The Arizona draw process for big game hunts is a multi-phase system that offers hunters a fair chance to secure permits for various species like deer, antelope, elk, turkey, javelina, and bear. Here’s a breakdown of how the Arizona big game draw works:

Three Phases of the Drawing

The draw consists of three phases – the bonus point pass, the first-second choice pass, and the third-fourth-fifth choice pass. Each application goes through a random number generator program before each pass.

Random Number Generation

For every application, a random number is generated, and additional random numbers are added for each group bonus point, including Hunter Education and Loyalty bonus points. The lowest random number for an application is used in the drawing. New random numbers are generated for each pass.

Group Bonus Points

Group bonus points come into play when 2 to 4 applicants apply on a single hunt application. These points are calculated by adding the genus bonus points, loyalty bonus point, and hunter education bonus point for each applicant and dividing the total by the number of applicants. The average number of bonus points in the group is used in the draw.

Checking for Permit Availability

When an application is reviewed, the system checks for available permits in the chosen hunt. There must be enough permits for all applicants on the application, including non-resident caps. If not, the application is passed, and the next one is reviewed.

The Drawing Phases

First Pass (20% Bonus Point)

In this pass, 20% of authorized hunt permit-tags are issued for various species. Applications with maximum bonus points are reviewed first, and if permits are available, they are issued. The process continues with lower bonus point categories until all permits are issued or all applications with bonus points are reviewed.

Second Pass (1st and 2nd Hunt Choices)

Applications that didn’t succeed in the bonus point pass receive new random numbers. The lowest random number applications are reviewed, and if permits are available for the first or second hunt choices without exceeding nonresident caps, they are issued.

Third Pass (3rd, 4th, and 5th Hunt Choices)

For applications unsuccessful in the first two passes, new random numbers are generated, and the third, fourth, and fifth hunt choices are reviewed for permit availability.

Awarding Bonus Points

After the third pass, the drawing concludes, and applicants who did not receive permits are awarded an additional bonus point for each species they applied for. These points are reset to zero for species where they received permits.