Computer Glitch Awards Too Many Big Game Tags

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

A computer glitch during the first-come, first-served process for leftover big game tags on Aug. 12 resulted in 150 more tag "confirmations" being sent to individuals than there were hunt-permit tags available.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is holding a telephonic meeting in the Wildlife Building at the Arizona State Fairgrounds on McDowell and 17th Avenue starting 11 a.m. Sept. 5 to address the issue.

Information Branch Chief Joe Janisch explained that this is the first time the department has gone to an on-line and telephone-only process for first-come, first-served big game tags leftover from the July draw. In the past, the first-come, first-served process has been via mail-only.

"In reality, it was all a computer process this year, because even when applicants called the telephone number, the person on the receiving end was sitting at a computer terminal entering the information," he said.

Janisch explained that the computer logic for the first-come, first-served program was designed to handle two people simultaneously trying to hit the Web site for the last tags. "Apparently, the program was not designed to take hundreds of hits simultaneously, and that is exactly what happened."

The program "reserved" tags once people were logged onto the system, and then sent e-mail success notices to the applicants it determined were successful. "It was a case of tag goes to the runner. However, we ended up having 150 more people on base at the same time than there were hunt-permit tags available. Unfortunately, the computer sent notices to those 150 people telling them that they were successful," Janisch said.

The department is recommending that the commission consider awarding those over-issued tags to those applicants who incorrectly received a tag confirmation. There are 145 tags for antlered whitetail deer and five tags for anterless elk in various units that could be awarded by the commission.