Last week an interesting thread popped up on the Rokslide forum titled "Do you really understand Nevada Draw Odds?" in which Gohunt's Trail Kreitzer gave an explanation of the math behind how Gohunt calculates some of their numbers. Very early in the thread the question arose about how the order of your 5 hunt choices might affect the draw odds of each individual choice. That is something we've looked at extensively here at Toprut, and all of the data very strongly supports that you can reasonably estimate that with some pretty straight forward math. We figured we'd contribute to the conversation since it was highly relevant to the discussion and not something that is widely known.
Given that Gohunt is a sponsor on Rokslide, we private messaged the forum thread's moderator, Robby Denning, asking for permission to post the comment that we did. He agreed and said it was fine and we commented in post #19 of the thread. A few hours after we posted that to the thread, things started to get interesting.
Gohunt then responded and dismissed our entire post pointing out that sometimes the math as we described would produce a negative probability. They promptly threw the baby out with the bath water and also discredited our claim about how to figure your odds for the application as whole.
More independent confirmation about the simple math method to estimate your draw odds beyond choice 1, and for your application as a whole, can be found in the Arizona Game & Fish department's publication, "Hunt Arizona, 2016 Edition". See page 1 under the section Beating the Odds (Arizona'a draw also considers multiple choices before moving on to the next application).
From there the thread predictably turned a few different directions with some lingering questions amongst some and what appeared to be misinterpration from others. Things appeared to be coming to a conclusion. And then Trail added some details of how Gohunt figures draw odds in post #44 of the thread. And this is where things got really interesting for us. We've known for a few weeks that Gohunt's Nevada draw odds have a big problem (New Mexico too), and now we have some insight into how they are looking at things.
In Gohunt's explanation of how you should apply compounding probablilites to draw odds for the scenario given, they throw in some ridiculous marketing language and said "our data scientist ran the scenario toprut provided through 100 million simulations just to make sure we are confident and the results listed below are solid". We'll save you the 100 million simulations. If you have a calculator, here's how you get to their (incorrectly applied) results from post #44 of the thread:
Feel free to punch each of those results into a handheld calculator many millions of times just to make sure the results are always the same.
Gohunt concluded you have a 17.5% chance for that harder 2nd choice in the example given. In reality your chances are almost always 0%.
Let's look at some real facts to back that up.
We analyzed all of the 2016 antlered mule deer applications for both residents and nonresidents. We found 11,485 real instances where an application did not draw their easier 1st choice, and had specified a harder to draw 2nd choice. To determine easier/harder hunts, we mapped each individual applications bonus point level and hunt choices to the actual draw odds for each hunt. Of those 11,485 instances, ONLY 7 were successful in drawing that 2nd choice (that's 0.06%). Of those 7 that overcame the odds, the average difference between the listed draw odds of choice 1 and choice 2 was only 0.82%. In other words, the people that did actually draw a harder choice 2 after an easier choice 1 had hunt choices that were very close to having the same odds in the first place.
After reading Gohunt's misinterpration of how multi-choice draw probabilities should be calculated, we can only conclude that the "data scientists" have misunderstood some critical aspects of the Nevada big game draw on a more fundamental level. And that explains a lot - since we already know that Gohunt's Nevada draw odds are systematically and significantly too low.
|AZ ||Early Jan.||Feb. 13, '18||Mid March|
|AZ ||Early May||Mid June||Mid July|
|CO||Mar. 1, '18||Apr. 3, '18||June 1|
|CO ||Aug. 7, '18|
|ID ||Apr. 1||Apr. 30||Early June|
|ID ||May 1||June 5||Late June|
|MT ||Feb. 12, '18||Mar. 15, '18||~Apr. 24|
|MT ||End of Mar.||May 1, '18||~Jun. 11|
|MT ||End of Mar.||Jun. 1, '18||~Jul. 30|
|MT ||End of Mar.||Jun. 1, '18||~Jul. 16|
|NV||~Mar. 20||Apr. 16, '18||Jun. 8|
|NM||Jan. 10, '18||Mar. 21, '18||Apr. 18|
|OR||Early Feb.||May 15, '18||Jun. 20|
|UT||Jan. 25, '18||Mar. 1, '18||May 31|
|WY ||Jan. 2, '18||Jan. 31, '18||Feb. 22|
|WY ||Jan. 2, '18||Feb. 28, '18||May 10|
|WY ||Feb. 1, '18||Feb. 28, '18||May 10|
|WY ||Jan. 2, '18||May 31, '18||June 21|