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What does your yearly hunting application strategy actually cost?

What does your yearly hunting application strategy cost

Jump to section: Point States Random Draw States Total Cost

Apply, apply, apply. In the current world of western hunting, building preferences/bonus points and honing your application strategy is a major key to success. Application options are endless and each state offers a number of units with various draw odds and options. Researching these options and setting goals will help formulate your application strategy.

In early July when I wrote this article, I was getting very excited for the 2017 application season. It's now already January... so planning is in full swing. 

Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming all offer preference/bonus points to resident and nonresident applicants. Idaho and New Mexico are the only non-bonus/preference point states. With that being said, each state's draw process is a little different. A bonus point application system gives all applicants a statistical chance of drawing (the more points you have, the higher the odds); preference point systems automatically reward tags to high point holders. The non-bonus/preference point states are on a random draw system where everyone has a similar chance to pull a tag.

This article focuses on the cost of applying for each state as a nonresident. To make it simpler, I narrowed this article down to the states that goHUNT currently covers on INSIDER. Keep in mind that a lot of factors impact the total cost of your application (whether you already have a hunting license from another year, how many species you are applying for, turning in certain species tags, etc.). So use this a baseline estimate for your personal application strategy. At the top of the article there are buttons that will take you to different sections of the article. Some of you might be only interested in certain states, so to make it easier, you can also use the buttons listed below to drop down to certain state sections.

Jump to state: Arizona Colorado Idaho Montana Nevada New Mexico oregon Utah Wyoming

So what does it actually cost to apply?

Before we dive into each state, here is a quick overview of the state by state costs to apply and how much money you'll get back.

Total nonrefundable costs to apply across the west

Total upfront costs to apply across the west



Bonus/preference point states

The following are states where you can earn a bonus/preference point if you are unsuccessful in the draw.

Arizona

Species offered:

Elk Mule Deer Coues Deer Desert Bighorn Sheep Rocky Bighorn Sheep Antelope Bison

Quick breakdown of Arizona's system

Annual license or
front fee state
  • Annual license
Arizona
draw system
  • 50% of nonresident tags issued in maximum point draw.
  • 50% issued in the random draw.
Application
dates
  • Elk and antelope: February
  • Deer, sheep, and bison: June
  • Bison and javelina: October
Cost of building points
for all species
  • $265.00


Bonus points are offered for the following species: deer, elk, deer, antelope, desert bighorn sheep, Rocky mountain bighorn sheep, javelina and bison.

Arizona is known for tremendous trophy quality for all of these species. The annual hunting license cost is $160 plus an additional $15 per species that you apply for. The total cost to apply for points for all species is $265.

In 2016, Arizona changed the nonresident draw system and capped the maximum point draw pool at 50% of the total nonresident tag quota. Ultimately, point creep will drastically affect the maximum point pool, but tags that were once unattainable to low point holders are now available through the random draw.

With this in mind, applying annually for each species is NOW a must. It is hard to plan for a tag drawn in the random pool, but it’s important to remember that you’ll never draw if you don’t apply.

Cost to apply in Arizona for a nonresident

Type of license Upfront app
cost
Tag fee
if drawn
Annual hunting
license
$160.00 NA
Antelope $15.00 $550.00
Elk $15.00 $650.00
Deer $15.00* $300.00
Javelina $15.00 $100.00
Desert bighorn sheep $15.00* $1,800.00
Rocky mountain bighorn sheep $15.00* $1,800.00
Bison (Spring and Fall) $30.00 $5,400.00
Total $265.00  

* Can apply for one of the species in the draw. Example: mule deer and desert bighorn. You can't apply for both Coues deer and mule deer the same year.


Nevada

Species offered*:

Elk Mule Deer Antelope Desert Bighorn Sheep California Bighorn Sheep

*Only residents can apply for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat.

Quick breakdown of Nevada's system

Annual license or
front fee state
  • Annual license
Nevada
draw system
  • Bonus points
Application
dates
  • All species: April
Cost of building points
for all species
  • $217.50


Bonus points are offered for the following species: deer, elk, antelope, California bighorn sheep, and desert bighorn sheep. Residents can build bonus points for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goat.

The Silver State is home to healthy wildlife populations and excellent hunting opportunities. Nevada requires the purchase of an $142 annual hunting license and an application fee ($13 to $21 per species) to build preference points. The total cost of applying for points for all species is $217.50 annually.

Nevada offers a bonus point system in which unsuccessful applicants receive bonus points for species they unsuccessful apply for in the draw (and have purchased the annual hunting license). Nevada also offers a “bonus point only” option to applicants that wish to build bonus points without applying to hunt that year.

Bonus points are squared in the draw and names are drawn from the applicant pool. This is a true bonus point system with no tags being guaranteed to maximum point holders.

Drawing a deer, elk, antelope, or sheep tag in Nevada can be a daunting task. With no guarantees to high point holders, the odds are up in the air each year. The key to drawing is applying—maybe one day you’ll be lucky enough to find a Silver State tag in your pocket!

Cost to apply in Nevada for a nonresident

Type of license Upfront app
cost
Tag fee
if drawn
Annual hunting
license
$142.00 NA
Elk $21.50 $1,200.00
Deer $13.50 $240.00
Antelope $13.50 $300.00
California bighorn sheep $13.50 $1,200.00
Desert bighorn sheep $13.50 $1,200.00
Total $217.50  

 



Oregon

Species offered:

Mule Deer Columbia Blacktail Deer Columbia Whitetail Deer Whitetail Deer Elk Roosevelt Elk Antelope California Bighorn Rocky Bighorn Mountain Goat

Quick breakdown of Oregon's system

Annual license or
front fee state
  • Annual license
Oregon
draw system
  • In each hunt choice 75% of tags are issued to applicants who have preference points

  • 25% of tags for each hunt choice are issued by random
Application
dates
  • All species: May 15
Cost of building points
for all species
  • $200.50

A great variety of big game species and terrain, lots of public land and a mixture of controlled and over-the-counter tags give hunters many opportunities in the Beaver State. Bonus points are only available for deer, elk and antelope. Sheep and mountain goat do not have a points system. A points only option is available for deer, elk and antelope.

Cost to apply in Oregon for a nonresident

Type of license Upfront app
cost
Tag fee
if drawn
Annual hunting
license
$160.50 NA
Mule deer $8.00 $414.00
Columbian whitetail deer $8.00 $414.00
Blacktail deer $8.00 $414.00
Elk $8.00 $549.00
Antelope $8.00 $369.00
California bighorn sheep $8.00 $1,413.00
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep $8.00 $1,413.00
Total $200.50  

 



Utah

Species offered:

Elk Mule Deer Antelope Moose Mountain Goat Desert Bighorn Sheep Rocky Bighorn Sheep Bison

Quick breakdown of Utah's system

Annual license or
front fee state
  • Annual license
Utah
draw system
  • 50% of nonresident tags issued in the maximum point pool.
  • 50% issued in the random draw.
Application
dates
  • March
Cost of building points
for all species
  • $155.00


Bonus/preference points are offered for the following species: deer, elk, deer, mountain goat, moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep, and bison.

Utah is full of hunting opportunities and good trophy quality for all species. To build points in Utah you must purchase an annual hunting license for $65 plus $10 per species to build preference points. Utah offers a “bonus point only option” or you can apply for hunts each year in order to build points. The cost of building points for all species in Utah is $155.

Utah offers a system that works with both preference points and bonus points. 50% of the limited entry tags in the state are reserved to applicants with the most points. The other 50% of the tags are allocated in the random draw. In units that only issue one nonresident tag, the tag is always issued in the random draw.

General season permits in Utah are issued to nonresidents in a true preference point system. Unsuccessful general season applicants are awarded a preference point. There is also a “preference point only” option for general season deer permits.

As is the case with Nevada and Arizona, with tags being issued in the random pool, be sure to apply in Utah every year for units that offer tags in the random draw. You never know when lightning may strike!

Cost to apply in Utah for a nonresident

Type of license Upfront app
cost
Tag fee
if drawn
Annual hunting
license
$65.00 NA
Elk General OTC $393.00
Elk Limited Entry $10.00 $800.00
Elk Multi-season
Limited Entry
$10.00 $1,505.00
Limited Entry deer  $10.00 $468.00
General deer $10.00 $268.00
Antelope $10.00 $293.00
Moose $10.00 $1,518.00
Mountain goat $10.00 $1,518.00
Desert bighorn sheep $10.00 $1,518.00
Rocky bighorn sheep $10.00 $1,518.00
Bison* $10.00 $1,518.00
Total $155.00**  


* The Antelope Island bison tag fee is $2,615 if drawn.
** Only includes one of the elk (Limited Entry or Multi-season limited entry).


The upfront license fee states: Colorado, Montana, Wyoming

The following are states where you need to upfront the tag cost when applying.

Colorado

Species offered:

Elk Mule Deer Antelope Desert Bighorn Sheep Rocky Bighorn Sheep Moose Mountain Goat

Quick breakdown of Colorado's system

Annual license or
front fee state
  • Front fees
Colorado
draw system
  • Elk, deer, and antelope: Preference points
  • Bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and moose: Weighted bonus points
  • Desert bighorn sheep: No points system
Application
dates
  • April
Cost of building points
for all species
  • $158.00


Preference points are offered for the following species: elk, deer, antelope, and bear.

Weighted bonus points are offered for the following species: moose, goat, and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

There are no points offered for the following species: desert bighorn sheep.

Colorado’s draw system is divided into two systems:

Pay attention to Colorado’s draw system because it is divided into two different segments: one for deer, elk, antelope, and bear; another for moose, mountain goat, and bighorn sheep. The elk, deer, antelope, and bear system is a true preference point system with tags awarded to the applicants with the most points (true preference point system). The moose, mountain goat, and bighorn sheep draw is based upon a weighted bonus point basis (everyone has a statistical chance). Colorado offers one desert bighorn sheep tag to nonresidents in a random draw with no preference/bonus point system applicable. The only catch is that you must select either Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep or desert sheep when you apply. You cannot apply for both species in the same year.

Unlike the annual license/application fee states, Colorado charges applicants the full license cost upfront. After the draw, unsuccessful applicants are sent a refund minus the nonrefundable preference point and application cost.

Elk, deer, antelope, and bear applications may be done online and major credit cards are accepted. The moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat draw system requires a paper application and major credit cards are not accepted.

Cost to apply in Colorado for a nonresident
(online application species)

Type of license Upfront
app cost
Nonrefundable
app cost
Habitat stamp $10.00 $10.00
Deer $379.00 $43.00
Elk $629.00 $43.00
Antelope $379.00 $43.00
Total $1,397.00 $139.00

 

Cost to apply in Colorado for a nonresident
(paper application species)

Type of license Upfront
app cost
Nonrefundable
app cost
Habitat stamp $10.00 $10.00
Moose $2,084.00* $3.00
Desert bighorn sheep $1,389.00* $3.00
Rocky bighorn sheep $2,084.00* $3.00
Mountain goat $2,084.00* $3.00
Total $6,262.00* $19.00


* Must pay by check. No online applications accepted.


Montana

Species offered*:

Elk Mule Deer Whitetail Deer Antelope Moose Rocky Bighorn Sheep Mountain Goat Bison

* Moose, Rocky bighorn sheep and mountain goat you do not have to upfront the full license fee to apply.
 

Quick breakdown of Montana's system

Annual license or
front fee state
  • Annual license/front fee hybrid state
Montana
draw system
  • Bonus points
Big game
combination
  • Preference
Application
dates
  • Moose, bighorn sheep, goat and bison: May
  • Deer and elk : March
  • ​Antelope: June
Cost of building points
for all species
  • $414.00


Bonus points are offered for the following species: elk, deer, antelope, mountain goat, moose, and bighorn sheep.

Montana offers a wide array of hunting opportunities. There is a no “bonus point only” application option in Montana. Points are awarded to unsuccessful applicants that choose to pay the $20 bonus point fee at the time of the draw. The total out-of-pocket cost for building points for all species in Montana is $414.

The Montana draw system is split into two systems. In the special deer and elk draw, applicants must pay the application fee, the base license and conservation stamp fee, the full license fee, and the $20 optional bonus point fee. After the deer and elk draw, unsuccessful applicants are refunded the license fee. In the moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat draw, applicants must pay the $50 application fee, the base license and conservation stamp fee ($25), and the $20 optional bonus point fee (if you wish to build points). The license cost is not assessed for moose, bighorn sheep, or mountain goat unless the applicant is successful in the draw. Points are squared at the time of drawing and every applicant has a statistical chance of drawing.

Montana also offers a preference point system that applies to the general big game combination drawing. 75% of the general season combination licenses go to the applicants with the most preference points.

Cost to apply in Montana for a nonresident

Species Application
fee
License
fee
Bonus point
fee
Upfront app
cost
Nonrefundable
license fee
Base hunting
license
NA $15.00 NA $15.00 $15.00
Conservation
license
NA $10.00 NA $10.00 $10.00
Deer* $5.00 $597.00 $20.00 $622.00 $25.00
Elk* $9.00 $851.00 $20.00 $880.00 $29.00
Big Game Combination
license
  $1,001.00* $50.00** $1,051.00 $200.2
Antelope $5.00 $205.00 $20.00 $225.00 $25.00
Moose $50.00 $1,250.00*** $20.00 $70.00 $70.00
Bighorn sheep $50.00 $1,250.00*** $20.00 $70.00 $70.00
Mountain goat $50.00 $1,250.00*** $20.00 $70.00 $70.00
Bison $50.00 $1,250.00*** NA $50.00 $50.00
Total       $1,511.00  


(Total upfront price assumes you're applying for the Big Game Combo.)
* Nonresidents can also purchase a $50 preference point fee for the elk and deer combination drawing. The past few years this was not necessary in order to get a tag due to 100% draw odds.
** Preference point.
*** Only charged if drawn.
 


Wyoming

Species offered:

Elk Mule Deer Whitetail Deer Antelope Moose Rocky Bighorn Mountain Goat Bison

Quick breakdown of Wyoming's system

Annual license or
front fee state
  • Front fees
Wyoming
draw system
  • 75% of nonresident tags issued in the maximum point pool.
  • 25% of nonresident tags issued in random draw.
Application
dates
  • Elk: February
  • Moose, bighorn sheep,and mountain goat: February
  • Deer and antelope: May
  • Points only: July to October
Cost of building points
for all species
  • $295.00 (preference point only application)
  • $393.00 (if you apply with intention of trying to draw)


Bonus/preference points are offered for the following species: elk, deer, antelope, moose, and bighorn sheep.

Note: no point system species: mountain goat or bison.

Wyoming offers good quality animals of all offered species. Wyoming’s system awards points to unsuccessful applicants for moose, bighorn sheep, elk, deer, and antelope. Wyoming also offers a preference point only application period during which you can acquire points for all species for $295.

Like Colorado, deer and elk applicants in Wyoming must pay the application fee plus the license fee at the time of application. Unsuccessful applicants will receive a refund. Wyoming offers applicants a choice between applying in the regular or special draw. The special draw is more expensive and typically yields better draw odds. You can find more information on this here.

There is no preference point system in Wyoming for mountain goat or bison. Tags for these species are issued in a random draw each year (similar to New Mexico and Idaho).

Wyoming issues 75% of its tags to applicants with the most points. The other 25% of the tags are issued in the random draw. Hunt areas must offer four or more nonresident tags in order for a tag to be issued in the random section of the draw. The maximum point pool for moose and sheep in Wyoming is 21 (entering the 2016 draw). The maximum point pool for elk, deer, and antelope is 10.

Cost to apply in Wyoming for a nonresident
(Regular draw)

Species Application
fee
Regular
license fee
Upfront app
cost
Nonrefundable
fees*
Deer $14.00 $326.00 $340.00 $54.00
Elk $14.00 $591.00 $605.00 $64.00
Antelope $14.00 $286.00 $300.00 $44.00
Moose $14.00 $1,416.00 $1,430.00 $79.00
Bighorn sheep $14.00 $2,266.00 $2,280.00 $114.00
Mountain goat $14.00 $2,166.00 $2,180.00 $14.00
Bison $14.00 $2,522.00 $2,536.00 $14.00
Total $98.00 $9,573.00 $9,671.00 $393.00

* Application fee plus preference point fee
 

Cost to apply in Wyoming for a nonresident
(Special draw)

Species Application
fee
Special
license fee
Upfront app
cost
Nonrefundable
fees**
Deer $14.00 $566.00 $580.00 $54.00
Elk $14.00 $1,071.00 $1,085.00 $64.00
Antelope $14.00 $526.00 $540.00 $44.00
Moose $14.00 $1,416.00* $1,430.00 $79.00
Bighorn sheep $14.00 $2,266.00* $2,280.00 $114.00
Mountain goat $14.00 $2,166.00* $2,180.00 $14.00
Bison $14.00 $2,522.00* $2,536.00 $14.00
Total $98.00 $10,533.00* $10,631.00 $393.00

* Regular license fee for moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and bison because there is no special draw price structure.
** Application fee plus preference point fee.
 

Cost for the points only option in Wyoming for a nonresident

Species Preference
point fee
Deer $40.00
Elk $50.00
Antelope $30.00
Moose $75.00
Bighorn sheep $100.00
Mountain goat NA
Bison NA
Total $295.00

 



Random draw states

The following are states where you cannot earn a bonus/preference point. Outlined below are the cost of applying in both of these states, as well as some comparisons between each state. Both Idaho and New Mexico offer some great hunting opportunities. With no point system, hunts in these states are hard to plan for, but the high quality opportunities available make both these states ones you must apply for. With no preference or bonus points — everyone has a chance to draw a tag.

New Mexico

Species offered:

Mule Deer Coues Deer Elk Antelope Desert bighorn sheep Rocky mountain bighorn sheep Barbary Sheep Ibex Oryx

Quick breakdown of New Mexico's system

Annual license or
front fee state
  • Front fees
New Mexico
draw system
  • No preference/bonus system
  • Random draw
Application
dates
  • All species: March
Cost of applying for all species
(Quality/high demand)
  • $8,281.00
Cost of applying for all species
(Standard)
  • $7,971.00
Cost of applying
for all native species
(Quality/high demand)
  • $4,662.00
Cost of applying
for all exotic species
  • $3,684.00


New Mexico is rich in hunting opportunities. With no preference or bonus point system, New Mexico is wide open to all applicants each year. New Mexico offers two different type of tags for deer and elk; the standard license option (cheaper and applying to areas of lesser trophy quality) and quality/high demand (more expensive and applying to areas with higher trophy quality). 

New Mexico awards 10% of the tags statewide to nonresident. 4% of nonresidents tags are issued in the regular draw, while 6% are reserved for nonresidents that apply with outfitters.

At the time of application, New Mexico charges the annual hunting license fee, application fee, and the full tag fee. The total refundable cost of applying for one species in New Mexico is $13 if unsuccessful in the draw (hunting license fee refunded, must pay app cost). If you choose to apply for all native species in New Mexico, the total out of pocket cost is $52 per year with an upfront cost of $4,662.00 at the time of application. The fact that the hunting license fee is refundable, and the cheap nonrefundable application cost, makes New Mexico a must apply state. 

Cost to apply in New Mexico for a nonresident

Type of license Upfront app
cost
Nonrefundable
application cost
Annual hunting
license
$65.00 NA
Antelope $283.00 $13.00
Elk (standard) $548.00 $13.00
Elk (quality/high demand) $773.00 $13.00
Deer (standard) $283.00 $13.00
Deer (quality/high demand) $368.00 $13.00
Desert bighorn sheep $3,173.00 $13.00
Rocky mountain bighorn sheep $3,173.00 $13.00
Barbary sheep $373.00 $13.00
Ibex $1,623.00 $13.00
Oryx $1,623.00 $13.00
Total $8,281.00 (Quality)
$7,971.00 (Standard)
$91.00

 



Idaho

Species offered:

Mule Deer Whitetail Deer Elk Antelope California Bighorn Sheep Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Mountain Goat Moose

Quick breakdown of Idaho's system

Annual license or
front fee state
  • Front fees state
Idaho's
draw system
  • No preference/ bonus system
Application
dates
  • Deer, elk and antelope: May
  • Moose, sheep, and mountain goat: April
Cost of applying
for all species
  • $280.00


Idaho offers a wide variety of hunting opportunities. The draw is done annually for “controlled” hunt areas. Nonresidents receive no more than 10% of the total tag allotment for these controlled hunts. Both residents and nonresidents are limited to applying for one controlled hunt per year. Limiting each applicant to applying for one controlled hunt per year has helped Idaho maintain some of the best draw odds in the west for quality hunts. Example: if you want to apply for a bighorn sheep controlled hunt, you cannot apply for an elk controlled hunt.

The Idaho draw occurs in two stages; the first is for moose, sheep, and mountain goat and occurs in April, while the second stage of the draw for deer, elk, and antelope occurs in May. Paper applications are a lot cheaper than online applications. The charge for phone-in purchases is 3% of the transaction plus $5.50; the charge for online purchases is 3% of the transaction plus $3.50. 

First Idaho draw period

Cost to apply in Idaho's first draw for a nonresident

Type of license Application
fee
Upfront app
cost
Nonrefundable
app cost
Annual hunting
license
$154.75 $154.75 $154.75
Application fee $14.75 $14.75 $14.75
Online processing fee 3% + $3.50 $71.64 $71.64
Moose $2,101.75* $2,101.75*  
California bighorn sheep $2,101.75* $2,101.75*  
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep $2,101.75* $2,101.75*  
Mountain goat $2,101.75* $2,101.75*  
Total   $2,342.89 $241.14

* Can only apply for one species.

Should you choose to apply for moose, sheep, or mountain goat, the total upfront cost is $2,342.89 (for online applicants) with a nonrefundable fee of $241.14 should you be unsuccessful in the draw.

Second Idaho draw period

Cost to apply in Idaho's second draw for a nonresident

Type of license Upfront app
cost
Tag cost
if drawn
Nonrefundable
app cost
Annual hunting
license
$154.75 NA $154.75
Online processing fee 3% + $3.50 NA 3% + $3.50
Deer $14.75 $301.75* $14.75
Elk $14.75 $416.75* $14.75
Antelope $14.75 $311.75* $14.75
Total $208.47   $208.47

* Tag fee not charged at time of application

Should you choose to apply for elk, deer, or antelope, the total upfront fee is $208.47 (for online applicants) with none of this fee being refundable. Should you be successful in the draw, the tag fee for whichever species you have chosen will be assessed at that time. Keep in mind that there is a 3% processing fee associated with applying online for any of these species online. You can forego being assessed this fee by applying with a paper application.

With “above average” draw odds and excellent hunting opportunities, picking a controlled hunt to apply for each year in Idaho is a must. Sorting through the options can be a daunting task. This decision depends largely on your hunting goals.

Comparison: New Mexico verse Idaho? Cost analysis

With all the options these states offer and the high upfront cost associated with most of the applications, applying for all species in New Mexico can be problematic. In Idaho, picking the one controlled hunt to apply for each year can also be troubling, as there are so many good options.

The table below summarizes the cost of applying for each species in these two states.

The cost to NOT build points

 

New Mexico

Idaho

Species Upfront
Cost
Nonrefundable
fee
Upfront
cost
Nonrefundable
fee
Elk $838 (Q/HD)
$613 (S)
$13 (Q/HD)
$13 (S)
$174.60 $174.60
Mule deer $433 (Q/HD)
$348 (S)
No $174.60 $174.60
Sheep $3,238 $13 $2,342.89 $241.14
Antelope $348 $13 $174.60 $174.60

Q = Quality
HD = High Demand
S = Standard

As this table illustrates, regardless of the species you choose to apply for in Idaho, the nonrefundable cost exceed that of New Mexico. This high cost of applying in Idaho paired with the state's limitation on applicants to only apply for one controlled hunt per year has helped keep the draw odds in Idaho higher than other western states.

The cost to NOT build points

Elk application cost comparison
New Mexico vs Idaho — Nonresident only
 

New Mexico

Idaho

Application item Cost Refundable Cost Refundable
Annual hunting license $65.00 Yes $154.75 No
Application fee $13.00 No $14.75 No
Online processing fee N/A N/A 3% + $3.50
($8.59)
No
Elk tag $773.00 Yes $416.75 ***
Total out of pocket $838.00   $178.09  
Refunded if unsuccessful $825.00   $0.00  
Net cost to apply $13   $178.09  

*** Tag fee only assessed if successful in the draw.
 

The cost to NOT build points

Bighorn sheep application cost comparison
New Mexico vs Idaho — Nonresident only
 

New Mexico

Idaho

Application item Cost Refundable Cost Refundable
Annual hunting license $65 Yes $154.75 No
Application fee $13 No $14.75 No
Online processing fee N/A N/A 3% + $3.50
($71.64)
No
Bighorn tag $3,160 Yes $2,101.75 Yes
Total out of pocket $3,238   $2,342.89  
Refunded if unsuccessful $3,225   $2,101.75  
Net cost to apply $13   $241.14  

 



Total cost summary

Sorting through the different application processes and associated costs can be a daunting task. In the table below, the species offered, upfront costs and nonrefundable fees for nonresidents is summarized for easy reference.

Cost to apply in each state

State Species Upfront
cost
Nonrefundable
fees
Arizona Deer, elk, antelope,
desert bighorn sheep, bison
$265.00 $265.00
Colorado Deer, elk, antelope $1,397.00 $139.00
Colorado Moose, bighorn sheep,
mountain goat
$6,252.00 - Rocky bighorn option
$5,557.00 - Desert bighorn option
$19.00
Idaho Moose, bighorn sheep,
mountain goat
$2,342.89 $241.14
Idaho Deer, elk, antelope $208.47 $208.47
Montana Deer, elk, antelope $1,105.00 $304.20
Montana Moose, bighorn sheep,
mountain goat, bison
$260.00 $260.00
Nevada Deer, elk, antelope,
California & desert bighorn sheep
$217.50 $217.50
New Mexico Deer, elk, antelope,
desert bighorn sheep, ibex,
oryx, barbary sheep
$8,281.00 (Quality)
$7,971.00 (Standard)
$91.00
Oregon Deer, elk, antelope,
bighorn sheep, mountain goat
$200.50 $200.50
Utah Deer, elk, antelope, mountain goat,
Rocky bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep,
bison
$155.00 $155.00
Wyoming Deer, elk, antelope, moose,
bighorn sheep, mountain goat
Regular draw: $9,671.00
Special draw: $10,631.00*
$393
Wyoming Points only
Deer, elk, antelope, moose,
bighorn sheep, mountain goat
$295 $295
Total   $31,106.89**
$27,543.61***
$2,788.81****

* Deer, elk and antelope are the only special draw species. The rest are prices from the regular draw.
** Expensive option (Rocky in CO, Big Three in Idaho, Quality in NM, Special Draw in WY plus everything else).
*** Cheaper option (Desert in CO, Standard in NM, Regular Draw in WY plus everything else).
**** Wyoming points only not included in final price.

The total cost of building points (nonrefundable fees) for all species in these states is approximately $2,788.81 annually. This number will vary based on residency. If you are a resident of any of these states, your cost will be lower in your home state. There are also some loopholes in applying for several of these states that can help you save a few bucks, but this is another topic that we will examine another time.

There are unlimited options as far as which species to apply for in each state as you refine your application strategy. In the next article, we will breakdown application strategy species by species. Some states offer better quality of one species versus others and we will try and highlight some of those differences. The scope of that was simply too much to include in this article.

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