Controlled Hunt Drawings - What happens between now and July 10?

One question Fish and Game is frequently asked is “why does it take so long to get controlled hunt drawing results?” Here’s a brief synopsis of what occurs between the close of the application period  on June 7 and the date we commit to providing results on July 10. 

First, not everyone applies for controlled hunts at a vendor or online; we also accept mail-in applications. Because these applications could be postmarked through June 7, we’re often still receiving and processing mail applications in mid-June. Mailed applications are entered as quickly as possible.

Although the licensing system catches some ineligible applicants, it doesn’t catch all of them, so Fish and Game staff must verify the validity of all applications and applicants. In 2017, about 166,000 people submitted applications for controlled hunts. 

There are several steps to the drawing process. It's a complex system, but it has been certified as random.  

  • Fish and Game loads the controlled hunt applications into the controlled hunt draw system, which is hosted by the State Controller’s office on its computer mainframe.
  • The system then assigns a random six-digit number to each controlled hunt application. 
  • The system scrambles the sequence of each application number, and then scrambles the order in which each number appears on the list. 
  • The drawing takes place on a computer system hosted by the State Controller’s office.  

Following the drawing, the draw results are then downloaded to a Fish and Game database, where it is cross-checked by staff to ensure that the original draw results from the controlled hunt system match the downloaded data. This download is used to update the licensing system where hunters can check their results: During this same time, Fish and Game staffers prepare postcards to notify applicants who have drawn a hunt.

While it can be frustrating to wait a month to learn of your draw status, it’s important to ensure that everyone who applied is eligible and correctly entered in the draw. We often beat our July 10 commitment by several days because we always want to give hunters as much time as possible to plan their hunts.