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Point Creep

Old 11-08-2021, 02:48 AM
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There is a good article on the internet called "is point creep ruining western hunting" from Outdoor Life. Explains a lot of the smoke and mirrors surrounding this revenue producer.
https://www.outdoorlife.com/deep-div...-game-hunting/

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Old 11-08-2021, 08:04 AM
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I read the entire article and it made a lot of sense. I've had my doubts about points over the years but most state seem to be using some type of point system, even for residents.
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Old 11-08-2021, 09:43 AM
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As the article says a point system of some sort is needed when you have to manage tags when supply is out paced by demand. My own opinion is where Colorado went wrong is to not allow banking of unused points. A person has 10 points and under the present system if he applies for a tag that takes 7 points he gets his tag and eats up all his 10 points. When the next year point value for that same WMU is figured based on past years, that 10 points is used into the equation. If there were more than a couple similar tags awarded those inflated points figure into the new value needed to draw. This simply can cause point creep in a much faster way than if the 7 points needed was taken and the hunter ended up with 3 remaining points. I looked at some data a few years ago from Colorado snd some WMU point creep exceeded 1 per year thus making it impossible to ever grow enough points to get the tag. People like Flags with 20 someodd points are the only ones who can really use the points system effectively but may never live long enough to get that once in a lifetime tag they have been paying for all through the years. Hunters age out and that once in a lifetime hunt using a cane can be tough. Like the article says the worst case is to die with a hat full of points. DOW wins hunters lose is the end game. Another plus for hunters if they allow banking of unused points is that a hunter like flags who has a lifetime of points could decide to use the points for 2 or 3 high value hunts that he wouldn't have wanted to burn all of his points on by chosing one of them.

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Old 11-08-2021, 11:52 AM
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I like your idea. If a hunter could bank their unused points, it could encourage them to use partial points for lesser tags and give them more options and more actual hunts. It could also clear out some of the points accumulated at no cost to the Parks & Wildlife and maybe reduce point creep some. I know we all start accumulating points for that once in a lifetime hunt but as we get older, our priorities can change. The best part is it wouldn't change anything for those people who truly want to continue banking points for that once in a lifetime hunt. Have you contacted Colorado Parks & Wildlife with this suggestion? I think it could be a good one.

Last edited by CalHunter; 11-08-2021 at 04:03 PM. Reason: sp.
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Old 11-08-2021, 02:48 PM
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You understand the issue for sure. I have not contacted Colorado DOW. My last communication wasn't a high point for me personally and resulted in my decision to stop buying points from them. It is all about the money for them and the PP system accounts for a large percentage of their revenue. Speaking as a western state non resident....the costs associated with being able to hunt when you add the tags to the PP fees over time is ridiculous. Like others have said if you want to play you have to pay. I can appreciate that and participated until it got so ridiculous that I just didn't want to anymore.
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Old 11-08-2021, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Champlain Islander View Post
People like Flags with 20 someodd points are the only ones who can really use the points system effectively but may never live long enough to get that once in a lifetime tag they have been paying for all through the years. Hunters age out and that once in a lifetime hunt using a cane can be tough. Like the article says the worst case is to die with a hat full of points. DOW wins hunters lose is the end game. Another plus for hunters if they allow banking of unused points is that a hunter like flags who has a lifetime of points could decide to use the points for 2 or 3 high value hunts that he wouldn't have wanted to burn all of his points on by chosing one of them.
I really wish I could give an answer or even a solution for the preference point issue. As noted, I am sitting on a lot of points. Currently I have 24 points for elk, 18 points for deer, 3+11 weighted for moose, 3+10 weighted for sheep, 3 for mountain goat, 3 for pronghorn, and I used up 14 points for bear this year. I have already taken a bighorn and a mountain goat so I'm not putting in for those any longer and since they raised the application price for moose I haven't put in the last couple of years. I cashed in 12 points for pronghorn several years ago and took a nice buck. I stockpiled my points when I was on active duty since they didn't cost active duty CO residents back then. Even with all the elk points I have I still can't get the unit 2 tag that I want as a non-resident. If I was a still a CO resident I could get it but not as a non-resident. I can pretty much get any deer tag I want and will probably try for that next season. I have been playing the point game for a long time and am not getting any younger.

I really think the only realistic solution is to put a 5 year moratorium on points. Simply quit issuing them and let the people with the points use them. If they don't then they lose them. Then start over with a new system that factors in what they have learned about the point game. One thing they could do is remove the option to just buy a point without applying for a tag. You want a point, apply for a tag. When CO first began the point system nobody, including me, ever thought some of these tags would take 25+ points. That was unheard of but they can't justify slamming the door on those of us that have played by the established rules of the game. If they do the 5 year thing I mentioned then I would have to decide if I am going to continue holding out for the unit 2 tag or cash them in on a tag for another unit like 61 which is also a very good unit. I would either use them of forfeit them and the decision would be mine to make.

The bad part about the system they have in place is that new hunters will never be able to catch up to the point creep. Someone like me can sit it out because I have the points to do it. But not one of my nephews can play the game and neither can my brother because he cashes in the points when he gets 3 or 4. The system works for me but I admit I am the only one I know of that can say that. One thing is certain, they will have to do something and I just hope they don't wipe out my 24 points. That would really irritate me since I played the game by the rules they put in place.
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Old 11-08-2021, 04:20 PM
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I agree that Colorado (or any other state) should not simply get rid of points as that would not be fair to people who have paid their money and played by the rules. I like flags idea of making people buy a tag to get a point as that would help reduce point creep.

I think CI's idea is especially brilliant as it gives people more options on how to use their points. If I had 20 points and could use them for 2 years in a row to get tags that only cost 10 points each, I might decide to go on 2 pretty good hunts instead of holding out for that hunt of a lifetime that I might never get drawn for or might not get until I was using a cane and couldn't go on it anyway. Older guys might choose 2 pretty good hunts to use up their points while younger guys might say heck with it, I still have time to hold out for that hunt of a lifetime.

Together, I think of these ideas give you a great start on devising a solution that's fair to guys who have saved up a lot of points but still gives hunters with less points better options and chances. JMHO but I think stuff like this would make a positive difference.
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Old 11-08-2021, 04:48 PM
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Colorado DOW is between a rock and a hard place. The system was initiated as a management tool and then over time became a cash cow. The ODL article states that none of the western states can stop the various points programs because they have become a large part of their financials. They can't get away with stopping it because of all the money people have invested and would go bankrupt if they tried to refund. The only solution is to freeze point creep, allow banking of unused points and expect some of the top tier people like Flags to use the points which probably would happen since anyone with 20 or more points has to be getting a bit older. I know 61 is a good area and some people might spend down some points to get a quality hunt providing that the get to keep the unused points. 24 points really equates to a sizeable investment and why would a person spend that whole investment on a hunt that takes half. Thats like spending $10,000 on a $ 5,000 dollar hunt. Better bet is to go on two $5000 dollar hunts under a different system especially if they don't change things. DOW by not changing is actually defrauding the public selling them something that for the most part is unachievable. I havent looked at the yearly data in a few years but as of around 4 years ago many of the mid tier hunts were moving up at more than a point each year.
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Old 11-08-2021, 05:29 PM
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These aren't bad ideas so far but what else would it take to reform the PP system?
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Old 11-09-2021, 04:12 AM
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Other option used elsewhere is lottery. The problem with that the odds are often long. In reality the odds are for all practical purposes highly improbable for success. The shortfall of that system is thinking people will often not participate due to the poor odds so low financial gain for the wildlife department. When you think about the points system it started out sound but morphed into something akin to megabucks which is really nothing more than a waste of money with no real chance of success.
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