Earlier this week, the Arizona Game and Fish Department launched a program designed to return bonus points to hunters who were unable to participate in a hunt. For an upfront fee of $5, online applicants can join the PointGuard program. PointGuard ensures that if a successful applicant is unable to participate in a hunt for any reason, the accumulated bonus points that were expended to draw that hunt permit-tag will be reinstated.
- PointGuard is available to applicants who apply online for a hunt permit-tag.
- All applicants must sign up for a free AZGFD Portal account to purchase PointGuard (visit www.azgfd.gov, click on the “Sign in to Account” button in the upper right-hand corner of the home page, then select the “Create an Account” option).
- PointGuard is $5 per species, per applicant, purchased at the time of completing the online application, or prior to the application period deadline. The fee is non-refundable.
- Only one hunt permit-tag may be surrendered, per species. If an applicant is drawn in the future for that particular species, that hunt-permit tag must be used, expending all accumulated bonus points. Only then may an applicant participate again in PointGuard.
The primary applicant (the person who takes the lead in completing the online application for the other applicants) will be prompted to purchase PointGuard at the time of completing the online application. That primary applicant can purchase PointGuard for each additional applicant who has a verified Portal account. This process must be completed prior to the application period deadline, which is 11:59 p.m. (MST) Tuesday, June 14.
The process to surrender a hunt permit-tag:
- A hunt permit-tag must be surrendered prior to the close of business the day before the start of that particular hunt.
- An applicant who has purchased PointGuard will present the original hunt permit-tag to be surrendered, along with a completed tag surrender application form, in person to any customer service representative at any of the department’s statewide office locations.
- The hunt permit-tag being surrendered and PointGuard purchase will be verified by the department.
- The department will restore all accumulated bonus points for that particular species, including the bonus point the applicant would have accrued if not successful in the draw.
- The hunt permit-tag fee is non-refundable.
A person who donates, or transfers, his or her hunt permit-tag to a qualified nonprofit organization, also can participate in tag surrender, provided the requirements listed above are fulfilled. An acceptable proof of the transfer must be provided to the department (a receipt from the qualified nonprofit organization, for example). The tag surrender application form and an acceptable proof of the hunt permit-tag being donated must be completed within 60 days of the donation, and no less than 30 days before the next application deadline for that particular species.
According to rule (R12-4-118), the department has several options for the reissuance of a surrendered hunt permit-tag. The proximity to the start of a particular hunt, the type of hunt permit-tag, and demand for that hunt permit-tag will factor into how it will be reissued.
Seems like a win for everyone. The department gains another source of revenue while offering insurance that hunters won’t lose bonus points for hunts they were unable to take.
What do you think?