Best State for Cow Hunt w/Rifle?

Crusader

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Joined
Sep 16, 2016
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180
Location
St. Louis
Hi there,

My buddy and I have done a couple of DIY OTC rifle hunts in CO, both unsuccessful. We would like to harvest an elk for the meat, we're not necessarily all that into antlers, though a bull would be nice someday. So at this point we're interested in a DIY cow hunt. I've seen the comment/strategy of doing a cow hunt while building points for a bull hunt. We'd be interested in that possibility, maybe learning an area via cow hunting while gaining points for a future draw hunt in the same area.

What do you all think is the "best" state for an NR rifle cow hunt? By best I guess I'd mean likelihood of getting a tag, numbers of elk, hunter success, tag cost, etc. We have I believe all the gear we need. Would probably be most likely interested in a hunt where we'd be truck camping.

If there are other aspects of this that are important to mention, feel free to throw them in. Once we determine which state we'd prefer then I'll dive into the info on that state's site and start doing more in-depth research.

Thanks for your input and time.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Messages
51
Location
Upstate New York
Plenty of western states offer cow tags. It all depends on how far you want to travel. Once you narrow that down to a few states go on their website and do some research
 

Northpark

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Mar 8, 2015
Messages
610
I mean you can go to Colorado with everyone else. Better option would be a NM landowner tag. I see those floating around where they sell you just the tag and you go hunting.
 

Northpark

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Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
610
Here in the classifieds from time to time. Some of the hunt booking agencies like WTA or Hunt Nation can sometimes get you in touch with landowners sometimes.
 

rdp123

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
15
I'm no elk hunter, but always curious and had this same thought recently. Montana had plenty of cow tags left for this year last I checked a few weeks ago, along with a long rifle season. You might start your search there. Bull tags and combos are hard to draw as an NR, but that's not true of cow tags (or doe tags for that matter). It would meet your goal of hunting yearly and learning terrain. I tend to think it's better to hunt a place than a species, especially when heading into the mountainous west. Good luck!
 

rclouse79

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Dec 10, 2019
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After this archery season I would say Idaho has Californians moving in and elk moving out. What a crappy deal.
 

snider6464

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
54
Location
Western Colorado
Utah hands down. You can hunt spikes in trophy bull units and have a great time. See big bulls, low pressure, but just have to find the spikes. I know it's now a cow but same idea. Colorado late cow hunts sound easy but never are. You can find some good deals on private land cow hunts in New Mexico like others are saying also.
 

Nelsesmp

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Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
21
For NM landowners tag, do you need permission to hunt or does that come with tag.


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westslopelaker

Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2019
Messages
109
Location
Western Colorado
IMO, it's more about which tag or hunt you get than which state. There are fantastic cow hunting opportunities in all states but not all cow hunts are great. For example, there are many 1-3 point cow hunts in co that are almost 100% success rate and great experience. But there are also many other cow hunts that would be very challenging and a grind. I imagine a 1st rifle season cow hunt in unit XX would be really fun.

Edited to remove a unit number
 

BBob

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Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
1,124
Location
Southern AZ
For NM landowners tag, do you need permission to hunt or does that come with tag.

Yes you get to hunt the private. There are two types of landowner tags in NM. There are private land only tags and unit wide tags (previously known as landowner yes and landowner no tags). Private only you are restricted to the private and a unit wide or public tag hunter cannot hunt that private. Unit wide you can hunt the private plus all of the public in that unit and public tag holders can hunt that private. If there are other unit wide ranches in that unit you can hunt those too with a unit wide tag. You don’t actually buy a tag from a landowner, you pay for an authorization and once you are issued an authorization number you then buy the tag from the state.

 
Last edited:

Nelsesmp

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
21
Bbob,
Thanks for the information. Will have yo look into that.


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CApighunter

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Sep 23, 2018
Messages
1,629
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
I think Wyoming is a good option for the reduced type 6 tags. Totally random draw, so you can hunt while building points for a general tag or other LQ hunt.
 

Nelsesmp

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
21
I am doing first Wyoming hunt in October. Cow elk rifle.


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Socal858

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
121
Look at draw odds and success rates, get one closer to where you live so hopefully you can hunt every other year. UT was good to me and I’m going to try CO this year, picked up a cow tag for the unit I’m deer hunting.
 

nphunter

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
901
Location
Oregon
Oregon, can buy a damage tag anytime and hunt from Aug 1-Nov 31 in most units in EO. If you end up doing it shot me a PM and I’ll tell you where you can find a couple cows in short order.
 

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