Colorado Overcrowding Elk Hunting

Tightwad

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Feb 7, 2022
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30
The mountain is large but isnt that large and I helped ranchers all over the area, if they changed habits they moved counties...
Exactly what I thought, too. Elk are nomadic compared to deer, one would expect to see sign even if you're not seeing critters. 500-1000lb animals tend to leave their mark.

Thanks.
 

11boo

Well Known Rokslider
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Feb 24, 2016
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Grand Jct, CO
While we do have some big numbers in elk population, they need to figure out how many are un huntable. RMNP, Estes, Evergreen, etc. There are huge numbers of animals that can not be hunted.
Still, I find some that can.
 

MattCO

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Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
37
Location
Highlands Ranch, CO
Here’s some OTC trends from the CPW video below. Would be great to see 2021 data.
Also note some OTC units changed to draw in 2020, so that may explain the decline in 2020.
CC6186B8-58C3-4B68-A648-C62778B7D201.jpeg 1E015085-0AE3-4695-AD53-AAB7C821A19F.jpeg

 

goosenado

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Aug 22, 2020
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Was very noticeable last year! Couldn't believe it. I've been hunting the same spot for 4-5 years and never had that type of pressure. Really turned me off as a local...
 

Gerbdog

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Jun 8, 2020
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641
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CO Springs
Definitely ran into more hunters in the field last year then i normally do away from the roads. Thats an increase from basically zero to 4 though... so..... big increase for me .
 

AaronMColeman

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Nov 20, 2018
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890
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Wyoming
Was very noticeable last year! Couldn't believe it. I've been hunting the same spot for 4-5 years and never had that type of pressure. Really turned me off as a local...

Definitely ran into more hunters in the field last year then i normally do away from the roads. Thats an increase from basically zero to 4 though... so..... big increase for me .
No idea if this is all in my head or real, but I felt like last year was the most pressured year I've seen in my local area area both during archery and rifle. During archery I saw more elk and had more encounters than any other year. During rifle the elk all packed up and moved to Colorado I guess.

What does this mean? Who knows.
 

Gerbdog

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Jun 8, 2020
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CO Springs
No idea if this is all in my head or real, but I felt like last year was the most pressured year I've seen in my local area area both during archery and rifle. During archery I saw more elk and had more encounters than any other year. During rifle the elk all packed up and moved to Colorado I guess.

What does this mean? Who knows.
Means i should start hunting rifle in colorado more i guess, haha. I still had plenty of bugling elk around, it was a fun season, and i had and let go a shot at a great bull (botched).

But! plenty of other hunters too. Doesnt bother me all that much (maybe a little when my favorite wallows already camped by two guys) but everyone was super nice and i was happy to pass on whatever knowledge on the area i had. Heck, they beat me to one of my favorite spots and im up pretty dang early in the dark... good for them.
 

hunting307

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Apr 1, 2022
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Wyoming
I saw this on the Colorado Bowhunters Association page and thought it was just too good not to share.


“Colorado resident archery OTC elk hunters are on the decline, nonresident archery elk OTC elk hunters are on the rise. In 2019 there were 1,000 more nonresident archery OTC elk hunters than resident OTC archery elk, in 2021 that grew to nearly 3000 more nonresidents OTC archery elk hunters vs residents. The other spreadsheet shows elk hunting pressure on Colorado public lands vs other western states and nonresident tag allocation. CPW is still taking comments on tag allocation.”


View attachment 395902 View attachment 395903
A lot of the wrong people moving to Colorado. It used to be the wild west until people from Cali took over. That and the combination of reintroduction of grey wolves will turn the best population of elk into a thing of the past. Wolves kill for the fun of it, in march there was 6 elk found that had been killed by wolves and the pack never came to eat them, just sport killing. But, the peta people of good ol' Colorado don't care.
 

Arkiee

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Apr 7, 2022
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What the heck ,l love the outdoors and been hunting since 1968.Seem a lot of changes for the best and worst.It seems like hunting is almost a way of the past now days.you have the anti hunters the wolves and grizzlies,politicians etc.we need to quit complaining and just appreciate what we have left ,we’re all in this together. We’re all Americans !! The heck with res vs non resident. Good Day!!!
 

dreamingbig

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Joined
Feb 29, 2012
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Washington
I saw this on the Colorado Bowhunters Association page and thought it was just too good not to share.


“Colorado resident archery OTC elk hunters are on the decline, nonresident archery elk OTC elk hunters are on the rise. In 2019 there were 1,000 more nonresident archery OTC elk hunters than resident OTC archery elk, in 2021 that grew to nearly 3000 more nonresidents OTC archery elk hunters vs residents. The other spreadsheet shows elk hunting pressure on Colorado public lands vs other western states and nonresident tag allocation. CPW is still taking comments on tag allocation.”


View attachment 395902 View attachment 395903

Which graph shows the increase in revenue caused by the spike in nonresidents? They must be too busy swimming in the gold!


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Hnthrdr

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 29, 2022
Messages
340
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Co
Only 305 public acres/elk hunter in Colorado

Holy shit
That is nothing in terms of elk habitat… for all the whitetail boys out there it would likely translate to hunters every acre
 

Hnthrdr

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Jan 29, 2022
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Co
Which graph shows the increase in revenue caused by the spike in nonresidents? They must be too busy swimming in the gold!


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There is the real problem… the state loves the dollars and don’t want to shut off the money machine… I would venture most residents would pay 3x, 4x what a tag currently cost if it meant you could draw it on a more regular basis.
 

jray5740

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Messages
280
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Colorado
There is the real problem… the state loves the dollars and don’t want to shut off the money machine… I would venture most residents would pay 3x, 4x what a tag currently cost if it meant you could draw it on a more regular basis.
Your spot on. A while back I posted a complete actuarial analysis on the outcome of non res hunting elimination in terms of dollar cost impact to res hunters and overall revenue streams for CPW. The resulting analysis outcome raised res hunting tag price to just under $200 for elk, $169 for deer, and less for other species. This completely covered the $$$$ income for CPW per year while also allow less overall hunting pressure in CO and a better experience, which is the overall goal of CPW.

There's always a ton of doubters until they see the real metrics and mathematics which cannot be argued. Dont confuse this with me stating non res hunting should be eliminated....it was just and analysis of what would happen.
 

Hnthrdr

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Jan 29, 2022
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Co
Your spot on. A while back I posted a complete actuarial analysis on the outcome of non res hunting elimination in terms of dollar cost impact to res hunters and overall revenue streams for CPW. The resulting analysis outcome raised res hunting tag price to just under $200 for elk, $169 for deer, and less for other species. This completely covered the $$$$ income for CPW per year while also allow less overall hunting pressure in CO and a better experience, which is the overall goal of CPW.

There's always a ton of doubters until they see the real metrics and mathematics which cannot be argued. Dont confuse this with me stating non res hunting should be eliminated....it was just and analysis of what would happen.
I love it man, we need to get this in front of the commission. I would make allowances for those that make under a certain amount per year, and keep youth licenses cheap but, with the cost of living these days in Co I doubt this would keep anybody in Co from hunting who wanted to
 

commandoNate

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Oct 26, 2016
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276
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Colorado
Only 305 public acres/elk hunter in Colorado

Holy shit
Maybe this has been said already since I haven't read all the responses to this but one would need to take into account the different seasons in Colorado. It's not like all 218,000 hunters are all in the woods at one time. Some of the states listed have Archery and Rifle seasons only, we have 4 rifle seasons. This chart doesn't really mean much to me because there are lots of missing variables.

The first one on the other hand does. I could have told you that the NR's were coming into the state in much higher numbers than just a few years ago but I wouldn't have guessed the residents would be decreasing like that.
 

txhunter581

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Jul 21, 2019
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Texas
Also, this is an example of making statistics say what you want them to say. Take this chart:
B4FEC6BE-E40D-4EFD-B5EE-7871BF607C0B.png

If you compare Utah to Colorado, Utah wins! More public land than Colorado! But this is a bogus comparison. You should be comparing land that it actually inhabited by elk, and total numbers of elk

In those categories, Colorado wins by a landslide. If you do that, I am sure Utahs number is much less than 305 acres/elk. That is because Colorado has much more actual elk habitat. Also, did you realize that Colorado has more land above 10,000 ft than all other states combined (excluding Alaska)

Are we overcrowded? Yep
Has quality of hunting gone down? Yep
Should NR numbers be reduced? Absolutely

But things are not as dire as some would make them seem. Colorado has enough elk to go around. If you make all tags limited with an 80/20 split, I feel sure all residents that want to hunt can hunt every year. And NRs should be able to hunt aprox ever other year. Seems reasonable to me. To make things so restrictive that NRs can only hunt every 4-5 years seems an overkill.
 

txhunter581

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Jul 21, 2019
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Texas
But many residents want to make NRs out to be the scapegoat. When actually residents, who were always in favor of raising NR pricing (and not resident pricing) is why we are in this mess. You allowed the CPW to become bloated with NR revenue. When have you ever know a government agency to give up revenue?
 

Gerard Marcaurele

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Aug 9, 2017
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461
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Southeast Texas
I’m not even from Co, but after hunting there and seeing 20+ trucks at three separate trailheads on a unit that was only 2000 acres or so, I think the state needs to do something to reduce the numbers.

I’d pay even more for the chance at an elk for a more expensive LIMITED OTC license, or play the draw game if they went to a draw only system like mule deer.

If I were in the shoes of a Co resident, I’d be pissed that my tax dollars to fund my states wildlife dept were so poorly spent that they had to rely on people from out of state to pay and come ruin the elk hunting.
 

Sundy

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Jul 30, 2022
Messages
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I'm relatively new to CO hunting and go a draw tag last year. I hunted for 5 days and found one lone bull (couldn't get a shot off but that's a cool experience in it's own).

Ran into a couple older guys muzzleloader hunting. They had been hunting the same area for years and also commented on the continued decline of elk numbers in the area. This wasn't even a busy unit.

Going OTC this year - I'm sure it'll be a lot busier, at least I'm going with a few instead of solo so we can share the pack out if we get lucky!
 
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