Back to News

New petition to give 25% of Nevada tags to max point holders

Nevada petition to give 25 percent of tags to max point holders

Earlier this week an email was forwarded to me, then recently I saw this petition was now up on Nevada Department of Wildlife's website. You can read the petition here. On Monday, March 9 I reached out to Nevada Department of Wildlife to hear their thoughts, but I haven't received a comment back yet.

This new petition is pushing for the following changes:

  • Give 25% of the overall tags to the maximum point holders
  • Reduce the number of choice to only 3 (currently an applicant has 5 choices in Nevada)
  • Allow only up to 50% of the tags in any unit to be issued to max point holders

Email screenshot about the Nevada draw system

Screenshot from the original email from the petitioner.

According to the proposal, the 25% change would benefit the applicants who have been applying and supporting Nevada the longest. In their example, for the 2018 season, all of the 26, 25, 24 and part of the 23 point holders would have drawn a desert bighorn sheep tag. They also claim that the second proposal would have removed 31% of the choices for the California bighorn sheep draw in 2018, which could have spread the application pressure making the odds better for every applicant. And finally, the third proposal would assure that there are still tags available for the lower point holders as well.

What are your thoughts?

This petition would change things a lot in Nevada.

If you'd like to submit a comment to the Nevada Wildlife Commissioners, their contact information can be found in the table below.

Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners

Name Location Contact Info
Brad Johnston Yerington 775-316-1157
Tiffany East Reno 775-250-8092
Tommy Caviglia Henderson 702-289-3375
Jon Almberg Ely 775-296-0706
Thomas Barnes Elko 775-744-4548
Kerstan Hubbs Henderson 702-501-3442
Casey D. Kiel Lovelock 775-560-5161
David McNinch Reno 775-747-7545
Paul E. Valentine Henderson 702-592-1255


Log in or register to post comments.
Steven B. - posted 1 month ago on 04-08-2020 11:51:07 am
Spring Creek, NV

Some good points made in this post below: If you are obstinate about only accepting the single most premium tag in the state, you can end up with 27 points. With Rocky and California Bighorns as well as Mountain Goat, you can really have a problem, the odds are just so bad. Maybe also a bit when it comes to Desert sheep, although you should draw with 20 points if you are being reasonable about your choices. ALL OTHER SPECIES: This is just someone being pigheaded about wanting the best tag in the state. There is no other reason you can't draw an elk within 10 points, antelope within 8, and a deer within 6 points unless you are just being picky. Good on you for holding out for the best tag, but you also can't cry about "poor me" when you are holding out for so long. An idea might be to try this with the Sheep and Goat tags and see how it goes after a few years. The three vs. five choice thing is a non-issue. Also, we need to keep our bonus point system, even if we skim a little off the top for some select preference point hunts.
Steven B. - posted 1 month ago on 04-08-2020 11:44:25 am
Spring Creek, NV

This may be an idea whose time has come for us here in Nevada. We do have a problem with the poor folks who have 20+ points. I think the 25% proposal is too high. Rather than looking at the current situation, let's decide on what we want forever going forward, and set it there. If we set it at 10% to 15% for the top point holders, with a maximum cap of 25% (for areas with only 4 tags allotted for instance) it may make a lot of sense. I don't see any merit in the three vs. five choice idea. Mathematically, it doesn't really make any significant difference, given Nevada's lottery system.

Pat F. - posted 2 months ago on 03-22-2020 09:25:36 am

I apply in multiple states with point systems. The Preference Point and Bonus Point systems have the same point creep problem. However, I have hunted premium areas in Wyoming and Colorado under the preference point systems, and will draw a premium elk permit in Colorado with the same number of elk points that I currently have in Nevada. However, in Nevada I still have a minimum chance of drawing an elk tag, about the same chance I had before the Bonus Point system was implemented, due to the increase of hunters applying for permits.
I would recommend reducing the number of hunts on the application, and segregating hunt application options like Idaho. For example, if you want to apply deer, elk, antelope you cannot apply for bighorn sheep or mountain goat. That will eliminate a lot of applicants in each group, improving the odds in those groups. I also have no problem with allocating 25% of the tags to the top bonus point holders. One thing I am adamantly opposed to is allocating a portion of the non-resident deer tags to the Guide Draw. Obviously, something has to be done to improve the drawing odds for hunters that have invested huge amounts of money before those hunters realize the huge investment in Nevada will never pay off, because their drawing odds never increase.

Christopher S. - posted 2 months ago on 03-15-2020 09:07:22 pm

Sounds like it's a friend of Charles E that wrote this stupid petition. I can assure you, it's the older guys who are dead set on one unit that are pushing for these changes. Charles, there's not a single damn unit in Nevada where your odds are exactly 0%. Tell your buddy with the petition to print it off and use it as toilet paper when he runs out.

frank z. - posted 2 months ago on 03-15-2020 07:34:03 pm

Charles: The guy you are referring to, it’s his own fault that he has 27 points. He could of easily taken 10 years off the 27 points by putting in for a different area with the same class of bulls. What it sounds like to me is the guys with the most points are now pissed off they played the long game and haven’t won. Maybe regretting the investment I would think. 1,312 res rifle bull tags at $120 is 157,440 dollars. Non-res 142 rifle bull tags at $1200 is 170, 440 dollars so no doubt that non residents contribute to Nevada big game. But I’m not buying this theory that because you put in for the hardest units in the state for 25+ years your entitled to a tag. Do research, get out and scout find resources and buy gohunt and go Shoot a 330+ bull in 90 percent of Nevada, if you don’t like the odds in Nevada don’t hunt it. Go get a tag in Idaho or Colorado or buy a 12,000+ bull tag in Nevada in a unit you could draw in 10 years.
The way I look at it. Just because you buy powerball tickets for 50 years and spend 100k doesn’t mean you should automatically win 100 million. When I buy stocks I do research and turn over every rock. I look for consistency and decent gains and the most important “cost”. It works the same way with big game tags in Nevada. Don’t put in for the tag that cost 27 years with a gain of 350+ when you could get a deal with 10 years and 350+ with a little hard work.

Chris M. - posted 2 months ago on 03-15-2020 02:02:44 pm
Minden Nevada

Thanks for the heads up on the podcast. Did they mention if the guy with 27 points had been putting in for tags every year or putting in for points only over the years?

Charles E. - posted 2 months ago on 03-15-2020 01:14:50 pm

Listen to Episode 45 (Feb. 19, 2020) of the Elk Talk podcast with Randy Newberg & Corey Jacobsen to get some perspective on this. There is only one nonresident who currently has 27 points for elk. He has applied every year since inception of the point system, which Jacobsen estimates has cost that person $4,500 to date. Last year, when he had 26 points, he applied for a rifle tag in units 221/222/223 and his odds (with 26 points) were 2% !! If the one person who has applied since Year 0 and has more points than anybody else in the USA has a 2% chance of drawing a tag , it means nobody has a realistic chance of drawing a tag. For all those who are commenting about the "fairness" of the NV system, I guess if fair means everybody's odds are 0% than you are correct. When nobody has a realistic chance of drawing, sure that is a pretty level playing field, but that is not how the system was designed to work. Theoretically, the guy who spent $4,500 over 27 years (supporting your state's wildlife) is supposed to have a much better chance of drawing a tag than someone with 2 points. Unfortunately, that is not the case in reality. As people begin to figure this out, they will just stop investing in your state. What is the point of building points in NV if 27 years/points gets you 2% odds? $4,500 for 2% odds? No thank you. If you choose not to build points, it costs you $155 (license) + $10 tag fee to apply and your odds of drawing are 0%. So for those who say "don't build points, just apply" - does spending $165 for 0% odds sound like a bargain to you? It is hard to make any case for applying in NV that makes financial sense. It makes much more financial sense to apply in states with random draws like NM and ID. NDOW is in a tough position here. The inherent flaw in all of these preference or bonus point systems is that they were not designed to handle the kind of demand that exists today. The systems are broken. Any ideas for improvement should be given due consideration. If the claims made above are true, that by getting the top point holders off-the-books it will improve everybody's odds, how is that a bad idea? Perhaps some of the people commenting on this post are unaware of just how bad everyone's odds really are when the top point holders have a 1/200 chance of drawing a tag. It would be great if these states could scrap the point systems and go back to random draws, but they can't do that because it would hurt everyone who has bought into their systems and waited in line patiently. Anything they can do to improve everyone's odds, while at the same time rewarding those who have chosen to wait in line, is a good thing. Keep America Great!

James V. - posted 2 months ago on 03-15-2020 09:44:59 am

I am 100% against creating a preference system, especially when talking about limited, top tier tags like sheep, etc. Sounds like somebody is scorned that they haven't been drawn. The Nevada and Montana systems, with bonus points, are very fair draw systems; they give everyone a shot, but give weighted (squared) favor to those that have been applying for a longer amount of time. No one is guaranteed a tag, as it should be with such a limited resource. Everyone plays the game and sometimes you get lucky (or unlucky for some with lots of points). A preference system for these types of tags just puts people in a line that you can't get to the front of; esp for youth and adult-onset hunters.

If one really wanted to shake things up, you could have the draw look at everyone's first choice on the first pass instead of all 5 choices, or only give 1 or 2 choices. That would really force people to make some hard desicions and likely increase the odds for some tags.

When I was a resident in NV, I drew a top tier elk tag with 4 points that I had miniscule odds of getting, but failed to draw "easy" to draw deer tags.

Ultimately, I think the figures presented in the letter are beautiful in that it shows that anyone has a shot at drawing these great tags, no matter your point total.

Matthew G. - posted 2 months ago on 03-14-2020 09:55:20 pm

I look forward to Nevada's draw. It seems to be the most fair and balanced system considering others out there. No reason to change it.
I did not know about the party loophole. If that is true then that loophole needs to be closed.

frank z. - posted 2 months ago on 03-14-2020 07:38:57 pm

Leave the system the way it is. Born and raised in northern Nevada. Hunting since I got my hunter safety in 2004. If you have max points it’s your fault. Yea maybe some areas don’t have the trophy quality of others, but that’s why we pay for gohunt insider. To see our draw odds in certain areas. Hard work, time and research will put you on trophies. My grandfather drew a desert with 16 points in 2018, my great uncle drew the same area with 5 points in 2012. That’s the way the system was created. Anybody and everybody has a chance. I’d rather be 30 years old with a mature 150” desert on the wall then 65 with 27 points then to eating tag soup. This once in a lifetime topic is ridiculous if you think about a kid at 12 years old putting in for any sheep tag. It’s reasonably to say 10 to 15 years as a resident before he draws. He would be 22-27 years old. He then waits 10 years to put in again he’s now 32-37. See the pattern. It’s fair. If you put in for area 268 every year then your a damn fool. At 27 points you have a 4.7 percent chance. You have multiple areas with 165” rams taken every year with odds of 30,21,19,17 percent. If Nevada turns into to this pay to wait and draw state with max point holders get tags first. I bet you see a petition to ban tags to non residents or that residents with 10 years get tags and others don’t. I don’t think people realize the magnitude of something like this. 319,616 applications last year , 207,021 were individual applicants 40,157 were party applicants. There were 6,609,763 random numbers draw ( chances) the lowest number was 3. The state only gave 27,550 tags. So now you want to give half of those to people with the highest points that’s 13,775 tags that’s nuts. Take area 268 in Nevada for desert sheep. They gave 24 tags last year 9 would go to the 9 people with 27 and 3 to the people 26 then you have the remaining people which is 2 with 26, 14 with 25 and so on and so on all going for 12 tags. The odds are significantly better for those remaining high point holders to grab one of these random 12 tags.
I highly suggest in my humble opinion that you call your local wildlife commissioner and voice your opinion after careful research to what this is going do to not just you but your kids and future generations of hunters wanting to enjoy the Pursuit of the great big game nevada has to offer and the memories that will be lost.

Michael E. - posted 2 months ago on 03-14-2020 12:52:12 pm

The guy that started this petition is a outfitter and has killed more then his fair share of big horn sheep 8 total and 2 in Nevada. We should all sign his petition so he can get one is only fair right?

John S. - posted 2 months ago on 03-14-2020 12:28:27 pm

Make all sheep OIL!

The biggest change that needs to happen in Nevada is the party hunt loophole. The is being abused in Nevada on premium deer units in the state. This is the scenery that is going on;

So Billy and Bob put in with their Grandma every year on a party deer hunt. Grandmas never actually hunted or even shot a gun but they put her in every year and she has a ridiculous amount of points. Once results come out they return Grandmas tag and keep their tags. Grandma not only keeps her points but gains a point and this pattern goes on EVERY year.

This provision needs to be added to the Nevada regulations in regards to returning tags;

If you obtain a permit as a party application ALL group members must surrender their permits to have bonus points reinstated.

If you want to put a stop to this loophole, make it fair for all hunters and have better chances of drawing a tag in a premium Nevada deer unit PLEASE write all the above Nevada Wildlife Commissions to address this ridiculous loophole.

Ryan P. - posted 2 months ago on 03-14-2020 10:27:32 am

This would hurt the max point holders as well because they get stuck in the 25% pool. Overall, this is not well thought out and is driven by a select few with high bonus points that are trying to force a tag into their pockets.

TYSON C. - posted 2 months ago on 03-14-2020 10:02:54 am

If they want to do a 25% to max I would hope they reduce to 1 choice that would do more for the odds then anything.

Kenyon Y. - posted 2 months ago on 03-14-2020 08:01:23 am

If the commission is planning to reduce the non resident tags by 25% and allocate that reduction to residents with max points then that’s a discussion item.

Chris M. - posted 2 months ago on 03-14-2020 02:36:59 am
Minden Nevada

Max point holders already have better odds than people with less points. Please take the time to contact the commissioners and let them know what you think.

Stephen W. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 11:09:31 pm

Guys this would be truly devastating, Nevada is one of the only states (of those with a point system) that younger and middle aged people still have a chance for top-tier hunts in. We all know it's impossible to catch up in the other pref point and hybrid systems. I honestly can't think of why anyone would ever have a system other than a bonus system since it is fair for everyone - newer and younger hunters have a chance, and older hunters who have been supporting the system longer have a better chance. And Nevada even squares for the old guys! Guys lets all please stand up for reason on this one. I will be emailing all of the commissioners and I urge that we all do the same!

Kenyon Y. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 09:03:42 pm

Michael D

Michael D. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 08:46:45 pm

A preference point system only favors older hunters it does nothing to promote the sport as a whole. As a born and raised Nevadan I like our system. It allows everyone to have a shot at a once and a lifetime tag while still favoring those individuals who have applied multiple years.

Kenyon Y. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 07:29:20 pm

This proposal is ridiculous! This is an attempt by max point holders to increase their odds.

Joseph M. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 06:22:05 pm

The best odds for everyone are even odds for everyone. Get rid of the point all together. This proposal will benefit a very small group of people.

Colton M. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 03:45:25 pm

Nevada has always held their management policy to a very high standard, there are things we can do to increase opportunity in the form of an investment. Nevada does not lack public land but it does have issues with maintaining suitable habitat. With help from habitat restoration agencies we can all contribute to increase habitat, which increases population, which ultimately means more tags.

Wyatt M. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 02:52:15 pm

Kenyon, because it's not a "game", it's a system, it's broke, and can easily be changed.

Kenyon Y. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 02:43:11 pm

Figures lie and liars figure. Notice nothing was mentioned of Desert Sheep odds on the top tier except for a mention of a “max point holder”. Why make it a permanent change, go odd years on the proposal and even years straight up random w/ points. In reality why is there a need to change the rules in the middle of the game.

Dennis B. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 11:58:45 am

Interesting comments so far. But I have four questions for Gary H. concerning his comments.

#1) What should those individuals with more than 10 preference points have their heads examined for?
#2 &#3) What opportunities with their family and friends have they misses out on? And how do you know what they have or have not missed out on?
#4) Concerning your statement "That is on them"...what does that mean? Or rather, what exactly is it that is on them?

Again, your comments are really interesting Gary.

Brad A. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 11:28:41 am
Tehachapi, California

Agreed sheep need to be OIL !

Andrew B. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 10:17:29 am
Houston, TX

Why don't they make sheep a OIL tag while they are at it.

Gary H. - posted 2 months ago on 03-13-2020 10:13:24 am

Personally, I recommend anyone who has more than 10 preference points for any species at this point in the world has their head examined. They have missed out on a lot of opportunity with friends and family. That is on them.