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Are CO "Weighted Points" Meaningless?
Recent posting of the draw results for Colorado Sheep and Mt Goat and Moose brought good news to a few lucky winners. Great for these guys and I think most of us are thrilled for them. And once again it proves “somebody has to draw”. Of course in addition to those happy reports we have the rest of the unfortunate masses who were unsuccessful again. Some have remained luckless for 10, 15, 20 years or longer.
For Colorado, in particular, the failure to draw seems to always generate a smattering of frustrated comments about the workings of the draw. This includes complaints such as “a guy drew with only 3+0” and “weighted points mean nothing” and “after you attain 3PP everybody has exactly the same chance”. And I’ve heard the same comments many times in personal discussions with fellow hunters. But is that really true? The notion of “meaningless weighted points” contrasts with the assertion made by CPW in their publications. Refer to the following quote contained in the Sheep & Goat brochure, page 6:
“WEIGHTED PREFERENCE increases your probability of drawing. It is calculated by converting your application number into a different, random application number, then dividing that new application number by the amount of weighted points you have, plus one. This generates another new application number. Applications are sorted by this new number from lowest to highest and low numbers for each hunt code are awarded licenses.”
This is a very simplified version of how they actually do it. The random number generating process is explained in much more detail in the fine write-up done by John Legnard many years ago, which can be found on the RMBS website. But for this particular discussion, we really don’t care HOW they assign random numbers. All we want to know is that it’s done fairly, meaning that the process is truly random for all applicants. So when they say “weighted preference increases your probability of drawing”, how can we know if this is true? No doubt there are various reasons for guys “not buying it”. For those who’ve applied and amassed points for decades, naturally there’s an expectation to draw which builds up over time, making the stark reality of another rejection hard to accept. We all try to stay optimistic and hopeful about drawing success, even though the stats will show us that such success is quite rare. The arrival of bad news each year is a tough pill to swallow and I think we instinctively attack the process in response. Adding to the frustration, some of us may have a friend or relative who has drawn, and we want to mentally correlate that to a future success for ourselves. But the reality doesn’t change, which is the severely over-subscribed nature of these hunts. Just knowing someone who drew, won’t help us draw.
But still, since we’re gamblers, we plod forward and continue applying again and again, hoping to beat the odds. The smart gambler however, needs to fully understand the odds and the process in order to make the best decision on which games to play and how to play them. So one key question about the Colorado draw is....does weighted preference do anything for us?
In general, my own personal preference would be for a fully random draw for all species. But most state game agencies see this much differently. Most of these game departments would like to have us “addicted” to their systems, by means of a promise for better odds over time. That way we keep playing and contributing to their coffers. Since we can’t change the way they do their draws, the very least we can do, if we want to consider gambling in their system, is to fully comprehend how it works.
When someone asserts that points are meaningless, that opinion is useful only if backed up with facts. Fortunately we now have the data needed to get an answer. Prior to 2015, we had no way to test these anecdotes.....there was not enough detail provided in the CDPW draw data. Since 2015 however, CDPW has been kind enough to provide an additional level of detail in their draw reports. Now the number of applicants in each point class is reported by hunt code, including the points held by each successful applicant. So we can analyze how point status affects draw results for individuals.
To keep this analysis simple, I’ll first look at one species. I happened to pick resident Mountain Goat. It happens to be a species that I got lucky and drew in 2014. Of course we could also do the same calculation for NR’s, and for any other species. But since it takes a lot of time to extract all that data, I’ll stick to just one species for now. For this exercise, I want to answer two basic questions:
1. How do the actual draw results compare to expected draw results that we’d calculate based on the weighted point status of the applicants? In other words, do WP’s improve draw success?
2. Did applicants in the lower weighted point classes (say those holding 0 thru 5 WP) draw an unexpectedly large share of tags, compared to the applicants in the higher weighted point classes (6-16 WP)?
To answer these questions, I’ll first calculate the expected draw success of applicants based on the following assumption. In this assumption, every additional weighted point provides a linearly proportional increase in draw odds for the individual applicant. Stated more simply, the assumption is that for each additional weighted point possessed by an applicant, an increase in odds equal to “one more ticket in the barrel” is provided to the applicant. The mathematics for this assumption are actually crystal clear, but explaining it here would take up more space than I care to use at this time. In any case, the results will tell us whether or not the assumption is correct. Because after making those calculations, we can then compare the predicted results to the actual draw success results for the various WP pools. It should be reasonable to do so at this time, now that we’ve amassed 3 years worth of draw results. If the assumption turns out to be false, then the CDPW’s draw algorithm could be flawed. If we could prove there’s a flaw in the CPW’s draw algorithm which favors one class of applicant over another, or one individual over another, then someone could sue, I suppose. Any such flaw seems extremely unlikely though, since the CDOW would have vetted their process very carefully before implementation many years ago, to avoid that very pitfall.
I included all the either sex Goat hunts, with no Nanny hunts or population-reduction type hunts, since there is very little participation in those draws from the higher point classes. This is a 3 year summary representing a combined 2015, 2016, and 2017.....the three years for which this data is available. Calculations were done for each of the 3 draw years separately, and the results were summed.
Column 1 is the weighted point status of resident applicants.
Column 2 is the number of resident applicants with that number of points who applied for a hunt
Column 3 is the total number of points for that pool that are in play.
Column 4 is the calculated number of applicants who should draw. Here we assume a reasonable distribution of applicants across the various point classes by unit, which is why I left out the low-demand hunts. A more precise analysis could be done with unit-by-unit data, but that’s more time than I have!
Column 5 is the actual number of applicants who drew from that point pool.
In conclusion this analysis shows that:
1. The number of applicants is growing each year...no surprise there. And that the bulk of applicants are in the lower and mid point classes.
2. That we can predict overall draw success based on weighted point status.
3. That increased weighted points yields a linear increase in draw odds, comparable to the “one more ticket in the drum” concept.
4. That there is no apparent bias, statistically, in the draw process towards any particular weighted point pool.
Note that over the 3-year period, the model predicted that those applicants in the 6-16 WP groups would draw 259 tags, and the CPW report shows they actually drew 260 tags. And those applicants in the 0-5 WP pools were predicted to draw 154 tags and they actually drew 153 tags. Statistically dead-on, for all practical purposes.
The positive in Colorado’s weighted point system is that at least it gives every applicant somewhat of a chance. But here is the key concept to remember....for a given hunt, an individual applicant with 16 WP’s has (16+1) or 17 times better odds than an individual applicant with 0 WP’s.....but (hypothetically speaking) 17 times 1/10th of 1% is still poor odds. The WP system will never guarantee anyone to draw even with max points. This probably won’t change much over time, because the pool of applicants keeps growing by leaps and bounds.
Any chance you'd allow the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society to post it the article on online or in the magazine? It would be a nice follow up to the "How the draw really works" from several years ago
One detail that is difficult to quantify is the bias of higher point holders applying for the better units and lowering their odds of drawing. I think the higher point holders feel they have more at stake and then then to look at the best units as the ones to draw. For example in the 2017 Colorado bighorn sheep stats SMS79W1R had 30 max point holders at 3 and 16. By far the most of any hunt code in 2017. A lucky person at the 3 and 14 level drew out of a total of 11 at that level. There are several unit hunt codes with no max point holders even applying. Overall Colorado's system of picking a specific unit hunt code and method of take is the best way to approach getting the tag the lucky person wants vs picking 5 hunts and the lucky winner gets the top choice that is left ie the Nevada model. I would like to see a comparison of draw chances squared vs weighted point and see if there is a big enough advantage to encourage Colorado to shift to that style of system.
Thanks for the great analysis.
Sticksender, lots of great info! I'm curious if you can predict draws odds with Nevada's bonus pt system where pts are squared? I would expect those that have applied more years would stand a chunk better chance of drawing in NV? I am guessing an applicant with 15 bonus pts in NV and 15 weighted pts in Colo would have a chunk better chance of drawing in NV if there are the same total number of applicants for the same number of tags in each state?
Sure no problem John. And if someone had a bunch of time, he could do the same for other species and for NR's and etc, and also break down the analysis more finely by looking at it unit-by-unit. The challenge is that the data is only available in PDF images instead of a downloadable spreadsheet format.
I agree with you on that last point too....the beauty of Colorado's draw is that you can pick a lower-demand unit and not have to compete with anyone else's 2nd or 3rd or 4th choice. As a good example that comes to mind, that's exactly the reason a NM archery Ibex tag is much harder to draw than if NM only gave applicants ONE unit choice per species. If you want only archery Ibex, you still have to compete with all the guys who mainly want a rifle hunt, but still put in for archery as a lower choice.
Jims, no Nevada withholds most of the data that would be needed to do those calculations. They allow 5 choices and don't give out that unit selection info by applicant.
Stick, that's a great empirical analysis. I had been toying with the idea of doing something similar since you often hear someone gripe that WP's do nothing for you, because "some guy" drew with 0 or 1. Glad you took the time to do it, looks like a great job. [minor point, guy with 16 pts has 17X better odds than guy with zero, I think]
The results are very much like a traditional bonus point scheme. In a standard bonus point scheme your odds will scale as [1-(1-P0)^(BP+1)]; where P0 is probability of drawing with zero bonus points (BP). This expression starts out looking linear but then rolls over and asymptotically approaches 1 at high BP.
In Colorado's "divide random# by WP+1" method your results show that the odds also scale linearly, and looks very much like a standard bonus point method. At higher draw odds I predict the two methods will start to yield different results, but with the max odds still being less than 10% they will be indistinguishable.
Jims, the odds for NV will scale as [1-(1-P0)^(BP^2+1)], see the results on toprut.com (free), or gohunt (if you have a subscription) for examples. At small odds your odds scale as (BP^2 +1), so guy with 3 points has 3*3+1= 10 times the odds of guy with zero points.
Adding a link to the "How the draw really works" article so people can see how the weighted points are factored in.
JRABQ....thanks, good catch, corrected the typo.
Great analysis! Thanks for the info. I do think that the "gateway" should be moved up a notch, though. Possibly to 10 PP's, then start the Weighted points. Sure are a lot of guys pushing 15 or 20+ years across the board. I am at 3+10 for sheep, 3+11 for goat, and 3+16 for moose. Gets a bit depressing as a guy gets older...
Thanks for that post and info.
I am not a math guy and appreciate the comfort in knowing the system actually works as designed overall. I got into the sheep application game in 2002 in basically all states that offer a sheep tag. So I am a high point holder in all states, but a max point holder in none.
Lightning struck and I drew a NR AZ desert sheep tag in 2014 with 13 points. I also drew the only random NR moose tag in WY Area 1 in 2005. So I consider myself indeed fortunate and playing with "house money" at this point.
The WY draw will always be a slight source of frustration every year, as those with 2+ more points than me are drawing their tags at will, while I may never draw one. Oh well.....
Sticksender, how do you think the draw odds for those with high points would compare if Colo used a squared system similar to Nevada but only went with the first choice unit?
It would be interesting to show side by side comparison of squaring vs weighting pts draw odds for a super tough and an easier draw unit. I know NV shows draw stats similar to Colo so this ought to be possible...and fairly easy to calculate. Even if you had 1 or 2 examples of Colo vs NV's (squaring with 1st choice) it would be a very interesting comparison!
Excellent thread, thanks for posting on this!
Yes, statistically speaking there is a slight advantage for the weighted points. The problem still comes in on the random number you are assigned and the fact that if your random number is not low enough no matter how many weighted points you have it will not help you. That is why I still say after three points it is a lottery in the fact that you have to be assigned a low random number in the beginning to even have hope of your weighted points helping.
In your example the 3+6 to max guys drew roughly 62 percent of the tags while the 3+5 to 3+0 guys drew 37 percent. Is that enough to say that the weighted points are truly helping or should it be more like 70 to 80 percent of high point holders drawing? The other problem besides my example above is the huge influx of low point holders becoming eligible. In about 5 years or even fewer I feel you will begin to see a huge shift in low point holders drawing as they will far outnumber the higher point guys.
I should add I am not bitter as I have killed a nice mountain goat which I drew with 3 plus 3. My dad has also drawn and killed mountain goat 3+2, rocky 3+4 and desert (first year applying). He also drew those in consecutive years '07,'08, '09.
Orion, your posts above are the reason I'm wondering if squaring and using only the first choice may give those that apply longer a significantly better chance to draw depending upon how many years they have applied?
jims, you asked how the draw might look if Colorado squared points. I want to mention first that my own preference would be a Fully Random Draw without points or preference to any class of applicant. Most likely that will never happen in Colorado! But to answer your question, I ran the 2017 data for Resident Goats, with a calculated hypothetical result where everyone's points were squared. So each applicant's draw points would be (WP*WP)+1. Again this is looking at the overall draw, not a more precise look at unit-by-unit results.
Notice that the upper point pools could see as much as a doubling or more in their draw odds, but at a high cost to the newbies in terms of draw odds. The mid-tier applicants draw odds aren't changed much. Actual odds from draw to draw will vary of course. Note that some point tiers have the same odds....this is because of rounding in the "expected tags drawn" column (can't issue a fraction of a tag). Once again, this could be run in many different ways using other species, years, and in much more detail by drilling down to unit-by-unit results. But this should give you a general sense of the impact of point squaring.
Orion hit the nail on the head. It doesn't matter how many weighted points you have if the other guy with only 3 points has a starting random number that you can't reach with the weighted point divisor.
While I appreciate all the work and figuring that went into your post, It doesn't answer your own question of "are weighted points meaningless" or put another way, "do they provide you with an advantage." The only true way to determine that is to compare within each hunt code to determine if the weighted points benefited the guys that drew. Did the guy that drew with 3+15 points start with a higher number and when the weighted point divisor was applied beat out a guy with fewer weighted points or would he have drawn regardless because his random number was much lower to begin with? How many drew a tag because of their weighted points and not their low random number?
Orion & JDM, the issue is often brought up about "yes but you have to get lucky and draw a low random number" is correct. But this is exactly what trips up up most guys.
For the purposes of calculating draw odds or probability, we only want to know that the process being used by the CDPW is "fair" and lacking any flaws so that it is truly random in assigning applicants their random number. In statistical calculations we are only concerned with the particular methodology used by the draw to generate a random number for each applicant, to the extent of determining that it is truly mathematically random. Thereafter, with that confirmed, we can then move on to accurately calculate the statistical probability to draw. The only information we need, in the case of Colorado's draw, is the number of applicants, the point status of each, and the number of tags to be awarded for that hunt code. Remember we are not trying to predict WHO will draw, only the chances that each applicant will have to draw, based on point status. For that reason, the odds to draw are known BEFORE any random numbers are assigned to the applicants. It is imperative to understand that concept in order to grasp what is meant by "draw odds". As soon as CDPW has collected all the applications for the Goat draw, compiled them, and removed any rejected applications, your "draw odds" are set.
Here's another way to explain it. Take a fair shuffled deck of cards and turn over the top card. Since the deck was fair shuffled, the odds that the card is an Ace of Spades will be 1:52 because there is only one of them in the deck of 52 cards. If you actually turn over an Ace of Spades on your first try, your odds of doing that were still 1:52. Your odds were not 1:1 based on the actual result of one try, one success.
Exactly JDM and my point all along about the weighted points being somewhat worthless. How many actually benefited from them? The problem is we will never know because the DOW will not release or might not have the ability to tell us each applicants random number
I think some of y'all are misunderstanding the system. Yes, the assigning of the random number is totally random. But the process is not over yet. The weighted points then come into play. So the process itself is not "random". Only the first step is.
JDM you have a point about the only way to really know how the draw played out in exact detail, but I believe the overall results in the OP answer the question. Albeit coming at it from a different (and simpler) way.
The folks that complain about the system only look at how it applies to THEM as an individual, not to the group as a whole. Think of it like hunting as a management tool. Not too great for the individual animal that is killed. But does work for the population as a whole.
Are there better systems that would work? Maybe. But no matter what system is used, some (many) would still complain. As it is now, some complain that it should be totally random and some that it's not random enough. It's impossible to please everybody, or anybody that wasn't successful.
Yes Ziek - there will never be a system that will please everyone where there are few tags and thousands of applicants.
But wrongly maligning an entire system as not doing what it says it does/is designed to do serves no purpose other than to create needless ire among folks who don't take the time to understand the whole process.
What amazes me continues to be the # of applicants who apply for units in which they have zero chance to draw (for any number of reasons).
What also amazes me is the bad info many magazines/draw services put out there re: both odds and chance to draw.
Example: Eastmans' just put out their MRS info on the AZ sheep draw. At the end (after a basically correct description of the system) - they concluded by telling their NR readers that they had no chance to draw in AZ unit 43B unless they had maximum points. This is simply wrong/bad info. Because 43B allocates 5-7 tags each year (the highest in the state), it is one of the very few units where a NR with less than max points actually DOES have a chance to draw a sheep tag.
I am living proof - drew in 2014 with 13 points. I know of at least 3 other NRs who have drawn the 43B tag with less than max points.
Should guys that have waited 10 to 16 years have a better chance to draw tags than those just starting out..but by how much? If the CPW switched over to an all random draw you can bet the guys that have waited 10 to 16 years for tags would be furious! I really think squaring pts would be great! It gives young hunters just starting out a chance to draw and those with more pts an even better chance to draw. Everyone has the chance to draw in any given year. The question becomes how much better chance should those with more pts have of drawing tags? Should the number of years be squared, cubed, doubled, or what?
The squared numbers in the table look pretty darn fair! Squaring pts makes a lot of sense to me...and is clear and simple to understand.
To add fuel to the fire....It seems like the current pref pt system in Colo for elk, deer, and antelope would be better off if everyone had a chance to draw tags and those with max pts had an even better chance to draw. With the current pref pt system kids just starting off applying will likely never draw unit 2 or 201 elk tags in their lifetimes! Colo actually doesn't have that many limited elk units so there is super high demand for the few units that offer limited tags. All Colo deer units are a draw so it disperses applicants over a lot more units and tags.
"What amazes me continues to be the # of applicants who apply for units in which they have zero chance to draw..."
Actually, the CPW is supposed to take into account how many APPLICANTS there are for a specific unit by weapons choice, plus figuring average success rates for each weapon type when deciding how many tags are available. For example, if archers flood applications for a particular unit, that should result in more archery tags even if that results in fewer rifle tags. So you SHOULD apply for a unit and not just a PP.
"...kids just starting off applying will likely never draw unit 2 or 201 elk tags in their lifetimes!"
Maybe, maybe not. Many of us that have been in the process for ever, are getting older and will start to drop out in increasing numbers whether we want to or not.
Of course the weighted points increase your odds. Its just math. Yes, its way more complicated than just throwing your name in the hat one more time for each weighted point, but software guys look at stuff differently.
"...Lets, see...3 days to design a draw system that is complicated to laymen and my boss, 3 days to integrate it into the system, and 6 months to play Call of Duty"
"Boss, looks like about an 8 month project but I think I can get it done a little over 6 months if I pull a few all-nighters"
"That long? I thought it would be easier but your the tech guy"
"I wrote up an overview of how it works, look it over and let me know what we could change to go faster"
"....Um...wow...looks complicated, I'll let everyone know to be looking for it in 6 months"
A "Pure Preference" point system is the worst for the younger hunters & guys entering the draw a bit later in life. The Nevada "Square" your points method favors applicants that have been in the game the longest. Maybe favors them too much over the newbies? I have 22 Nevada sheep points so it's good for me! Some guys favor a "Random" draw that starts everyone out equal each new year. I think a simple "Bonus Point" system that gives an applicant 1 more chance in the "Hat" to draw a tag or low number is probably the fairest system for everyone involved. The Colorado weighted point system still only gives long time applicants 1 chance to draw a low number which is the key to getting a tag! I drew a sheep tag a few years back but applied for S-9 archery which was an easier tag to draw! Like stated above...Can't please everyone! Good Luck to All
Sticksender your deck of cards analogy is exactly what I have been saying. Everyone has the same odds once they get at 3 preference points. At that point it all comes down to your random number and the weighted points do not matter unless you and another applicant have random numbers within a small percentage of each other. Then and only then will having more weighted points truly benefit you. I agree with Jims in that a point squaring or even a straight up true bonus point system is the way to go. That way everybody has a shot, but the higher point holders have an edge.
There are just so many people applying for so few tags. I've got 22 sheep points in NVand AZ and every year the not successful reply comes back you feel so dejected but so much is pure luck. A good friend of mine drew a NV DBH tag last year with 16 points. Over the years I've been lucky. Drew WY moose in 2000, WY sheep in 2004. I've drawn 2 Kaibab mule deer tags and AZ unit 1 elk tag. You just have to apply and hope that you are lucky. My wife and I should draw CO unit 61 tags this year with 20 points. Should find out in a week or two. Luckily I saw this coming about 22 years ago. I do feel bad for people just starting out. I figure in the next 10 years there will be more max and high point holders dropping out for health reasons and death than there will be actually drawing tags.
Many of the high point holders are in the "Boomer Bubble" which will go away in the next 10-15 years. The system may change by then, but the younger guys should definitely collect points if they can afford it.
I really appreciate this post; how right you are. Furthermore, I really like the usage of "smattering". Excellent word choice.
Orion I won't claim to understand all the nuances of the CO system, but it seems clear the results shown by the OP prove your assumption that all with 3 points have the same chance to draw is simply incorrect.
Maybe I am missing something.....
sure they do. It all comes down to your random number not your weighted points. So in essence everybody at 3 points has the same odds because at that point they are all assigned their random number. Like I also stated before the weighted points make absolutely no difference unless you are within a small a percentage of someone elses random number then and only then they will help. Where as if applicant A receives a small random number and has 3 plus 1 points he will be beat Applicant B who received a large random number and say has 3 plus 10 points, because the weighted points still will not lower his random number low enough to beat Applicant A. Thus proving my point that the weighted points are pretty much worthless and that applicants should not rely on or believe in them too much. It is a lottery and it all comes down to your random number assignment.
Well, either you didn't read the analysis or don't believe it then. Because it shows otherwise - that the more weighted points, the better the odds to draw and vice versa.
The Colorado weighted point system is a "feel good" random draw once you get above 3 points.
Squaring the points and dividing by that number would provide some additional weight to the guys that have been putting in for longer that would help.
Not sure, but I think states like NV and AZ give out additional chances for each point. That would actually seem to be a more fair system. Particularly with point squaring. Over time, it is like the application fees equate to purchasing additional chances in the lottery. It is all a computer algorithm and not that difficult to change the equation.
TXHunter you can look at that analysis and believe in the weighted points if you like, but they don't really matter. Did you not see my example? If your random number is super high to begin with it doesn't matter how many weighted points you have it will not get you tag. Again the draw all comes down to your random number not your weighted points.
My vote is obviously in favor of switching to a squared pt system. If that isn't possible...it doesn't seem like it would be tough for the CPW to do away with the assigned number deal and just place each applicants name in the hat the number of their pref pts. It seems like that would be a lot less complicated and a super easy way to do it!
I agree this assigned number, then reversing, then tile assigning, then divided by weighted points seems like a ridiculous way to do a draw. Streamline it and make the weighted points actually count. I would like a true bonus point system where everyone still has a shot, but the high point guys actually get an advantage
"672920 divided by 9 is 747688" Might want to check the math on that one.
The correct answer is 74,769 and the one with 9 weighted points would have drawn the tag in your example.
Sticksender's analysis is correct. Weighted points do make a difference and that's a fact. It's just not enough of a difference for the people complaining to be happy about the system.
Your right my bad thought you could eliminate the decimal point. Changed it to 5 weighted points just to show that you can have more weighted points and not draw cause your random number is too high. There is no complaining just showing that people should not have a lot of faith in weighted points because they are not a true bonus or preference point. Like I said myself and family have drawn lots of tags, but something needs to change because there is a huge influx of low point holders who are going to start getting tags because they will be a bulk of the applicants. There should be more of an advantage to high point holders then just luck of a randomly assigned reversed tile deciphered number.
Sticksenders analysis is correct in that all it shows is people draw tags. it in no way determines random number and if weighted points helped any of those applicants lower their random number enough to draw over someone that started with a lower random number.
I also feel that ram tags should be once in a lifetime harvest or not, but I guess that is a whole other thread
Orion it sounds like you don't understand what is meant by Draw Odds. Since you've continued to repeatedly post the same incorrect information, I'm going to respond, in hopes that even if you can't grasp what I'm saying, at least others who might be confused by your mis-statements above, will be enlightened. Here's where you're completely missing the boat. Your comments claiming that draw odds are based on the particular random number assignment are incorrect, and that's where you're getting lost. The number assignment is part of the RESULTS of the draw. Read that once more...the RESULTS
of the draw. What we're talking about in this analysis is the PROBABILITY of drawing. We know the CALCULATED PROBABILITY for a particular applicant to draw based on his weighted points, before any portion of the draw is conducted and before any random numbers are assigned.
Here's the playing card illustration again, to possibly help you understand PROBABILITIES versus RESULTS. Let's say we have a fair shuffled deck of cards and we want to know what is the chance of turning over the top card and have it be an Ace of Spades. Following your line of reasoning, the calculated odds to turn the Ace of Spades would depend on whether the card is an Ace. After all, the lucky guys who at least get an Ace on their first turn have the best chance of winning, since there are only 4 Aces in the deck, right? Of course that is absolutely wrong with regards to calculating odds. The calculated probability of turning over an Ace of Spades is incontrovertibly 1:52 for a fair shuffled deck. Those calculated odds are known with absolute precision, the moment the deck has been fair-shuffled, and before a card is turned. By the way, don't confuse this with an analogy. It is not an analogy to the Colorado draw in any way. It is merely an illustration of the concepts of probability.
Anything changed to benefit one group will take away from another. Top point holders are a lot smaller group than low point holders. Expecting politicians to cater to a small group vs a large group is a poor bet unless that small group has some power or influence advantage.
You can slice a pie many different ways but when you have one pie and 10,000 dinner guests, creative slicing won't do much.
Each application 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.
Yeah I understand draw odds. Your first number is assigned randomly just like it says on your rmbs link of how the draw really works. It is not the result of the draw it is predetermined before the drawing actually begins. So your weighted points play no role in your first assigned random number. Again you can not remotely predict odds in the sheep draw. Take S6 rifle for example this year. 45 applicants for 1 tag from 3 plus 16 to 3 plus 0. A guy with 3 plus 4 drew. There is no way to predict odds of drawing and that guy received the tag because he started with a low random PREDETERMINED number before the rest of the draw process took place. Changing to a bonus point style does not take away from any group everyone still has a chance.
One more comment to add, the reason calculated odds are meaningful to those of us who play these state application games, is not for the purpose of predicting when and were we will draw, because they cannot do that. Just like in a game of cards, the lucky guy often wins. But rather we are interested in these hunt-draw odds numbers as a guide for selecting the best and most logical games for us to play in, based on cost and probabilities. Just like any professional gambler needs to be a master of card-deck and betting odds in order to have long term success.
Again when you go into the sheep draw each applicant is assigned a random number. That number is then taken into the rest of the draw process. Your first number is not the result of the draw it is pre-assigned randomly. That is why the guy with 3 plus 4 drew the S6 ram tag. His first number he was assigned was so low that even after reversing it and giving it a tiled value and then dividing it by his weighted points it was so low that not even somebody with 16 weighted points could get their number low enough to beat his and draw.
in a true preference point system you can determine exactly when and where you will draw like Wyoming bighorn sheep or Utah desert or rocky or Colorado Elk and Deer.
And a "true preference point system" for species like sheep is inherently unfair to younger folks, and people just starting out, as has been pointed out many times before. And I say that as some old guy who just drew a WY sheep tag because I got in the stupid game early on.
Orion said: "Again you can not remotely predict odds in the sheep draw."
Replace the word "odds" with "results" and you're correct.
Orion said: "there is no way to predict odds of drawing and that guy received the tag because he started with a low random PREDETERMINED number before the rest of the draw process took place"
Replace the words "odds of drawing" with "results of the draw" and you are correct.
Again, where you're lost is you're thinking odds calculations are some sort of attempt to predict the results of one year's draw. They are not. They are a mathematical determination of the mean results that will occur when identically-designed random events are repeated an infinite number of times.
When demand for tags far outweighs the supply there is no system that is fair to everyone.
Desert sheep tags are a true lottery, that is unfair to the applicant who has been putting in for 50 years since anyone can jump in and have the same chance. The CO elk draw for premium units is unfair to anyone starting out (unless you get extremely lucky in the hybrid draw). And the hybrid draw is unfair to max point holders who now have their chances reduced because of it. Just a couple of examples for you.
Changing sheep to a bonus point system would indeed "take away from any group". It increases the odds for higher point holders, thus it decreases the odds for lower point holders.
Orion - You changed your example above to show a scenario where a 5 weighted point holder would lose out to a 2 wp holder after I showed you that the 9 wp holder would have drawn the tag. Of course that can happen, and it does. Your (now edited) example still shows that the 5 wp had higher odds going into the draw, which is the original point of this thread.
Don't get hung up on the random number. Everyone has the same odds of drawing a low random number so you can ignore that. The odds are increased for higher point holders since you use weighted points to divide that random number, thus creating more random numbers that you could draw a tag with.
You can pick the best and most logical games to play in all you want. On Colorado sheep and goat that would be to look at units with the fewest 3 plus whatever applicants. It still doesn't help you get a tag or ever securing a tag whatsoever. When DOW pulls all the sheep applicants they assign them a random number. This first predetermined number is your say all, end all. Again that first number is predetermined and not the result of the draw as sticksender wanted to point out. That number is then taken and reversed and given new value by random tiles and then divided by your weighted points. So again it all comes down to your first predetermined number on whether you will draw or not.
Yes, I realize everyone has the same odds of drawing a low random number that is why 20 some threads up I stated that everyone with 3 plus 0 to max has the same odds.
Orion earlier post: "I would like a true bonus point system where everyone still has a shot, but the high point guys actually get an advantage ".
It sure looked to me that Sticksender showed that the weird CO system in fact behaved exactly like a bonus point system.
Vids that guy did not have higher odds because his random number was too high. Kinda like the S6 guy from this year and many others on the draw stats page. It doesn't matter how many weighted points you have if your number is high. The weighted points are giving a false sense of higher odds like you stated. Take S6 again multiple people with max points applied which is 16 and they didn't draw, instead a guy with 4 weighted points drew. They did not have better odds then anyone because there first assigned number was so high that not even dividing it by their 16 weighted points lowered it enough to beat someone with a quarter of their points.
"Yes, I realize everyone has the same odds of drawing a low random number that is why 20 some threads up I stated that everyone with 3 plus 0 to max has the same odds."
But that is an incorrect statement. Everyone has the same odds of drawing a low random number, but not everyone has the same odds of drawing a tag.
Answer this question. Two applicants, one with 3+0 and the other with 3+15. 3+0 gets a random number (after reversing by the tiles) of 062501 and 3+15 gets a random number of 999999. Who gets the tag? Who had more random numbers that would allow them to get a tag? (FYI: the process they use is to divide by 1 and 16 in this situation, not 0 and 15)
Orion, in order to understand, you have to want to understand, not just visit here to try & win arguments.
No a true bonus point system would "put your name in the hat" as many times as you have points so somebody with 16 points would be put in 16 times and someone with 4 only 4. That way the guy with 16 points has 4 times the chance of drawing and it is not up to a random number. After my S6 example and many others on the stats page I will stick with the theory that this draw is more like a lottery for everyone in the 3 plus pool and that it comes down to lucking into a low random number.
Where would one find the info in John Legnard's article for seeing what number you had & the random number conversions? I would be interested to compare that to my sheep draw last year you see in the attached photo.
The guy with 062501 gets the tag if the 999999 is after they divided it by weighted points.
Incorrect. 3+15 ends up with a number of 062500 after you divide by weighted points and gets the tag. This shows that the 3+0 wp holder only has a chance if their random number is 062499 or less in this scenario, meaning they have lower odds of drawing a tag than max point holders.
samman - I'm not 100% on this, but I don't believe the DPW releases the random numbers.
Exactly what I've been saying samman. Sticksender says I'm here to argue, but I'm not. I'm just saying there is no analytical data that backs up the Colorado draw or shows any meaning to weighted points. The first number is randomly given to all sheep applicants before the draw takes place it is not a result of the draw. That guy drew because he had a starting lower number so much lower than you that even after the DOWs wizardly math equations your 15 weighted points were still not enough to lower your random number enough to draw a tag.
Vids can you not read I said the guy with 062501 would get the tag if the 999999 number was after the division of weighted points or not. The DOW does not release the random numbers they will however give you yours if you call. Samman John Legnards article is on the Rocky Moutain Bighorn Society Page under the articles tab and then titled "How the sheep and goat draw really works"
You're missing it. 999999 cannot be the final number after you divide by 16, it would be 062500.
All I know is it makes me happy that I'm competing for tags with some people that refuse to understand the system and blindly throw darts at a board. That in itself increases my odds.
Again you can't read I've already drawn mountain goat, my dad has drawn mountain goat, rocky and desert. Not blindly throwing darts at a board. Take a look at the draw stats for me and look at s6, s10, s16, s20 archery, s22, s33,s41(That one will really piss people off), s42, s44, s5101a, s5401a, s67, s71, s74 and let me know how weighted points helped those people.
Still waiting for Sticksender and Vids to tell Samman why he didn't draw since he had better odds than the guy that drew with their analytical data.
Vids how many sheep or goat tags have you drawn?
So, do the tile numbers change every year? And do they remain the same for everyone in that years draw?
Drew in 2012 with 3+5. I calculated my odds and selected a unit where I had a better chance of drawing. Congratulations on your tag as well!
"...your 15 weighted points were still not enough to lower your random number enough to draw a tag."
If it were a "true bonus" point system, where your name was entered once for each point, it still might not be enough to draw the tag. The guy with fewer points might still get it. And that's the whole point of any bonus point system.
You are correct Ziek, but at least your points give you an advantage and your not reliant on a random number.
Hey hooch pick samman's unit or one of the many examples I gave a few posts up and show how having a ton of weighted points helped any of those guys
Here I will list them again s6, s10,s16,s20a,s22,s33,s4101r (that one will really piss people off),s42,s44,s5101a,s5401a,s67,s71,s74. It is depressing a little bit fellas, but I am still waiting for someone to look at one of these units and tell me how having a lot of weighted points helped and how having a first low random number does not dictate all the draw.
Pictures are more fun I guess. Boone and Crockett Billy
Nice goat to you as well.
Nobody is saying that the random number is meaningless and weighted points dictate everything. It certainly helps to get lucky and draw a low random number, but it's not everything. Weighted points help by lowering your final number. Both luck and the number of weighted points play a role in drawing a tag.
I agree, but I feel that the random number especially the first one plays the biggest role and that guys are putting too much faith in their weighted points. Enjoy it fellas cause they are the best hunts
How come the people that buy the most lottery tickets don't always win? The same reason why the most weighted points doesn't guarantee a tag.
That's been my point all along, some guys however seem to think that the weighted points give you better odds
I don't know how "Understanding the System" could increase your draw odds! As shown above, more weighted points help your odds a little & picking a unit with better draw odds would also increase your chances of getting a tag. Other then that being Extra Lucky is your best chance! Who ever designed this draw system made it way more complicated then it needed to be but I'm a Non-Resident in every state but 1 & will continue to apply as long as the other states continue to allow it. Thanks for the archery sheep tag a few years back!
My guess is that hunters just starting out applying and hunters that have already drawn sheep, goat, and moose tags wouldn't be too terribly upset if applicants that have applied for 10 to 20 years have a little better chance than them drawing tags. Hunters just starting out or that have burned all their pts drawing tags would still have a chance to draw with a bonus pt system. The demand for sheep, goat, and moose tags are so high that even a bonus pt system isn't going to guarantee a tag in a persons lifetime. At least guys that apply for more years know they stand a slightly better chance of drawing the more years they apply when their pts are squared. If you think about it pref and bonus pts are a pretty big investment of both $ and time!
Looking at Colo from an nonres perspective....Many states are charging $50 to $100/species for nonres applications. When I apply for out of state licenses at least I know I'm getting a little closer to drawing tags with a bonus pt or pref pt system that actually benefits those that consistently apply for years and years...especially when investing so much cash and years applying for tags. The draw systems that don't make sense (Wyo sheep as a great example) I have dropped out of years ago.
Orion, as shown bonus points do help. It's just your opinion that they should factor in more.
But I agree. The Colorado system is much more convoluted than it needs to be.
Weighted points certainly give you a better chance, just like buying more lottery tickets. But neither one guarantees that you will get selected before someone with fewer points (tickets).
Also, those of you that want a "true bonus point" system, how different do you think the actual mechanics of that drawing are from the CO weighted system?
In theory, you just "put more tickets in the hat" for each point and have the computer pick a ticket at random. The problem is that computers can only do "pseudo-random" not true random processes, and so you end up with something like CO does. I assume any bonus point state does something similar.
Otherwise if someone has time on their hands and a really big hat, I'm sure the state would gladly let you take on all the costs and critcism of running the draw.
Orion- Let me see if this little demo will help you understand the value of weighted points.
For this example a person with 3 -16 has the worst possible converted draw # of 999,999 that number is divided by weighted points (16) + 1 so 999,999/17 = 58,823. Anyone with one of the 941,175 higher numbers doesn't draw when the 3-16 person does. The dividing power of the weighted points just put the 3 -16 person ahead of 941,000 number combinations higher than 58,823. Sure there are still 58,823 combos of converted draw #s and and weighted pints that will beat the 3-16 persons worst case but the odds are far better than with no weighted points in play.
I do like squared chances idea but in Sticksender's model you are only dropping 7 people per year out of the top pool and there will be 32 people who think this system still doesn't work either.
Love the B&C goat. He's a monster!
Here's a staggering bit of info. There were 12,708 Colo residents that applied for 258 sheep tags in 2017. There were another 6,869 Colo res that applied for pref pts without applying for a unit. That is a grand total of 19,577 sheep applicants. Of the 19,577 there was a grand total of 3,029 Colo res applicant that applied for a sheep tag or sheep pts that had 0 pref pts. That is a staggering number of new applicants....and the trend for new applicants with 0 pref pts continues to increase each year. What will draw odds be like 10 to 20 years from now if this trend continues?
That is another good points Jims pretty soon in another 5 to 10 years I believe the draw will be so influxed with low point holders that by sheer numbers of applicants alone they will pull a majority of the tags. Sandbrew I agree with your math example, but I'm still sticking to my theory that it takes the same luck as winning the lottery cause that's what it is and that it still boils down to your first randomly assigned number
Drnaln: "I don't know how "Understanding the System" could increase your draw odds".
It does for me because I work to maximize my results per dollar spent. I don't usually apply blindly especially when there's significant cost involved. It's the reason for example, that I don't apply in Washington or California. It's the reason I spend very little on the AZ & MT supertags. Instead, I focus my available funds on the states and the particular hunts which give me the best bang for my money. A big part of that is based on understanding the systems and the math involved. Sometimes I gamble on long-shots if the cost is not too high. So far Colorado is one of the cheapest states to apply for, and I hope that doesn't change.
Jims those numbers are depressing and I think a lot of guys see them but hold hope that eventually they will draw. The sad part is it is such a limited resource and the harsh reality is many will never draw, even a lot of high weighted point holders.
Sticksender, I wasn't referring to your draw strategy but Vids made it sound like most applicants didn't understand the Colorado draw so the guys that did had better odds. Draw a low number, have weighted points, apply for hunts with less demand & be really lucky. No secrets there. I do the same as you in the draws. I've never did Washington & only think California is worth the money because I live there. I do Oregon because I can see it from my house & buy an over the counter deer tag every year. Good Luck, David
I sure hope I'm not still trying to draw in 10-20 years. In my situation I posted, It's just uncanny how 8 weighted points would outdo my 15 as well as 14 others with more weighted points. I understand luck, but wow! That's luck. Then there is the kicker. Looking at the hunt statistics, I hope it wasn't the one who didn't hunt.
Drnaln - What I meant is I think most guys don't know how to interpret the statistics and then calculate draw odds by unit, which can show you that some units are certainly less attractive than others. It can increase your odds just by ruling out units where the chance of drawing is terrible.
My life experience has shown me that hunters aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer, so the ones that are savvy about calculating draw odds are in the minority.
The only problem with that theory is it still takes an incredible amount of luck even pursuing the less desirable sheep units. Samman don't even get me started on the amount of sheep tags that get wasted by guys who physically can't do it, Mentally don't want to, or the ones that don't realize the opportunity they have.
Luck certainly plays a part, I agree wholeheartedly with that. However it's a wiser decision to apply for units where I have a 10% chance of drawing instead of 1%.
Another eye-opener is the Colo moose draw stats. In 2017 there were 29,547 Colo res hunters vying for 304 moose tags or moose pref pts. That is over 10,000 more res applicants applying for moose than bighorn sheep! There were an additional 4,654 moose applicants that applied for tags or pref pts that had 0 pts in 2016. My guess is that moose weighted pref pts are pretty much meaningless with the current draw system. If a squared pt system was used it may help a little but for those with max moose pts I wouldn't get too terribly excited about drawing a moose tag in your lifetime with the current weighted pt system...it is pretty much meaningless. Unless the draw system is changed it will be even worse in the years to come!
jims - Agreed, moose is pretty much a lost cause. I'm 41 with 3+8 and don't expect to ever draw a bull tag, all the units are pretty much the same at 1-2% odds and the odds don't increase much at max points. I figure I'll keep applying for moose until I'm getting long in the tooth and then just pay for a guided hunt somewhere.
Sheep is a little better as some units have higher odds, and goat is actually a very draw-able tag if you play your cards right.
It makes me laugh how backwards some people view numbers. Sure CO relies heavily on a random number assigned to you, just as the analogy of "names in the hat" relies heavily on the placement of the random hand drawing a name.... You say the guy with 16 names in the hat has 4 times the chance of drawing as someone with 4 names in the hat.... the funny part is that the same is essentially true with CO system. The part too confusing for some to grasp is that when you are dealing with such small odds, the odds are still OVERWHELMINGLY that you will not draw. You can have a 4% chance of drawing vs 1% drawing, giving you 4x the liklihood of pulling a tag.... but the harsh reality is that there is still a 96% chance you don't get the tag. It's a lottery for a reason. Some get lucky and some don't. At the end of the day, you absolutely will NOT draw if you don't apply. It's up to each person to individually decide if the cost of applying is worth the chance.
I'm young, and I absolutely will not apply in states that operate on preference vs bonus points. It's a lost cause for anyone who didn't start applying while I was still playing little league baseball.
In 2004 when I drew my WY Rocky Bighorn tag. I passed a half curl ram first day and only saw 7 ewes for rest of hunt. Never saw another ram. So I ended up mounting my tag beside my Stone and Dall. :^)
The Colorado moose draw has a unique factor where there is actually RES ONLY units. An like mentioned above, IF you do your research, you can up your odds on moose... [i.e. apply for one of the newly created moose units] there arent any stats on those yet and its very likely you could draw.
samman- The harvest stats page showing the number of hunters being less than the number of licenses doesn't necessarily mean they didn't hunt....that's possible, but some just don't do their harvest report.
All good information. However, I think that after you have religiously applied for 20 years, states should sweeten the pot for those applicants. There should be a meaningful loyalty advantage that kicks in. And by the way, I don't have 20 points ....YET.
Maybe this will demonstrate how the weighted points actually give the applicant the same benefits as having extra draws. Let's use the deck of cards analogy with each card having a number from 1 to 52 with there being 52 applicants. Each applicant get one of the numbers or one draw. Just for example let's say that anyone with a final number of 2 gets a tag. For an applicant with 0 weighted points they have to draw a 1 or 2 to get a tag. Someone with 9 weighted points can draw 1-20 to get a tag because 20 divided by 10 is 2. Therefore they have 10 times more numbers that they can draw and get a tag than someone with 0 weighted points which is the equivalent to having 10 applicants in the draw. If someone has 19 weighted points they get a tag if they draw numbers 1 to 40 or they have 20 times more numbers that they can draw and get a tag. So the odds are a lot better for those with weighted points. However the odds are still poor for everyone. Over time the odds balance out but on any given draw there is a lot of luck involved. The odds just indicate your chance of getting lucky.
sticksender, thank you for doing a fine job of evaluating and presenting this. I think that your work clearly shows that the odds did balance out in even a very small sampling. Of course those who drew with 0 or 1 points beat the odds but with so many of them applying the odds were that some would draw.
They changed the system when it was just 3 PP and everyone had the same chance. Now there is a modified system with some mechanism to favor those that have been in longer. And that is not good enough for some. Status quo is the best way not to piss off those that have been in it a while.
No- the system was 3 PP and WP did not exist- then they created the WP "solution"...
that was 20 years ago and wasn't it a once in a lifetime draw before that for a while? Way back in the day it was a straight lottery and I know a couple old timers that drew every year. One has a hardware store here in town and he has a couple of his rams hanging in it.
In the 80's and 90's. The general feel as a resident was that you will get to hunt sheep and goat at least once and maybe more. Things have changed and are only getting worse. If someone is dead set on hunting them, its time to look at alternatives besides drawing a tag in CO. Definitely stay in the game but thinking that a bunch of weighted points has you knocking on the door of a tag isn't realistic. Going another 20 years or more of getting a refund could easily happen.
Love info and exactly as expected. So many do not understand math and simply think luck is "real". I love in Vegas using a "feeling" look down the strip at all the huge successful casinos relying on only math!
I once did a similar comparison for Nevada because a guy called BS on points helping. Turns out his claim was wrong by over one hundred fold. When forced to see it he simply said "well maybe but it still sucks for the guy with a lot of points who did not draw"! Ignorance is bliss and a sucker is born every minute.
I hope CO will see the light and do something to correct this in the near future. While the OP's data is accurate it does expose how flawed the system is. If it was working as they had assumed it would 20 years ago the 16wp pool would be receiving a higher percentage of availible tags, based on the percentage of the total applicant pool they represent. They are not. As the number of applicants entering at the bottom of the WP pool grows, the odds for the applicants at the top is actually decreasing. Orion is correct.
For all intents and purposes, for the NR, a sheep tag in Colorado is once in a lifetime, regardless of whether the regs say so. And that's if the NR is lucky.
If by "Blowhard Statistical Guy" you mean someone who:
1) has rudimentary mathematical skills 2) can read and comprehend a simple data table 3) has at least grade school reading comprehension
Then yes I confess to being a BSG.
Its math. Never my favorite subject but its not a mystery. 2+2=4 doesn't even matter which 2 you put first. Some folks will ignore it and assume weighted points help more than they really do and others will ignore it and pretend weighted points effect odds less than they really do.
Weighted points give you a slight advantage but when it comes to ram and goat tags, odds of drawing are slim no matter how many you have. As we add more and more people to the applicant pool, the worse the odds get for everyone.
There is no way to predict when or if you might draw. The odds are you won't at any weighted point level, but that beats the odds you have if you don't apply.
Does anyone know how the DPW handles tags that are turned in? Does it go to the next one in line from the draw (which I would assume)? Or look at the individuals with the highest weights? I am still holding out hope for a goat tag.
Tim M - It happened to me last year. They give it to the next one in line from the draw. I received an email from the DPW letting me know and it told me who to contact if I wanted it. I wouldn't hold out too much hope for that happening though, pretty rare.
Goat tags that are returned are offered to the next in line. If they offer it 5 times with no takers it goes into the leftover license pool. This is the same for basically any license that requires more than 5 preference points.
Blowhard statical guy checking in -
I do not claim to be able to predict the odds but I'm either really really lucky or very good at using draw odds to my advantage to draw tags. Likely a combo of the two.
So far in Colorado I've draw- Archery sheep tag with 3 points. Rifle ewe tag with 1 point. My son drew a rifle ewe tag with one point.
Mt goat drew a tag with 3 and 5 weighted points. Was first runner up with only 1 points on a tag last year.
How about moose tags on same weighted system. Cow tag with 3 points Then an archery bull tag with 3 and 4. Another cow tag with 1 point.
That's a pretty good run in 17 years.
Bottom line no draw/bonus point/weighted point system is ever going to make everyone happy. There are simply not enough tags to go around to everyone that is applying. Using math/odds/statics/luck and reports like the one Sticksender prepared to increase you portability of drawing is all part of the game for me.
Best of luck to all who drew and good luck next year for those who didn't.
Thanks Greg (sticksender) for the detailed breakdown. I must confess that I have mistakenly over-valued my weighted sheep points in the past. Good to know the reality going forward. The weighted points don't mean as much as I had hoped, but I'm still glad to have them!
Really who has drawn what in the past doesn't validate the system. It just shows that in any random draw system some will land above the median and some will land below.
If the intent of weighted points was to give applicants who have been in the system the longest a statistical advantage then the system is failing. YES there is a mathmatical/statistical advantage with the current system but it is so slight as to be meaningless.
The system could be fixed by squaring weighted points, or using any multiplier against a weighted point to increase the statistical viability of a weighted point. Doing that wouldn't really harm any point group IMO, unless we believe someone with 3 points should have NEARLY the same statistical opportunity as someone with 16.
The answer to the burning question is, yes weighted points are (almost) meaningless
Young hunters being so far behind in the points race is a constant issue on the CPW's list. I guarantee that decreasing their odds will be perceived as "harm" by some.
Lets say we cut off goat applications right now so that guys in the system get the best possible chances of drawing a tag. No new applications until we are done and the current guys have all finally got a tag. We could even allocate a big portion guaranteed to high point holders every year to get them out hunting sooner. It would take 39 years.
If Colorado goes to an online NR application for sheep, goats & moose with no money up front the application numbers will increase even more! New guys have it pretty easy these days with some states not asking for much money up front & all the draw odds given to them from magazines & web sites like Toprut, Hunter's Trailhead & Go Hunt.
Nice to see my comments were the only ones deleted. Remember not to call out or disagree with the old timers on here, cause they can't handle it
They were deleted because they added nothing to the discussion. It's called trolling.
And you just did it again.
I was finally lucky and drew a NR G7 mountain goat tag with 3+14. In my opinion the weighted points give an applicant slightly better drawing odds as Sticksender's analysis shows but you still have to be extremely lucky to start out with a low random number. I haven't ran the numbers, but I suspect that for every year you are eligible and don't draw out, your added weighted point is offset by the new applicants coming into the species drawng pool, decreasing any added value the weighted point gives you in the next draw. Just taking a quick look at the mountain goat odds, there are approximately 200 tags given out per year, but approximately 1,000 newly added qualified applicants for a net add of approximately 800 applicants for each year's drawing, thereby diluting an existing applicant's draw odds. You have an added weighted point, but are now competing against 800 new applicants for a low random number to apply your weighted points divisor to which may or may not be good enough to draw the tag. IMO, for every year you are eligible to draw on the species level and don't draw, your odds get worse the following year with the possible exception of those applicants having close to max weighted points...
Horniac - I agree with your summary of the situation, all great points. Incidentally, G7 is where I hunted in 2012, if you need any input on that unit feel free to shoot me a PM.
Horniac: "your added weighted point is offset by the new applicants coming into the species drawng pool"
Yes for sure that's happening. If you look at the total draw pool for resident Mt Goat, the key number to consider is the "total draw points" (for all those who actually applied for a hunt). For 2015, all resident Goat hunts included, that number was 26763. Then in '16 it rose to 30183. And in '17 it rose to 33952. An increase of roughly 12.5% each year. There are 3 reasons for the increase......first are the new entrants who reach their 3 PP's and enter the draw; second, a net gain in people choosing to apply for a tag instead of just points; and third, everyone who didn't draw a tag the prior year and therefore gained one WP each.
The key to remember though in Colorado's draw set-up, is that you can, to a degree, have some control of your chances, depending on your wants and needs in a hunt. Since the hunt you select can be low demand, moderate demand, or high demand. And of course you'll only be competing with the applicants who pick the same hunt. Some hunts have far fewer applicants, and fewer higher point holders participating. This aspect of the draw in Colorado differs from some other state's systems, in which names are 'drawn from a hat' and the hunt choices are filled from a list of multiple choices by each drawn applicant, until all the quotas are full. The system in those states provides less advantage to an applicant willing to accept a lower-demand hunt as his first choice. In Colorado, unit selection helped my draw success for Goat in '14, because I was willing to settle for a low demand hunt with very few applicants. But as time passes, people are getting wiser to this concept, as they lower their expectations after realizing they may never draw otherwise. So the easy-to-draw tags are slowly becoming tougher to draw.
By the way congrats on drawing a great tag Horniac, and best of luck on the mountain!
Thank you sticksender for this excellent analysis.
What all of this points out is that applying for sheep, moose and Mtn goat tags in CO is much more like gambling than investing with the odds getting worse each year even with a lot of points due to the large influx of new applicants. I drew sheep and goat tags in the 80s and 90s when the odds were much better. Most applicants will have to be very lucky to ever draw one of the three in a life time. If we were to take the total fees paid by all applicants and divide that by the number of tags issues we may find that the cost per tags is much higher than what most would want or be able to pay for a tag. Remember, we are just getting the tag, not an outfitted hunt. Therefore it can be considered gambling with the house (CO) holding the winning hand which I am fine with. We just need to understand that we are not waiting our turn but hoping to get lucky.
Any non-resident tag is quite a lucky achievement to get- there are only 10% allocated, and tons of applicants.
The WP system was initiated because the sentiments on here about having some additional weight to those waiting longest, but yet designed so that the new or young people just getting in have a reasonable crack at it as well.
The system is not failing, it's the perception of those that these are true Preference Points, or Bonus points- which is not the case.
Sometime around 16-17 years ago Arizona found themselves with a similar issue with elk. Extremely high demand for a very limited resource. Those at the top of the point pool complained as their statistical advantage eroded. AZ chose to set aside 10% of the tags for those with the most points, which lead to their current two tiered draw system. They liked it so much that they eventually dediced to up it to 20% of the tags as the point pool continued to grow.
Not saying that is the perfect solution but I do know that the change has not discouraged new and young hunters from jumping in. In fact, this year they set a record for both res and non-res applications. That is the point I'm trying to make with this post.
The situation could be solved (at least for me), if everyone else got so discouraged, they quit applying. ;-)
Best message and analysis ever Stick Sender, well done.
The facts show that weighted points are exactly as advertised, a statistically better chance to draw the more you have, but with limited supply and extremely high demand there is never any guarantees. It is better than the old 3 points and then all are the same of years past, but certainly doesn't provide any guarantee.
Thanks Sticksender! Great analysis and the NV comparison was interesting. I prefer the NV system as it seems to better reward the higher point holders. As a good friend always reminds me, There is no substitute for luck! He also claims to be a victim of fast women and slow horses.