View Full Version : Arizona Preference Points

11-18-2012, 06:50 AM
Am looking at setting myself up to hopefully do a trophy archery elk hunt in the future. Can anyone give me advice on the preference point process. To get a point each year do you have to purchase a hunting liscence? Thanks

11-18-2012, 07:35 AM
Arizona has a Bonus Point system which is different than preference point system. In essence, under the BP system the more points you have the better your odds of receiving a tag. Sort of like buying a bunch of lotto tickets versus just one. You can win (or draw) with just one (most units) but your odds increase the more you have. Those units that are very popular (9, 10, 1, 27, etc.) may be affected by the 20% max BP rule, which means that 20% of the tags will go to max point holders......which often times means all of the non-resident tags as there are only up to 10% for non-residents to draw. However, for those archery units that are not as popular (smaller bulls) you have a chance to draw every year. I've drawn 4 archery bull elk tags in 20 years.

To receive a bonus point you must buy a point or enter the drawing and not draw your first or second choice. If you request a refund on your application, you will NOT receive a bonus point. If you take Arizona's hunter safety course, you can receive a permanent bonus point for all species. Furthermore, if you enter the elk draw for 5 years straight, you will gain a loyalty point as well. Both points will always be issued to you, providing you do not miss a draw.

Is this an investment? Sure is. However, I bowhunt rut crazed desert mule deer every January in Arizona, so I already have the license. Since I hunt mule deer in the winter, I'm already getting use out of my license......so putting in for elk is a easy choice. There is no other place in the country like Arizona for public land, DIY type elk hunts, IMO.

Umpqua Hunter
11-18-2012, 02:10 PM
BOHNTR gave you an excellent answer.

Right now for a non-resident the top archery elk hunts require about 12 to 16 bonus points to guarantee a tag and 18+ points for the best early firearm (rifle or muzzleloader) elk hunts. There is also point creep which means it will take more points to draw some of these hunts in the future. I am at 14 points and trying to decide whether to hold out and try to catch one of the firearm tags, or draw one of the archery hunts in the next couple of years.

If you decide to buy the license and build points, I'd recommend spending the few extra dollars and build points for sheep, deer and antelope.

11-18-2012, 05:14 PM
So am I correct in assuming I would have to buy the $150 hunting liscense every year? Gets expensive after 12 years!

11-18-2012, 05:41 PM
So am I correct in assuming I would have to buy the $150 hunting liscense every year? Gets expensive after 12 years!

Yes you are correct. Like Umpqua said, the premium tags are very, very long draws. I just recently started buying points in AZ and if I held out for an early season rifle tag, I think that it could quite possibly be a 30+ year draw when accounting for point creep. The archery tags are also very difficult to draw too. AZ has some HUGE bulls though!

11-18-2012, 08:29 PM
The only reason I buy elk, deer, javelina, bison and antelope points in Arizona is I am already comitting the $180 to the annual license and the fee for the sheep tag. Makes sense to spend another $30 on the rest of the points. Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Washington are my hunting program for my 60's and 70's, as I am almost 40 now.

However if the bastards play the Wyoming game of all your points costing $400 I am done. I just don't want to spend $2500 per year to not hunt.

11-28-2012, 02:59 PM
Yes, you must buy the licence annually. However, as mentioned, this state is the #1 trophy state and so far they have been good to nonresidents, not cheapening the points you buy. Very few states have resisted ripping off loyal point buyers. You just need to be aware AZSFW is doing all they can to steal the 350 best tags. They failed last March, but will be back. If they get them, your points will be cheapened.

11-29-2012, 08:42 AM
Expensive yes. What I reccomend is trying to make use of the licence you already have to buy by doing an OTC archery hunt for mule deer either in Dec or Jan.

Midwest to Outwest
01-02-2013, 09:43 PM
If you don't draw the elk tag, which you probably won't for a few years, You could and should go to AZ to hunt the early archery Muledeer with an OTC tag. I recommend hunting in the area you intend to elk hunt; get your scouting in. The archery deer season is right before the archery elk opens... can definately be beneficial if you can afford to take the time to go.

01-05-2013, 07:42 AM
A lot of good advice already given.

With 9 points I only have a couple more years and I should hopefully have a tag in my pocket. Is it worth it only you can make that decision. If you want premium tags you have to play the game. Recommendation set-up a hunting account and add so much to it every month then it's not such a financial burden every year when applying for these type tags. Also they have a Super Raffle the odds are against you but someone has to win.

01-05-2013, 09:56 AM
Expensive yes. What I reccomend is trying to make use of the licence you already have to buy by doing an OTC archery hunt for mule deer either in Dec or Jan.

Shaun, have you had good success on the otc archery mule deer?