What is a Bonus Point?
An accumulated credit (or point) that authorizes the Department to issue a Big Game Drawing applicant additional computer-generated random numbers during a draw. The bonus point system grants an applicant one random number entry for each bonus point that has been accumulated into the drawing for that species. Each bonus point random number entry is in addition to the application random number entry itself. This system provides applicants with an added chance of receiving a low random number in the draw, hence improving their draw odds, while still providing a chance (no matter how small) for any applicant to get drawn.
How is a Bonus Point different from a Preference Point?
In a Preference Point system, there would be separate pools of applications for each point category. Those in the highest point category would be drawn first. If there were any hunt permit-tags left after looking at all applications in the highest point category then a second drawing would be held for those with the next highest point category. Over time, this would guarantee you getting a tag if you put in every year for the same species. With the Preference Point system, it could reach a point, with some species, that the drawing would, in effect, be closed to anyone who had zero or very few points.
Bonus points may be accrued for deer, antelope, elk, turkey, javelina, bighorn sheep, buffalo, and bear. In order to accrue a bonus point for a species, a valid application must be submitted into a drawing for that species and the application must be unsuccessful (not rejected) in the drawing.
What is a valid application?
A valid application is one that has all required fields completed, is submitted with sufficient fees, and is legible. Refer to R12-4-104 for detailed application and drawing procedures.
A Loyalty bonus point can also be earned per species, if an applicant submits a valid application at least once a year for a hunt permit-tag or bonus point for that species consecutively for a 5year period. An applicant retains the loyalty bonus point once accrued as long as the applicant continues to submit a valid application for that species at least once a year.
How do Bonus Points work in the Big Game Drawing?
There are 3 phases to the Big Game Drawing – the Bonus Point Pass, the First-Second Choice Pass, and the Third-Fourth-Fifth Choice Pass. For each phase of the drawing, a random number is generated for each application plus additional random numbers for each group bonus point (which includes the Hunter Education and Loyalty bonus points) credited to the application. The lowest random number generated for an application is used in the drawing process.
If you are drawn for a species, your bonus points for that species are zeroed out; however, you will retain your Hunter Education bonus point, if you have one, for the next drawing and your Loyalty bonus point for that species if you continue to submit valid application for that species.
What are Group Bonus Points?
Group Bonus Points occur in the Big Game Draw when 2 to 4 applicants apply on 1 hunt application. Group bonus points are calculated by adding the species bonus points, loyalty bonus point, and hunter education bonus point for each applicant on an application and dividing that total by the number of applicants. The Department shall use the average number of bonus points accumulated by the individuals in the group, rounded to the nearest whole number. If the average has decimal digits equal to or greater than .5, the total will be rounded to the next higher number otherwise it is rounded down.
Republished for educational purposes from the Arizona Game and Fish website.