In my opinion, it's one thing to offer better odds to children, as they are the future of the sport, but to create a separate draw pool for guys that have spent the last 40-50 years hunting seems kinda selfish.
Preference point systems give long-time unsuccessful applicants plenty of help already, don't they?
If a fella wants to have a guaranteed chance to hunt sheep by the time he's 60, then he could take the money he'd otherwise spend on drawings every year and save/invest it until he had enough saved up to buy a hunt, couldn't he?
In Wyoming, it only costs a resident around 5 bucks for a tag as they get the money sent back if they don't get. So that would take a while. 8-) but I do get what you are saying. I understand that not everyone is going to draw. It is just my opinion that for a person that has put in for 40 years without missing and is 60+ should get some extra help. Maybe do the thing UH mentioned that goes on where they get "bonus" points. I am not asking anyone to agree with me. Just chiming in my 2 cents. I put in for my son, but I don't even bother for the ram. Because yes if I want to go on a ram hunt I will just pay an outfitter and go somewhere that drawing is more favorable.
If you have put in for 40+ years without fail, then you have maximum points in WY. This gives you very, very good odds of drawing a sheep tag, and a guaranteed draw in some units. Can't think of anything better than that.
Age should not warrant special treatment within the hunting community. A hunter is a hunter. We should'nt reward someone because he put in his or her time. What makes his or her time any more valuable than the next hunter? Matbe you should have started earlier putting in for hard to get tags. Is it someone elses fault you haven't drawn the tag you so dearly want?
I'm a resident of WY and fortunately for me, being 32 years old, and beyond lucky, I killed a sheep this year and a mtn goat. However, the preference point system worked flawlessly for me and will work flawlessly for young hunters and hunters that started applying at age 45 and younger. For those guys who started from the point onset but after age 45, there are a couple of points to remember. If you look at the G&F website, there are 118 maximum resident preference point holders for sheep. Those point holders can draw a sheep tag. However, some or most of those hunters are most likely holding out for a special, hard to draw area, BUT if they were so inclined to want a sheep tag, there are numerous areas that they could apply for and be all but guaranteed a sheep permit. So, some of the hunters are holding out for premium tags and should NOT be allowed extra preference just because of age. With that said, it is VERY unfortunate that hunters in other states and even in WY won't be lucky enough to draw the tag they always wanted or even allowed the opportunity to hunt. I wish there was a fair way to get everyone an opportunity to hunt a ram in WY. But, the current system as set up in WY, will, as long as we have good numbers of sheep, allow hunters who purchase points every year an opportunity to hunt a ram in their lifetime. Heck, at this rate, I may even have another opportunity to hunt a ram when I'm in my 60's. Is it guaranteed, absolutely not! But with my dollars I donate to the NWSF, RMEF, and other organizations, I'm doing what I can to keep sheep and other animals, habitat, and opportunities for myself and my children. A very sensitive subject that ultimately ends in that if we as hunters put our dollars and efforts into preserving our hunting heritage, that provides more opportunity for all of us. No system is perfect, but the system in WY does work, just not as quickly as I think we all would want it to. But more animals will mean better and quicker draw odds. Good luck to everyone this upcoming season!
A ridiculous and selfish proposal. Another clear example of the entiltlement mentality that dominates society today. So someone hasn't drawn a specific hunting license yet? Any one of us might not be around tommorow to draw a sheep license, does that mean we should all get special treatment? Life is not fair, it is a simple fact. Some people need to get over it.
HayHay's statements above are on the mark but I would have one addition: "I wish there was a fair way to get everyone an opportunity to hunt a ram in WY." - The most "fair" system to offer an opportunity for limited licenses is a random draw. No preference for any reason. Will everyone ultimately get the opportunity to hunt? No, but everyone will have an equal opportunity to draw.