2022 Colorado OTC archery hunt

JENSEN

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May 13, 2021
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13
So I'm currently planning to head to Colorado for the first week of archery elk season; I've been out twice before in unit 16 by lone pine and am hoping to do something different this year. I'm putting in the effort looking at historical data in OTC units, hunter numbers, etc., but am also seeking some guidance. This might end up being a solo adventure if my two buddies aren't able to go, and currently I'm scoping out units 22, 211, 13, 15, and 36. I have about 10 days to hunt and am simply looking for some advice for best prospective unit...I understand that I'll have to put in the work and based on my last two experiences I know getting into elk isn't easy, if anyone can share some insights on the units I'm looking at, or if you'd have other recommendations, I'd greatly appreciate it. September cannot come soon enough!
 

pcrossett

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May 9, 2022
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Would be curious to hear more on this as well. The hardest part I have found is trying to find a place that is accessible but also in the middle of nowhere so I would not be stepping on a whole lot of other people.
 

tdhanses

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Sep 26, 2018
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Would be curious to hear more on this as well. The hardest part I have found is trying to find a place that is accessible but also in the middle of nowhere so I would not be stepping on a whole lot of other people.
In reality if you want that you have to go to Alaska.
 

Laramie

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Apr 17, 2020
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Would be curious to hear more on this as well. The hardest part I have found is trying to find a place that is accessible but also in the middle of nowhere so I would not be stepping on a whole lot of other people.
If such a place existed, and it was disclosed here on the forum, it would longer be that kind of place. The reality is places like that really don't exist anymore in OTC units. Thank the internet, outdoor TV, and GPS units.
 
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JENSEN

JENSEN

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May 13, 2021
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I'm hearing good things about 103. It's closer than most any other unit for anyone coming from the east.
Well played sir. Forgive me, not trying to be passive aggressive but from the research I've done and viewing herd numbers/harvest data I believe 103, albeit closer, would likely yield no opportunity. Unless I am totally missing something, which there is always a possibility. Please feel free to correct me if you weren't being sarcastic.

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JENSEN

JENSEN

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If such a place existed, and it was disclosed here on the forum, it would longer be that kind of place. The reality is places like that really don't exist anymore in OTC units. Thank the internet, outdoor TV, and GPS units.
I feel like extremely isolated spots are a kin to searching for a great white Buffalo. There are remot(ish) spots, but there's also a lot of access, if anyone wants remote in a sense that they won't run into another hunter its simply unlikely, unless, as referenced one seeks to go to Alaska or has a draw tag in a difficult unit todl draw. Speaking of Alask, idk if you guys have seen the elk101 Alaska video but that is a sweet video.

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CJF

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Jun 11, 2018
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CO
Success with an OTC Archery tag in Colorado is not about finding the Unit with the least amount of people or reviewing data to find the one that is 0.3% better than another. There are elk in them all and hunters in them all. Your best chance of success is learning one unit or area (if it falls on the line of several units) very well. Know where they go when pressured and know where the pressure usually is. The more you learn one area the better your chances of success. I'd say even if the historical data says differently, you personally have a better chance of success in an area that you are already familiar with.
 
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JENSEN

JENSEN

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Success with an OTC Archery tag in Colorado is not about finding the Unit with the least amount of people or reviewing data to find the one that is 0.3% better than another. There are elk in them all and hunters in them all. Your best chance of success is learning one unit or area (if it falls on the line of several units) very well. Know where they go when pressured and know where the pressure usually is. The more you learn one area the better your chances of success. I'd say even if the historical data says differently, you personally have a better chance of success in an area that you are already familiar with.
I appreciate the input. I that has crossed my mind and it makes sense to go with what your are familiar with vs trying to find a new area and familiarize yourself with that area, especially with time constraints. Thanks again!

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George Hamrick

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May 1, 2020
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OHIO
What CJF gave you is about as good as any advice you’ll get on here with this type of post. As soon as you start posting specific units on here, no one is going to give you good information, unless it’s a once in a lifetime type of tag. Ask gear questions, weather, tactics, etc, and people will be very helpful.
 
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JENSEN

JENSEN

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May 13, 2021
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What CJF gave you is about as good as any advice you’ll get on here with this type of post. As soon as you start posting specific units on here, no one is going to give you good information, unless it’s a once in a lifetime type of tag. Ask gear questions, weather, tactics, etc, and people will be very helpful.

Thanks much, certainly still learning. With that being said, I can certainly go with tactics. Being that my window will be quite short for getting out to CO, any suggestions or recommendations on time-frame to get out there and or the benefits of spike camping vs base camp? Appreciate the guidance.

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realunlucky

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Thanks much, certainly still learning. With that being said, I can certainly go with tactics. Being that my window will be quite short for getting out to CO, any suggestions or recommendations on time-frame to get out there and or the benefits of spike camping vs base camp? Appreciate the guidance.

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Spike camp saves steps which add up over a hunt.
Base camp adds comfort and the ease of access to other areas spread out over greater distances.

Both can be effective. In new areas I'll bring both and switch from one to the next depending on sign and hunting pressure.

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gostovp

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Mar 18, 2022
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As a newbie on this site I learned really quick just from browsing threads that asking about units was not going to lead anywhere, and I totally get it… just like if someone asked on a fishing forum about where the walleye were biting this week here in WI I wouldn’t divulge where my son has been absolutely hammering them …

But I’ve also been able to learn that when it comes to OTC units that no matter which one you go to there will be people… but there likely will also be areas with elk in that unit, so instead of dwelling on “which unit” I’m literally going to pick one and do what I can to learn about it myself and come up with plan A, B, C,D and so on…

On the flip side, asking about gear and tactics and calling strategies and things like that has been very helpful on here.
 

carsonkeys

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Oct 27, 2016
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703
I’d pick a unit that plays into your preferred style of hunting. For instance, I love glassing. I’d much rather sit on a high point all day and find critters with glass than be in the timber with them. Pick a unit that gives you the experience you’re after and make your own opportunities, data be damned (within reason).
 
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JENSEN

JENSEN

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May 13, 2021
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I’d pick a unit that plays into your preferred style of hunting. For instance, I love glassing. I’d much rather sit on a high point all day and find critters with glass than be in the timber with them. Pick a unit that gives you the experience you’re after and make your own opportunities, data be damned (within reason).
I have yet to set and glass and ot has mostly been run and gun, but maybe this should be a new year to try something

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Nickofthewoods

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Oct 5, 2018
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Colorado
Stick with the unit you've been to before and get better at hunting it. Take what went well and what didn't the first two times and make a fresh game plan. Picking a new unit hoping for sunnier skies also means you start over at ground zero.
 
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JENSEN

JENSEN

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May 13, 2021
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Stick with the unit you've been to before and get better at hunting it. Take what went well and what didn't the first two times and make a fresh game plan. Picking a new unit hoping for sunnier skies also means you start over at ground zero.

Thank you sir. I appreciate the reinforcement of the idea of going with what you're familiar with vs relearning a new place. Starting over does seem like a big hill to climb, no pun intended, especially looking at some of the experiences I've already had.

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Nickofthewoods

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Thank you sir. I appreciate the reinforcement of the idea of going with what you're familiar with vs relearning a new place. Starting over does seem like a big hill to climb, no pun intended, especially looking at some of the experiences I've already had.

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Definitely! Especially if you don't live nearby, the info you've already gathered -both good and bad- should pay off at some point. I also understand that sometimes a change of scenery is nice. Good luck either way 👍
 

Elkfitness

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Jan 2, 2013
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1,648
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Colorado
I agree with sticking with the unit you are in. I hunt a unit that is very busy as well. I have used that unit for many many years and though I got lucky early on, it took a few years to understand the area and learn the escape routes/hiding areas. That said, I’d definitely reach out to the guide above to get some advice on the meeker units, just to get the knowledge.


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