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Hunting permits

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How bonus and preference points work

Bonus points

Utah’s bonus point system has been put in place to increase your chance of drawing a big game permit. Every time you apply for a limited-entry, CWMU or once-in-a-lifetime permit, and you don’t draw one, you receive a bonus point for that species.

Here are a few helpful facts about bonus points:

  • Bonus Points relate to limited-entry and once-in-a-lifetime hunts.
  • You earn a bonus point when your permit application is unsuccessful in the drawing.
  • You can also choose to apply for a bonus point only. You may not, however, apply for both a bonus point and a limited-entry permit in the same drawing, for the same species. Likewise, you may not apply for both a bonus point and a once-in-a-lifetime permit in the same drawing, for the same species.
  • Bonus points are awarded by species. For example, a bull elk bonus point is good for any future limited-entry bull elk hunt drawing.
  • Bonus points for desert bighorn and Rocky Mountain bighorn are separate.
  • If you are not eligible to apply for a permit for a species, then you cannot apply for a bonus point for that species either.
  • You will forfeit your bonus points if you obtain a limited-entry or once-in-a-lifetime permit for that bonus point species through the drawing or after the drawing. In other words, if you have bull moose bonus points and you obtain a bull moose permit in or after the drawing, then you will forfeit your bull moose bonus points.
  • Bonus points are not transferable.
  • If members of a group application have bonus points, their bonus points are averaged and rounded down to the nearest whole number. (Learn more about group applications.)

For more information about bonus points, read Utah Admin. Rule R657-62-8 and R657-62-9.

Preference points

Utah’s preference point system gives hunters who don’t draw a general-season buck deer, antlerless deer, antlerless elk or doe pronghorn permit a better chance at drawing one the following year. Each time you apply for one of these permits and don’t draw one, you’ll receive a preference point.

Here are a few helpful facts about preference points:

  • You will earn a preference point when your general-season buck deer, antlerless deer, antlerless elk or doe pronghorn permit application is unsuccessful in the drawing, or by choosing to apply for a preference point only.
  • For general-season buck deer permits, you will earn a preference point if your drawing application is unsuccessful or if you don't obtain a permit for your first choice.
  • You can also choose to apply for a preference point only. You may not, however, apply for both a preference point and a permit at the same time.
  • A general-season deer preference point is good for any general-season deer hunt choice.
  • If you draw a permit, you will typically forfeit your preference points for that species. However, you will not forfeit your general-season deer preference points unless you draw your first choice.
  • If you are not eligible to apply for a permit for a species, then you cannot apply for a preference point for that species either.
  • Preference points are not transferable.
  • If members of a group application have preference points, their preference points are averaged and rounded down to the nearest whole number. (Learn more about group applications.)

For more information about preference points, read Utah Admin. Rule R657-62-10.

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