As I understand it I need to apply to a unit and get turned down to get the point. I think, but I'm not sure, that I'll also need to pay my 20% when I get an 80% refund. However, I thought as of last year I could select on the application that I don't want to take a general tag if I didn't draw my LE choice, so I'm not sure that I actually do have to eat the 20%.
So, in a nutshell, can someone please tell me the best way to get a bonus point in MT so when I do apply for an LE tag in a year or two I've got a better shot at hunting in the unit I apply for?
How many years can I not put into the draw in MT and still keep my points?
In all honesty, I don't think I'm going to do it. It's complicated in a few different ways, but I don't see paying $160+ bucks for a PP for the next several years. I know I won't hunt elk in MT for the next three years: '13=MN bear and ND muleys, '14=WY elk, '15=WY antelope. There's a small chance I could do both WY antelope and MT elk in the same year, but the odds are pretty small. I'm pretty well locked into one trip per year. The next chance I get to hunt MT will likely be '16 at the earliest. That means I'll have around $500 into points in MT. If I was going to hunt the general units in the meantime, I could justify it. However, I can't so I'm just applying for a tag I won't get and eating 20% of a very expensive application. Tough for me to justify that cost.
If I follow Bigdan's reply correctly, after getting a point last year (applied for a Breaks tag and point, didn't get the Breaks tag, hunted a general unit) I could skip applying for a point this year and next year, then get another point in 2015 and I wouldn't lose the one point I have. That way I'd have three points in 2016 when I was thinking about applying for a Breaks tag again. Does this make sense to people? Anything think my logic here makes sense in general? Or, am I missing the boat entirely?