Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


How does the Special Permit drawing work? I heard you square points. Does that improve my drawing odds?

Each Special Permit category has a separate random drawing. Building up your Special Permit points gives you a better chance in these drawings.

If we compare the drawing to pulling a ticket out of a barrel, building up points gives you more tickets. The system squares your points. That means that a person with one point ends up with one ticket in the barrel (1x1=1). A person with 10 points ends up with 100 tickets (10x10=100).

The system randomly pulls out all these tickets in order. At the end, each application will keep and use the lowest number it drew. The lower the number the better as spot number one earns the first overall pick. With more points, an application has a better chance of drawing a better pick.

The system moves down the list of applications, checking hunt choices to see if it can award a permit. For example, if your first hunt choice is no longer available, then your second choice is checked. If your second is not available, then the third choice is checked. If none of your hunt choices has a permit to award, then you earn a point and the system moves on to the next application.

It is important to think about the order and the amount of your hunt choices. If you only want to hunt one location, you might select only one hunt choice. In this case, drawing a permit is tougher because the system only considers that one choice. However, you do not risk losing your points to a second or third hunt choice you did not really want. If instead you are open to drawing several different hunts, using extra hunt choices increases your odds.

The weighted points system improves your odds, but the drawing is still random. Many factors affect the odds. The number of permits offered for a hunt is a major factor. Some hunts have only 1 permit to award while others have as many as 750.

You also need to consider what hunt choices the applications ahead of you submitted. If they all submitted different choices than you, you could draw a hunt even if your application is way down the list. On the same note, your application could have the second overall pick, but the application ahead of you chose the same hunt. If that hunt has only one permit to award, you would not draw a permit from the second spot and instead earn a point for next year.

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Last Updated
12th of December, 2013