Aug 8, 2016

2016 Limited Entry Application Recap (Elk)

Here is my recap of the limited entry bull elk drawing for 2016. Again, I will essentially replicate the table that I posted back in January with my predictions and I will add in parenthesis the number of bonus points that it actually took to draw a take for each hunt. This should shed some light on any dramatic changes.
RESIDENTNON-RESIDENT
Unit Archery Early Any Weapon Late Any Weapon Muzzle loader Multi-Season Archery Early Any Weapon Late Any Weapon Muzzle loader Multi-Season
Beaver, East 11.8 (15) 20..3 (21)15.0 (18) 18.1 (20) NA NA NA NA NA
Book Cliffs, Bitter Creek South 5.9 (6) 17.7 (18) 10.3 (11) 13.2 (12) 19.1 (20) 13.7 (15) 18.2 (19) 14.3 (17) 15.7 (17)
Book Cliffs, Little Creek Roadless 6.3 (9) 17.3 (18) 13.5 (14) NA NA 20.0 (20) NA NA
Box Elder, Grouse Creek 14.5 (15) 8.7 (8) NA
Box Elder, Pilot Mountain 18.4 (18)
Cache, Meadowville 0.7 (1) 4.3 (6) 2.1 (2) 0.7 (3) 23.0 (7) NA 10.3 (7) 3.0 (5) NA
Cache, North 0.4 (3) 8.7 (11) 6.5 (8) 4.0 (4) NA NA 10.2 (NA)NA NA
Cache, South 3.6 (6) 13.5 (14) 9.7 (8) 9.4 (9) 17.6 (17) 6.3 (7) 13.5 (16) 9.0(10) 12.5 (NA)
Central Mountains, Manti 4.5 (5) 14.5 (15) 8.8 (10) 10.7 (10) 18.7 (19) 10.7 (12) 15.0 (16) 11.1 (12) 13.6 (14) NA
Central Mountains, Nebo 3.2 (7) 12.1 (15) 11.3 (11) 5.2 (10) 16.1 (20) 9.3 (11) NA NA NA
Fillmore, Pahvant 13.3 (13) 21.8 (21) 15.8 (18) 18.3 (18) 22.5 (20) NA NA (21) 13.2 (NA)20.0 (NA)
La Sal, Dolores Triangle 15.1 (16)
La Sal, La Sal Mountains 3.5 (3) 13.4 (13) 7.2 (6) 9.2 (9) 18.0 (15) 12.9 (12) 16.9 (18) 13.2 (12) 18.0 (15)
Monroe 13.6 (14) 20.9 (21) 17.1 (18) 18.1 (19) NA NA NA NA
Mt. Dutton 3.6 (6) 14.9 (16) 12.1 (15) 11.7 (13) 19.3 (20) 14.4 (14) 17.5 (20) 15.1 (19) 13.0 (NA)
Nine Mile, Anthro 2.8 (11) 14.7 (15) 11..5 (14)12.1 (13) NA NA NA
North Slope, Three Corners 6.5 (5) 15.1 (14) 6.5 (9) NA NA 14.8 (15) NA
Oquirrh-Stansbury 4.1 (6) 13.4 (13) 10.3 (11) 9.4 (10) NA NA NA NA NA
Panguitch Lake 6.7 (7) 16.1 (17) 11.4 (13) 12.2 (13) 20.4 (20) 12.4 (NA)20.2 (17) 13.3 (15) NA
Paunsaugunt 2.3 (2) 10.9 (8) 7.0 (6) 4.5 (4) 13.1 (15) 8.8 (7) 14.4 (17) 11.0 (NA)NA
Plateau, Boulder/Kaiparowitz 11.6 (12) 18.3 (19) 14.0 (14) 16.5 (17) 21.9 (22) 16.0 (16) 19.8 (21) 17.8 (15) NA
Plateau, Fishlake/Thousand Lake 3.7 (5) 13.4 (13) 10.4 (12) 9.1 (10) 17.3 (19) 10.2 (12) 16.6 (17) 13.7 (15) 13.8 (14) NA
San Juan 16.3 (16) 21.6 (21) 15.0 (16) 19.9 (20) 22.6 (23) NA (21) 22.4 (22) NA NA
South Slope, Diamond Mountain 4.5 (6) 11.5 (13) 11.2 (11) 8.0 (11) NA NA 15.1 (19) NA NA
Southwest Desert 7.7 (9) 18.9 (19) 12.1 (14) 14.4 (16) 20.2 (22) 13.5 (16) 20.2 (20) 16.6 (17) 17.9 (19)
Wasatch Mountains 4.3 (5) 14.4 (15) 11.7 (11) 8.4 (9) 18.9 (18) 8.6 (8) 13.8 (15) 11.3 (12) 11.2 (12) 15.2 (16)
West Desert, Deep Creek 2.5 (5) 13.4 (13) 10.7 (12) 8.7 (13) NA NA NA NA NA

Again, “NA” means that there has historically only been one tag offered so the tag is issued through a lottery style drawing and “blank” means that there have historically not been tags offered for this unit.
In this analysis I will primarily focus on the resident data to make any conclusions.
The first thing that I noticed was that my predictions for nearly all the archery units were too low! I think this is largely due to the calendar this year and the archery hunt dates being the latest possible for the archery hunt thus allowing for more of the rut in these hunts. I kind of figured that we would see something like this but I didn’t expect it to be as dramatic. Eight of the archery units actually drew more than two points higher than what I had predicted (Nine Mile, Anthro; Central Mountains, Nebo; Beaver, East; Book Cliffs Little Creek [Roadless]; Cache, North; West Desert, Deep Creek; Cache, South; and Mt. Dutton). Only on five of the archery units was my prediction high (Fillmore, Pahvant; Pausaugunt; San Juan; La Sal, La Sal Mountains; and North Slope, Three Corners).
The early rifle predictions are generally spot on with only two units actually being drawn more than two points higher than what I had predicted (Central Mountains, Nebo and Cache, North). Only for the Paunsaugunt unit was my prediction more than 2 points higher than how the drawing actually played out. On 19 of the 26 early any weapon hunts my prediction was within ±1 point.
The late any weapon predictions were not as good as the early any weapon ones… but they were still pretty good. Only four units drew more than two points higher than my predictions (Beaver, East; Mt. Dutton; Nine Mile, Anthro; and Fillmore, Pahvant). None of my predictions were more than two points too high.
For the multi-season, only one unit was significantly higher than my prediction… Central Mountains, Nebo. I had predicted that it would draw at about 16 points and it actually drew at 20.
For the muzzleloader, my prediction was too low on four units (Central Mountains, Nebo; West Desert, Deep Creek; South Slope, Diamond Mountain; and North Slope, Three Corners). None of the predictions were more than 2 point higher than what actually happened.
So here’s what I saw from the drawing…
There was a lot of talk about how the change to the scope regulations on muzzleloaders would negatively affect the drawing odds. After seeing the results, I’m not convinced that there was really any change from previous years. It is interesting to me that the hunt dates seem to have had more effect on the archery results that a major equipment change had on the muzzleloader results. Far and away the archery drawing is where the greatest change was observed… at least from my analysis.
Another item that I noticed was that the Central Mountains, Nebo unit seemed to shoot way up there and required a lot more points than in previous years. This was across the board with archery, early rifle, multi-season and muzzleloader all requiring significantly more bonus points to draw a guaranteed tag than in years past. Perhaps this is good news for the unit… perhaps what I had heard about a struggling elk herd in the Nebo area is rebounding. I hope so. Several years ago this unit had a very good reputation and I hope that it will begin to earn that reputation back. At the very least the Nebo unit seems to have captured a good bit of attention compared to years past.
Overall, just like with the deer predictions, I think the elk predictions were pretty darn good. A distribution graph below clearly shows the “bell shaped curve” with the highest percentages of being near zero (difference between prediction and the actual number of bonus points needed from 2016 results):