Future of CO OTC Elk Tags

Poser

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We have just as much fun hunting with one gun/bow and one guy calling, etc... My brother has a ton of Utah pts and that is our plan there. I am way behind but by the time we got ready to go back, I'd be the hunter.

Yeah, been hunting this was the last few years. 3 fit guys, 1 tag is a great way to hunt elk: you can kill one almost anywhere and effectively deal with the pack out, often in a single trip.
 

GringoBling

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Apr 23, 2021
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CPW needs to increase the price of Resident licenses. It's too cheap and residents who really aren't all that serious about hunting draw to be part of the experience. Thus the big crowds in many of the OTC units.
 

Jbehredt

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CPW needs to increase the price of Resident licenses. It's too cheap and residents who really aren't all that serious about hunting draw to be part of the experience. Thus the big crowds in many of the OTC units.

Here here! I’m all for paying non res prices and limiting non res tags to a couple dozen statewide ;)
 

betterluckythangood

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May 20, 2021
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As a person who grew up hunting the PNW and still loves just getting out there and busting my butt to get a slight chance at even getting close with archery gear and the thrill that brings, I'm watching one of my favorite things become something for the rich. After moving to Texas and being on a deer lease a couple of years, that became too expensive to maintain, so I started saving all year for still being able to chase elk in the high mountains. Now, and has been, it is becoming a part of my life that soon will be out of reach of the working man's budget. If you can afford to still put in for the tags each year, you have to deal with PP creep......each year they add more on, just as you think you might get enough PP. While I know that something needs to be done to sustain the herd and the resources, I think it should be fair across the board for all people on non-privately owned land. I know a lot of money comes from the sell of tags, but some money does come from our taxes ( I think....could be wrong) so we should have a level playing field when it comes to price and chance at a tag. Just on honest opinion.
 

Gerbdog

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I have No good answers, i feel some things could be handled better, and i like the suggestions of splitting archery into two seasons perhaps, giving a week for ML by itself, etc.

I'd be happy to pay more for a tag even, but i dont think i'd be happy to pay out of state price tags. There are benefits to living in some states over others, its just how the system works. I live in CO, i pay my in state CO elk tag prices.... i also pay state income tax. Someone living in TX has to pay out of state elk tag prices to hunt here in CO but... they dont pay a state income tax. Heck of a perk to living in TX that i dont get here in CO, but i do get the elk tag perk. Just my opinion, but, living in some states has some state perks, i consider my in state game tags to be one of those perks.
 

GringoBling

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I know a lot of money comes from the sell of tags, but some money does come from our taxes ( I think....could be wrong) so we should have a level playing field when it comes to price and chance at a tag. Just on honest opinion.

Per the CPW website, only 2% of the Colorado Wildlife Revenue comes from state and local sources. The overwhelming majority comes from license revenue (of which, the overwhelming majority is from non-residents). CPW essentially relies on non-residents to support the wildlife budget.

I live in CO, i pay my in state CO elk tag prices.... i also pay state income tax. Someone living in TX has to pay out of state elk tag prices to hunt here in CO but... they dont pay a state income tax. Heck of a perk to living in TX that i dont get here in CO, but i do get the elk tag perk. Just my opinion, but, living in some states has some state perks, i consider my in state game tags to be one of those perks.

That's certainly true on the income tax for Texas, but like I just posted, your taxes aren't funding the Wildlife budget of CPW. And for the record, while Texas doesn't have an income tax, it has absolutely absurd property taxes. And those have skyrocketed in the last 5 years as property values have shot up.
 

Gerbdog

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Sure, its not an apples to apples comparison. What i was trying to say is ... i dont think i'd want to pay out of state elk tag prices while living in the state im hunting anymore then someone in TX would want to pay out of state deer hunting tag prices while they live in TX to hunt in the state they live.... (i have no idea what in state TX deer tag prices are vs out of state).

Heck ill just leave it at i'd be happy to pay more for an in state elk tag in CO but i dont expect to pay the same price as someone coming out of state to hunt in CO. It's a state perk and i think its a state perk observed across the entire nation. Fishing and game tags are cheaper in the state you live.

I'm mixed on whether they should do away with OTC units. I lived in NM for a good many years and there were good many year stretches i didnt draw an elk tag. My brother hasnt drawn an elk tag down there in 9 years now (talk about bad luck). I ABSOLUTELY enjoy being able to hunt elk every year here in CO if i want to, sure, the quality isnt great but... i still enjoy it.

The same note i recognize the elk herds are seeing some declines in some parts of the state and something will need to be done to preserve the health of the herds. I'm mixed on my feelings as to whether hunting pressure is the sole reason for the decline in the herd health as ive seen some studies that show bumping cow elk during their pregnancies and in their calving areas has HUGE detrimental effects.... some absurd percentage chance that the calf will die if the mother is bumped twice or something like that?

If they are going to Axe the OTC units then i hope they also put bans on hiking/biking in certain areas during the calving periods of the year like they do for the bighorn sheep, signs posted and all. Keep people (or less people) from bumping the cows in the calving areas.
 

GringoBling

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Sure, its not an apples to apples comparison. What i was trying to say is ... i dont think i'd want to pay out of state elk tag prices while living in the state im hunting anymore then someone in TX would want to pay out of state deer hunting tag prices while they live in TX to hunt in the state they live.... (i have no idea what in state TX deer tag prices are vs out of state).

Heck ill just leave it at i'd be happy to pay more for an in state elk tag in CO but i dont expect to pay the same price as someone coming out of state to hunt in CO. It's a state perk and i think its a state perk observed across the entire nation. Fishing and game tags are cheaper in the state you live.

Totally agree with that statement. CO residents should always pay less than Non-Res. I just think they need to pay more in order to weed out the less serious hunters to potentially reduce crowding. I hunt 66 and 67 exclusively and those are limited units (which I think the state does a decent job of limiting tags), so I don't personally have to deal with big OTC crowds. But, I sure do read a lot of complaints on this forum about the OTC (and the units closer to the Front Range) crowds.
 

Sako76

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Never happen, Colorado loves the money that big game NR hunting brings in! I think it's $50million/year.
 

Coveyleader

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I was young and pooronce, and thought tag fees were tough as a NR. I hate seeing any fee increase as the DOW will swallow and waste no matter much you throw at them. There is no such thing as “enough money “ when it comes to the government.

if the issue is crowding, the answer is limiting. Who to limit is the 1000 dollar question.
 

Carr5vols

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Apr 12, 2019
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After this year's CO muzzy I do not plan on giving CO another $1 for hunting. We hunted a draw muzzy /OTC bow unit and we talked to roughly 15 guys and we were the only one of those to see elk (3) other than an outfitter that had seen 2 elk since the first of September. So many disappointed/frustrated people this year that we ran into. Some where on there plan F by mid week. It may fix itself pretty quick...
 

Gerbdog

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CO Springs
It may fix itself but... people dont often post the misery of a bad OTC hunt (they happen, im in one currently, been dead since first week, everywhere im trying) they just like to post of up the glory videos or romanticize the hiking and camping in the mountains.... ill give them that, its beautiful country. The frustration of your "hot spots" being blown out and shaking hands with other hunters arriving up top late coming into your half hearted bugle while your taking your mid day nap is.... well hell i guess misery loves company or im more of a people person than i thought haha. Those scenes dont ever make it onto youtube though
 

orionthehunter1

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SW Colorado
I've been saying it for years it needs to go 80/20 across the board resident/non resident and adjust the prices accordingly on both sides.
 

Donjuan

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May 19, 2019
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Couple thoughts....do you think they would lump those OTC units into one draw tag, like the WY general permit?
Also, how much would you be willing to pay, and how many less hunters would make for a better experience? I.E. 50% less hunters but tag prices double
Also, are harvest numbers changing to a dangerous level in these areas or is there a known effect on cows getting bred from all the pressure? If not, I bet CPW doesn't care how many people you run into
 

Gerbdog

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Couple thoughts....do you think they would lump those OTC units into one draw tag, like the WY general permit?
Also, how much would you be willing to pay, and how many less hunters would make for a better experience? I.E. 50% less hunters but tag prices double
Also, are harvest numbers changing to a dangerous level in these areas or is there a known effect on cows getting bred from all the pressure? If not, I bet CPW doesn't care how many people you run into
Well i dont know what this seasons harvest data looks like yet... but i'd be willing to bet its pretty much exactly the same as it has been since.... well a long time. Maybe a % or so off but not much. That stays pretty constant over the years. The CPW DOES pay attention to the herd numbers though, as can be seen by the SW CO units going from OTC to a low point draw this past year. The herd down there IS suffering im just not convinced its all hunting pressure, its a number of things and a lot of it i dont think the CPW can get a hand involved in. The hunters are just the easiest part of the equation to effect.

edit to add: they may care how many hunters you run into? i dont know. But if you take their survey when they call you one of the questions certainly is "did it feel crowded where you hunted" ? Haha.... i always answer that yes even when i never saw another soul.... sigh. Im a bad man.
 

Billy Goat

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Well i dont know what this seasons harvest data looks like yet... but i'd be willing to bet its pretty much exactly the same as it has been since.... well a long time. Maybe a % or so off but not much. That stays pretty constant over the years. The CPW DOES pay attention to the herd numbers though, as can be seen by the SW CO units going from OTC to a low point draw this past year. The herd down there IS suffering im just not convinced its all hunting pressure, its a number of things and a lot of it i dont think the CPW can get a hand involved in. The hunters are just the easiest part of the equation to effect.

edit to add: they may care how many hunters you run into? i dont know. But if you take their survey when they call you one of the questions certainly is "did it feel crowded where you hunted" ? Haha.... i always answer that yes even when i never saw another soul.... sigh. Im a bad man.


Several of the OTC areas in the south were managed to a lowered herd number, they are now at goal, so being limited.
 

SummitsCalling

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Jul 9, 2016
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Seems odd people are worried about OTC tags when that truly won't even matter once those friendly wolves get ahold of CO elk herds. Just have to look over to ID to see how bad that went. Once those wolves start decimating our largest Elk herd in the US, I'm sure R will start to complain it's the NR fault. Unfortunately with the state of politics in CO things don't look the brightest.
 

CoStick

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May 18, 2021
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Never happen, Colorado loves the money that big game NR hunting brings in! I think it's $50million/year.
Pennies compared to skiing and summer tourism. They are already starting to charge other fees to recreational users, as that increases hunting revenue loses leverage. If you have been out here lately you probably noticed many people using the resources who aren’t hunting.
 
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