By Eric Pawlak, WTA TAGS Division
The TAGS division of Worldwide Trophy Adventures (WTA) is keenly aware of the significant importance of engaging our youth in the wonderful world of the great outdoors. As I write this article during the dog days of summer, I’ve come to the realization that many youth hunts in the West will soon be underway. Will your child be out there this fall? No? WTA TAGS can help.
Regarding this very topic, I was recently visiting with a TAGS client about the benefits of youth applications and why it should be started as early as possible. We all know the best game management units in the West are extremely difficult to draw, but by applying in these better-odds “youth pools” – these premier units become much more accessible. I was trying to impress upon him how valuable preference points become as they accumulate. I certainly wish I would have started much sooner than I did, because today, I would be drawing dream tags on a more consistent basis – based on simple probability. For clients who get started during their high school years or earlier, the payoff will be huge when they reach adulthood. Furthermore, the preference points needed are then available during the prime of life, instead of twenty years later when the mountains become increasingly more difficult to climb.
One major feature of the WTA TAGS licensing application service is our consulting services are FREE for applicants ages 18 or younger as long as a parent or guardian is also applying. This makes the cost of applying a youth very affordable and is well worth the minimal effort and investment. When I say, “very affordable,” I mean that not only are the WTA TAGS’ service fees waived but the state fees are often decreased as well. One example of this occurs in Arizona. In Arizona, an applicant must purchase a non-refundable Combination License on an annual basis as a prerequisite for applying. For adults this costs $160 per year. For kids it’s only $5 per year! So for your child, you spend $5 on a license, a $15 state application fee per species and a ZERO-dollar WTA TAGS service fee. So, for $65 total, you now have your child building valuable preference points in arguably the #1 mule deer, #1 elk, #1 antelope & #1 desert bighorn sheep state in the country.
Colorado: for a grand total of $9 per year, you can apply your child and build points for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Shiras moose, and mountain goat. WTA TAGS will float over $6,000 on your child’s behalf for this $9 investment!
Let’s talk about New Mexico – a state that does not offer a preference point system, but has absolutely incredible opportunities for youth big-game hunting. New Mexico has youth tags for bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, antelope, ibex, and oryx and the odds of drawing in the youth only pool are excellent, far better than the adult tags in the exact same units. I cannot impress upon you enough how incredible these offerings can be. Take advantage before your child turns 18. All they’ll need to apply is a valid Hunter’s Safety Card.
One major concern that many of our clients have is of drawing multiple tags in the same year – either for themselves or their kids. We can mitigate those scenarios by applying “point only” – where the applicant has zero chance of drawing but will still accumulate their valuable preference points for future use. The consulting team at WTA TAGS are absolute experts at putting portfolios together for clients and their children that fit their goals both short- and long-term.
We can go through dozens of scenarios, but the bottom line is – if a person ever wants the opportunity to hunt moose, sheep, mountain goat, and the best units for elk, deer, or antelope at an affordable price, applying early and consistently is the key. GET THOSE KIDS STARTED TODAY! WTA TAGS can definitely help – just give us a call, ask to speak to a consultant, and we’ll get them on their way to someday drawing that tag of a lifetime!