WY Elk, what does the future tell us?

Coveyleader

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Seeing the points needed for WY to get a general tag, what does that tell us about the future/trend of elk hunting in the Western US? It wasn't long ago you could pick a general tag up with no points needed.

What does this mean for CO now that WY has become a state where you will be lucky to hunt antlered elk every 4-5 years on a general type tag?

My application submission was flawed for WY this year. I was thinking get the general, and get back in the game ASAP and learn the areas. That's looking like a pipe dream these days unless you partner up.

Anyways, CO is going to look ugly this year, that's a fact. This is an eye opener to me in regards to CO. NR all draw, residents OTC like WY does it. If not, you can count on hunting elk every 2-5 years as a resident in the not so far future.
 

JasonWi

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I was just discussing this fact with my two hunting partners as neither drew WY elk this year, and I didn't apply because we thought they would have tags. The units I was looking into -- aren't in the foreseeable future either in with my 13pp.

I agree it's going to be once every 5-10 years depending on the current supply and demand for a person to hunt general unit elk.

I'm seriously considering not going on a guided moose hunt in 2025 and using that money towards a WY guide instead and draw one of the wilderness units or high private land units and just get out of the points race.
 
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ckleeves

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It’s going to get real interesting if/when Colorado cuts OTC and/or caps non-res. That has the potential to change elk draws across the entire west.

Same with Idaho, I can’t help but think they have to be looking at the growth of the population and how it’s affecting crowding and at what point there are simply too many elk tags being issued.

Makes a person wonder how long elk interest stays at the rate it’s at currently if “opportunity” tags start to become once every 4+ years.

Do new hunters start to lose interest when just getting a elk tag could be years and years away? Or will the impending recession slow applications down enough that the current odds don’t really change and we are just in a bubble caused by (mostly) social media?
 

Jimss

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As I've been saying all along, we are losing our hunting heritage across the Western US....especially if you are a DIY/OYO nonres hunter. Not only are general tags in Wyo getting tougher to draw but also every limited tag. This is not only true with elk but even antelope! It wasn't too many years ago nonres could draw decent limited antelope tags in Wyo as 2nd choices. Those days are gone.....especially in years where antelope numbers are struggling. Wyo's elk population has been booming and I would hate to see what would happen with draw odds if elk numbers decrease!

Wyo outfitters and landowners are also strategizing behind closed doors as we speak how to acquire additional tags taken directly out of the hands of public draw hunter's quotas. A lot of Wyo nonres and res may not be aware but qualifying landowners currently take an unlimited number of tags out of the public pool before any drawing takes place. In a couple units no limited tags are issued to nonres because landowners take every tag available. What's sad, even this isn't enough and outfitters are currently trying to get tags available to clients that sign contracts prior to the drawing. It's pretty sad when all tags aren't issued in the drawing and hunters can make up their own mind whether to hire an outfitter or DIY/OYO.
 

CoStick

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I think ultimately it will split hunters and support for causes that are in our best interest will not be there. Why help a state that doesn’t want you to visit? Divide and concur, just seems we are doing it to ourselves. Historically we took numerous trips a year to WY. No more, going to spend our money elsewhere.
 
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Coveyleader

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Have you guys noticed that there can be an activity, kind of under the radar, then it gets "Youtubed" and bang, it turns into a shitshow.

Idaho bears comes to mind, AZ OTC late hunts etc.

I don't even think elk hunting is all that fun unless it's in areas where there is no pressure. Hunting in pressured areas sucks. Hunting pressured elk sucks even more.
 

fatlander

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If people were honest on YouTube (and the internet in general) about DIY, general tag, public land archery elk hunts; we wouldn’t have this problem.

It’s hard. It sucks most of the time. It’s expensive There’s lots of people. There aren’t a lot of elk. The elk that you do find don’t come running into calls. 95% of DIY out of staters are going to fail on a general season archery tag.

That wouldn’t get clicks and no one would smash your subscribe button. Look at the latest elk101 day by day. It took like something like 7 teams to actually get some content and half of those guys still didn’t punch tags. And they all know what they’re doing, in their own home states.


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Glockster26

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I’ll tell you what we need……more hunters, more instahunters, more YouTube hunters.

We cut our own throat with all the promotion and recruitment. I can only hope as tags get harder to draw and require more financial commitment people will lose interest go back to playing golf, badminton, or whatever the hell everyone was doing before they decided to be the next Steve Rinella.
The one plus to all this is, it’s making it harder for all the above mentioned people to get tags, and find places to hunt aren’t totally overrun with other people to. I would imagine it’s difficult to create a season’s worth of content filling whitetail doe tags and hunting otc tags.
 
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5MilesBack

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A recession will take care of some of these issues.
I doubt it. I'm constantly hearing how $5+ diesel and $4+ gasoline is causing such hardship on folks. But all you have to do is go out on the roads at any time of the day and the roads are still packed with people driving around town all day long.......just like they always have. I often wonder now as I did even several years ago, where all these people are going and where are they coming from. They obviously don't have jobs because they're too busy driving all the time. Gas and diesel prices don't seem to be a problem for anyone........I doubt a recession would be either.
 

ManyBullets

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I doubt it. I'm constantly hearing how $5+ diesel and $4+ gasoline is causing such hardship on folks. But all you have to do is go out on the roads at any time of the day and the roads are still packed with people driving around town all day long.......just like they always have. I often wonder now as I did even several years ago, where all these people are going and where are they coming from. They obviously don't have jobs because they're too busy driving all the time. Gas and diesel prices don't seem to be a problem for anyone........I doubt a recession would be either.
High fuel prices are not a recession. 76 stations in WA state just re-programmed their pumps to allow for $10+/gallon fuel prices. The increases in fuel prices are just getting started. The domino effect high fuel and energy prices have on the economy will start a recession (as planned by TPTB). As industries collapse under the weight of debt, regulation, and soaring costs, the jobs disappear with them, the demand for discretionary things like out of state tags will follow.

Oh I'll just get an electric truck and I'll be fine - until someone hits the kill switch on it b/c a govt bureaucrat found out you're a well-known rockslider that may have some redneck tendencies they don't like.
 

JFK

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While I’d enjoy the opportunity to hunt out of state every year, I think it’s important to realize a few western states can’t support every hunter in the lower 48. Out of state hunting used to be looked at a luxury. Hell, it still is. Only recently did the idea that a guy would hunt out of state every year become normalized. I’m lucky that I get to hunt pigs all year long and I think if a guy wants to stay active hunting in the future they should probably seek out some opportunities closer to home or in states with lower demand for tags. Additionally, not getting hung up on hunting elk every year. You could probably still hunt Wy more years than not if you spread your points out and hunted antelope one year, deer the next and then elk. Population growth will
trump economic factors, and while I’d love to see draw odds improve I don’t think that will be the case.
 

5MilesBack

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As industries collapse under the weight of debt, regulation, and soaring costs, the jobs disappear with them, the demand for discretionary things like out of state tags will follow.
Yes, it sure sounds to make sense.......but I've just never personally seen recessions affect hunter numbers.......although that would be nice if it did cut back on 50-75% of the elk hunters in CO. I just don't see that happening.
 

TreeWalking

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It’s going to get real interesting if/when Colorado cuts OTC and/or caps non-res. That has the potential to change elk draws across the entire west.

Same with Idaho, I can’t help but think they have to be looking at the growth of the population and how it’s affecting crowding and at what point there are simply too many elk tags being issued.

Makes a person wonder how long elk interest stays at the rate it’s at currently if “opportunity” tags start to become once every 4+ years.

Do new hunters start to lose interest when just getting a elk tag could be years and years away? Or will the impending recession slow applications down enough that the current odds don’t really change and we are just in a bubble caused by (mostly) social media?
I got good at elk hunting when could hunt them a few years in a row or with only a year gap each time without an elk tag. I am not a Westerner so there was a learning curve after being a whitetail hunter for several years over harvested corn fields where you arrive a bit before first light then park your truck and walk a few hundred yards then climb up in a stand. If the hunting is slow, go home and warm up, eat a good meal then hunt the last two or three hours of the day. That is not very useful experience for hunting elk out West.
 

CoStick

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We were in a recession 2 years ago and the mountains were packed.
 
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