OATH Texas operates via a points system.  Simply put, the lowest points gets preferential treatment, but in the interest of being more specific, I’ll explain as fully as I can via this email using examples.  

As you all have noticed, we send out emails for events.   Those emails will say something like:

Great opportunity for a ram hunt !!!   Folks, we have just been generously invited back to Scendero Outfitters in Winnie, Texas where a lucky OATH Texas Registered Veteran will take a nice ram.  The hunt will be a day hunt on Veterans Day, Saturday, NOV 11, with an arrival time TBD in the morning and a departure time TBD in the afternoon.  If you are interested in attending, please reply to me via this email stating that you’d like to attend.  To be considered for this trip, you must reply back to this note with a YES.  According to our points database***, the attendee will be selected on 5 NOV.  If you’re selected, you’ll receive an email shortly thereafter, as we toss out more details about the trip.  All travel expenses to and from this event are the responsibility of the attendee.  


*** Each OATH Texas Registered Veteran earns one point per OATH event attended.   All Attendees and Reserves for events are chosen based on points according to the OATH Texas Selection Process where we give those individuals with the lowest number of points priority for attendance to ensure fairness and impartiality.    

As previously mentioned, the attendees for these events are chosen according to a points system.  When a Veteran is accepted into OATH Texas, he or she starts with zero points, meaning they have never attended an OATH event.  They then earn a point for each OATH event they attend.  About a month out from the date of an event, (unless the event falls into our laps inside of one month) we’ll send an email to all OATH Texas Registered Veterans which effectively opens the selection window.  If an OATH Texas Registered Veteran replies to the email and states that they’d like to be considered for attendance to that event, they are added to a selection pool on our event tracker in the order in which they replied.  Once the selection window closes (usually it’ll be open for one week) and we have our selection pool of folks that have replied that they’d like to be considered for attendance to that event, we’ll then rank order the OATH Texas Registered Veterans within the selection pool according to their points, and those veterans with the lowest points will be chosen to attend the event.   Let me break that down a little further via some examples:

EXAMPLE 1

We send out the event email at 1230pm.   We need four veterans for the event.   Veteran 1 replies at 1231pm and they have 0 points.   Veteran 2 replies at 1232pm and they have 0 points.  Veteran 3 replies at 1233pm and they have 0 points.  Veteran 4 replies at 1234pm and they have 0 points.   These are the four veterans that will be attending this event.

EXAMPLE 2

We send out the event email at 1230pm.  We need four veterans for the event.  Veteran 1 replies at 1231pm and they have 0 points.   Veteran 2 replies at 1232pm and they have 0 points.  Veteran 3 replies at 1233pm and they have 0 points.  Veteran 4 replies at 1234pm and they have 1 point.  Veteran 5 replies at 1235pm and they have 0 points.  Veterans 1, 2, 3 and 5 are chosen for this event because they have 0 points.   Veteran 4 who has 1 point will go down as the first veteran on the Reserve List.  If a veteran from Veterans 1, 2, 3 and 5 comes forth and says they cannot attend, Veteran 4 will be the first to fill that vacant spot.

EXAMPLE 3

We send out the event email at 1230pm.  We need four veterans for the event.  Veteran 1 replies at 1231pm and they have 0 points.   Veteran 2 replies at 1232pm and they have 0 points.  Veteran 3 replies at 1233pm and they have 0 points.  Veteran 4 replies at 1234pm and they have 1 point.  Veteran 5 replies at 1235pm and they have 0 points.  Veteran 6 replies at 1236pm and they have 0 points.  Veterans 1, 2, 3 and 5 are chosen for this event because they have 0 points.   Veteran 6 who has 0 points will go down as the first veteran on the Reserve List, and Veteran 4 who has 1 point will go down as the second veteran on the Reserve List.  If a veteran from Veterans 1, 2, 3 and 5 comes forth and says they cannot attend, Veteran 6 will be the first to fill that vacant spot and Veteran 4 will be the second to fill that vacant spot.  

 EXAMPLE 4

Without the paragraph explanation, let’s say that this is what the database looks like once the selection window closes and we have our selection pool.  We need four veterans for the event.   Ten Veterans reply that they’d like to attend.   Here is what the selection pool looks like with their current number of points:

Veteran 1 — 0

Veteran 2 — 3

Veteran 3 — 0

Veteran 4 — 0

Veteran 5 — 1

Veteran 6 — 2

Veteran 7 — 0

Veteran 8 — 1

Veteran 9 — 2

Veteran 10 — 3

So what do you think the selection pool will look like ?   Take minute and see if you can get the order correct…………..here’s what it would look like once the dust settles:

ATTENDEES

Veteran 1 — 0 

Veteran 3 — 0

Veteran 4 — 0

Veteran 7 — 0

RESERVES

Veteran 5 — 1

Veteran 8 — 1

Veteran 6 — 2

Veteran 9 — 2

Veteran 2 — 3

Veteran 10 — 3

Veteran 5 and Veteran 8 both have 1 point…..Veteran 5 is higher in the Reserves than Veteran 8 because Veteran 5 replied back sooner than Veteran 8.

Veteran 6 and Veteran 9 both have 2 points…..Veteran 6 is higher in the Reserves than Veteran 9 because Veteran 6 replied back sooner than Veteran 9.

Veteran 2 and Veteran 10 both have 3 points…..Veteran 2 is higher in the Reserves than Veteran 10 because Veteran 2 replied back sooner than Veteran 10.

Easy way to think of it is that the lower number of points always moves to the top of the pecking order via the order in which they replied.  We have toyed with a “first come, first serve” selection pool, but that’s not fair and it’s not impartial.  Based off of that method, the selection pool from above would look like this:

ATTENDEES

Veteran 1 — 0

Veteran 2 — 3

Veteran 3 — 0

Veteran 4 — 0

RESERVES

Veteran 5 — 1

Veteran 6 — 2

Veteran 7 — 0

Veteran 8 — 1

Veteran 9 — 2

Veteran 10 — 3

Might seem fair enough, but you’ve got a person attending that will be going on their 4th event while on the reserves we have 5 folks that have less points than them.   There are some of you that regularly reply to these event email within 4.2 seconds, and if we chose the attendees that way, some of you would be attending 23 events in a year and some would be attending 2 events in a year.  Not our goal.

Now, let’s dive into the points a little deeper.   Based off of our current operations and the above selection pool, this is what we’ve got:

ATTENDEES

Veteran 1 — 0 

Veteran 3 — 0

Veteran 4 — 0

Veteran 7 — 0

RESERVES

Veteran 5 — 1

Veteran 8 — 1

Veteran 6 — 2

Veteran 9 — 2

Veteran 2 — 3

Veteran 10 — 3

Once we get the attendees selected, we’ll send out an email to them, the OATH Leader and the trip donor.  The purpose of this email is to ensure that the attendee can in fact still attend.   If he or she says that they are still able to attend, they will be locked in for that trip.  Once the attendee is locked in for the trip, we will start the planning process with regards to arrival and departure times, meals, etc.

As we start this planning process, if the attendee decides that he or she can no longer attend the trip and they notifies us outside of two weeks prior to the trip that they cannot attend, they will be removed from the list, and we’ll replace them with the first Reserve, and the attendee that just cancelled on us will not earn 1 point.

If the attendee decides that he or she can no longer attend the trip and they notifies us inside of two weeks prior to the trip  that they cannot attend, they will be removed from the list, and we’ll replace them with the first Reserve, and the attendee that just cancelled on us will earn 1 point. 

If the attendee for some odd reason is a NO SHOW at the hunt, they will earn 2 points.  

I think the guidance above is self explanatory, and while I don’t want to insult anybody’s intelligence, I do want to get deeper into the weeds.  If you are chosen as an attendee for a trip, confirm that you can attend and are subsequently locked in for that trip, please make your very best effort to attend the trip.    If you for some reason need to cancel on the trip, do your very best to do so outside of two weeks prior to the trip.  If you are selected as an attendee and we send you a note to make sure you are still good to attend, and you reply with the affirmative and you then send us a note inside of two weeks prior to the trip that you need to cancel, you will earn 1 point.   This window used to be one week, and we quickly found that we couldn’t fill the vacated spot in a week due to folks not being able to get off of work or folks already having plans with family or whatever the case might be.  We then had to go to the trip and explain to the Ranch Manager or the Ranch Owner or the Boat Captain or whomever that we only had 3 veterans and not 4 because one of them backed out on us and we couldn’t fill the spot due to such short notice.  It’s not a fun conversation for our OATH Leaders to have, and we’ve done it waaaaaay too much for our liking.  What the two weeks allows us to do as OATH Leaders is let that Ranch Manager or Ranch Owner or Boat Captain know well in advance that our headcount has changed for their own planning purposes.  If we can only fill the 3 spots and not the 4th, if we let them know as quickly as possible, they can adjust on areas such as food, guides, bait, gifts, etc.  If we have 4 veterans slotted and only 3 show up and they aren’t made aware of it in a timely manner, they could very well have spent money on 5 meals for 4 folks (Friday Supper, Saturday Breakfast Lunch and Supper, Sunday Breakfast), they could very well have spent  money on 4 Guides for 4 sits for 4 Veterans (Friday pm, Saturday am and pm, Sunday pm), they could very well have spent money on 4 gifts.  We are blessed to have some Ranches that give each veteran a cooler, a gun, a gun case, ammo, jackets, etc.   For one vacated spot, you’re probably looking at a waste of between $250 on the low end and $1,000 on the high end.   So, it behooves OATH Texas to try to fill each and every spot on each and every event to avoid this waste…..we’re hoping the 2 week notice period will help us do this, but if not, then we’ll make it a 3 week notice period. 

The last instance is the despised NO SHOW, which we’ve also experienced unfortunately.  The NO SHOW policy works as such:  let’s say you confirm that you can attend the trip and we lock in your spot.   We lock you in, we let the Ranch Manager or Ranch Owner or Boat Captain know that you’re coming, and we carry on till the trip.  We hear nothing from you stating that you’ll not be attending, so we all deploy to the trip and when we all get there, you’re a NO SHOW.   You’ve not called us, you’ve not emailed us, you’ve done nothing to let us know that you won’t be attending.  Now we have to go back to that “food, guides, gifts etc.” scenario where we’ve cost that donor some money, but more importantly it makes OATH look less than professional because you, as an OATH Texas Registered Veteran, represent OATH during these events and decided to NO SHOW the trip.  It’s as simple as that, folks.  So, if you NO SHOW a trip, you’ll earn 2 points, and you’ll be given a second chance.   I like second chances.   If you NO SHOW two events, you’ll be removed from the OATH Texas database and be banned.  We won’t call you or email you or text you stating such, you’ll just silently and quickly be removed.   I’ve personally served as the OATH Leader on an event for 3 OATH Texas Registered Veterans where I saw TWO of the chosen three NO SHOW on us…..it was a weekend hunt that the Ranch had put a great deal of time and effort and planning into for three of us, and only one showed up…….one of the longest and most awkward weekends of my life.   I don’t like putting our OATH Leaders in that spot, it’s not fun.  

In the end, we are here to support all OATH Texas Veterans, but you must meet us halfway, and there must be some guidelines and processes in place to ensure that we provide that support not only in a effective manner for both you and us, but also in a professional manner for the donors of these trips.  I think we are well on our way to achieving that goal !!!