We live in Nevada where you put in for tags and pray you get picked. It is great since it makes sure that we don't over harvest, but sucks for those that don't get picked. In order to put in for tags here is what you need to do:
The course is an all day class that goes over the how what to and not to do. If you have common sense you will be fine taking this class. Before you go to the physical class you have to either fill out a workbook or take an online course to print out your course confirmation.
I took the online course before I went to the physical class. It was extremely easy to do, you listen to the course videos, and answer questions at the end of each section. You can go back and re-listen to the videos as much as you want. Once you complete the online course, print out your confirmation page and take it with you.
The physical course goes over a lot of the same things as the online course, but there is a little more hands on and you get to do some of the things in the course. Like the safety guidelines. Hence hunter safety. You do not need to bring any firearms with you, since you will not be shooting.
In order to apply for tags you must have your Sportsman ID or your SSN. You will get your Sportsman ID at the end of the hunter safety course, if you pass everything.
When you apply for tags you can do it as an individual or a group. If you do it as a group, and one person from your group gets picked the entire group gets picked. Just gives you a better chance of getting tags. It is not required to apply as a group.
Make sure to pay attention to the areas you are putting in for and the type of hunt. You don't want to put in for muzzleloader if you have a rifle. Your hunt won't be legal.
3. Bonus Points - ALWAYS put in for points when you don't plan to hunt
Bonus points are great for a year you are not hunting. They provide you with an extra point in the drawing. So you start out with no points and put in but don't get picked. You now have 1 point. The following year you don't plan on hunting but you put in for tags, you now have 2 points. The next year you decide you want to hunt so you put in for tags, now your name is in the drawing 3 times. Always make sure to put in for points if you don't plan on hunting. It does cost, but puts you in the drawing later more times than if you don't put in for points.
DO NOT POACH
If you don't get tags and still want to hunt, don't do it. You will then be a poacher. If you get caught poaching and you will. If a hunter knows you are poaching they will turn you in. You can not only lose the harvest, you can lose the weapon you used, the vehicle you are driving, and if you are caught at home your home can be seized. If you want to hunt that bad, go fishing. Just as fun even if you take the family.