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Are the Utah LE (Limited Entry) tags really "bonus point" tags, or are they "preference point".

So, are the Utah LE (Limited Entry) tags really "bonus point" tags, or are they "preference point".

I know the FAQ says that Utah LE hunts are bonus point, not preference point.   See here:.  http://wildlife.utah.gov/hunting-in-utah/hunting-permits/684-how-bonus-and-preference-points-work
 
However, when I look over the draw data, the applicants with the most points always get the "bonus point" tag(s).  E.g., look at the 2014 LE Elk draw report - every single "Bonus Permit" went to the tagholder with the most points (see PDF File attached).  Clearly that's preference point type of logic, not bonus logic.  See example chart attached.    
 
Further, the LE charts use the word "bonus", not "preference" to describe the tag/permit.  
 
Can anyone clarify?

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Utah's point system on all

Utah's point system on all their LE and OIL hunts are a bonus point system.  If you look at the breakdown for each hunt you will also see that 50% of the available tags go the the maximun point holders and the rest go to the lottery.  At times you have better odds if you have 0 points than if you have just a few. 

I have been playing their point game for years and have managed to draw one LE elk tag and if I get lucky I'll draw my LE deer tag this year.  Last year I had max points for my LE deer but there were only 8 NR tags offered so 4 went to max point holders and the rest to the lottery.  Guess what?  I didn't draw with max points so I am hoping for 2015. 

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"Bonus" vs. "Preference"

Critter - you say "bonus" points for Utah LE hunts.  And the PDF reports from Utag GFD and the FAQ from Utah also say LE hunts are "bonus" point systems.  Whereas Utah General-Deer is preference (not Bonus). 

But yet, what you describe is a "preference point" system, not bonus.  And how Utah actually distributes is also preference, not bonus (based on my review of the PDF draw data sheets).  Preference is where the max point holders get the tags.  Bonus points is just your name showing up in the hat one more time (or, 1 more time - and then squared in some states NV/WA/MT). 

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In the draw in Utah your name

In the draw in Utah your name isn't put into the hat 10 times if you have 10 bonus points.  A computer assigns each bonus point a random number and the lowest number is put into the draw with all the rest or the random numbers.  It is actually a bonus point system since not all high point holders will draw a tag.  Only 50% of them will provided that there are 2 or more tags offered for the draw.  So if a hunt has 50 tags 25 of them will go the the max point holders and 25 will go into a draw.  Now if there are 30 max point holders lets say 20 points with only 25 tags offered then it is a draw for them and only 25 will draw that tag.  

A preference point system all the tags go to the highest point holders such as what Colorado has.  In Colorado if you need 10 points to draw a tag you need 10 points, no point holder under that is going to draw. 

Utah's system is complicated to understand and I know hunters that still don't understand it and at times it seams unfair.  Why should someone with 0 points draw a tag when others have 20 points but it happens all the time. 

 

Now the general season deer is preference points but there is a way to game that draw also.  Right now if a hunter has 5 points and puts in as his first choice a unit that he knows he wont draw and then puts in for another unit for his second, third, or fourth choice he will draw one of those choices before anyone else even with a couple of points will draw that tag.  They were suppost to change the system for the deer draws for this coming draw but it was tabled until next year. 

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Utah uses "bonus points", but they still operate like PREFERENCE

I just got of the phone with UTAH DWR - TWICE - and can now fully answer my own question.  
 
Utah uses the term "bonus" points to refer to their Limited Entry (LE) hunts.  And "Preference Points" to refer to General Season (Deer/cow/doe-prong). 
 
But the BONUS points for LE hunts still operate like preference points (i.e., max bonus point holders still get ALL the tags).  I.e., no one with fewer points draws before someone with more points.   

They needed another term to use for LE hunts where 50.1% of tags are awarded truly randomly and 49.9% are awarded via "preference".  So, they used the term "bonus points".  I don't think they realized that so many of us understand that term to mean "random", not "first guy in line gets tag"...

So, be aware that Utah uses the term "bonus point" in a much different way than many other western states use that term.  Every other state uses the term "bonus point" to simply refer to the applicant having extra chances in the draw (whether it be simply 1 extra chance for every extra point, or "squaring" your bonus points to get the number of chances you have - like NV).   

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I hate to say it but you are

I hate to say it but you are wrong in what you came up with. 

In a LE hunt where there are more than 2 tags available half of the tags will go to the max point holders and the rest will go into the draw with all the rest of the applicants.  So not all max bonus point holders get all the tags.  This happened to me last year.  I had max points for the LE hunt that I put in for but only 4 of the 9 with max points drew a tag when there were 8 tags offered.

Also on their preference points for deer there is a loop hole that quite a few hunters are taking advantage of.  I won't explain it here but it has been happening for quite a few years.  It was supposed to of been fixed this year but they tabled the idea until they could look at it further.  Hopfully next year it will happen.

 

You may need to do a little bit more research on how they work their draw system..

 

 

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Agree!

I agree with what Critter states above.

I think we are basically saying the same thing.

50.1% of Utah LE tags are given out completely randomly.  No regard to points whatsoever.

49.9% are given out based on what Utah calls "bonus" points.  But they all go to the guys with max points (which is "preference" point logic, not "bonus").  

My only point is: Be careful when hearing Utah DWR use the term "bonus" points because they use it in a way that is drastically different than any other state that uses that term.