Draw Process Working Group

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At the May 2023 Parks and Wildlife Commission Meeting, the Commission requested Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) staff to form a Draw Process Working Group. The purpose of the Draw Process Working Group is to analyze the agency’s current hunting draw rules and processes in order to identify ways to reduce complexities and find new solutions/alternatives to fix some of the preference point and other draw-related issues. The Draw Process Working Group will also focus on addressing the biological and sociological concerns related to Colorado’s limited license draws.

The Draw Process Working Group, representing a broad range of interests in hunting management and game conservation, will:

  1. Provide input on the current draw rules and processes,
  2. Brainstorm ways to reduce complexities in the current system
  3. Formulate potential solutions and alternatives to address issues with the current system

The topics to be covered during the Draw Process Working Group work sessions include:

  1. Primary Draw/Draw Methods
  2. Preference Points
  3. Weighted Draw and Weighted Preference Points
  4. Reissue Process

All Draw Process Working Group meetings will be livestreamed on the CPW YouTube Channel. For more information on these meetings, contact dnr_cpw_planning@state.co.us.

*Check out our FAQs page on the right-hand side of this page for more information and updates.

At the May 2023 Parks and Wildlife Commission Meeting, the Commission requested Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) staff to form a Draw Process Working Group. The purpose of the Draw Process Working Group is to analyze the agency’s current hunting draw rules and processes in order to identify ways to reduce complexities and find new solutions/alternatives to fix some of the preference point and other draw-related issues. The Draw Process Working Group will also focus on addressing the biological and sociological concerns related to Colorado’s limited license draws.

The Draw Process Working Group, representing a broad range of interests in hunting management and game conservation, will:

  1. Provide input on the current draw rules and processes,
  2. Brainstorm ways to reduce complexities in the current system
  3. Formulate potential solutions and alternatives to address issues with the current system

The topics to be covered during the Draw Process Working Group work sessions include:

  1. Primary Draw/Draw Methods
  2. Preference Points
  3. Weighted Draw and Weighted Preference Points
  4. Reissue Process

All Draw Process Working Group meetings will be livestreamed on the CPW YouTube Channel. For more information on these meetings, contact dnr_cpw_planning@state.co.us.

*Check out our FAQs page on the right-hand side of this page for more information and updates.

Share Your Thoughts with the Draw Process Working Group!

Share your ideas and comments concerning CPW's draw process with the Draw Process Working Group members and see what others are saying. (All comments are public and subject to review.)

Note: For all BGSS and OTC related feedback, please direct all comments to the BGSS EngageCPW page.

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This is a comment for a small group of hunters, but a group that can be considered the most loyal to the point system and supporting CPW and that is the max or near max point holders for sheep, goat and moose. Two items: 1) By adding only one more weighted point per year of unsuccessful application it has become apparent with the ever-increasing popularity of these "big-three" these high point holders may not draw ever in their lifetime. To reward this loyalty while still making it possible for low-point holders to draw and as what most other states do for these species, we should square the points at each 1st choice application. Doing the math, this will increase the odds substantially of draw for these hunters. Also doing a quick statistical review, it is apparent that the mode, or highest range of point holders that draw, is those hunters in the greatest-sized group in that mid point range of say 8 to 14 pref points. The high 20-23 pt hunters almost never draw. This is not fair in many ways to the most loyal applicants with the highest points. 2) Make sheep and goat once in a lifetime draws as is with most other states. I know guys that have drawn 2 and 3 times in their life, while the vast majority have never drawn any of the "big three".

JoelF about 2 months ago

With Regards to tag creep reduction, I propose CPW to consider averaging preference points in a group application. such as what Wyo and Ariz do. While this will bring low-pref pt group members up somewhat, this also brings the highest point group member down. This will help burn through pref point banking/creep and is the #1 reason what these states use this method I am told. It will also prevent pushing the highest point non-group applicants out of the draw for top units and allow somewhat easier draws for those applicants.

JoelF about 2 months ago

I believe the system works fairly well, for the average hunter. Colorado does a good job of providing opportunity while balancing that opportunity against success for both deer and elk. I utilize the system as an "opportunity" type hunt, but am well aware that excellent trophy potential is high in any given year if one hunts hard (and has a bit of luck on their side). I also believe that Colorado has the fairest preference point party system - by restricting party applications to the "slowest runner" it keeps people from pooling points and getting an unfair leg up in the draws year after year (this is common in other states).

Where the system appears to frustrate hunters is with more limited opportunities; particularly with people that have stockpiled points and not gone hunting for many years. I certainly can appreciate their frustration, but, frankly, their failure to act and take advantage of opportunities to go hunting while "waiting out" premier units that are well known to be difficult to draw is no reason to turn the whole system on its head. It's unfortunate the the preference point system appears to improve your odds over time in very restricted or high demand units, but ultimately drawing odds comes down to tags issues divided by applicants. High point holders (particularly those a couple years off max points) should have recognized this a long time ago and altered their application strategy and drawn in many of the otherwise available, high quality units.

luke_schultz about 2 months ago

I believe the draw system here in Colorado works very well for low point units and should not be changed. I think a solution could be for tags requiring 5+ points, 50+% of the allocated tags should be random draw.

Eliminate OTC for all tags and point creep will be reduced.

Please don’t change the leftover list process as it’s an important way for residents to get tags to allow us to hunt every year, especially if we remove OTC tags. If anything I’d put a time delay or completely eliminate NR from that opportunity if any changes are made.

I think most residents would also be willing to increase our licensing costs to improve our odds of getting tags if CPW cannot properly function with a significantly reduced budget

nick.dondey 2 months ago

I urge this group to consider the elimination of issuing new preference points from the deer and elk system. This would allow people that have invested over the past decades to use up their points that reflect their financial commitment, while also providing opportunity to new hunters in coming years as the point pool dwindles. It is frustrating to think that my son may never have the opportunity to hunt some of the unique opportunities our state has to offer because he couldn't start banking points 30 years ago (he's 6 months old now). Going forward PP holders could use their points as has been the case historically and when non-PP holders apply it could be a random draw much like New Mexico.

sfeuerborn 2 months ago

Solve the preference point creep by only allowing those who actually hunt big game here that year to earn a point.

serrano 3 months ago

eliminate otc for all = solve preference point issue

dillonc 3 months ago

CPW CANNOT continue to keep hunters “blindfolded” going into the early April primary drawing deadline by not having available any knowledge/information for how many licenses will be available for the hunt code(s) they will be submitting for….. I do understand and appreciate the value that comes from the Wildlife Biologists Spring Surveys and data that must be gathered before they can propose license numbers, which then becomes available in conjunction with the May Commission Meeting approval of the proposed license numbers. If I may suggest, possibly there could be a comprehensive in-depth look/study of the ENTIRE “food-chain” (including dates for the primary drawing deadline, commission meeting license quotas approval process/date, etc, etc, etc.) that leads up to license quotas being proposed and approved. Looking for any and all possible ways that “a little here and a little there” could be improved upon that could provide for having license quotas being approved and set AT LEAST ONE WEEK before the primary drawing deadline. That one week could be all that is needed to allow hunters the option of submitting into the primary drawing with very much needed knowledge to make an informed decision about which hunt code(s) to use. OR, or, if having already submitted into the primary drawing, the option for being able to CHANGE any hunt codes they had already submitted to select some other hunt code(s) that would make better sense based on now seeing and considering how many licenses will be available for the hunt codes. Obviously, the (rightfully) enormous reductions in 2023 licenses in the Severe Winter Zone makes this subject a matter of utmost and common-sense need to purse with the utmost of importance and without any further delay. Hunters NEED AND DESERVE KNOWLEDGE that comes from having license quotas information available prior to the primary drawing deadline (even if only a week prior to the primary drawing deadline). The current Severe Winter Zone situation isn’t the first time a severe winter “zone” has significantly affected license quotas (being 75 years old, I could name some severe winter cases from the past). AND, it won’t be the last time CPW and hunters encounter another “severe winter zone” OR something else that significantly affects license quotas. Isn’t it about time to take the “blindfold” off hunters going into the primary drawing????

gscadden 3 months ago

Steps to improve the Draw process and allocation of tags in Colorado.

1) We should be 90/10 resident/nonresident like all the other western states.

2) Put a hard cap on nonresident OTC tag sales and require them to pick a GMU. Leave OTC in place for resident hunters and give resident hunters the freedom to hunt any OTC unit (i.e. status quo for residents).

3) Create an outfitter quota pool like Idaho and Montana to protect our outfitters and rural communities.

4) Raise the price of an elk or deer tag for a nonresident to at least $1,500.

5) All reissue tags should be available to RESIDENTS FIRST for a 24 hour period.

To put things in perspective on just getting an elk tag in nearby states:

Montana. I can buy general tags about every two years. All nonresidents must draw a general tag in Montana and the number of tags is capped. If I want to guarantee myself a tag every year I can hire an outfitter since they have guaranteed tags. Crowding not nearly as bad as Colorado, far better hunting.

Wyoming. I can draw a general tag in Wyoming about every four years and I can increase my draw odds by paying about $1,268 for the tag vs the standard $692. Crowding not nearly as bad as Colorado, far better hunting.

Idaho. I can potentially buy a general tag every year but these tags sell out within minutes on December 1st so getting a tag won’t always happen. As an alternative, I can sign up with an outfitter and get a tag.

New Mexico. Unlikely I will ever get a tag in this state because the odds are so low for nonresidents in any of the quality units. Nonresidents however have decent odds for quite a few quality units.

I have to wait my turn like everyone else to go hunt in the surrounding states but when I get a general tag in WY, ID, MT, I have a much better hunt than in Colorado.

In Colorado units 43 and unit 78 more than 50% of the limited muzzleloader tags are drawn by nonresident hunters. How is that possible? How truly unfair to residents? No other state treats their resident hunters as poorly as Colorado! I have hunted Utah’s south slope unit for muzzleloader deer. Only 10% of the tags are allocated to nonresidents and I felt fortunate to draw the tag when I did. Why is Colorado so generous to nonresident hunters? Anyone who says nonresident hunters pay the bills is correct, they do. But we can certainly raise the prices they pay and cut the quantity of tags sold to make up for the revenue loss. Just look at the Dec 1st tag sale in Idaho. Demand far exceeded supply.

I just wish Colorado would do something for the resident hunters to improve the hunting in our state. I am not the only resident hunter leaving Colorado and spending thousands of dollars to hunt other states. The primary reason I hunt other states is because our general units, archery in particular, are being over-run by nonresidents.

I would be fine with CPW raising resident tag costs too. I am more than willing to pay an increased tag cost if the result is fewer nonresident hunters. Limiting nonresident hunters will result in a better hunt for resident and nonresident hunters alike.

EthanSBraid 3 months ago

2 Thoughts:
1. Reissue tags should maintain their resident/nonresident quota status. A returned resident tag should be reissued to a resident. Same for nonresident tags.
2. Desert bighorn tags should have more “buy-in” when applying. Similar to the preference point fee. The cheap application fees have skyrocketed the number of applications. A higher application fee would reduce the “apply the whole family for a sheep tag” mentality.

rocknrun 3 months ago

Make the 80/20, 75/25 NR rule apply to second, third and fourth choices on applications. Also, apply it to secondary draw, leftover and reissue licenses.

Tags in the new archery draw units (formerly OTC) are mostly going to non-residents.

serrano 3 months ago

Please keep OTC licenses available to residents of Colorado and require non residents to apply online.

Fitzy 3 months ago

A REASONABLE WAY TO EASILY MITIGATE PREFERENCE POINT CREEP WITHOUT ANY UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
=====================================================
BACKGROUND:
During the March 15th 2023 CPW Commission meeting, after the CPW Staff briefed the Commission on their position not to pursue any of the Preference Point Creep proposals and instead should be “status quo”. The CPW Commission Chairwoman Hauser and Commissioners Adams and Hasket responded with comments: We should hear from staff “what is possible” not what isn’t possible. We need to see what the alternatives might be that are possible. What we have now isn’t working. Need to hear what the alternate recommendations are for preference points to have the commission consider. If not Banking then we need alternatives to the State Quo.

In response to this and not having to “kick the can down the road any further”, if you will PLEASE take a few minutes to review the following idea, I KNOW YOU WILL FIND THE FOLLOWING PROPOSAL a quick, simple, easy, inexpensive and beneficial idea that would help to mitigate the continuing significant preference point creep problem for Elk, Deer and Pronghorn. AND, can certainly be implemented, as was also an objective the commission asked for, in time for upcoming hunting seasons.

It could be very advantageous for the Draw Process Working Group, CPW Commission and Staff to give serious consideration to the following preference point creep mitigation idea I am about to mention. This idea was mentioned during the April 2022 South East Region Preference Point Focus group meeting I was a member of. But, has not been seen in any of the Preference Point background papers or briefings CPW Staff has so far provided/briefed to the Commission. This idea was also mentioned in an Email I sent to Commission members via the Contact the Commission Email address on May 28, 2022. This idea was also mentioned by other public commenters during Commission meetings when preference point briefings were given. For example, this idea was also mentioned by a reputable public commenter during the July 21st 2022 Commission meeting. Commissioner Tutchton also briefly mentioned this idea during the recent January 18th 2023 Commission meeting. PLEASE let me provide some additional very helpful background about this idea for hopefully more serious consideration by the Draw Process Working Group, Commission and CPW Staff.

The idea here is based on doing the same thing for Elk, Deer and Pronghorn preference points which CPW implemented starting with the 2019 Big Game drawings for Moose, Sheep and Goat. That is, rather than a preference point costing the hunter essentially nothing and only a very small cost related to submitting an Elk, Deer and Pronghorn drawing application, the hunter would be charged an additional fee when a preference point is awarded for an Elk, Deer or Pronghorn preference point, like what is already being done for a Moose, Sheep and Goat preference point. Since 2019, hunters applying in the primary drawing for a Moose, Sheep and Goat license pay an additional $50 fee when selecting to be awarded a preference point and not having drawn a license on their first choice. Or, the hunter applies for a Moose, Sheep or Goat license using a specific preference point hunt code as their first choice that results in automatically getting a preference point and pays the $50 preference point fee. With a $50 preference point fee for a Moose, Sheep and Goat, this makes hunters “think twice” about whether they would really like to receive a preference point or not. As you might guess, the benefit of this idea is that when hunters decide to NOT receive a preference point (because of a preference point fee) there is the benefit of reducing preference point creep…. I might mention in my case, when the preference point fee started in 2019 for Moose, Sheep and Goat, within the five Elk hunters I hunt with I was the only one who decided to continue submitting a Moose license drawing application and also selecting on the drawing application to receive a Moose preference point if unsuccessful in drawing a first choice license. Every year since then I have been unsuccessful in drawing a Moose license and I’ve been paying $50 each year for a Moose preference point. Like the others I Elk hunt with, I’m certain many other hunters also decided to no longer pursue a Moose, Sheep or Goat preference point, which was then helpful in reducing Moose, Sheep and Goat preference point creep.

I might also mention, with hunters applying in the drawing for a license in the environment of increasing Elk, Deer and Pronghorn preference point creep and thus not drawing, it puts an increasing number of hunters into a position where they then hunt one of the OTC license purchase seasons. As such, the concerns being expressed about OTC license seasons then becomes one of having increasing numbers of preference point creep chasing hunters having to hunt an OTC season. This is resulting in increasing concerns being expressed about OTC licenses and seasons which are experiencing lowest success rates, overcrowding etc.

CPW Staff and the Commission often looks at what other states are doing when considering a change. There are other states which have a preference point fee. For example, Wyoming charges $52 for an Elk preference point. There are also OTHER BENEFITS related to this idea that I should make mention of next.

Ideas, other than this one, were mentioned in the May 20th 2022 and July 7th 2022 CPW Staff papers and subsequent preference point briefing provided to the Commission during the June and July 2022 Commission meetings (This idea NOT being one which those papers or briefings mentioned). In those papers and briefings, for the other ideas presented to the Commission was the following:
- Ideas had unintended consequences (which complicates or has negative effects elsewhere for hunters).
- A suite of changes may need to be implemented in tandem (i.e. No one idea may have the overall remedy needed).
- A change might need to be implemented to offset the unintended impact on certain groups of hunters.
- There is no single change that will address all concerns.
- Importance of predictability and fairness when considering using or gaining preference points.
The Commission also expressed great concern for the implementation cost, length of time that could be needed to implement an idea, and/or revenue loss that ideas presented would encounter.

For this idea about a fee for an Elk, Deer and Pronghorn preference point there are many advantages that other ideas do not have:
- As already mentioned, the CPW systems already have in place a fee based preference point for Moose, Sheep and Goat. This could be simply, quickly, easily and inexpensively expanded upon to include an Elk, Deer and Pronghorn preference point fee. For an Elk Deer and Pronghorn preference point fee, there is nothing “new” needing to be invented here and integrated “from scratch” into the systems and thus a quick, simple, easy, and inexpensive means to start mitigating preference point creep.
- CPW would see a REVENUE GAIN and not a revenue loss from this idea (Thus, implementing this idea “would pay for itself”)…. BUT, most importantly would be the primary objective benefit of reducing preference point creep for Elk Deer and Pronghorn.
- This idea would also help offset the revenue loss, as Staff briefed the commission on, from moving to a smaller ratio license allocation to nonresident hunters.

I might also mention the following:
- As is already in place, a preference point for Moose, Sheep and Goat costs a non-resident hunter much more than what it costs a resident for a Moose, Sheep and Goat preference point. As you know, there continues to be a great deal of growing concern in several areas related to non-resident hunters. Alas, just like what is already in place for a non-resident Moose, Sheep and Goat preference point, an Elk, Deer and Pronghorn preference point should cost a non-resident a great deal more than what a preference point costs a resident. The already mentioned obvious benefits will be reduced preference point creep and greater increased revenue from non-resident hunters. In this case, there is one other important benefit. During an earlier sportsman’s caucus meeting, staff briefed that a majority of non-resident hunters who apply as a first choice for a preference point do NOT provide any other drawing choices that they could then draw a license from. Thus, they are just looking to (currently inexpensively) accumulate preference points, which adds to the preference point creep problem, and do not hunt here in Colorado that year/season. Whereas, a majority of resident hunters who apply for a preference point as the first choice also apply for a 2nd, or 3rd, etc. choice that they then draw a license from and do actually hunt using that 2nd, etc. choice license (Which coincidentally is what I do and likely so many others looking to increase a number of preference points but also able to hunt on a 2nd, etc. choice drawn license). The point here is that if the non-resident hunter preference point fee is much larger, than what a resident hunter preference point fee would be, for an Elk, Deer or Pronghorn preference point, fewer non-residents will apply in the drawing for a preference point and thus less point creep.
- I might also speak to what is mentioned in the earlier Commission preference point briefing papers as the following: A suite of changes may need to be implemented in tandem. One idea previously proposed is what is called Preference Point “Banking” that was in place only for the 2007 season. I used Preference Point Banking in 2007 and I believe that Banking is a good idea, BUT further details and differences/improvements from what was in place for the 2007 season needs to be worked-out. But, something like the idea of a preference point fee being proposed here for Elk, Deer and Pronghorn could also be very useful for many of the benefits already noted and also provide a needed quick, simple, easy, and inexpensive additional preference point creep “tandem” improvement that staff mentioned may be needed. The combination something like “Banking” and a preference point fee will certainly be needed to have an overall effective reduction/mitigation in Elk, Deer and Pronghorn preference point creep, along with having the added benefit of increased revenue from an Elk, Deer and Pronghorn preference point fee.
- I also believe there needs to be a “tiered” scale for what a preference point fee (cost) would be. Obviously, a Moose, Sheep and Goat preference point is thought of as a much more “valuable” preference point than what one would think of as a Pronghorn preference point. A preference point fee should NOT be the same for all species but be a “tiered” scale with a preference point fee for each specie being different. Especially a difference between what the fee is for a Moose, Sheep and Goat preference point and what might be a fee for an Elk, Deer and Pronghorn preference point.

IN CLOSING:
As a side note, from meetings in recent years where preference points and point creep has been one of many topics of discussion, there is always plenty of preference point creep stories from meeting members. Just briefly in closing, and from my experience. In 2010 I drew a Bull Elk license after many years of trying to catch up with the preference point creep to where it finally took me 16 points to draw the license. My oldest son was just a few points behind me so we figured it wouldn’t be too long before he would also draw. Every year since then, with the ongoing and increasing point creep, he will still be points below what is needed to draw and those who drew in 2023 needed 24 points to draw. And, given the reality of preference point creep it will certainly take more than 24 points to draw this next year. Personally, at my age and if preference point creep continues as it has been, I will be “long dead and gone” before ever drawing another license there. Then even more importantly, consider someone younger aged who might be looking to draw on a hunt code that might currently be needing 10, 15, 20 or more points and just starting to accumulate preference points and what that outlook might be for that younger individual and knowing that those numbers will just continue to escalate with preference point creep. Preference point creep is also quite a “limiting factor” to younger hunters who may be looking at the preference point creep problem and the continually increasing years it might take them to draw a license.

THANKS so very kindly for your time to consider and hopefully look further into what I believe is a quick, simple, easy, inexpensive and beneficial idea that would help to mitigate the continuing significant preference point creep problem for Elk, Deer and Pronghorn by implementing a preference point fee similar to what is already in place for Moose, Sheep and Goat.

gscadden 3 months ago

Too many rifle hunters in OTC & easy draw units. Cap rifle hunters and help increase elk numbers

Traildust 3 months ago

jbruno41

Actually, a buck tag does "entitle" you to shoot whatever sized buck you want.

You don't get to decide what someone shoots. lol

For the record, I don't shoot baby deer in Colorado, I just wanted to point out what should be obvious to reply to your RIDICULOUS statement that was clearly geared towards non-residents.

The NR hatred on this page baffles me. We (NR's) pay the majority of the CPW bill. lol

GeorgiaBulldog 3 months ago

As a resident, I love to hunt elk every year. I have been thinking about if there were special resident permit that work like the moose and goat tags. Archery/muzzle and sequential rifle season during the appropriate season.Hunt until you get one. Obviously there couldn't be a ton of these tags, but would be super fun for someone like me who has never tried archery- because I still have the other seasons as back up.

Jeradbussell 3 months ago

Non resident need to have a cap. Why do you all keep taking units out of otc every year and otc units keep growing for rifle?

Many states treat its residents better than Colorado. South Dakota gives residents hunters a week to hunt before out of state, Nebraska gives residents first chance at tags.

Why are deer tags still draw??? We have so many deer here.

Slimjim83 3 months ago

Non residents need a cap on OTC tags.

Khayes 3 months ago

As a hunter who was a resident for 8 years that just moved away, residents need to be made a higher priority. Colorado is the most generous state to non residents. Every other state caps the licenses at 10% except Colorado and Wyoming. Limit the non residents to 10% of limited entry hunts, and cap the otc tags allotted to non residents. Hunting experiences will go up drastically when hunters in the field are reduced.

Rodgers344 3 months ago

The draw system does not need to be simplified for simplicity's sake. The complexity that exists was, in some cases, put there for a reason. For example, the hybrid draw, in some people's view may be more "complex". But it should be expanded because it is a very sensible way to distribute tags. It allows preference points to introduce more predictability into the low point draws. But strict preference point systems "fail" for the extremely high demand/low supply hunt codes due to infinite point creep. Hybrid draws allow some random component for these high demand hunt codes, which gives everyone at least a chance at someday hunting Colorado's best units. The only problem with the current hybrid draw is that too many of the tags are going into the preference point pass. More of those tags need to go into the bonus point pool. Expand the hybrid draw. Simplicity is not always better.

smw2206 3 months ago
Page last updated: 20 Feb 2024, 08:11 AM