Top 4 units to collect points for in Colorado

ahawk116

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Last year a friend and I went on a diy elk hunt in Montana. We are complete newbies to elk hunting, but we quickly became addicted to the backcountry. Chasing animals around that look like something out of a movie. For a southerner it seems like a horse with a massive set of antlers that screams at you.
As a result of that, I am planning an archery elk hunt in Colorado for September of 2018 and would like to start gathering points.

What four units would you guys suggest applying for?
 
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ahawk116

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Mar 4, 2017
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On our on on public would be preferable.
I am not familiar with trespass fees how much money are we talking? If it's a couple of hundred bucks to walk through someone else's property to get to public land I am interested.


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MAT

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The good news is you only have to apply for a pref point by 4/4 this year. The bad news is there are not many GMUs where a NR can draw a tag for public land with only 1 point for 2018.
 

Brendan

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The good news is you only have to apply for a pref point by 4/4 this year. The bad news is there are not many GMUs where a NR can draw a tag for public land with only 1 point for 2018.
This - I'd buy a point but plan on hunting OTC if it were me.
 

orionthehunter1

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If you are just getting into the points game you will probably never draw the top 4 units in Colorado. You are realistically 15-20 years out on mid tier units so I would learn an OTC unit and get to hunting
 

TexanSam

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You could draw first rifle for an OTC unit and expect a little bit better hunting if I am correct... That's what I'm doing

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Hayguide

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another option is go with a preference first choice in a under subscribed area marked by a * in the CDOW book- then go for a 1st season draw- you get the tag plus the point and get to hunt in the first season or whatever season you want to hunt without going OTC... that's worked for me.
 

Back Country Hunter 2

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My advise would be to buy a OTC tag every year and get decent at hunting bulls with a bow. It is no easy feat! Apply for a point every year and once you get decent use those points on a better unit.
 
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ahawk116

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Thanks for the replies guys. I realize I'll never draw the top four units in the state with one point. I guess I was kind of hopeful that there were a few units that only took one or two point to draw that are pretty good.


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ahawk116

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My advise would be to buy a OTC tag every year and get decent at hunting bulls with a bow. It is no easy feat! Apply for a point every year and once you get decent use those points on a better unit.
I'm going as often as possible. That's why Colorado is my first choice. The drive is just more manageable. 24 hours instead of 36. That eats into vacation time pretty significantly.


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les welch

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This is my $.02, so take it only for that. I've been collecting a lot of points, for a lot of species, in a lot of states. I'm going to tell you I am very tired of it. Point creep is getting out of hand. NM takes no points and everyone has as good of a chance as the next person. MT has great opportunities with leftover tags. Idaho has decent OTC hunting, CO has decent OTC hunting. My recommendation is to do a LOT of computer scouting. Take a trip or two to CO scouting. Hit the ground and see what you come up with. Apply for NM every year, you never know. Someone has to draw. Maybe build a couple points for WY. I'm getting out of the long waiting game for points tags. There is too good of hunting to have every year to build points for 10-20+ years in some states........
 

gumbl3

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There are a lot of OTC Archery opportunities in CO that won't require you to collect points
 

Hayguide

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I have hunted elk in Colorado every year for the past 8 and don't plan on missing anymore while I'm healthy. Collecting points is great- but hunting fair chase is better- lots of opportunitys in Colorado to kill an elk- I'm going on 3 years in a row with nice bulls on a 1st season Rifle tag that takes 0 points- one of my best bulls was in 2010 on a zero point tag-316 gross- 302 net 6-6 last years bull was 280. They are out there, you just have to figure it out. 316 bull was a trailhead bull, 280 was a drop camp bull. I know of a couple guys who saved and saved- only to have there health fail and they cant go hunting the elevations anymore. so if I were you, try to save but don't forget to hunt.
 

Thomas11

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Feb 13, 2017
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I agree. Plenty of good hunts u can draw with 0-3 points. Both rifle and archery. And that doesn't even count OTC
 

Felix40

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New Mexico
Ill tell you what I do to sort through units in Colorado.

1. Google "Colorado Elk Hunting Statistics". Click on the "2016 Draw Recap" and go through and make a list of all the units you can draw with 1 or 0 points. It can be confusing to read but use the hunt codes to find archery hunts if thats what you want. The hunt code will look something like EE-001-01A. This is read as "Elk Either Sex-Unit 1-Season 1 Archery" so anything with an "A" will be your archery hunts.

2. Click on the "2016 Estimated Harvest" pdf on the Colorado website and find success, hunter numbers, bulls vs cows for the season and units in your list.

3. Google each unit you are looking at for the toprut website. Example "Colorado Unit 1 Toprut" and figure out how much private land is in each unit. Toprut has all of the other stats as well but I prefer to see them in the pdf from the state just because Ive been looking at those for so many years.

4. The list of units you like will be pretty short at this point. Now just use Google Earth and the Colorado Hunting Atlas to figure out what terrain and access appeals to you.

Some units that take 1 or less points for archery include 7, 33, 46, 51, 54, 55, 56, 500. They may or may not be garbage I dont know. I just pulled those off my spreadsheet. Im still trying to decide if low point units are worth applying for or not. You basically have to choose the long game or the short game as there are very very few 5-8 point archery units.
 
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ahawk116

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Ill tell you what I do to sort through units in Colorado.

1. Google "Colorado Elk Hunting Statistics". Click on the "2016 Draw Recap" and go through and make a list of all the units you can draw with 1 or 0 points. It can be confusing to read but use the hunt codes to find archery hunts if thats what you want. The hunt code will look something like EE-001-01A. This is read as "Elk Either Sex-Unit 1-Season 1 Archery" so anything with an "A" will be your archery hunts.

2. Click on the "2016 Estimated Harvest" pdf on the Colorado website and find success, hunter numbers, bulls vs cows for the season and units in your list.

3. Google each unit you are looking at for the toprut website. Example "Colorado Unit 1 Toprut" and figure out how much private land is in each unit. Toprut has all of the other stats as well but I prefer to see them in the pdf from the state just because Ive been looking at those for so many years.

4. The list of units you like will be pretty short at this point. Now just use Google Earth and the Colorado Hunting Atlas to figure out what terrain and access appeals to you.

Some units that take 1 or less points for archery include 7, 33, 46, 51, 54, 55, 56, 500. They may or may not be garbage I dont know. I just pulled those off my spreadsheet. Im still trying to decide if low point units are worth applying for or not. You basically have to choose the long game or the short game as there are very very few 5-8 point archery units.
This was super helpful. Thanks!


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blackdog

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Apr 15, 2013
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Yep, toprut is super helpful in at least getting a start on what you can and can't draw as well as pointing out success rates and amount of public land in each unit. I've spent WAY too much time on there while I should be working! ;-)
 

njdoxie

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Apr 1, 2014
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New Jersey
If you ever want to get good at elk hunting, it helps to go every year, so maybe collect points in one state, but go hunting and forget about points....newbies should not be worrying about points. There are tons of over the counter hunts available in various states.
 
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