A picture to sum up CO OTC Rifle Units

jwknutson17

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Jun 3, 2019
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Colorado
i hunt colorado otc almost every year. i would rather hunt every other year and cut the crowd in half than keep hunting every year.
But the question would be would you hunt every other year AND pay twice as much as you do now for your tag? That would be equal revenue with half the hunters each year.

Its all about the money for CPW.
 

tdhanses

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i hunt colorado otc almost every year. i would rather hunt every other year and cut the crowd in half than keep hunting every year.
I like CO being the way it is, I can build points for a better quality hunt there and other states but be hunting and in the woods every year.

If they do change it, it would be nice if they threw in an exception for NR landowners no matter the size of property, you pay property taxes you are eligible for a tag.
 
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ganngus

ganngus

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Texas
But the question would be would you hunt every other year AND pay twice as much as you do now for your tag? That would be equal revenue with half the hunters each year.

Its all about the money for CPW.

Id pay triple the current NR fees if it thinned out the hordes of idiots in the back country....
 

jwknutson17

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Id pay triple the current NR fees if it thinned out the hordes of idiots in the back country....
I'm with ya.. just dont think CPW is going to cut tags in half and double or more the fees.

They probably should, to get the herd numbers back up, relieve some pressure to get those calf numbers up, and make it a better experience for everyone. But the state doesn't care and wants to worsen it by introducing wolves now too. So I dont see it getting better anytime soon, for the animals or the hunters. Unfortunately.
 

Ucsdryder

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Jan 24, 2015
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Many people have said it on here, but it’s all a dream. Raise resident fees to 200 or whatever it needs to be to offset the hordes, and cut the otc tags in half. Get your money, get a better hunt. If you are a nonresident and don’t like it, move to the state you want to hunt!
 

orionthehunter1

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SW Colorado
I've said it a thousand times, they need to go all draw with an 80/20 res/non res split and raise the fees accordingly. This OTC free for all is not sustainable.
 

tdhanses

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Many people have said it on here, but it’s all a dream. Raise resident fees to 200 or whatever it needs to be to offset the hordes, and cut the otc tags in half. Get your money, get a better hunt. If you are a nonresident and don’t like it, move to the state you want to hunt!
Problem is, the residents with this model, they will scream the loudest. I’d pay more but not so they can still get a tag for the price of a meal. Cut the tags in half or more and make residents have more of a stake in the cost to manage their wildlife, maybe an increase closer to $400 for elk, $250 for deer and $1000 for moose, sheep and goat, keep bear and mountain lion cheap and offer a reduced price youth tag.

Also residents always say they pay the taxes but do any of their taxes actually go into wildlife? I also pay CO taxes, I just don’t use the infrastructure like the residents.
 

Next Ridge

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Jun 29, 2020
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I would be in favor of draws for all CO units/seasons, even with high limits. I find it fine hunting OTC with larger numbers and have success. But it would be nice to know if there are going to be 800 or 1200 people in the unit.

One thing I think is often missing in the resident vs non-resident discussion is the impact of resident non-hunters. And the need for hunters to stay plugged in to CPW hearings and decisions. There is at least one unit where ranchers, I.e. residents, won a major herd depredation.
Also, simple hikers bombarding calving areas can be real hard also, again a lot of residents. CPW should make more areas inaccessible to hikers during May and June.
Both of those can really hurt a unit hunt opportunity as much as hordes of non-resident hunters with 8% success rates.
 

Felix40

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New Mexico
Man there’s a lot of guys on here with more money than me. I can already barely afford the $700 to hunt Colorado. This year I killed an elk and didn’t see another elk hunter anywhere near where I hunted. I would hate to get priced out but I guess if everyone needs to buy their way into elk that’s the direction things will go.

I actually saw way more hunters on my friend’s deer hunt in a draw unit. I think guys just sometimes pick busy spots and are too committed or lazy to go somewhere else.
 

sndmn11

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Mar 28, 2017
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Morrison, Colorado
There should be OTC for specific DAUs, otherwise no biologist knows who hunts where other than voluntary randomly solicited surveys. I think the insane amount of deadfall has caused a population decline leaving less feed and the difficulty in hunting these gives a perception of "no elk". Fires are a good thing.
 

def90

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Aug 12, 2020
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Colorado
Yep! My friend Melissa who is a biologist operating out of the Estes Park area mainly works with the Elk here. She has been showing me dropping breeding numbers and negative changes to their migration patterns. The stress these animals are experiencing during hunting seasons with no cap or regulation on the amount of hunters per unit is beginning to have irreversible consequences. I asked her if she thought hunting was bad and she said absolutely not,BUT the amount of hunters is what is causing some serious questions that need to be addressed. In short... she said we are seeing a drop in effective breeding and a rise in hunter numbers. In other words through sheer volume of hunters to regulate and sustain the health of our herds is ineffective. I hate to say it but maybe it’s time to stop treating these western public land states like It’s a vacation spot. Even if that means not everyone can do their yearly hunt like they usually do including me but rather regulated through a draw system possibly then so be it. If that means I draw maybe only every other year then I’m alright with that. As long as the priority is placed on the health of the herds and land first. Then the quality of mine and others hunts second.


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Actually the declines tnat are being seen around several areas of the state are being blamed on general recreation by the state biologists and not hunting. More and more people are getting in to the woods year round via simple increased numbers and increased trail systems. The hiking trails are so bad around Peak to Peak highway that they have car pool lots and bus service to them now, the Estes Park area is just as bad. The managers around the Vail/Beaver Creek area that have been studying the decline in that area for years are saying it’s from hikers and mtn bikers. The elk are on the run year round now rather than just a couple months in the fall.
 

trophyhill

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Tijeras NM
Actually the declines tnat are being seen around several areas of the state are being blamed on general recreation by the state biologists and not hunting. More and more people are getting in to the woods year round via simple increased numbers and increased trail systems. The hiking trails are so bad around Peak to Peak highway that they have car pool lots and bus service to them now, the Estes Park area is just as bad. The managers around the Vail/Beaver Creek area that have been studying the decline in that area for years are saying it’s from hikers and mtn bikers. The elk are on the run year round now rather than just a couple months in the fall.

Why aren’t hunters and officials and groups like BHA and NWF demanding these other users who clearly have a negative impact on the habitat and the animals, pay their fair share? By that I mean purchase a habitat stamp? In NM at the next G&F public meeting, they are implementing a hike in the stamp fee. I say implementing because when these things come up the public comments are just a formality and mean nada to the commissioning body.

Although I did send in my comments suggesting all users of public lands including treehuggers, hikers, bikers, motor sport users etc buy a habitat stamp.

Some of these users are literally making roads out of what used to be trails. Hikers, bikers etc disturbing calfing areas and the like. The game management has to go beyond hunters here because it’s clear to anyone who has a brain that other users are having a negative impact on the habitat and the animals.
 

MallardSX2

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Feb 24, 2016
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i hunt colorado otc almost every year. i would rather hunt every other year and cut the crowd in half than keep hunting every year.

I have literally said this for years. I am ok with hunting there every three years as a non-resident as long as the hunting pressure is reduced proportionally.
 

HarryHunter

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Jan 17, 2020
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Actually the declines tnat are being seen around several areas of the state are being blamed on general recreation by the state biologists and not hunting. More and more people are getting in to the woods year round via simple increased numbers and increased trail systems. The hiking trails are so bad around Peak to Peak highway that they have car pool lots and bus service to them now, the Estes Park area is just as bad. The managers around the Vail/Beaver Creek area that have been studying the decline in that area for years are saying it’s from hikers and mtn bikers. The elk are on the run year round now rather than just a couple months in the fall.

I never said Non-hunters where not having an effect as well. But your using a few cherry picked examples. Good examples to mention though by the way. I’ve seen something similar at a handful of the 14rs here when volunteering on the trails. It’s a pain in the ass nonetheless to hike up to 12 or 13 thousand feet to help repair some of these trails with gear and tools but many of times we can’t even find a parking spot within 3 miles of the trailhead. Pressure in Colorado regardless of the activity is just getting insane.
However the information I was speaking of is coming from one of the very biologist here in the state of Colorado who works with ungulates and she was speaking directly in relation to increased pressure during hunting seasons.

I am also getting to sit down soon with a few others I have been put in contact with and hopefully get to ask some more questions on this issue. But I trust what my friend who is a biologist has to say about this. You can’t just cherry pick one aspect of it and place the blame only on non-hunters pressure by picking a few examples that cite non hunting issues and let added hunting pressure off the hook just as I can’t cherry pick examples and place all the blame on hunting pressure and let non-hunters off the hook. The elephant in the room is simply added pressure BOTH from too many of us hunters in the woods at one time as well as too many mountain bikers and hikers. We have an issue in this state with too much activity at any one given time, plain and simple. I am sure as this becomes more and more of an issue more biologist,researchers and CPW officials will have to sit down and discuss what has to be done. I’m sure my friend as well as some of her colleagues who I’m getting to talk to soon and ask questions will be a part of that discussion.


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Indyal

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Feb 15, 2020
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Sometimes I think we are like the blind men feeling the elephant and we only know about the part we have touched but extrapolate this to explain the big picture.
I am a NR who has enjoyed Colorado for years. I have seen the hunting pressure wax and wane in an otc unit. But what I and my buddies have seen is a steady increase in nonhunters during the hunting season. This includes mountain bike tire tracks in the designated wilderness areas, hikers with dogs.
I will say the few hikers that I have talked with have been friendly.
We have also noted an increase in black bear sightings, including one that had laid claim to a cow elk carcass.

I would give up annual hunts for better quality meaning less hunting competition and seeing more animals. Does anyone think the nonhunters would reduce their use?
 
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Conrad101st

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Jun 28, 2017
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Oklahoma
My humble theory is that when they started issuing either sex tags for rifle back in the 2000’s they overshot the herd reduction goals. I think the ranchers bitched enough to get their way.
 
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