Understanding the Draw System for Hunting Tags
The Random Number Assignment Process
All applications submitted for hunting tags, irrespective of the species or class, are initially treated equally in the draw system. Each application is assigned a random number, which serves as the primary criterion for the draw process. However, the system incorporates a unique feature for applicants with bonus points.
Bonus Points and Random Numbers
For those holding bonus points, the system assigns additional random numbers. The method for calculating these numbers involves:
- Squaring the Bonus Point Total: Multiplying the number of bonus points by itself.
- Adding One for the Current Year: This addition ensures a unique number for each application year.
- Using the Lowest Number: Among the multiple random numbers assigned to a bonus point application, only the lowest number is considered for the draw.
Sequential Draw and Group Order Evaluation
Applications are drawn based on the ascending order of their assigned random numbers. Following the selection of the lowest number, applications are evaluated in a pre-defined group order, ensuring a structured and fair allocation of tags.
The draw system categorizes applications into four distinct groups:
- Group #1: Includes special categories like Silver State, Partnership in Wildlife (PIW), and Junior Mule Deer.
- Group #2: Features big game species such as various Bighorn Sheep Rams, Elk (Antlered and Depredation Antlered), Antelope, Mule Deer (Antlered), Mountain Goat, and Bear.
- Group #3: Comprises female variants and antlerless categories like California Bighorn Sheep Ewe, Nelson (Desert) Bighorn Sheep Ewe, Elk (Antlerless and Depredation Antlerless), Antelope, and Mule Deer (Antlerless).
- Group #4: Covers unique classifications like Spike Elk, Management Ram, and 1-Horn Ram.
Single Tag Draw and Application Flexibility
A critical aspect of this draw system is its ability to accommodate applicant preferences for multiple species and gender classifications without the risk of drawing a less preferred tag over a more preferred one. This is due to the change in eligibility requirements, allowing only a single tag draw per species or subspecies category.
For instance, if an applicant draws an Antlered Elk tag early in the process, their application for an Antlerless Elk will not be considered subsequently. This structure allows applicants to apply for both Antlered and Antlerless Elk (or other species) in the same draw, ensuring that the selection of a less preferred tag does not occur before a more preferred one.