By Tyler Ferris, December 2015
My personal application strategy is simple, every year I try to put as many tags in my pocket as I can. Being young, I have not had the opportunity to build up many points in the western states, so I tend to apply for the easier-to-draw units or just fill my season up with overthe- counter hunts. Since I have a huge passion for exploring, my number one goal each and every season is to learn new states and new units and chase new species with different weapons. I tend to apply where I have a legit opportunity of drawing a quality tag within the next 3-10 years.
Since I am all about having the opportunity to hunt and hunting often, I don’t limit myself to just using one single weapon choice. There are quite a few easier tags to draw just by applying with a lesser weapon preference, such as archery or muzzleloader hunts. The use of multiple weapons helps keep the odds in my favor by putting a few more tags in my pocket each fall. Utilizing all of the different methods of harvest allows you to extend your hunting season.
We all have our short-term and long-term goals, which are typically influenced by where you are in your hunting career and which states and species you are after. I have not harvested a lot of big critters, so I apply in several states, hoping for a random chance at drawing a few elk, deer, and/or antelope tags. If unsuccessful, I will fill my fall with over-the-counter hunts. I try to line up at least two spring Black bear hunts, two to four elk hunts, and two to four deer hunts, plus I try to fit in an antelope hunt or tag along on someone else’s once-in-alifetime hunt.
For the 2016 season, I will most likely only burn my Montana antelope and Wyoming deer points. I am not sitting in a great position this season to burn any other points, so I will just keep my fingers crossed for the random draw.
My personal goal is to archery hunt for antelope in Montana and Wyoming, hunt elk in at least three states, including Montana, Idaho, and/or Colorado, Oregon, or New Mexico, and hunt deer in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
Here is a list of states and species I will be applying for.
- Alaska – Dall sheep, bison, muskox, caribou, Roosevelt elk, Brown bear, and Alaska moose
- Arizona – elk, antelope, Coues deer, and Desert Bighorn sheep
- Colorado – elk and Mule deer
- Idaho – elk, deer, and antelope
- Iowa – deer points
- Kentucky – elk
- Kansas – deer points
- Maine – Canadian moose
- Montana – moose, sheep, Mountain goat, bison, deer, elk, antelope, and Mountain lion
- Nevada – elk, deer, antelope, and Desert and California Bighorn sheep
- New Hampshire – Canadian moose
- New Mexico – elk and deer
- New Jersey – Black bear
- North Dakota – deer
- Oregon – Black bear
- Pennsylvania – elk
- South Dakota – deer
- Texas – exotics, alligator, deer, and Desert Bighorn sheep
- Utah – elk
- Vermont – Canadian moose
- Wyoming – elk, deer, antelope, moose, and sheep