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  1. #1
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    Arizona Antelope: Is it worth it?

    I'm sitting with 1 point each for elk and antelope and 2 each for sheep and deer. (I missed the elk/antelope draw in 2012 as I was just getting my feet wet in all of the complex draw systems of the western states) I will have to buy the license to apply for these species for $160. Then $15 each for the 4 species that I apply for.

    With the system that AZ uses is fine for deer and elk. They give 20% of the tags for each unit to the top point holders with the 10% non-resident cap still in effect. The 10% cap only seems to effect the very best trophy units and it is still possible to draw a good to great tag. I will draw one of the deer units I want in 4-7 years. I will draw one of the elk units I want in 3-5 years (I will never catch the top point holders for a great 1st rifle tag). As for sheep: It's a long shot but I will apply until I draw or die (I just look at it as a donation to wildlife). The difference with sheep is that 20% of the TOTAL tags for every unit combined are given to the top point holders. There are tons of residents in the top point pool so the 10% non-resident cap is never met in the 20% bonus pass round. That gives the non-resident a chance in the random draw.

    The antelope draw is the same with 20% of each unit given out in the bonus pass round. With tons of nonresidents vying for the very few tags how long before all of the antelope units with bonus tags become 0% odds for a NR hunter without max points. This is an issue not being addressed by AZ. This is obvious by the way they don't give out separate Res/NR draw odds. With a 90/10 split between Res/ NR this will happen more often in the future. I want to hunt a true trophy antelope someday and I don't mind a long wait but I won't ever catch the top point holders in my lifetime. Is it worth applying or does someone see major changes in the future draws for antelope in AZ.

    Disclaimer: I know you can hunt trophy antelope in Wyoming but how many 90 inch antelope come out of Wyoming?
    Last edited by Alabama; 02-05-2014 at 09:06 AM.

  2. #2
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    You bring up some good questions about the draw in AZ. I'm not sure about whether or not all the non resident tags will eventually be taken in the first drawing or not. Somebody else might have a better answer for you.

    To me though, I'd say if you continue to plan on applying in AZ for the rest of your years, since it is only another $7.50, I would sure buy the points for antelope. Unless you're in your 50's you should have a decent chance to draw 1 tag in your life.

    Another thing to think about would be to apply in New Mexico, possibly with an outfitter. They aren't very far behind AZ and would be another option for you.

  3. #3
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    Hi Alabama, this year I dropped buying points for antelope for nearly all of my kids since they raised the app fee to $15. I have 6 kids, so it adds up. I'd rather invest that money into Wyoming antelope hunting for them, something they can do multiple times. I did keep my oldest in the running in Arizona since he has 10 points already.

    The interesting thing about Arizona antelope is the resident demand is so high, that there has tended to be tags available in the regular draw. Arizona will likely do something about the non-resident draw system eventually so that tags can be drawn in both the 20% bonus pass and the regular draws. Personally I'm not a huge fan only because I've got a ton of points, but it will most likely change and I think it probably should, if for nothing else to keep those with less points interested in applying and keeping the application fees rolling in.
    Last edited by Umpqua Hunter; 02-05-2014 at 10:15 AM.
    Grand Slam #1005 + 2: Dall (1986 Yukon), Fannin/Stone (1987 Yukon), Bighorn (1988 Colorado Unit S-26), Stone (1995 British Columbia), Desert (2001 Nevada Unit 161), Bighorn (2009 Wyoming Unit 5)

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    I agree with NDhunter, what's another $7.50?
    "Only two people have died for You and I, The American Soldier died for Our Freedom & Jesus Christ Died for Our Souls!" I thank GOD for them! GOD BLESS AMERICA!



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    Thats a hard question to answer. What is worth it to you may not be worth it to me. Since your applying for other tags you can draw every few years anyways it doesnt cost much more so in that case I would say it is worth it to have your name in the hat. If you were only applying for hunts that take over 10 points now and keep creeping up would not be worth it to me. The only real long shots I apply for are Nevada and trophy species in my home state. I dont mind applying for a few hunts with long draw odds but generally I look for areas I can hunt every 3-5 years.

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    I have been trying to draw an archery tag for over 10 years, and that's resident, the unit I've been trying for ,has dropped since I started , it was fifteen tags now it is 5 between drought , and predation, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever draw a tag, and I think it's not good that the state is making everyone buy a hunting license whether drawn or not, I'm still trying to figure out where that money is going, it hasn't seemed to help the antelope, and deer herds increase any they seem to be taking away tags and seasons.
    Last edited by az.mountain runner; 02-09-2014 at 09:54 PM.

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    Bama your strategy in AZ sounds a lot like mine. Hope to draw deer or elk tags every 4-6 years. I get the antelope point every year because I know I will probably be paying for the license 20+ years in hopes of drawing a sheep tag. For only $15 a year, who knows maybe one day I will have the chance at a great antelope tag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by az.mountain runner View Post
    I have been trying to draw an archery tag for over 10 years, and that's resident, the unit I've been trying for ,has dropped since I started , it was fifteen tags now it is 5 between drought , and predation, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever draw a tag, and I think it's not good that the state is making everyone buy a hunting license whether drawn out not, I'm still trying to figure out where that money is going, it hasn't seemed to help the antelope, and deer herds increase any they seem to be taking away tags and seasons.
    Yeah the $160 for the license is a killer but it's not so different from Nevada, Oregon, or Idaho. Montana is all around too expensive for deer and elk. Wyoming is way too expensive if applying for all 5 species. $295 for just points if you don't apply. It seems New Mexico and Utah are the best value going out there for non-resident hunters. I haven't read the new regs for Colorado but it ties up a lot of money every year for a few months even for points.

    Good luck on drawing your antelope tags. Maybe this will be your year.

    Speaking of predation: I recently read that trapping is illegal in AZ. Is that true? I know coyotes are the #1 predator of antelope and trapping is the only way to keep their numbers in check or even reduce them. (poison is also effective but has been basically outlawed except by government trappers protecting domestic sheep herds).

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    I'll throw in another sobering way to look at it just to help you make your decision.

    I have been applying Arizona every year since the early 1980's. I had been applying for several years when they started the bonus point system. The very first year of the point system, I balked at paying the license fee and elected to not buy the license. So I did not get a point that year. I have bought a license every years since.

    I am now at 24 points for antelope and sheep, with only that first year missed. I also have the hunters safety point. Even being one point shy of max, I did not enter the max point pool for antelope unit around 20 points and there is still point creep for antelope. It will also probably be about 6 years or when I am at 30 points, before I am in the max point pool for sheep.

    I'm estimating I should draw sheep before I hit 36 points.

    That is starting just one point shy of max.
    Last edited by Umpqua Hunter; 02-08-2014 at 11:24 PM.
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  10. #10
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    "The 10% cap only seems to effect the very best trophy units and it is still possible to draw a good to great tag. I will draw one of the deer units I want in 4-7 years. I will draw one of the elk units I want in 3-5 years (I will never catch the top point holders for a great 1st rifle tag)."

    Depends on what weapon you're talking about. The only early archery hunts a NR,non max point holder can draw in the 1-2 pass are the 4's, 5's, 6's, and 11's. At that, there were only 66 tags for NR in the 1-2 pass.
    There were only 4 tags for the early rifle hunts.


    A quick review of the actual data shows only 3 antelope hunts filled the NR cap in the Bonus Pass. 2022, 2043, and 2046.



    "This is obvious by the way they don't give out separate Res/NR draw odds."

    The Dept can't provide that breakdown, the IT dept has refused to create the report for the last several years. That should be changing and it's believed a newer report will be available for 2016.


    Changes to the NR side of the draw UH eluded to will be public later this year, with public meetings in Jan 2015.

 

 

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