Contributors to this thread:
Are you missing the "Point'?
Lots of chatter recently about Pref Points and Point Creep.
Curious as to 'why' you have entered - or did enter - the Elk Pref Point game.
I entered AZ & CO when IMO it made more sense. The systems continue to change and the odds get worse and point creep gets higher. If I was starting from scratch today I don't think I would play the game.
To get drawn in better units.
To eventually draw some better units and to have fun hunting elk in different states and habitat.
/\ /\ what he said /\ /\ Problem is, once you have had an awesome limited entry hunt, it makes hunting the OTC less appealing, at least for me. Passing on bulls and calling multiple bulls, day in, day out, is just plain a kick in the butt.
I put in for a point but just always hunted OTC. Heck, when I started bowhunting in Colorado you could purchase a deer, bear and elk tags during the season. First Bighorn Ram tag we drew with 0 PP's. many units like S49 you could get a Ram tag every other year or two. Now- Just applying in Wyoming and Arizona takes a marginal investment even if you do not plan to hunt there for some time. Obviously Supply and Demand, so all this talk about hunter recruitment and there not being anybody to hunt someday has me scratching my head?
Building elk points in AZ (7).
I entered the points games in multiple states to get higher quality hunts - less pressure and better potential for older age class animals. Plus, I like hunting sheep and that is a very long term proposition in most states so you just have to keep plugging away in hopes that someday you will get lucky in the draws.
If I was putting in for sheep, it kind of made sense to add on an application for elk, deer, antelope, etc.
Hard to believe I am sitting on more than 20 points in several states for many species. I do not think I would have taken the same path for building points across the board for so many species but, I should be pulling at least one or two good tags a year moving forward.
Just have to figure out which ones to focus on drawing so I don't end up with too many to be able to enjoy them in one year...
Haven't actually drawn any yet, started 7 years ago and have since added a couple more states to the mix. I could have drawn one state this year but punted and will do that in the next year or two. But my goal is to have a few hunts over my lifetime a reasonable step up from the 3 OTC hunts I've done. I don't put in for any of the primo units and don't intend to. The units I pursue are more geared toward quantity than trophy quality. Hopefully getting to experience a few more close encounters over the course of a week. Had a shot opportunity on each of my OTC hunts so far but they have been a lot of work, and there were certainly no mulligans when that chance came. Another perk I am hoping to realize is more straightforward hunts logistically and in some gentler terrain. Practically need West Point training in military strategy to figure out how to outmaneuver and outthink 700 off my closest fellow hunter friends, which is a unique challenge in itself but I wouldn't mind an elk hunt in some gentler terrain on less pressured animals once or twice a decade.
After years of hunting cows in the same area with numerous up-close bull encounters I would just like to have the opportunity to draw my bow on one of the big boys.
I built points because 15 years ago, it made sense. You could build points and eventually have some great hunts. Now you can't, for the most part. We're just continually chasing now. Like a dog on a dogtrack, chasing the fake rabbit. I'm dumping points where I can throughout the west. By the time you spend 10-20 years chasing the rabbit, you've invested enough time and money to have just bought some darn good tags/hunts.
I started building points in hopes of hunting top quality limited draw areas. Chasing older age class animals with less competition from other hunters. Still building points today, but my expectations are much lower. Have cashed quite a few points in on mid-tier limited entry areas....and will continue to do so. Just got tired of waiting and decided to hunt instead!
I've been building elk points for just a few years. When I first moved to Colorado in 2013, I was new to the PP game and missed out my first year. Now I have a few points and plan to build for another year or two, until I can get into a unit like 49. My goal is to have a quality hunt, less pressure (compared to OTC) with multiple opportunities since I've struck out the last two years on OTC tags. I'm a simple man with simple pleasures. I don't need a 350" to feel good about myself.
I started without a real plan other than I wanted to go on a few good elk hunts in the future and points seemed to help with that. I am now up to 15 in AZ, 14 in UT, and 8 in WY. Have hunted Idaho and CO to get my elk fix in the meantime.
Started early. Forgot sometimes. Sitting at 19. Figure I could draw 2 for my 100th. birthday.
For the chance of having a higher quality hunt. I've only been "building" points for WY really. For CO, where I've been going, it doesn't take very many which fits my current situation of elk hunting every other year or so. Having a young family does that to a guy who lives out east.
I was born 15 years too late to take advantage of most point systems. I do build them anyways with the intentions of burning them as fast as I can. I'm getting rid of a handful on a cow hunt this year because it will be a fun hunt in a unique landscape that my dad and I can enjoy together. The only state I build points in with the hopes of having a shot at a better than average animal is Arizona. But, more importantly, I hope when I draw there I can experience some intense rut action. My goal is to never have more than 8 or 10 points in a state, but that's proving to be difficult for even "easy" to draw units these days.
So I can hunt the unit I live in. With point creep I will likely only get to hunt elk where I live one more time. Sad.
The point game is a completely different ball game from state to state, so there's different reasons from state to state to enter the game or not. As far as CO, I was under no illusion from the get-go that I'd one day draw one of the better units. I entered with a goal of drawing a specific low-points unit after a calculated amount of years, which looks like I'll end up one year off from.
I believe that before you enter the points game in any state and periodically thereafter, you owe it to yourself to research what you're after, what the odds are of that happening, how long it'll take, and how much it'll cost, and then decide if it's worth it. At this point, it's unrealistic to expect the best units each state has to offer if you've been in the game less than 10 years.
I like to just create opportunities in the surrounding states along with my home state. I’ve gone through my realistic elk points the last couple years but now I’m hoping to string out 3 or 4 years of quality mule deer bow hunts. We’ll see but it certainly creates excitement doing the apps and waiting for results which for me is a big part of the fun. Also would love to hunt desert sheep someday so building a decent quiver of points there.
Nesser: You've got some great trophy photo's.
I’ve been building points in CO since I moved here in 1996, with the hope that I would some day be able to hunt some of the more sought after species that reside here. Being middle aged, with young children, and of modest income, funding an Alaskan hunt for sheep, goats, moose, etc. is probably not in the cards for me. Even non-resident license fees in neighboring states like Wyoming or New Mexico are beyond my monetary means. But I still dream that i’ll someday beat the odds and get to chase these critters at home. I did cash in points in 2015 for an elk hunt in GMU 76, and it was a pinnacle of my hunting career. Coincidentally, my home unit is now only about 80% draw on a first choice, so my point building days for elk are probably over.
You forgot bonus points, different from preference points...Lol
As said above, for the chance to hunt different states, in some of the better areas, etc...
Not playing anymore. I’ve drawn many great tags...too many to list. I do put in for BC random draws now for 5 or 6 species but no points are given. Good luck to those in the point game.
Depends on the goal. Building points to draw some world class elk nirvana unit that odds say it's 50/50 you draw your walker tag first..... no thank you. Or building points a few years towards drawing a unit in some state you can likely hunt every 3 to 5 years. With some kind of "rotation" in a few years a person could have a LE elk hunt every year or 3.
That's the theory anyway..... without a theory it's just an opinion..... =D
That's my elk/deer plan...... sheep/moose/goats.... likely not, not in the lower 48. But working on another plan for that..... Demi Moore and Sharon Stone haven't stepped up to the plate yet, but working on it.... heheheheh....
I'm with Ron N. Also, my buddy moved to WYO and I would like to hunt with him every few years. I'm not looking to draw top units anywhere, just expand my opportunities and try something different. Right now I only do WYO and AZ for elk/deer as far as out of state pts.
I had the idea to start building points in UT and AZ while in grad school in hopes of having enough time and $ accumulated to go on a mid-tier hunt once I had enough points. 7 years later, I think I'm starting to get close in AZ, but UT is still a long way out. I still don't have the time to devote to a quality archery elk tag, but I've had lots of fun chasing high country mule deer in the mean time.
There are plenty of lower tier CO units that don't take alot of points. I'd rather get a 4 or 5 point unit than hunt a heavily pressured unit.....
I'm building points for elk in CO and have amassed a staggering 2 points! My plan is to cash them in 5-6 years from now and then build just enough to hunt a LE unit every 2nd or 3rd year. I guess my goal is to hopefully hunt areas with reduced pressure.
...because sometimes I'm bad at math.
My question to guys....did you hunt Elk during the years you were acquiring the points??
Started 26 years ago, Dwight Shuh article about hunting units with high game population and low hunter numbers. Sounded good and has been a dozen elk latter.
I hunt elk every year, irrespective of whether I draw or not. I apply everywhere a NR elk tag is offered except for OR, WA, and MT. The apps are not so I can hunt elk. They're so that I can have a good tag every now and then and maybe a great tag a time or two in my lifetime.
I turn 40 this year and have only been playing the game for 5-7 years, depending on the state. I plan on taking a bunch of points to the grave too, but mostly sheep/bison type points. There's no way around that.
I hunted OTC while building points and learned to hunt elk so when the time came to use them on a premium unit (CO unit 2) I could make the most of it. Now I'm not bothering with CO points anymore since I won't live long enough to make them worthwhile. I'll hunt WY general every couple years with a couple points.
Almost every year I hear from, or mentor guys who draw CO premium units with very little archery elk experience. They think it will be like shooting fish in a barrel. Its not. Almost invariably they get frustrated and end up with tag soup. A couple have even given up and gone home when they realized it can be a hard hunt, especially if they have their sights set on a big score.
Franklin, I have hunted elk every year I have been acquiring points except for 3 years when I was out of the country. Hunted ciervod rojo, viscachas, and venados to keep in tune...
I started because I drew a resident NV elk tag 17 years ago and had such an incredible hunt compared to my OR, ID and MT OTC hunts I couldn’t wait to hunt big bulls and lots of bulls again so I started applying for trophy units in several western states. Now, years later, I’ve hunted MT and NM but have yet to draw a tag in a “points only” state whether they are bonus or preference points.
Now getting really close to some awesome out of state tags and have built up enough points NV that I have a good chance at drawing here too.
I play, but I play the short game, I want a unit not far from home, 0-1 points to draw, mostly 1 or 2 these days though and no sheep grazing
I started in with Colorado points because my HS grad present was a elk/deer hunt out there in 1998. Had the time of my life despite it being with (what I now know) a poor guide. Missed a few years of apps here and there throughout college but got back into it about a dozen years ago. I have been grooming myself into trophy elk hunting shape by whacking raghorns in MT and hope to use my CO points for a hunt where I will be able to look over more elk than usual and finally step up into that 300+ class animal.
I don't have many points in many states as I seem to draw very often in most of the states I apply for.
Wyo 0 points
Az. 2 points
Utah 2 points (but I am going for my 3rd LE Elk tag as I have drawn twice already)
Nv. like 17 points but by the time it comes to apply for Nv. I have drawn enough elk tags to fill September hunt dates---------->
No more Colo for me......points anyways & I do Idaho OTC instead of Colo. nothing wrong with Colo ~~ Hell I like many of us learned how to hunt them dang elk OTC Colorado!~~ it is just that Idaho is a 2 hour drive to Elk Camp......
Don't do Mont......I should though.
I only do the same 1 choice in N. Mexico each year by my decision.
Good luck, Robb
I put in pretty much for just deer and elk in several states.
CO, I've hunted a low demand unit every 4 years and have a bunch of deer points I'll cash in soon.
Wyo, I have max for elk, deer, lopes. Good chance I'll be dumping those over the next few years.
AZ, I'm close to drawing a mid-tier elk unit.
Utah, cheap points so I put in for everything.
NV, elk mecca so continue to throw my name in the hat there along with deer.
It's just fun for me to play the game while still hunting elk on either cow tags, leftovers, or otc.
Ive hunted elk in Colorado every year since 1988, and 4 times in Wyoming in the past 4 years
I acquired my first Colorado PP in 1991. With full intentions of drawing 201. [Back then you applied for a high PP area to get a PP]
After awhile, I started to do more research and drew ML Unit 10 in 2000 w/ 9 PPs [takes 20 PPs now]
I immediately started collecting again and in 2012, I drew 61 archery w/ 12 PPs
I'll get my 6th Colorado PP, and my 3rd Wyoming PP again this year.
Once my next 'plan' expires, I wont collect more than 1-2, unless the CPW changes something
Ive always had a plan - not necessarily to shoot a 350" bull behind every tree - but used my PP to have a couple great hunt in Limited Entry units, or to hunt with friends in another state
That my 'point'
I have never played the points game. Don't always draw my favorite permit in Montana but still hunt same with Colorado. No stress no worries and still have a great hunt every year. I have seen bulls in all areas that would be excellent trophies. I guess I just don't get what I'm missing.
So for a guy that doesn't understand this, I'm 55, does it pay to start applying for points in, say, CO?
I purchased points in WY only, just so I could hunt the General every other year. That hasn't panned out due to point creep, so I'm out of that game (for this reason and some others). I'll hunt the states that allow me to purchase OTC, easy-draw units, or maybe a WY random when I can. Elk hunting is fun without needing to shoot a trophy for me.
I didn’t join the point race until 2012 when I discovered bowsite. I knew right away that I wouldn’t be able to draw the premier tags that are available in multiple states. Of all the states that have elk WY, CO, AZ, NM and Utah get apps from me.
I set my sights on the mid tier units.
In Wyoming I burnt my points last year. This year a random tag was drawn so still sitting on zero points. I doubt I acquire much more then what’s needed for a general tag.
Utah has a few units that have caught my eye. I figured I have a 10 to 15 year wait there.
Az it’s all about a tag I can draw with less then 10 points. There are a couple early archery hunts to be had with that few of points that have caught my eye.
CO is the one state I don’t have a plan in. Or I should say the plan has changed numerous times. One minute I want to hold out for 76 the next I want to burn the points in 49. Heck even a muzzle loader tag in an OTC archery unit had crossed my mind.
Wyoming is my state of interest in drawing the most often. Whether it be a random tag, leftover tag or a tag in the 3 point area.
If there is no glory in drawing a tag there is always otc Co. With an occasional mule deer hunt in Ne or SD thrown in if no elk tags can be had. The nice thing about Wy early draw results is if I draw I don’t even put in an app in NM.
It’s a plan. Whether it’s a good one or not is the question to be answered.
I didn't plan on entering the 'chase', applied for elk tags and didn't draw, and my one point led to two, then three and so on. Now I'm sitting on points in Colorado that really limit when I can hunt. I either blow my points on units and hunts that take two or nine points, hunt a unit that a 300" bull is a monster, or just hunt otc units. Arizona, it's the will and want to draw a tag in a great unit. I moved to Arizona to give myself a better chance to draw a tag that as a non resident I never would draw. Forget 6A, its time to chase a MONSTER!!! We learned how to play the draw system in New Mexico, and have been extremely lucky in drawing tags that produce some good bulls.
I got into the game initially because of sheep. In my early 20s, while still in school, I got the sheep fever really bad. Weird, as I'd never even seen a wild sheep at that time. However, with my career plans, I knew I could never afford a Mexico desert sheep hunt, or a Canmore bighorn hunt, and probably not a Dall's or a Stone's either.
So at that time, I started accruing sheep points. Well, if you're in the game for sheep, you might as well be in the game for everything. I started to accrue a few points for other species that I knew I wouldn't want to necessarily pay for an expensive guided hunt, but I wouldn't mind hunting (think mountain goat and bison).
At that time, I wasn't too concerned with antelope, mulie and elk, as I just figured that those were hunts I could afford to do guided. . . . Being from the Midwest, I never dreamed of doing a DIY type hunt at that stage.
However, I did accrue a few elk and mulie points in states where they were cheap to get after you'd already bought sheep points (think NV, AZ, UT).
The game really changed for me in the fall of 2009, when I did a DIY elk hunt in CO, and stumble-bumbled into a bull and killed it. Then the DIY fever hit me hard (I was 27/28), and I started getting points for everything I could get my hands on. That's when I started in on WY mulie/antelope/elk points, and getting points in other states that I thought was worth it for me (NV, AZ, UT, WY, MT)
Then in 2010, my buddy and I drew NM elk primo . . . . Stoked the fire even harder.
Since then, I've drawn a good elk hunt in WY (tag soup, but a great hunt), a great elk tag in NV (tag soup, but a great hunt). I'm at the point I can get any antelope tag in WY (I think). I'm a year or two from a decent AZ elk tag, and I'm double digits for sheep in multiple states. I feel like I might have some really good hunts coming up in the next 10-15 years. We'll see I guess.
It's a fun but frustrating game.
I’m only building points in WY because of few of you bowsiters I have spoken to said it’s worth the wait. I also don’t really have the luxury of putting into the drawings and hoping for a tag and trying to plan a trip....I need a plan before hand. Elk will make ya sick with the fever for sure.
I am putting in for points but only for animals/states where I think I have a realistic chance of drawing in the next 10 years or so.
I hate having money in my bank account, so I apply for lots of points each year.
Started hunting elk in 1971 when my dad took me out of school. Have hunted 17 times since . The area is now a draw unit that takes 3 points. So I play the game to hunt this unit. not a trophy hunter , but love the mountains and elk. Guess we all do it for different reasons.
For reasons I don't really recall, I started applying for bison in Utah 19 years ago. I didn't really get into other states for a few years but now have 297 bonus or preference points in 10 states for various species. I expect some exciting adventures in the coming years.
LOL at Scoot! Here! Take my money!