In 1995, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department introduced a preference point system for moose and bighorn sheep. Every year, when you apply for a license and fail to draw, you are awarded one preference point for that species. If you decide not to put in for the draw, you can buy a preference point. If you don’t put in for a license and don’t buy a point for two years in a row, though, all your accumulated points are erased. The same is true if you move out of Wyoming and then come back. When you move, you go back to zero. And when you come back, you have to live here for a full year before you even apply as a resident again.
It’s not a full preference point system, though. There’s a 25% random chance provision, meaning a quarter of the licenses are doled out strictly based on chance, giving those with fewer than the maximum points a shot at drawing a tag.
The system has worked well for nearly 30 years, as long as you’ve kept up with the draws. If for one of those reasons you lost your accumulated points, or if you drew a tag and used up the points you had built up, you have to start again, and it could be years before you draw again – or you could very well never get another chance.
So the Game and Fish is asking for our input on whether to revert to a modified point system that gives you greater odds the more consecutive years you apply and are unsuccessful. The survey is available on the Game and Fish website, but it doesn’t give a deadline for the survey, so fill it out as soon as you can. Let them know whether you want to keep the current preference point system or go to a modified system that gives you better odds to draw if you don’t have the maximum points.