**Contributors to this thread:**

Here is my question. What exactly is a weighted preference point. I understand that the more weighted points that a person has it theoretically increases your chance to draw, but how exactly does the system work?

Can a person with 13 weighted points still have a chance to draw if they are in the pool with someone with more weighted points, or does the tag still go to the person with the highest number of weighted points??

Thanks in advance

Long answer: Every applicant in the draw is assigned a random number. The random number assigned to each applicant is divided by the number of weighted points that applicant has creating a new number assigned to every applicant. The applicant with the lowest final number is awarded the tag.

By John Legnard

I have seen and heard a lot of misinformation lately about how the Colorado Bighorn Sheep, mountain goat, moose draw and weighted points in the Colorado system actually works. I decided to do a little research on how the process really works. What I will try to accomplish here is an explanation using real life scenarios and actual draw numbers. Here is exactly what happened to my mountain goat application in 2005 once I submitted it via the online application process. Each application, in my case mountain goat, is assigned a consecutive number from a predetermined block of numbers. Some application numbers are groups. Bighorn sheep mountain goat and desert sheep are in one block. Antelope, bear, deer and elk are in another block. Moose has its own block. It is interesting to note the CDOW processes over half a million applications for all species. My mountain goat “application number” was 704059. The next step in the draw process is to reverse or invert the application number so no matter when during the open application period a person applies has no bearing on the eventual outcome of the draw. My new or “inverted application number” was 950407. The next step in the process is to assign randomly drawn “conversion numbers” to my inverted #. The random draw takes place at the Colorado Division of Wildlife headquarters in Denver. People unrelated to the limited license department are used to draw the tiles by hand. A bin with ten tiles individually numbered 0-9 is used to randomly select new numbers. The first tile randomly drawn is now equal to 0 all the remaining tiles are drawn one at a time and replace the numbers 0-9. Each species has a separate draw for conversion numbers. Here is a visual example of how it works In 2005 CDOW mountain goat conversion draw the order of the tiles drawn was 2, 5, 1, 8, 9, 7, 4, 0, 3, and 6. So now on my inverted original application number of 950407 is converted using the following values.: 0=2 1=5 2=1 3=8 4=9 5=7 6=4 7=0 8=3 9=6 My new “converted draw number” now becomes 672920 and will be used to from here on out. Next weight points are factored in for goat, moose and sheep. In theory it is possible to draw a mountain goat, moose and bighorn sheep license with only 3 preference points and no weighted points if your “converted draw number” is low enough. Weighted points are used as a divisor of your converted draw number. Your converted draw number is divided by the number of weighted points + 1. For goats in 2005 I only had one weighted point so my draw number 672920 is divided by 1+1 or 2. My “final draw number” is 336460. These “final draw numbers” are arranged lowest to highest by hunt code choice. The quota for each hunt code is then filled with lowest to highest “final draw numbers.” In my case in 2005 my first choice hunt code GE G04 03 R had seven tags available for residents. The lowest “final draw number” in that hunt code was 005384. As you can clearly see this person’s “final draw number” is more than 330,000 less my “final draw number” Knowing this person had 3 preference points and 4 weighted points and working backwards we can determine the following. Their original draw number was 026920 (5384 x (4+1)) their converted number was 704907 there inverted application number was 709407. When compared to my application number of 704059 you can see they are very close numerically but the outcome is very different. Let me finish out the remaining six licenses so you can see the results as they play out for this one hunt code. License number one went to the lowest final draw number 005384. License number two went to final draw number 009342, a person with 3 points and 2 weighted points. License number three went to final draw number 021064, a person with 3 points and 3 weighted points. License numbers four and five went to final draw number 022765, a group of two applicants that had 3 points and 4 weighted points. Tag number 6 went to 033281, who had 3 points and 3 weighted points. The final license went to 034163, a person just like me who had 3 points and 1 weighted point. Working backwards when see why this person with 3 and 1 drew a license when I did not. Knowing this person had 3 preference points and 1 weighted point and we can determine the following. Their original draw number was 068326 (34163 x (1+1)) their converted number was 793805 there inverted application number was 508397. The draw numbers when placed in order low to high the numbers look like this: 005384 1 009242 2 021064 3 022765 group 4 group 5 033281 6 034163 7 336460 My final draw number As you can see my final draw number was not even close, I was over 300000 places away from drawing a mountain goat license. I hope this clears some things up or at least assures people the draw is a complex but fair system and weighted points really do make a difference. The true luck of the draw however still plays a role in your drawing a license or not.

Pythagoras ? Jeesh , no wonder it's not explained yearly in the Game Regs.

Simpler to think of the system as two steps.... 1) name in, 2) random number out. As long as the result is truly random, a working knowledge of the internal details is not all that useful. Except to confuse the average sportsman ;-)

I think! LOL

It's really just very random in my mind. But I guess it's a good thing. If it went to the highest point holder everytime some guys would never draw ever.

Let's say the guy with 3+0 points has a 1:3000 chance to draw....so that would mean you have a 15:3000 chance to draw or 1:200. So, even though your chances are still 15X better than the 3+0 guy, you still have terrible odds. Meaning you most likely won't draw any time soon, even though you've been waiting 15 long years.

So why do so many people with 3+0 or 3+2 or 3+5, or etc, draw so many tags in this weighted point system? Simply because there are SO MANY OF THESE PEOPLE in the draw. For any particular hunt code, the odds are very high that most of the tags will go to guys with less than max points. It's simply because the max point guys are severely outnumbered by the sheer mass of applicants in those lower point tiers. But when it's all said and done, I think I still prefer this system to a PP system. At least for the extremely high-demand hunts like Moose & Goat & Sheep.

Option #1 - The system we have

Option #2 - Each weighted point puts your name in the virtual "hat" one more time.

They decided option #1 would be easier for folks to understand :^)

I'm kidding. I have no idea how they came up with it or what the reasoning behind it is.

Thus, once you generate the virtual "hat" it is difficult for the computer to pick one applicant at random. The programmer has to define how the computer will interpret "random".

So instead you end up with systems where your number is "randomly" generated based on when your application is processed, etc.

As things continue to get more and more statistically difficult to draw, this would have some impact-

Heck I can name 10 guys I know who have multiple sheep, goats and Moose- Colorado Eights, etc...

That does not make a 1-point applicant have better odds than a 15-point applicant but the 1-point pool had a lot more members so might look like they were "luckier" as a group.

I will trade with anyone wanting fewer points, if F&G will allow.

I guess I can't bitch too much I have drawn Ram and Billy and killed studs both time...but it is so cool it hurts when you really want to do it so bad again...

Folks ask me what the odds were. I still can't tell them - other than they were high, high, high.....

As you can see from Jaquomo's table above everyone that applies after having 6 or 7 Colo pref pts pretty much have the same chance to draw as those with 15 pts. At least with NV's system those that apply the longest have their name thrown in the hat a lot more times than those that have applied for fewer years!

Should those that have applied for Colo sheep for 6 years have close to the same low random number as those that have applied for 15-20 years? I guess I'll leave that up to the troops to decide!

*can possibly*skew draw success slightly towards the upper points tiers. But guys tend to drastically over-sell and over-believe in this notion. These systems are not remotely close to any kind of preference, or guaranteed draw system. The results are still based on complete random chance.

For an illustration, posted below is last year's draw success table for all NR archery bull elk hunts in Nevada. Shown are the number of successful applicants in each point tier. Notice that an equal number of applicants (7) drew tags with LESS THAN 6 points, as those who did while holding MORE THAN 12 points. And one guy drew with 0 points.

The true odds in NV are very hard to calculate since each level has a squared # of chances. The fact some body with 1 name in the hat beat out a person with 400 is not surprising. I'm sure there are way more people at the lower points levels. The true odds math is sum of all the point levels squared vs the # of tags issued. Each individual only has X number of chances per their points squared.

Sandbrew

1)Not nearly as many high point holders; and 2)Even with the much higher numbers, the long odds of low point holders work against them.

Individually, in weighted BP states it's always better to have more chances than not.

But the combination of better odds but still relatively heavy numbers of applicants in the system usually skews group numbers in favor of a lot of "middle tier" folks drawing the tags.