May 15th is the deadline for applying for tags for elk and deer for the draw for most of the units. It is basically a raffle for tags. Some units that aren’t very popular the chances are good to get a tag, and other units that are very popular you probably won’t . It takes quite a bit of thinking and planning in figuring out where to put in for. Another couple of wrinkles is that there are preference points that are earned from failing to draw a tag in previous years. A preference point increases the odds of drawing considerably. Also we usually put in as a party or group so if one gets drawn the group automatically gets drawn guaranteeing that you get to hunt together or stay home together if you fail to draw. For us there are those units that don’t require a draw so if we fail to get tags for our first choice we go to one of the fallback units so we will always go hunting. I haven’t missed a year of hunting since I was 12 years old, and I usually go on multiple hunting trips each year. There is elk ,deer, bear, turkey, geese, ducks, moose in Alaska, caribou in Alaska, mountain lion and antelope in Wyoming, and tomorrow I am going sage rat hunting!!
I have noticed over the years that guys who are full bore hunters are different then those who are not. One of the very noticeable differences to me is that those who hunt religiously can tell stories much, much better than those who don’t. Non hunters can’t seem to acquire the balance between just giving a few quick facts, and going on and on and on till everyone has fallen asleep from boredom. And I think that the story telling skill spreads so that hunters as a whole are better conversationists, and can talk to people they hardly know. Hunters also deal with disappointment better because most years they don’t kill anything, but keep going back year after year.