3 Reasons to Build Preference Points

Tired of bowhunting the same old areas each season? Then it’s time to build preference points for high-quality hunts in bucket list locations.

3 Reasons to Build Preference Points

Over-the-counter (OTC) tags are great — show up, buy one and bowhunt. And while good OTC hunting can be had, hunting pressure and trophy potential can fluctuate from year to year.

I abstained from preference point applications until several years ago. After obtaining just one preference point for Wyoming pronghorn, my brother and I drew tags the following year for a “mediocre” draw area. Goats were plentiful and pressure was light, unlike South Dakota, where we’d previously bowhunted with OTC tags.

We both killed public land Wyoming bucks, and mine grossed 71 inches.

To that end, here are three reasons you should build preference points. 

1. Nominal Bowhunting Pressure

It can be accurately stated that the more preference points a tag requires, the lower the pressure that game unit experiences. The downside is waiting many years to draw it and spending money every year on a point. But, those negatives erase when you draw a high-quality tag. 

2. Trophy Animals

Bowhunters who wait years to draw good or premium tags are generally selective, meaning few young animals are taken in tough-to-draw units. Plus, state wildlife agencies strategically manage these units for high-quality animals.

3. Positive Experiences

Bowhunting low-pressure draw units where killing a trophy is highly possible is a different picture from the OTC scene. It’s refreshing. And many times, public lands in these units are equal to or maybe even better than private lands.

If you dream of bowhunting in topnotch destinations, then get you name in the hat now and begin accumulating preference points.
If you dream of bowhunting in topnotch destinations, then get you name in the hat now and begin accumulating preference points.

What Are You Waiting For?

If money is hindering you from preference-pointing, just choose one or two states/species and get started. Apply for what you can afford. If waiting seems preposterous, you’d be surprised at how quickly you’ll gain enough points to bowhunt topnotch units.

If you postpone preference point applications, you’ll always just hunt poor to decent units. I don’t know about you, but I want to experience the best the West has to offer, which is why my name is in many hats. Consider doing the same.


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