AZ NR draw ? (5/5 allocation)


Jan 31, 2016
In the woods.
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.
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.


Veteran member
Nov 29, 2011
I think they all should be random and just square the bonus points.

They make this stuff more complex than it has to be.

But in the end I play the game.

az.mountain runner

Active Member
May 22, 2012
Mesa Az.
AZ.resident ,all of the elk units in az have bulls that are 350 plus you just have to spend the time to find them.. I think the bigger issue is that Az. G&F is trying to make to many hunts to increase their profit ,we need less hunts with longer hunting time. When you check out our success rate compared to other states it's pretty sad. And ps. Feel bad for all hunters that got the short end.i don't think anyone should have to pay for a tag when you just want bonus points!
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Very Active Member
Feb 28, 2011
LaPorte, IN
Umpqua Hunter, Yes it's pretty much outrageous throwing such invested sportsmen under the bus. Unfortunately it's a sign of the times. You should read the minutes of the legislative session when Maine finally scrapped 10 point moose bonus packs for residents. The clowns were documented basically laughing at the invested NR point holders, freely admitted we were getting bent over, but snickered they couldn't resist the free money generated by their line cutting scam on the nonresident side. The terminology they used was truly unprofessional and pathetic to read. It really opened my mind about how truly they could care less about ethics. Resident constituents had enough voice to get that scam stopped on their side.

Other states have run point devaluing policies for years, and I have yet to see a cent of my investment returned in any. Best strategy is to bail with whatever a guy can draw, then quit or just target 3-5 point units. It's all a guy can do.

The world would be a much better place if all legislators, attorneys & judges were behind bars where they belong. They are nothing but self serving white collar thieves hiding behind their sheepskins.
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Veteran member
Aug 14, 2014

Great post. I have never understood waiting 10-20 years to go hunting. I have enough trouble making it through the off season. As an AZ resident, I have friends that haven't went elk hunting for over a decade in their own state, I just don't get it. I know that I will never hunt the strip or even unit 9, but I have still managed to put a few nice animals on the wall.
I think a lot of guys who apply for elk in AZ only apply for PRIMO areas. So of course those tags are super hard to draw. The same could probably be said about any state that has moster bulls.
My brother who lives in AZ has drawn 4 elk tags in 10 years of residency. He applies for an area thay has few elk and AZ Fish & Game is supposedly trying to get rid of the elk there. Three tags filled.
Last years tag was in unit 1 bordering the Apache reservation and was drawn with 0 points. That one went unfiled because he was holding out for a monster archery bull which we did several of. He passed n several small bulls.
So it is possible to draw those tags if you don't apply for the best units.
One pic is of my bros buddy who had the same tag.


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