Your Chance To Make A Change

The California Deer Tag Drawing System

In our last e-mail, we shared with you a press release from the California DFG which announced a change in the way deer tags will be distributed starting this year. In case you missed it, you can read it at New System.

We also asked our readers for their comments on the new system and what they thought about a Preference Point System. Check out their comments.

Our readers also include members of California's Department of Fish and Game. They responded to our web page with the following information DFG Feedback.

The Problem

The problem California and many western states have is that there are more hunters than the number of available deer tags (for the popular areas). This results in the dilemma of how to distribute fewer tags to a large number of hunters.

The Options

Here are the possible options for deer tag distribution — The Draw Options.

What's Wrong with This Picture

Year after year the DFG continues to tell hunters that it (the DFG) needs better data to determine what method California hunters prefer for distribution of deer tags. Now, before the Fish and Game Commission's public hearings are even completed this year, the DFG announces a new method. Our question is, how can they make that decision without hunter input when they continue to tell us they need hunter input to determine what kind of system hunters want? What's wrong with this picture?

Our Opinion

In the opinion of, neither the current nor the new drawing systems leave California hunters with any hope of being drawn in the drawing process except by luck. Both systems continue to chase hunters away from deer hunting in California because they think they will never be drawn.

California needs to go to a Modified Preference Point System. We understand that certain zones may take you 10 years to be drawn (X5b) under the Modified Preference Point System because of the demand. But for other zones (like X3, X7, X6), the thought that you could plan on hunting those zones every 2 or 3 years is much better than just standing by your mailbox year after year and not getting drawn because you just don't have luck on your side. If you are a lucky person, no problem, enter the drawing for the portion of tags that are held out for a random draw.

The DFG has studied the deer tag drawing system to death. We are told that DFG needs more input before it can make a decision. If this is true, why was it able to make a change this year before even hearing hunters' input to the Fish and Game Commission. Who was the squeaky wheel that got the oil for this move?

How You Can Make a Change

On April 7th, beginning at 8:00 a.m., the third and final public comment session will be held before the Fish and Game Commission at its meeting in Sacramento. The meeting will be held in the auditorium located on the ground floor of the Water Resources Building at 1416 Ninth Street.

This is your chance to join publisher/editor, Jerry Springer, and other hunters from around California in expressing your feelings about the deer tag drawing system.

We urge you to attend if you think changes need to be made. If you plan to attend, remember the following:
• Your image along with your words make the impression.
• Like shooting a buck, you need controlled comments to hit the mark.
• While it is great to wear camo in the field, at the meeting you want to be seen, so leave the camo at home.
• Remember, you are in a sales environment, so you want the Commission to buy your ideas. Be sure your image, words and actions help win the deal!

If your schedule will not permit you to attend, make sure you write the Fish and Game Commission before April 7th with your comments — if they don't hear from hunters, they don't think there is a problem.

Finally, there will be public sessions to gather information about the deer tag drawing system between now and February 2001. Attend them and let your feelings be known.

If you say nothing or do nothing, then you are part of the problem and not part of the solution!

See you in Sacramento on April 7th!

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