Originally Posted by The Oregonian
I would say it is for conservation in some ways. An alternative would be to offer tags over the counter, like most whitetail states. But they do a draw to limit the tags.
Of course, not all draw states have points, like NM. But the draw aspect, I would say, is for conservation.
In Oregon, in many ways it is for conservation. Eastern Oregon Muley used to be over the counter until the early 80's and was very popular for a week of hunting camp among most Oregonian hunters, even in western Oregon. Two hugely harsh winters in a row (1981 and 1982) proved devestating to the deer populations. An early early HARD snow in 1981 wiped out thousands of deer caught at higher elevations. The 1982 winter dropped well below zero, not hurting the deer so much but further thinning the population, and cleaning out huge areas of game birds, frozen together on the ground in flocks. Then the early 90's drop in jack rabbit had the coyotes focusing more on young antelope, some areas had 97% fawn mortality. Thanks to increasing jack rabbit and decreasing coyote populations, the antelope are rebounding.
Oh, I have 20 preference points for antelope, 5 for elk, 5 for deer. I hope to plan my Hart Mt. antelope hunt for 2016, I have enough points to pretty much guarantee my once in a lifetime quality antelope hunt. I still have that blank space on my wall.