ever since Larry Voyles became director of GnF here in Arizona we have had nothing but trouble with all aspects of the dept. especially the draw system.I really try to keep my comments on here positive and constructive, but I'd sure like to know who to thank at AZGFD for this wonderful change. After sending in an estimated $8K in license and app fees for myself (24 years) my wife (6 years) and my six kids (4 to 11 years of apps) we were in position for several good tags. Now....they have SUBSTANTIALLY changed the rules that we paid into. AZGFD originally created a bonus draw system, sold points to position yourself in that system, then 25 years later decides to change things up to give applicants with less points low lottery type odds at the best tags. Several tags my family and I were hot on the trail of have now just vanished (as in Unit 23 archery as was mentioned earlier) or are now several more years out.
The best analogy I can come up with is an investment company that collects your money for many years with an expected payout at a future date. Then when you were on the verge of collecting on your investment they say "I'm sorry you now need to pay in several more years before claiming your benefits. We have decided to give half of what you were going to collect and give it in a lottery to a small number of our newer investors to keep them interested. You now need to pay in several more years in order to collect on your investment." If a private company did that, they would soon be hit with numerous legal actions.
Even if they would have kept 7% or 8% of the tags in the bonus pass it would have been FAR more palatable and given everyone a shot at the tags.
For the record I have drawn ONE elk tag (Unit 9 archery on a brutal drought year, one elk in bow range) and no sheep, antelope of deer tags under the point system. I now have:
Deer: 19 points (max possible). I've gone from drawing a Strip tag in the next 15 years or so (before I turn 70) to potentially 30 years.
Sheep: 26 points...and counting.
Elk: 17 points. I was closing in on a couple tags, one is off the table, the other has moved out several years.
Antelope: 26 points. By simply having no nonresidents with more points or equal points I can still draw the tag I am after when I decide to draw it.