California Hunters to Get Points
After decades of complaints by California hunters about the big game drawing system, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is gearing up to award California’s first-ever big game drawing “points.” Hunters who are not drawn in June for a premium deer hunt (on a first choice, one-deer tag application) or for one of the special pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep or elk hunts, will be given a point.

“We will be crediting unsuccessful hunters with a single point that will increase their chances of drawing one of the high-demand big game hunts in future years,” said Kristine Fakunding, DFG’s Big Game Hunting licensing specialist.

Specifics on the new point system and the subsequent drawing system that will incorporate hunter points — and whether the DFG will issue “bonus points” or “preference points” — are still under review, Fakunding said. During the next several months the Fish and Game Commission will evaluate various methods with the goal of adopting one in time for the 2003-2004 hunting season. In the meantime, a point will be awarded in June to every hunter who selects one of the drawing hunts as a first choice and is not drawn this year, she said.

Applications for high-demand deer hunts and for antelope, elk and bighorn sheep hunts must be received by DFG’s License and Revenue Branch (LRB) by 5 p.m. on June 3, 2002, to be considered for the Big Game Drawing.

Applications should be mailed to LRB at P.O. Box 989035, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9035. Customers may also deliver applications in person to LRB’s office at 3211 S Street, Sacramento.

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