tag draw failure...

OP
M

mporter012

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
77
I live in SW Colorado and if I play my cards right I can get three elk, three deer, an antelope, a bear, and mountain lion in the same year, but I dont do draws. However, I am still out hunting from september to march most years between me and the group of guys I hunt with. We kill animals every year. Everything is a choice and you cant be mad at the game if you’re not playing it right.
what's your zip code!?
 

Titan_Bow

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
452
Location
Broomfield, CO
Traveling to hunt is really part of the game in Colorado. I've got 2 elk tags this year; a B List archery cow tag in an OTC unit 2 hours from Ft. Collins, and a 1st rifle bull tag down in the Flat Tops. My son and I both got bear tags with no points, and I picked up an antelope tag for my son, no points. Ive got a no points doe rifle tag out by Craig, and my son has a unit 91 archery tag and a late season cow elk tag out by Craig. We'll also hunt rabbits and we'll hunt Nebraska whitetails. The furthest drive is probably Nebraska, we drive about 6 hours out there to hunt.
Point is, if you want to hunt, there is ample opportunity in Colorado and in neighboring states. Yeah, you might have to drive a few hours from home, but that just makes it a different experience than going out and sitting in a treestand behind the house after work. For me, the travel time to a hunting spot is irrelevant and part of the game.
I just looked at the leftover list right now, and I see a first season cow elk tag that still has tons of available tags, that I have been into elk and shot elk in the same unit last week of Sept. I'd about guarantee with some hard work and scouting you could get into elk with that tag. I'm sure there are alot of tags still there like that. Ton of bear tags still available too.
Stick with it OP, it takes a few years to really figure out, but dont give up and most of all, just get a tag and get out there.
 

Clayman56

Newbie
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
1
Right, you can just go the OTC route, and there are plenty of tags there, and that's what I'll do. I'm just irritated I have to drive 4 freakin' hours to hunt! Even for ducks, it's 3 hours!
I feel like every OTC tag was sold out nation wide this year. I had a hard time getting an extra pronghorn doe tag in WY. They were gone in a day
 

wannakillabigbull

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
954
Location
Colorado
I was happy to pick-up a buck tag over by Rangely this morning, but I live out in the Springs so it'll be a 5+ hour drive. Contrary to the OP I couldn't be happier. To me it's all part of the adventure. If you live on the front range it's part of the game so I've learned to embrace it. Having grown up in GJ/Fruita I drive a lot farther than I used to have to, but I'm not complaining. I still get to go and that's enough for me.
 

Mighty Mouse

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
425
Location
Oklahoma
Id have to go back and look at my 3rd/4th choices, but i didnt draw an elk archery tag in 7/8/9/19/191 or whatever that cluster is or 20 and didnt draw a bear or antelope tag locally either. I put in for a different area for buck and drew, which is great. And luckily i should be able to get an OTC in that area too. I'll do some door knocking and hopefully find a spot to hunt private antelope. Clearly i need a better strategy next year.
Nobody, resident or non-resident, drew either of the two archery elk units you mentioned as a second choice (nor did they last year).

66% of residents who applied for 7/8/9/19/191 as their first choice with 0 preference points drew the tag (down from 74% last year).

Unit 20 bull and either-sex tags required a minimum of 5 and 2 preference points, respectively, for residents this year (same minimum points as last year). 70% of residents drew a unit 20 cow tag with 0 points (down from 86% last year).

If you haven't done so already, study previous draw reports to inform your tag strategy. Applicant numbers change to some degree every year (usually increase) and tag quotas sometimes change, but past draw stats will give you a rough idea of your chances of drawing a particular tag. You may still end up in the unlucky minority of a particular point/unit pool that doesn't get drawn, but at least you'll go into the draw with reasonable expectations.
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Fatcamp

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
2,100
Location
Sodak
I do have a buck tag I want.



Yea Covid is insult to injury. Hunting pressure varies greatly state by state. Where I grew up, the hunting pressure has declined even since I was in high school, and the hunting has gotten better and better. My Dad is dumbfounded at how few hunters there are in our area. Read the Outdoor Life article, "Why We're Losing Hunters" and you'll see, in fact, hunter numbers are declining and declining. It just so happens, there are exceptions, and I think Colorado must be one of those exceptions. And as some pointed out here earlier, I clearly don't really understand the nature of tag allocation for migratory species (elk/mule deer), so I'll def rescind some of my earlier complaints. I'll stick to the point that it's really irritating to have nowhere to hunt after work...
Hunt coyotes. Hunt rabbits. Hunt sheds. Honestly though, it takes an hour to even get out of Fort Collins at rush hour. I think you are being unrealistic.
 

MallardSX2

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
497
If your a Colorado resident complaining about not getting a tag I dont feel sorry for you. There is a TON of opportunities for you as a resident to get a tag in Colorado.
 

WTFJohn

Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2018
Messages
170
Location
CO
I live in SW Colorado and if I play my cards right I can get three elk, three deer, an antelope, a bear, and mountain lion in the same year, but I dont do draws. However, I am still out hunting from september to march most years between me and the group of guys I hunt with. We kill animals every year. Everything is a choice and you cant be mad at the game if you’re not playing it right.
I live in Denver and do basically the same thing. The time spent driving throughout the season sucks but not as much as sitting on the couch bitching about not hunting; and I do it the rest of the year to scout/mtn bike/ski/fish/etc... This year it's OTC antelope, 0 pt early bear, 0 pt 2nd season buck, concurrent rifle bear, 3rd OTC elk, 4th 2nd choice cow, 2nd choice late antelope, and mountain lion. Add in small game and I'm covered from Aug 15 until March. I'll be helping friends/family in antelope muzzy, plus 1st, 2nd, and 4th rifle season too. It's not always about punching your own tags.

@mporter012 Don't sweat trying to get draw units for everything. Get a lot of easy to draw/acquire tags for multiple species in the same area, and hunt it non-stop from September to November. Learn what the animals are doing, when they are doing it, and why they are doing it. Then kill them.
 

TexasCub

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
490
Location
Colorado Springs
What some people don’t understand is that just because you got a tag, doesn’t mean it’s worth a shit. Colorado gives out thousands of tags in a given unit with very low numbers of animals and tons of hunter pressure. Nothing worse than driving 5 hours over two to three treacherous mountain passes to what looks like the traveling rodeo and then hunt for 5 days without seeing shit and everyone you talk to is saying the same. Ive now done that two years in a row for 2nd rifle. I feel so bad for the guys that drive here from 5 states away all giggly about hunting and then drive home empty handed. On the flip side if you a draw a tag in a decent unit the experience will be significantly different! I know young and or new to western hunting hunters have dreams of screaming bulls and big bucks around every meadow realize at some point it’s just not like it is on YouTube or Hunting shows. Wish you guys the best this season, I think it’s going to be a madhouse with Covid if what we’re seeing right now all over the state is what hunting season is going to look like.
 

bsnedeker

Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
940
Location
MT
What some people don’t understand is that just because you got a tag, doesn’t mean it’s worth a shit. Colorado gives out thousands of tags in a given unit with very low numbers of animals and tons of hunter pressure. Nothing worse than driving 5 hours over two to three treacherous mountain passes to what looks like the traveling rodeo and then hunt for 5 days without seeing shit and everyone you talk to is saying the same. Ive now done that two years in a row for 2nd rifle. I feel so bad for the guys that drive here from 5 states away all giggly about hunting and then drive home empty handed. On the flip side if you a draw a tag in a decent unit the experience will be significantly different! I know young and or new to western hunting hunters have dreams of screaming bulls and big bucks around every meadow realize at some point it’s just not like it is on YouTube or Hunting shows. Wish you guys the best this season, I think it’s going to be a madhouse with Covid if what we’re seeing right now all over the state is what hunting season is going to look like.
I get where you are coming from...I don't know if I'd feel too bad for the guys driving from 5 states away though. Everyone coming to hunt in CO from out of state on an OTC tag SHOULD know what they are getting into at this point. I'm curiuos: What do you think the percentage of people coming to hunt CO truly expect to find empty trailheads and are surprised when they find that isn't the case? I'd like to think that percentage is small and that the people driving from out of state are coming for the experience of a western hunt as opposed to expecting to be all by themselves surrounded by elk...maybe I'm wrong though.
 

justinspicher

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
3,160
Location
Colorado
It is funny how upset dudes get over tag prices, lack of tag availability, crowded areas and having to travel. Yet they still do it. Its only gonna get worse.
 

Lukem

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
627
Location
Nebraska
I get where you are coming from...I don't know if I'd feel too bad for the guys driving from 5 states away though. Everyone coming to hunt in CO from out of state on an OTC tag SHOULD know what they are getting into at this point. I'm curiuos: What do you think the percentage of people coming to hunt CO truly expect to find empty trailheads and are surprised when they find that isn't the case? I'd like to think that percentage is small and that the people driving from out of state are coming for the experience of a western hunt as opposed to expecting to be all by themselves surrounded by elk...maybe I'm wrong though.
And those guys coming from the east see a crowded parking lot as the norm. Western hunters have no idea what "crowded" looks like.
 

amassi

Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2018
Messages
619
I wonder if the op waited the requisite 180 days of residency before bitching about in state hunting

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