Why a preference point system won't work in AK
I posted this in another thread but I'd thought I'd post this here too.
This is why I think a preference point system won't work in Alaska:
Lets take Bison for example. We'll look at the Bison draw with the best odds DI 454. 1021 people applied and they gave out 24 permits. So roughly 2.35%. So that means 98% of the people all got 1 perference point or just under 1000 people. So now you have 997 all on equal drawing ground. Same thing but now you are up to 2.4% Next year 973 people so odds are about 2.46% So after 20 years you still only have a 42% chance of getting drawn. In fact after 42 years you have a 64% chance of getting drawn and by the 43 year of consectutively applying you WILL get your permit. Congrats. So if I started doing that next year I'd be 68 years old. Sounds like a GREAT system.
Better yet lets take all the Bison permits as a whole last year. 18,548 people applied for 166 permits. After doing this for 200 years you'd still have 13,630 applying with the same exactly preference points. Its ok though after 111 years would be the year everyone that orginally started drawing in 2007 would get a permit.
Or how bout this. Just looking at all the moose draw permits for 2007 35,941 applied for permits and only 3036 people got them or about 8.4%. So after 11 years you'll have a 54% chance to draw and the 12th year you will draw. Thats about a I think I'll stick with my chances in the random draw.
Every year 92% of the people that apply for a moose permit DO NOT get one. So would you rather have it so a person that is new to hunting has to wait on average 12 YEARS to get a freaking moose permit. I'd rather take my chances in the random. This is why I make plans on NOT gettting a permit and if I do its a bonus if I do draw.
I believe that the point system works better down south is because they has so many different small draw units all split up that they get to split it up better. However, I'd hate to see Alaska disected more than it already is. Its nice to be able to have such huge areas to have general open seasons rather than everything be pigeon holed to a bunch of 30 square mile sections. If we did this to Alaska there would be so many hunts not even applied for cause they are out in BFE and no roads. I think we'd all like to hunt each fall for sure rather than elminate a bunch of the general season hunting areas and make them preference point drawing hunts.
There are roads all over the lower 48 so its much easier to access and split up into tiny units to hunt. Thats why all the easily accessible hunts in are less than 5% draws for Alaska cause otherwise you are looking at a flyout which isn't cheap.
Alaska isn't the lower 48 the same rules do not apply as its such a different animal up here. If you want to wait 12 years for a moose permit be my guest. But a point system WILL NOT help you draw road accessible hunts in Alaska WILL NOT work as everything is so popular and there are so many people applying for the same thing.
I agree that dividing the state up is a poor idea. I love the opportunity to have general season hunts that can allow people to get out every year- and we all know there are still numerous 'pockets' out there that hold good game.
However, lets look at your bison example. I have been putting in for farewell and delta bison since I was about 10 years old and I'm 30 now. With a points system, using the math you worked out, I would have had a 42% chance of getting drawn this year instead of a 1-2% chance. By simply looking at the numbers a points system would definitely work in my favor....
I suppose the system is what it is right now, so I guess I'll have to be happy with my general season sheep, moose and deer hunts, as well as my goat permit that I drew!!!
Actually you'd have a 4.2% chance as there would still be 565 people with the same about of preference points going for the same 24 tags.
The more the system is screwed with in order to "make it fair", the more screwed up it will get.
The subsistence morass is the perfect example of that principle.
Yeah I have my doubts that it would do much to help up the odds. Glad to see someone with math skills actually figure it out. That is what I kind of figured it would be. Doesn't help much does it. The only other thing I can see is ,and I don't like this idea, have some of these treasured hunts made a once in a lifetime hunt. I have talked to guys that have drawn more than one bison tag. Good for them and their luck but it seems it could be made a one time deal. Another good research project. How many people have drawn multiple bison tags or Delta sheep??? Please don't think that I endorse this idea but it is an option and I have seen it in the proposals before.
I was using the math you worked out. Also, this is assuming the same people continue putting in for the exact same hunt as their first choice every single year. As I understand preference systems in the lower 48, the points are for the species, not for a particular hunt. Therefore, you may be able to increase your odds by applying for different hunt numbers.
Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche
Here is the bottom line from my point of view, I don't ever want to see units further divided up into smaller, micro-managed sub-units. However, I do favor the idea of having an increased chance of getting drawn over someone who already has been drawn, or someone that hasn't been putting in for the tag as long- no matter how small that chance is.
A L : It seems that your math model is basically sound EXCEPT you do not account for population drop out as the years go by - people move out of state, people die, people stop hunting, in addition to the fact that current trends are that fewer and fewer people are hunting now than in the past. It seems to me that the original pool of hunters would shrink each year which in and of itself would increase one's chances of getting drawn given the now smaller pool of original applicants not to mention the fact that the original pool of applicants would have a significantly increased point accumulation with each passing year. I have no idea what an appropriate yearly correction factor would be but I do think the annual chance of getting drawn would be appreciably influenced for the remaining original applicant pool. I would leave the final exact figures to the "number crunchers". Lastly I should point out that the % drawn could go up (or down) depending on specific target game populations.
Originally Posted by shphtr
True those factors would improve your odds somewhat. However, the problem is that the amount of people that would be starting for Bison for example is 18,000 that is a HUGE amount of people trying to apply for 166 permits. So after 20 years 80% of those people aren't applying any more for that (which I think it wouldn't be that high) that would still be 3,600 people applying for 166 permits, all with the same preference points. Which works out to 4.6%. While yes it is better, but how would you like to put in for a permit for $30 each year for 20 years only to have a 4.6% chance to draw?? Not me, I'll stick to dumb luck.
Good points though, the numbers are in no way perfect and there are a lot of variables. However, you just can't get away from the fact that of the 18,000 people that apply for coveted draws like Bison, there are over 17,844 people that go w/o a tag.
That's not really how they work
While your math is legit AK Lanche, your statistical reasoning is way off. Delta bison permits are an extreme outlier in comparisson to the hundreds of other permits that have much higher chances of success so you can't really use them as a baseline for the entire system. Now my only real understanding of how preference point systems work is the one that was implemented back in my home state of Montana four or five years ago. In that system applicants can elect whether or not they want to get a preference point if they're unsuccessful. You pay a couple bucks extra and if you're unsuccessful you get a preference point. For each preference point you get your name (or drawing number) put into the draw an additional time the next year. If you're successful or if you don't participate you go back to square one. Points are accumulated for species, not for individual hunts so you can move them around however you see fit. The drawing is still completely random so you can still draw an extremely difficult tag your first time out, but it favors that guy who puts in dilligently for 30 years for that really difficult tag that he really wants. A better way to look at it as opposed to those rather arbitrary percentages is that that kind of system gives the guy that's put in for 30 years a 30 fold better chance of drawing that prized tag than the 12 year old kid that puts in his first time and may well decide it's too cold in Delta in January so he'd rather stay home and play PlayStation. In that system it's no guarantee that you will ever draw a coveted tag, or even a relatively easy one for that matter, it simply favors those that have a more vested interest in those hunts. At the same extreme you could still draw Delta bison the first time out.
I don't understand your reasoning for being concerned about units being split up either. A preference point system is merely a matter of numbers in a computer system. Units are broken up based on game densities, hunter accessibility and hunt participation, things of that nature. There's really no correlation between preference points and game units at all.
Frankly I think F&G has better things to worry about than a preference point system, but honestly the system that Montana has is a great system that favors those that keep hard at it, but it still gives you a chance every time you try regardless.
Two additional points. As the population of applicants increases each year in line with the (regrettable) increase in the population of Alaska, for a strickly limited number of draws from an increasing pool, one's chances of getting drawn actually DECREASE each year. My experience is that I have been putting in for the same three Kodiak brown bear areas for now 27 years and have yet to be drawn and feel my chances of getting drawn next year are less than they were 27 years ago. It would be somewhat comforting to know that my diligent and persistent applying would somehow increase (even if a little) my chances of getting drawn in succeeding draws. Until next year...
Like I said there is a TON of variables. Also what I found after researching different states do the preference point system different ways. Yes the Bison hunt is an extreme situation, but its not just Bison. Look at the cow hunts in the valley, coveted Kodiak bear tags, Tok and Delta sheep, or most major moose hunts with easy access. They are GENERALLY (not always) less than 10% draw and in a lot of cases less than 5%. And I honestly think that the preference point system will not help with the shear volume of people applying for the few amount of permits.
Also what I was saying about breaking up general season areas that guys have hunted for years to make more permit areas to draw, cause thats what would be needed to make a preference point system really work like it does down in the lower 48. It would take more permit areas with easy access like the lower 48. Alaska is very different is this regard. Yes its a huge state, but limited "easy access" hunting.
You make a lot of good points Jeff. What I'm merely trying to illustrate is the fact that a preference point system wouldn't be the cure all that some believe. All the low percentage hunts will take a LONG while to draw. Preference points on these hunts will basically just give the applier a little warm fuzzy that atleast it was all for not I guess, which I can relate to a little. I realize that there are a lot that can go into changing things on the numbers I came up with, just showing another side to the agruement thats all.
Preference Points vs. Bonus Points
While I agree the preference point system is a little flawed, there is a difference between them and the bonus point systems many states utilize. One example was already mentioned which gives you an extra "ticket" in the drawing (so after 20 years applying your name is in the pot 20 times instead of once). Another neat one that I have seen is somewhere out west where each time you apply and fail it doubles the number of times your name is in the pot (year 1=1, 2=2, 3=4, 4=8, etc.).
I for one would like to see it favor those that have been applying for years but definately don't take the chance away from the newbies. That's what keeps them interested!!
Unless there is a population decrease or an extended recession, look for more draw hunts to appear as the years go by. It's a matter of increased demand for a (reasonably) unchanging resource. At least a preference point system does reward the persistent hunter.
If you want to see preference points in action, hang around the web sites of New Hampshire (moose) or Wyoning/Montana (almost everything).
It has already been pointed out why there are decreasing numbers with a high preference point total as the years progress. Yes, a preference point system does work against a person who puts in for points after others have several.
The most fair system I have experience with is one where an applicant gets his/her name put in for the draw a number of times equal to the number of points accumulated. That still leaves the possibility that someone with lots of luck will draw a coveted tag.
It can add up to lots of money. A preference point for moose in Wyoming is now $75 per year. But then, hunting is becoming more costly each year. The years when a person fed his/her family venison (or moose) because it was cheap are rapidly disappearing.
On thing that could be done immediately (and with little damage) would be to eliminate from a draw any successful applicant for "X" amount of years. The "X" being dependent on the hunt or species.
I've been exposed to a variety of systems and I don't see any reasons why a point system wouldn't work in Alaska - other than people not wanting it.
That system could be pretty sweet!!!
Originally Posted by danjordan78
One thing that would probably happen with a system like this would maybe F&G would see that if these people that have put in so many years usually end up getting the draws would probably mean that they are much more serious about the hunt which I agree is great, but then F&G will have to further curb the number of permit as the hunt success numbers will increase as you get an increased amount of serious hunters getting that draw. Which of course would limit hunts as well. This is such a giant animal that there is no simple solution.
I must agree
"There are no simple answers to complex questions".
Without getting into the math and the politics i say the bonus pt or perference is the only way to go,there's lots of way to break away from the large number of people applying for pts,you break it up like idaho does,if you apply for a sheep you can't apply for bison etc...or you get pts for turning vilators in, or a point for volunteering your services. this is too Mr. A.L if you draw and don't go on the hunt you get pts subtracted.....ha ha
Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche
Permit areas are created on a supply vs. demand basis. If the demand for the supply of game animals is too great it goes to a permit draw. Using a preference point system or not using one has no real effect on whether an area is a drawing or not. The same number of permits go out to the same number of people under a preference system, they just go to those that are more "deserving" of them if you will.
You're looking way too deep into that crystal ball with all these "variables." They're really not variables, they're more akin to constants. Why is Delta so hard to draw? It's unique so that makes it appealing. It's relatively easily accessed and can be done fairly inexpensively. There's also a rather high chance of success. Whether there's a preference point system in place or not doesn't change any of those factors, because they already play into the drawing.
In the end it simply boils down to essentially better allocating the tags to those that have shown persistence, but at the same time doesn't take the fun out of that roll of the dice for the new guy. It's all just playing the numbers.
I think one thing people aren't taking into account is the transient nature of Alaska citizens. There are a lot of people that move up here for three years and then bail. In addition, the military folks here are often in the same boat and are only stationed here for so long. After ten years of applying for a permit I would think that ones odd's would be a lot better than what folks are saying on here. Plus, you have to take into account that if you miss one year your points go back to zero generally. Of course the other thing that come into play is that a point system will likely destroy any chance that military personal would have at pulling some of these permits. That would be good for the rest of us that are here for the long haul but bad for the people that are protecting our freedom so I am not sure where I sit on the whole point thing.
Last edited by dkwarthog; 07-15-2008 at 12:39.
Reason: pulled my head out