00 bills to give back to the three guys. On the way the bell boy decides he cant divide 5 dollars evenly, so he keeps two and gives each guy $1.00. Each guy has then only paid $9.00 soooooo 3x9=27 and the bell boy kept 2 which makes 29! Where did the other dollar go? Bitteroot, When you figure out HuskyMusky's math, work on this one.:D

Bitterroot Bulls

03-29-2012, 10:39 PM

another example, 1 unit has 2 tags, another has 4 tags, both have 100 people applying, so 2/100, and 4/100, you're twice as likely to draw the 4/100 tag, ie 4% vs. 2%, so 2% difference and twice the chance, so 2x or 200% greater chance at drawing the 4/100(4%) tag.

Husky, you got this one right. You also got it right that 3% is twice the chance as 1.5% and 60% is twice the chance as 30%. Where you missed it is equating the two "twices".

The fact remains the difference between 1% and 2% odds aren't much, and the difference between 30% and 60% is huge. the 1% or 2% units are long shots either way, while the other has a tremendous advantage going from a 1 in 3 chance to a more likely than not chance of drawing.

My recommendation would be to put in for the unit you really want to hunt, regardless of the odds, because the odds suck everywhere (except the unlimited hunts).

As for the 3 men with $10 riddle, that is an old one, but they only paid $25 for the room, $2 for the tip (they didn't know they paid), and got $3 back in refund. 25+2+3=30. No missing dollar.

Umpqua Hunter

03-29-2012, 11:28 PM

Hope it's okay, I'm gonna throw in my 2 cents on the draw odds discussion.

In the last 27 years of applying, I've been blessed to have drawn three sheep tags (1988 bighorn in Colorado, 2001 in desert in Nevada, 2009 bighorn in Wyoming). One of my sons also drew a Wyoming sheep tag in 2007 and another son drew an Arizona desert sheep tag in 2008. We took quality rams on all of the hunts.

When it comes to drawing odds for sheep...I am a FIRM believer you have to work the odds while still applying for quality units.

For my example I am going to talk about a guy who applies in 9 states for sheep tags (OR, ID, WY, AZ, NM, MT, CO, NV, UT). When applying in several states, even a TINY difference in draw odds gives you HUGE leverage. So here it goes....

Scenario 1: You apply for the very best tag in every state, and have say a 0.25% chance to draw on average. In 9 states that is a 2.25% chance to draw. On average it would take 44 years to draw. You could possibly never hunt sheep even though you spent a lifetime applying.

Scenario 2: You apply in units that have a 0.50% chance to draw on average. In 9 states that is a 4.5% chance to draw. On average it would take 22 years to draw, so you would likely hunt sheep once and possibly twice in your lifetime.

Scenario 3: You apply in units that have a 1.0% chance to draw on average. In 9 states that is a 9% chance to draw. On average it would take 11 years to draw, so this guy would likely hunt sheep 3 time and possibly 4 times in a lifetime.

This year I'm applying in 7 states for quality sheep units and estimate my draw odds at just under 9%, or about 1 in 11 odds to draw a sheep tag. Not too shabby...I'll take those odds.

Edelweiss

03-29-2012, 11:44 PM

Good to know!

I get pretty wrapped up in tag soup on figuring out drawing odds versus quality. But your right it's better to have a tag then never have a tag because you spent your life applying for "quality tags".

I'd rather marry a 8 than never sleep with a 10.

Edelweiss

03-29-2012, 11:47 PM

Another thing people get really wrapped around is species.

If you have never killed a ram, there are 4 subspecies of bighorns in the lower 48, Mexicana, California, Baja and Rocky Mountain.

I'd rather be drawn in a state like Nevada or Utah for a California bighorn ram then never draw a Mexicana or Baja ram in Arizona, Utah or Nevada.

Apply for everything you can apply for, in areas that hold sheep.

Bitterroot Bulls

03-30-2012, 06:29 AM

Hope it's okay, I'm gonna throw in my 2 cents on the draw odds discussion.

In the last 27 years of applying, I've been blessed to have drawn three sheep tags (1988 bighorn in Colorado, 2001 in desert in Nevada, 2009 bighorn in Wyoming). One of my sons also drew a Wyoming sheep tag in 2007 and another son drew an Arizona desert sheep tag in 2008. We took quality rams on all of the hunts.

When it comes to drawing odds for sheep...I am a FIRM believer you have to work the odds while still applying for quality units.

For my example I am going to talk about a guy who applies in 9 states for sheep tags (OR, ID, WY, AZ, NM, MT, CO, NV, UT). When applying in several states, even a TINY difference in draw odds gives you HUGE leverage. So here it goes....

Scenario 1: You apply for the very best tag in every state, and have say a 0.25% chance to draw on average. In 9 states that is a 2.25% chance to draw. On average it would take 44 years to draw. You could possibly never hunt sheep even though you spent a lifetime applying.

Scenario 2: You apply in units that have a 0.50% chance to draw on average. In 9 states that is a 4.5% chance to draw. On average it would take 22 years to draw, so you would likely hunt sheep once and possibly twice in your lifetime.

Scenario 3: You apply in units that have a 1.0% chance to draw on average. In 9 states that is a 9% chance to draw. On average it would take 11 years to draw, so this guy would likely hunt sheep 3 time and possibly 4 times in a lifetime.

This year I'm applying in 7 states for quality sheep units and estimate my draw odds at just under 9%, or about 1 in 11 odds to draw a sheep tag. Not too shabby...I'll take those odds.

Well, UH, that is an interesting way to look at it. However that is not how a random draw works. The only way you can increase your odds over time in a unit is to have bonus or preference points. In MT (the subject of this thread), bonus points help your odds the following year by putting your name in the pool more times. If it is a state like ID, your odds of a unit never change, year after year, unless less or more people put in that year. It is like a game of roullette. The statistical "Law of Independent Trials" comes into effect. Roulette players often make this mistake, believing that the previous failure increases the next trial's chance of success. This is not statistically true.

What I am saying is your odds don't add onto each other each year. If you apply in a .25% unit for 44 years, your odds are still .25% to draw that year. Every year is an independent trial, and your odds are dictated by the number of applicants, and the number of times your name is in the applicant pool.

Furthermore, your odds in one state's draw does nothing to your odds in another state, so you can't add them together. Each of those draws is an independent draw also. They are each subject to their individual draws. Of course, it is a great idea to put in for all the states you can, because you can't win, if you're not in.

Of course, CO is different with their hybrid draw, and your odds increase substantially over time.

Edelweiss

03-30-2012, 06:36 AM

Good math Bitterroot!

Edelweiss

03-30-2012, 06:37 AM

So what your saying is that even if there were 100 states that offered sheep hunting, it wouldn't matter because it is 100 different sets of chances?

Bitterroot Bulls

03-30-2012, 06:44 AM

So what your saying is that even if there were 100 states that offered sheep hunting, it wouldn't matter because it is 100 different sets of chances?

What I am saying is the odds in one state have zero effect on the odds in another state. putting in for a lot of states is good, because you are in each of those pools, and somebody has to draw in each of them.

Edelweiss

03-30-2012, 07:16 AM

As Leo Getts said in Lethal Weapon "I wich you, when I am say I am wich you I mean I'm wich you".

I agree, but playing the odds and hunting is better than playing higher odds and never hunting.

The great thing about Wyoming is that you know $1400-1800 and 14-18 years worth of points (at the current $100 per point for non-res) you will eventually hunt sheep.

Points have made a lot of this much simpler, I wish more states didn't make you buy a hunting license like Utah, Nevada and Arizona do. Makes their points expensive, but I did it anyway as I am not getting any younger.

Bitterroot Bulls

03-30-2012, 08:52 AM

As Leo Getts said in Lethal Weapon "I wich you, when I am say I am wich you I mean I'm wich you".

I agree, but playing the odds and hunting is better than playing higher odds and never hunting.

The great thing about Wyoming is that you know $1400-1800 and 14-18 years worth of points (at the current $100 per point for non-res) you will eventually hunt sheep.

Points have made a lot of this much simpler, I wish more states didn't make you buy a hunting license like Utah, Nevada and Arizona do. Makes their points expensive, but I did it anyway as I am not getting any younger.

This is actually a really interesting thread.

I think buying points is money well spent. I think hiring a BC sheep outfitter is worth every penny, because that gets more expensive every year.

By all means, play the draw odds. Just realize you are only 1% more likely to draw the 2% tag than the 1% tag. So you may well never draw either in MT (although the new squared bonus point system "should" help).

Come to think of it, I agree with Husky. I don't think anybody should put in for 680 or 482. Really ... tell all your friends.

;)

Edelweiss

03-30-2012, 08:59 AM

I kind of dissagree with you.

We should all stop hunting sheep outside the lower 48 all together. I mean all the worlds hunters.

Drop the value of the stinking things.

Since that isn't going to happen, I am planning on going to Mongolia after we get set up after my military retirement next year and I have a 2nd career going.

You should have seen the ibex and argalis I used to see in Afghanistan on a regular basis. Man I wish we could have hunted while I was over there being a infidel. Miss those mountains 18,000 feet and climbing.

I drew sheep and goat in colorado when these were just pure points tags and I am still waiting to draw a moose tag with max. weighted points. Weighted points are a gimmick. I don't know how this compares to a squared point system. It would seem to me that if enough applicants are in it from the beginning and stay in every year then what is the advantage? Your still in with the same amount of applicants!

Bitterroot, Nice job finding the extra dollar!

Elkoholic307

03-30-2012, 11:10 AM

So... the best sheep unit(s) besides the Breaks is/are?

Bitterroot Bulls

03-30-2012, 11:37 AM

The Sun River Units are probably next in line while the Rock Creek units recover.

HuskyMusky

03-30-2012, 12:04 PM

Buying sheep points in WY is the worse idea ever!

Unless you already have a significant # of points, and I probably would say that means you currently have over 10 points! Do you?

More and more hunters will only continue to buy points/apply, odds should only get worse.

75% of tags go to max points holders, so unless you have whatever max points is, 16/17 you won't draw that tag!

25% go in a random draw, I believe many of the best units don't offer 4+ non-res tags, which 3 or less tags means = no random draw, so if you have 15 pts you aren't drawing that tag! (it wouldn't even be possible! 0% odds)

In my view unless WY changes it's structure or sheep #'s explode, a guy just starting to apply for a sheep tag, could theoretically apply his entire life and pay $100/year and NEVER draw a sheep tag!

WY may change this down the road when it hits the fan, but I'm not willing to pay $100/year for a maybe

and some terrible sheep trophy quality, I think this past year was the 1st year for a booner bighorn? or was that a goat for the first time? either way I think 160 is a nice sheep in WY.

Honestly though it's better for me if everyone continues to buy points and apply for the best units, so maybe I should shut up.

Bitterroot Bulls

03-30-2012, 12:09 PM

Sounds like WY has a system just set up for bad point creep. Not much use getting points there, unless you are planning for the system to change and want some points in the bank.

Umpqua Hunter

03-30-2012, 02:38 PM

BB you are absolutely right about statistics and independent events, and that every draw stands on its own.

The point I am bringing up however is how to leverage even slight improvements in draw odds over the course of a lifetime of applying (50 years of applications). This works even in applying in a single state. Draw odds of 1% are indeed twice as good as draw odds of 2%, and draw odds of 1% are ten times better then draw odds of 0.1%. In a given year this might not equate to much, but over the course of a lifetime (say 50 applications/per state) 2% draw odds will give the applicant a 100% chance to draw, 0.1% draw odds will give the applicant a 5% chance to draw.

This leveraging of small draw odds is then further compounded when applying in multiple states. To take a simplified look at it (not taking into account all the variable of different draw systems) if a guy applies in 9 states for 50 years, he will have his name "in the hat" for sheep 450 times over the course of his lifetime. If you apply for tags with a 0.1% chance to draw that is a 45% chance to draw over the course of your lifetime (one tag every two lifetimes). If you apply for tags with 1% chance to draw that is a 450% chance to draw (4 to 5 tags in a lifetime). That is what even small increases in low draw odds does when someone sticks with it.

As far as the question of where to apply in Montana, I would LOVE nothing more than a tag in the breaks. Personally, I rotate in applying in other units that consistently produce 180 class rams, as it would be a dream come true to harvest a book ram.

I have max points in Montana and even with that my draw odds in Unit 680 are only about 0.1% (considering the non-resident tag limit and my point level). I could apply for a lifetime (50 years) at those odds and have only a 5% chance to draw in my lifetime, or a 1 in 20 chance to draw. However, the unit I will apply in this year I estimate will have a 0.6% chance to draw, and if I applied a lifetime at those odds (50 x 0.6%), I would have a 30% chance to draw in my lifetime, or nearly a 1 in 3 chance to hunt trophy rams in Montana. Not bad.

To encourage guys who are applying without max points, my son drew in Wyoming in the random draw, and my other son drew his Arizona desert tag (Mexicana) with only 4 points at the ripe old age of 15. Your odds of drawing a sheep tag are a ten-thousand times better then winning the lottery :-)

Bitterroot Bulls

03-30-2012, 03:12 PM

BB you are absolutely right about statistics and independent events, and that every draw stands on its own.

The point I am bringing up however is how to leverage even slight improvements in draw odds over the course of a lifetime of applying (50 years of applications). This works even in applying in a single state. Draw odds of 1% are indeed twice as good as draw odds of 2%, and draw odds of 1% are ten times better then draw odds of 0.1%. In a given year this might not equate to much, but over the course of a lifetime (say 50 applications/per state) 2% draw odds will give the applicant a 100% chance to draw, 0.1% draw odds will give the applicant a 5% chance to draw.

This leveraging of small draw odds is then further compounded when applying in multiple states. To take a simplified look at it (not taking into account all the variable of different draw systems) if a guy applies in 9 states for 50 years, he will have his name "in the hat" for sheep 450 times over the course of his lifetime. If you apply for tags with a 0.1% chance to draw that is a 45% chance to draw over the course of your lifetime (one tag every two lifetimes). If you apply for tags with 1% chance to draw that is a 450% chance to draw (4 to 5 tags in a lifetime). That is what even small increases in low draw odds does when someone sticks with it.

UH, your examples are still incorrect, statistically. Under your second premise, if all 50 states had a 2% draw odds hunt, and you put in for all of them, you would be statistically certain to draw one. That is not the case. In fact there is a 98% chance, collectively, that you wouldn't draw any of them.

My point about the Law of Independent Trials disputes your first premise. Over 50 years of a simple 2% draw unit, you would not be guaranteed to draw the tag. In fact on year 50 you would still have a 2% chance to draw. Of course, this would be for a straight draw like ID, and bonus points would come into effect if they were available as they are in MT.

How many times your name goes into the hat over your lifetime has no bearing on whether you will draw the tag. Only the number of times your hat goes in that particular pool that particular year has any statistical consequence.

Umpqua Hunter

03-30-2012, 07:20 PM

UH, your examples are still incorrect, statistically. Under your second premise, if all 50 states had a 2% draw odds hunt, and you put in for all of them, you would be statistically certain to draw one. That is not the case. In fact there is a 98% chance, collectively, that you wouldn't draw any of them.

My point about the Law of Independent Trials disputes your first premise. Over 50 years of a simple 2% draw unit, you would not be guaranteed to draw the tag. In fact on year 50 you would still have a 2% chance to draw. Of course, this would be for a straight draw like ID, and bonus points would come into effect if they were available as they are in MT.

How many times your name goes into the hat over your lifetime has no bearing on whether you will draw the tag. Only the number of times your hat goes in that particular pool that particular year has any statistical consequence.

BB, I respectfully disagree.

My understanding of the Law of Independent Trials simply says the odds of one event occurring has no effect on the odds that another event will occur. Practically, what that means is when I apply in Montana, the draw odds in Montana have no bearing on the draw odds in say Colorado, since they operate independently.

That however does not mean that increased numbers of applications and improved draw odds have no bearing on your overall probability to draw a sheep tag. You are correct that you cannot "guarantee" a tag, but you can most certainly improve your odds. That would be like saying my chance to roll a "6" with a dice in one roll is no different then my chance to roll a "6" in 1,000 rolls of the dice. Each roll does stands on its own (1 in 6 odds), but the increased frequency drastically improves the probability I will roll a "6". Of course it is not "guaranteed" I will roll a "6" since each event is independent.

I recall there is concept in statistics which has do with calculating the probability of ANY one event occurring in a series independent events. So in our example, that would be drawing ANY sheep tag (one event occurring), when applying in several states for many years (many independent events). I recall the probability of any one event occurring can be approximated by simply adding the probability of each independent event. For example:

Probability of A or B or C = Probability of A + Probability of B + Probability of C

I know I am getting rusty, but I do have a pretty heavy math background from engineering. If you have a formula that more closely calculates probability it would really be helpful to me. I use statistical formulas for my own planning for hunt drawings. I have a spread sheet that estimates my cumulative draw odds each year, by state, species, and overall odds. It’s a tool that helps me plan my applications so that I don’t draw too few tags, or too many in a given year.

Bitterroot Bulls

03-30-2012, 08:47 PM

Only respect this way as well, UH!

I am not an engineer, and I haven't taken Statistics since 1999, so give me some leeway...

However, my understanding of the Addition Rule in Probability P(A) or P(B) = P(A) + P (B) is that it refers to one draw with outcomes (events) independent of each other. As in:

Bitterroot and UH have applied in a sheep unit with 1 tag where their individual probability of drawing is 2%. The probalility that either Bitterroot or UH draws is P(Bitterroot) + P(UH) which is (.02) + (.02) = (.04). So there is a 4% chance that either will draw.

Maybe that also applies to separate draws, but that is not my understanding.

If that was the way it worked, you could take a odd/even 50/50 bet and after losing twice, bet the house.

hvfd21walker

03-30-2012, 08:49 PM

BKC my Grandpa taught me that math error a long time ago. I havent heard it in years.

alwayshunting

03-31-2012, 10:56 AM

I think you are both incorrect on calculating independent probabilities. The corect way would be to calculate the odds of not drawing each one and multiplying them.

So if you apply for two units with both 2% odds it would look like: 1- [(1.00-.02) * (1.00-.02)] then you would get 0.0396 or just under 4%

So for 50 years at 2% you get: 1- [(1.00-.02)^50] = .6358 or 63.5% chance over 50 years

If you only had 1%: it would be about 39.5%

I think this is the proper way to calculate this type of odds.

CoHiCntry

03-31-2012, 12:26 PM

There goes 15 minutes I'll never get back... Why don't you guy's move this over to the math forum topic? Oh wait... there is none... :D

There goes 15 minutes I'll never get back... Why don't you guy's move this over to the math forum topic? Oh wait... there is none... :D

This is the best reply on the whole thread!!:D

Bitterroot Bulls

03-31-2012, 09:20 PM

Alright, I finally got it!

UH, it turns out we are both right after I did some research. My apologies. We were just using two different probability laws!

I was using the Law of independent Trials. You were using the Law of Large Numbers!

Eureka!

That is, on any given year, your odds of drawing a 2% tag is 2%. The draw has no memory of past failures.

However, over a large sample, you would expect to draw 2% of the time, so in 100 years, you would expect to draw twice. The problem with the law of large numbers is that it is more and more reliable with larger and larger numbers. So if you applied for a 1000 years, you would expect to draw 20 times. But the odds of drawing those 20 times in the last 20 years of the 1000 is the same as drawing it the first 20, or 1 of the 20 in the first 5, or 5 of the 20 in each of the last 4 decades, etc.

It is like flipping a coin. Even if you get 15 heads in a row, it doesn't make the 16th flip a tails ... BUT over 1000 flips, about 500 are going to be each!

This thread has been very good for me, because it does illustrate the advantages of even slightly higher odds.

Thanks, UH.

Umpqua Hunter

04-01-2012, 11:51 AM

BB, I think you are right on, both principles are at work. If after 40 years of applying a person still hasn't drawn, his odds are still lousy in the next draw he's up for. That's why you can't bet the house on any given play.

My wife told me not to post originally, as working small draw odds is one of the secrets to draw low odds tags, but there are still at least 3 more ways to work the odd that are as good or better then that one. I turn 70 years old in 2034, so feel free to ask me then. ;)

Maybe Eastman's will have to set-up a "math" or "drawing odds" forum...that was a good one :)

BB, you mentioned the new bonus points squared in Montana that was the first I had heard of that. Is that for residents only? I might just have to move to Montana when I have 30 points.

Bitterroot Bulls

04-01-2012, 01:36 PM

BB, you mentioned the new bonus points squared in Montana that was the first I had heard of that. Is that for residents only? I might just have to move to Montana when I have 30 points.

It is for everybody. Of course, residents have a lot more licenses available to them, though.

http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/licenses/bonuspoints.html

Elkoholic307

04-04-2012, 01:05 AM

Why don't you guy's move this over to the math forum topic?

Could not agree more.

Elkoholic307

05-02-2012, 09:28 PM

In case anyone is curious, I'm still on the 680 train.

Bitterroot Bulls

05-02-2012, 09:46 PM

Good luck, EH307, whatever the odds.

MSUcat61

05-18-2012, 05:19 AM

Personally, I think 213 is one of the most underrated sheep units (can a blue chip unit be underrated? :) ). Booner sheep come out of the unit every year and I just read an article that quoted a biologist to say that all eight rams taken in 2009 made the book. Also in the winter of 2010, a motorist killed 8 sheep at one time, 5 of which were rams, 3 that made the book. Pneumonia has been a really hard on this unit in the last two years though, but at full potential, this is another great unit to consider. And like BB said, the Rock Creek units 210 and 216 are some of the top as well when the herd is healthy. I believe more book rams have come out of Granite County (where 210 and 216 are located) than any other state.

On another note, it seems to me that the list of B&C rams on the fwp website is fairly incomplete. I know the lone ram that came out of 212 last year went 192" and it's not on the list, as are any of the supposed 8 rams taken in 2009 in 213 that I already mentioned, or another specific 2010 ram that I know of that's not listed either. Anyone know anything about this? Is your inclusion in the records voluntary or something? I wish Montana had a hunter check-out sheet available like Nevada does.

Jon Boy

05-18-2012, 06:15 AM

On another note, it seems to me that the list of B&C rams on the fwp website is fairly incomplete. I know the lone ram that came out of 212 last year went 192" and it's not on the list, as are any of the supposed 8 rams taken in 2009 in 213 that I already mentioned, or another specific 2010 ram that I know of that's not listed either. Anyone know anything about this? Is your inclusion in the records voluntary or something? I wish Montana had a hunter check-out sheet available like Nevada does.

Just because something would make book doesnt mean its been entered. It has to be officially measured and then you have to pay a fee for it to be in the Boone and Crockett club. I know several people with record book animals that dont want there animal listed in the books.

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