Drawing Hunt Permits Information

How Does the Random Drawing Work?

All permit applications are entered into a database and checked for potential problems such as correct hunt numbers, date of birth, hunting license information, etc. A computer then randomly assigns a "draw number" to each hunt on each valid application. Party hunt applications receive one draw number for each hunt; that is, both applicants on a party hunt application receive the same draw number for each hunt in the party application.

Permits are assigned to applicants with the lowest draw numbers, up to the number of permits allocated for that particular hunt. If five permits are to be awarded for a particular hunt, the five permits will be assigned to the five lowest draw numbers. Note this may differ slightly when it comes to party applications, where two party members share the same draw number. For example, if four of the five permits have already been assigned, and a party application has the next-lowest draw number, the party application will be skipped. This is because only one permit remains available, while two permits would have to be assigned (one for each member of the party). In those situations, the one remaining permit will be assigned to the individual applicant with the next-lowest draw number.

After all permits have been tentatively assigned for a species, the list is checked to identify any individuals assigned two permits for the same species. In those situations, the individual is awarded one permit for the species, based upon how they ranked their choices on their permit application. The other permit is then awarded to the individual applicant with the next-lowest draw number. This process is repeated for all hunts for that species, until all possible permits are awarded.

In a few specific hunts alternate lists are required in order to maximize hunting opportunity. The alternate list is generated from all remaining applicants using the original randomly-assigned draw numbers. If the original applicant drawn does not notify the department of their intent to hunt by the date required, the next applicant(s) on the alternate list will be offered a permit until all permits have been awarded.

How can I improve my chances of being drawn for a permit?

  • Apply early! By applying early, there is more time to verify your application and provide you with an opportunity to correct any error.
  • Read the drawing permit hunt application instructions carefully.
  • In 2017 approximately 296,187 applications were received for drawing hunts. About 3.9% of the total applications were rejected. The most common errors were applying for the same hunt the person won last year, applicant was awarded a subsistence hunt that conflicted with draw hunt, and exceeding the allowed number of applications for bull moose hunts.
  • Apply for a maximum of six hunts per species and apply for the same hunt more than once. Note: you may apply for a total of six hunt choices per big game species, and the chance of winning a permit for a particular species increases with each additional hunt applied for.
  • Apply for less popular hunts (see the table on the back page of the Drawing Permit Hunt Supplement).