No doubt true today, but Oregon had incredible deer and elk herds just a few short years ago. Oregon was dealt a double dose of ungulate killers 15 to 20 years ago. When the logging industry was virtually shut down by the tree huggers and spotted owl goof balls, deer and elk habitat production ceased. Areas that had provided great hunting for years became virtual dead zones. After that the "animal lovers" managed to outlaw the use of dogs to hunt cougar. Now cougar populations are at historic highs statewide and deer/elk populations have plummeted. Hunting opportunities have followed suit. Just one of many reasons why I call Alaska home now.
How could the pollster leave out WY, but include ID (that doesn't even have a point system)?? Best 3 species state is WY, for a lot of reasons. Public land, reasonable tag fees, good trophy potential and a chance at premium units more than once in a lifetime. Idaho has become one of the worst. Only 2 or 3 good trophy units for deer, elk, antelope, and non-res odds are miniscule. Like gunsight, I escaped the big game freefall in ID and moved to Alaska, but still play the points game down south.
I noticed that to. New Mexico doesn't have a points system either!
I didnt put Wyoming on the list because I already apply for tags there. Im looking for other states that I can apply for. Im just starting in the points game. Thanks for your replies guys!
Don't know about your species preference, but MT is a good Antelope draw state and there are a lot of block management areas (work out your reservations ASAP after drawing though). CO has a few good Goat units, but like their hot Elk units, you'll be waiting 20+ years if you're just starting now. Good luck.
Too broad of a topic; you should narrow it to species and include more states. I wish I could build points in several states but right now it's only WY and MT.
I would choose CO. I was there for 5 years while going to college so I never really made time to go hunting as much as I should have. I really like WY. in 2010 my dad and I got tags with just 3 points and I killed my largest deer ever (sad to say I also missed the largest deer). We plan to go back as soon as we can. NM is my home state but they don't have a point system.
Here are a couple posts I just made on AT for a new guy seeking advice on just getting started applying:
You need to be real careful and understand the game is changing since I got in it 15 years ago. Many states have really boxed themselves in a corner cheapening the points they sold years ago, like to me. I have 254 bonus/preference points over about about 10 states. The majority of them have been significantly watered down over the years by various means.......whatever the states can think to make more money at the point holders expense: Lower NR quotas; shifting to outfitter welfare tags; shifting to raffle tags; shifting to auction tags; changing to selling multiple points per applicant; forcing you to buy an unwanted license to preserve your points, etc, etc, etc. Some places have cheapened them so much the hunters quit applying and just lost their points, like Oregon & Wyoming sheep & moose. It's a sad testament to greed and cheating people.
Study each state's point system but understand you could pay a lot of money up front to buy points only to have the state devalue them later. You can't really make a plan any more because you don't know who will screw you next.
As of today (could change tomorrow) Idaho & New Mexico are best places for a chance to draw this year because they don't have points. If you want to buy some points which still have value, Colorado is best and they tend to treat NR's very well. After that Wyoming but they have proven they aren't afraid to screw you later. Then Nevada & Arizona best for trophy hunts but will take a long time with high up front fees. But you should be aware you will have zero chance of drawing in most AZ units for at least a few years due to their system which it will take you one year just to figure out, partially.
Forget about Oregon, Utah, Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont. I don't care if you're 15 years old and have lots of time to wait, you will still die of old age before you draw anything decent in these states.............and be out a lot of coin.
I could fill up 2 pages with specific examples of these point cheapening laws. And during that same time about zero laws that improved the value of points. Perhaps the AZ loyalty point? If anyone can think of one let us know!
What I really wonder is where all this will end. Each year the systems morph more and more resulting in getting public tags into the hands of the wealthy, and depositing those funds into state coffers. And more towards distributing the remaining tags to the poor and average joe by creating lotteries with PowerBall Lotto odds. This seems to be the way states want to maximize profit, get the masses to each throw away a little. As this whole morphing has been taking place, the states are realizing the points they sold us original guys are obstructing profits to be made from new guys. Due to all the point holders, the odds for the new guys suck, discouraging investment. Thus, the solution seems to be to screw the original guys who have been waiting and investing for years.
One other tactic is to confuse the new guys into thinking they actually have a chance to draw in their lottery when in fact they don't. Examples: Arizona & Wyoming sheep/moose.
Here are my rankings for the most guilty point cheapeners in the US over the last 15 years:
This is why new guys should apply in Idaho & New Mexico. They have no points to cheapen!
Now among these the most significant violator is Utah, because Oregon has poor quality and Maine only has moose. Utah is the runaway winner for prostituting public land tags to Kings Hunting Rules where the wealthy hunt. 500+ wealth tags.
As of right now...I'd say NM. No preference or bonus point system. Just a straight up lottery.
Yep!! Even though I live in WY, I have friends that hunt with me from back east. They are pretty much getting a tag every other year. BTW first post!!