What we are talking about here, of course, are computer programs that allow hunters to submit their applications online, rather than by mail. It is not obligatory in any state that you submit your applications online, but there are some advantages in doing so. There are also some major general effects of the Internet that you need to be aware of whether you use it or not to implement your annual permit strategy.
Let's start with the advantages of applying online. The biggest one is, an online applicant does not have to pay for his permit or tag at the time he applies for it. All he has to do is provide a credit card number, which is billed for processing and any other nonrefundable fees. The card is hit for the full amount only when one is successfully drawn for a permit. Gone are the days of tying up hundreds, even thousands, of dollars until one either draws a permit or receives a refund check in the mail.
The downside to this, of course, is that anyone with a credit card may now apply for multiple permits, where they may have restrained themselves previously because of the amount of money involved. This means more people are applying for the same number of permits; and that, of course, means your odds of being drawn are going down. How much are they going down? We spoke with representatives from three of the states mentioned above and they all told us that coming up with a meaningful overall number was impossible at this........(continued)