Colorado Pref Point 'Fix'?
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
cnelk 27-Mar-18
NoWiser 27-Mar-18
Nesser 27-Mar-18
midwest 27-Mar-18
NoWiser 27-Mar-18
Z Barebow 27-Mar-18
greg simon 27-Mar-18
Z Barebow 27-Mar-18
LINK 27-Mar-18
Z Barebow 27-Mar-18
elk yinzer 27-Mar-18
LINK 27-Mar-18
tkjwonta 27-Mar-18
Treeline 27-Mar-18
NoWiser 27-Mar-18
LINK 27-Mar-18
NoWiser 27-Mar-18
PECO 27-Mar-18
Jaquomo 27-Mar-18
Treeline 27-Mar-18
NoWiser 27-Mar-18
Orion 27-Mar-18
Jaquomo 27-Mar-18
Orion 27-Mar-18
Treeline 27-Mar-18
LUNG$HOT 27-Mar-18
Orion 27-Mar-18
Dave 27-Mar-18
Dotman 27-Mar-18
Dotman 27-Mar-18
MathewsMan 27-Mar-18
sdkhunter 27-Mar-18
Dotman 27-Mar-18
Mad Trapper 27-Mar-18
Trial153 27-Mar-18
Jaquomo 27-Mar-18
Orion 27-Mar-18
Glunt@work 27-Mar-18
MathewsMan 27-Mar-18
cnelk 27-Mar-18
Orion 27-Mar-18
IdyllwildArcher 27-Mar-18
Treeline 27-Mar-18
ohiohunter 27-Mar-18
Dotman 27-Mar-18
PECO 27-Mar-18
Dotman 27-Mar-18
JLeMieux 27-Mar-18
LUNG$HOT 27-Mar-18
LUNG$HOT 27-Mar-18
Grasshopper 27-Mar-18
Orion 27-Mar-18
ohiohunter 27-Mar-18
JLeMieux 27-Mar-18
Treeline 27-Mar-18
ohiohunter 27-Mar-18
Orion 27-Mar-18
cnelk 27-Mar-18
PECO 27-Mar-18
Orion 27-Mar-18
Glunt@work 27-Mar-18
Zim1 27-Mar-18
txhunter58 27-Mar-18
Knothead 27-Mar-18
johnw 28-Mar-18
Jaquomo 28-Mar-18
pav 28-Mar-18
Predeter 28-Mar-18
tkjwonta 29-Mar-18
Franzen 29-Mar-18
Adventurewriter 29-Mar-18
pav 30-Mar-18
otcWill 30-Mar-18
PECO 30-Mar-18
otcWill 30-Mar-18
Bake 30-Mar-18
cnelk 30-Mar-18
Glunt@work 30-Mar-18
elkstabber 30-Mar-18
Jaquomo 30-Mar-18
Ziek 30-Mar-18
patdel 30-Mar-18
ohiohunter 30-Mar-18
otcWill 30-Mar-18
JLeMieux 30-Mar-18
Ziek 30-Mar-18
Jaquomo 30-Mar-18
Nesser 30-Mar-18
sticksender 30-Mar-18
Grasshopper 30-Mar-18
cnelk 30-Mar-18
Grasshopper 30-Mar-18
Grasshopper 30-Mar-18
Grasshopper 30-Mar-18
cnelk 30-Mar-18
NvaGvUp 30-Mar-18
Grasshopper 30-Mar-18
PECO 30-Mar-18
Glunt@work 30-Mar-18
Jaquomo 30-Mar-18
elkmo 31-Mar-18
jims 31-Mar-18
wildwilderness 01-Apr-18
From: cnelk
27-Mar-18
Switching gears just a little...

According to the other thread, most are not in favor of 'Point Banking', some want group point averaging, and others do not.

So... what's the 'fix'?

Some ideas:

1- Make all elk hunting a draw [like deer]

2 - There are many GMUs that are undersubscribed for cow elk. Use these for 'meat hunts' and issue generous cow/spike tags. Along with those tags, have a limited amount of 'branch antlered' bull tags available.

3 - Create more 'Quiet Time' seasons, or have limited cow hunts during this time.

What ideas do you have?

From: NoWiser
27-Mar-18
Change all preference points to bonus points (not squared). It's like ripping off a bandaid. It's going to hurt but it needs to be done. Perhaps offer 50% of tags to the top point holders for the next 5 years to ease the pain. It will give people the option to burn their points on lesser units. After 5 years make Colorado a 100% bonus point state.

From: Nesser
27-Mar-18
Making elk hunting 100 pct draw would greatly reduce point creep. I know it wouldn’t be popular but if it were up to me I’d have it. Along with managing more units for trophy quality. Too much money at stake for that to happen though.

From: midwest
27-Mar-18
Phase out the PP system over a period of several years. Use your points over that time or lose them at the end of the phase out period.

Make all elk tags a completely random draw and you will have to pick your unit like deer.

From: NoWiser
27-Mar-18
I like Midwest's idea best, but the whining would be deafening, which is why I suggested bonus points. Either would be fine, though. Require a draw for every unit.

From: Z Barebow
27-Mar-18
Kill everyone with more points than me. (Obviously kidding)

From: greg simon
27-Mar-18
Before I vote for your idea Z Barebow. How many points do you have?

I vote bonus points and everything a draw.

From: Z Barebow
27-Mar-18
I would prefer random draw, but no way you could implement w/o disenfranchising existing PP holders. Cap how many PP's can be accumulated. Highest point units become random with highest point holders. And like Midwest said, phase PP system out over time. If DOW were to change system, they would need to know the fiscal note (Cost/revenue) associated with any change.

The problem in any solution is how does DOW implement without negatively impacting the "Golden ticket" that is the NR hunter. NR's are the "crack" that has provided the annual cash flow. But now the draw system is starting to show the rotten teeth and scabs that show up when you dance with the devil.

From: LINK
27-Mar-18
New system with no points earned. 60% of tags awarded on points 40% at random until no one has points. Maybe adding 10% more tags to the random pool every 5 years until it’s all random or there are no point holders. Leftover tags go to the random pool.

From: Z Barebow
27-Mar-18
greg- I cashed out in 2015 so the death toll would be high!

From: elk yinzer
27-Mar-18
Transition over a 20 year period to the where points are phased out and you have a random draw or a random draw with a very limited bonus point factor that can be sustained by the demand to not penalize future entrants into the system. Some high point guys are going to get feel like they got taken for a ride and I understand that. Too bad. They have a lot of skin in the game. But they should have understood the system's pitfalls going in. Sure you can offer under subscribed cow tags but you know for a guy with 15 or 20 points that's not what he's looking to take from this game he's been playing for two decades.

Slowly transition highest PP units. For instance after 5 years, 25% of tags go random. After 10, 50%. Two decades from now would be a fair draw. At this point I guess it seems fair to compromise and make it a slow transition.

No OTC tags or under subscribed tags while building points for that species, Res or NRs. That one boggles my mind anywhere in the country it occurs. Having cake and eating it too. Seems most hunters would be fine with shifting away from the OTC model and the crowding problems it creates to a large degree. Balance out some of the mid-tier units, aim for slightly lower hunter density in current overcrowded OTC. Your "new" LE units could be random, while again over two decades transition the current LE units from PP's to random. Potentially use some "capped OTC" in that transition to insure you aren't just moving the circus to different units. That creates a confusing parallel system for awhile, but it gives current PP guys a chance to cash out so we don't have to witness too many whiny man-tears. Again, it seems to me given there are a decent amount of 0-1 point units this wouldn't be a paradigm shift, but again, pay me for a few hundred hours to crunch the stats and I could tell you beyond speculation.

I definitely understand the frustration of the perceived nonresident imbalance but residents absolutely have to realize to balance that out they are going to have to pay significantly more. Finally I love that CO elk generally prioritizes opportunity over trophies. Don't take this as a suggestion for more trophy hunting, that is absurd. No way in today's hunting/society interface can any state agency afford to slash opportunity in the name of more trophies. Just to reduce some of the anecdotal crowding burden and NR vs. Res balance.

I guess these are some ways you could do that. Just throwing spaghetti against the wall here. If CPW wants me to crunch the numbers and come up with actual proposals I'll gladly do so for a reasonable hourly rate.

From: LINK
27-Mar-18
Making every unit a draw with points would give no relieve to those over 5 points, it would only add more point holders at the bottom. My reasoning is it’s not like Colorado would cut tags making some of these 3-4 pt units into units worthy of 10 or more points. They will want tag sells, so a all out preference point draw would do is take otc units and turn them into 1-3 point units with nearly as many hunters as they had hunting otc. To make any new system work and keep points they would have to raise the application price to something like 50+ dollars per applicant and cut number of tags by 20-30% in all units requiring 15 points or less, thus turning units like 76 into a top tier unit and unit that take 4-5 points into mid tier units. One thing is sure whatever Colorado does in the future they wont take a revenue decrease.

From: tkjwonta
27-Mar-18
I like the idea of phasing out the PP system for elk, as it seems unsustainable. What do you guys think about having a "market" for points where hunters would be able to sell/trade points? You wouldn't be able to buy more points from the state, just buy them from someone who us willing to sell. I'm sure there's a few guys that have built up a several points and feel like they are in no-mans land. This would allow them to either pay up and draw a primo tag or bail out and recoup some of their $.

The market would only be open for a couple weeks and then the PP draw would continue for a couple more years as everyone uses/sells their points.

From: Treeline
27-Mar-18
Since everyone seems to be totally fixated on elk:

Make elk 100% draw for non residents - all units/all hunts.

Have OTC General unit groups for residents.

Increase the % of units that require drawing for elk for NR or R to 50%.

Focus on improving quality.

Average group application point totals.

Reinstatement of points and refunds are a good thing that CO does but most other states do not allow it. Set up a system similar to AZ where you have to pay up front for an insurance policy to get your points or money back and/or only reinstate points to the pre-draw level if all the group turns in their tags.

For sheep, goat and moose:

Make all 3 once in a lifetime if you kill one or have killed one of these species.

Set up the draw to give preference to the max point holders. Currently there are more moose tags being drawn by people with 3+0 to 3+4 points than by those with max points because of the larger numbers of people applying in those lower point levels. Set up at least 50% of the tags for the max point holders that apply per hunt code and have 50% be random between the remaining point holders.

Revise the crazy math that is used for the drawing for these species to something very simple and understandable. 1 randomly selected choice for each point that you have would make more sense. Squaring the points for number of choices would put even more weight to the higher point holders as well.

Deer used to be the "cash cow" for Colorado with mostly unlimited OTC tags. Since going 100% draw for deer, the cash flow has slowed down for deer and greatly increased for elk. Deer numbers in Colorado have declined significantly - even after implementing 100% draw and tag numbers have been reduced as well. Unfortunately, CPW has done little to focus on deer numbers nor quality because they are not the cash cow anymore and the populations are struggling in many areas. We are just lucky to have the genetics in this state that we do for mule deer potential and lucky that there always seem to be big bucks that make it thru the gauntlet every year to get old.

Antelope populations are very low as well. More antelope would provide more opportunity for more tags and point totals required to draw would drop with more opportunity.

From: NoWiser
27-Mar-18
I'd pay a $50.00 app fee every year if they did away with their true preference point system.

From: LINK
27-Mar-18
Me too nowiser. My question to cnelk is, how long do you think we gave until they make some serious changes to alleviate the problem?

From: NoWiser
27-Mar-18
Treeline, Arizona's system is ripe for abuse. A buddy of mine down there puts in for 7 relatives that do not hunt and have no interest in hunting for the sole purpose of future party applications with them. With the new Pointsaver he can use each of them twice.

Not allowing point averaging is one thing Colorado does right.

From: PECO
27-Mar-18
I'm not on board with any pay to play high dollar app fee schemes.

From: Jaquomo
27-Mar-18
I could support all-draw for elk. We do it now for deer and everyone got used to it (I burned 8 deer points to hunt my 0 point unit that first year).

If we cut NRs back by 1/3 and raised NR total license costs by 1/3 to get more in line with WY and NM, residents would be much more amenable to change.

Then if we limited NRs to hunting elk only once every three years by making all NR elk tags require two $75 "bonus points", we could go a long way toward reducing crowding and generate an extra $150 per NR.

I have nothing against NRs. I'm a NR in 49 states. But I would like to see CO treat NRs the same way the other states treat CO residents. In my lifelong OTC elk unit (which I've been run out of due to overcrowding) almost all the camps now are NR camps. Big camps. Residents, even locals have moved on. All the outfitters on the big ranches are guiding NRs to the elk that the public land NRs are pushing in there. That unit might just as well be declared NR-only.

From: Treeline
27-Mar-18
Interesting concept, Lou. Makes sense.

The NR's have taken over this part of the state many years ago.

If you want to get into elk on public land here, you really have to work at it. Now that everyone is packing a GPS with property boundaries and not as scared of getting back into the backcountry, it is even tougher to get away from them. When I get serious about elk hunting, I have to drive several hours to another part of the state with enough elevation to choke out most of the flatlanders and still have to hike hard into the deep-nasty to get away from the crowds.

Nowiser, how about removing the option of getting your points back in CO on a group application? Or, why not require all members of the group to turn in their tags and not get a refund if they want to keep their points at the pre-draw level?

From: NoWiser
27-Mar-18
Treeline, that would help, but there are plenty of people that would be willing to still pay for a family member's points and tags to jump ahead in the draw. The end result is a tag gets tossed in the garbage, eliminating someone else's chance to hunt, all so that another can jump ahead. What they do now is perfect, in my mind. You can still hunt as a party, but you might sacrifice where you want to hunt. There is no chance of abusing the system. I really see no negatives to it. I did a party app with my dad this year. I had more points than him but gladly gave them up so that we can hunt together. A chance to hunt with him was more important than drawing a better unit. I'll have no regrets if we draw our tags.

In a perfect world, with a random draw, this would no longer be an issue.

From: Orion
27-Mar-18
Unfortunately I think CPW is too stuck in their ways to make changes. I would be all for no more otc elk tags.

From: Jaquomo
27-Mar-18
Treeline, great example. You live in the middle of perhaps the best OTC elk hunting in the state (used to be, anyway) and you have to drive 4 hours to find a place to start your backpack hunt. I bet I get at least a dozen PMs or emails every year from NRs asking about their planned hunt in your area. Residents are getting screwed, and the CPW doesn't seem to give a damn.

From: Orion
27-Mar-18
What would it take to actually get a change. I know some of these ideas have been brought up at sportsmans roundtables but CPW just seems to roll their eyes and look the other way. What can actually be done to get something in action?

From: Treeline
27-Mar-18
Elk hunting in CO has gotten to be a circus across the board.

With the price increases coming from CPW on residents and the overcrowding that CPW encourages, it is worth it to give up on getting an OTC elk tag in CO and focus my elk hunting in other states where it is not as difficult to get into elk and there is actually a chance to get a decent bull...

From: LUNG$HOT
27-Mar-18
Lots of great ideas on this thread and I agree something needs to be done and a change implemented. CPW has also got to see the problem at hand but as said they are not willing to give up the revenue. Can’t say I blame them especially with recent budget cuts already happening. Maybe I’m wrong but I thought I read an article saying they just laid off an additional 50 full time employees.

With that said I’m definitely in favor of going to no otc tags for elk. I think Lou has a great idea of the two $75.00 bonus points for a NR to hunt the state. Or something of the like... hell, look at how Wyo treats their resident hunters. Definitely a favor there and I don’t have a problem with it!

From: Orion
27-Mar-18
again, what would it take to actually get a change. Is it a ballot issue since that is the way we lost a lot of opportunities. I know the sportsmens roundtables aren't working. Is it something an organization or committee needs to really push?

From: Dave
27-Mar-18
Allow people to use part of their points on "lesser" units. Those without max points but in "no man's land" are hanging onto points because they feel they have too many years and $$ invested to burn them on lesser units now. They now realize they'll never draw the tags they were hoping to draw because of creep. There are no units in CO worth max points. Allowing people to use part of their points and spread them over 2 or 3 hunts would alleviate a lot of the problem.

From: Dotman
27-Mar-18
Ouch! I can see NR are not appreciated for the funding they provide for wildlife management.

From: Dotman
27-Mar-18
I’m all for phasing our pts and creating a random draw for the LE units. I think it’s great that CO has so many OTC units, it gives plenty of people an opportunity to actually hunt vs only hunting every three years if they are not fortunate enough to live in a western state.

I guess if it was an every three year hunt I would probably pull out of the elk and deer but stay with sheep, goat and moose. Hunt ID or MT every year.

From: MathewsMan
27-Mar-18
Yeah- but it really never seems to keep them from coming here.

From: sdkhunter
27-Mar-18
Unfortunately, everyone isn't going to be happy - no matter what you do - some will benefit, some will be neutral and some will get the shaft... But they need to do something - IMO - it's mess and only getting worse.... Just rip off the bandaid and make whatever changes are going to happen - you could sunset the current system a couple of years out so people have a chance to use them up before some sort of changes but pro-longing changes over too much time is going to be even more messy IMO...

From: Dotman
27-Mar-18
Is it really that bad or is it just that bad for a handful of units? Seems to me it’s only a handful of units that everyone is holding out for.

Does it really need to change or does something just need to change for trophy units?

From: Mad Trapper
27-Mar-18
I agree with the suggestion that for sheep,moose and goat - one and done forever. If you have killed one of these animals, that is it. You don't get to take another one. Several states have that restriction in place.

From: Trial153
27-Mar-18
Some good ideas. Hopefully they enact something to mitigate the issue. I think no matter what it is it needs to solve the problem long term.

From: Jaquomo
27-Mar-18
Dotman, elk creep is only "bad" for a handful of units. You are correct. But the downside is that everyone can hunt every year while collecting those points and there are no limits on nonresident hunters in OTC units, which has led to an explosion in bowhunter numbers and a resultant severe decrease in the quality of the hunt. Can't draw WY, AZ, NM? No problem, because CO has cheap OTC licenses for everyone. Open the floodgates.

The CPW appreciates your revenue. We resident hunters see the incredible ways the CPW spends millions on everything except increasing hunting access and improving the quality of hunting. Believe it or not, they don't even have a budget to count moose, so moose license allocations are total seat-of-the-pants WAGs. But they seem to have plenty of money for studies of non- game species which produce zero revenue.

One of the first cuts when they discovered the mysteriously "missing millions" was the Big Game Access Program, which our own "grasshopper" spearheaded. It leased private walk-in hunting access similar to the Montana program. It was a tiny $ allocation in the bloated budget, yet they cut that right off the top while still spending millions on bonytailed chubs and squawfish.

We all buy Habitat Stamps but see very little new hunting access. Seems to go mostly to fishing access which hunters pay for. So you won't hear many resident hunters expressing sorrow for the financial mismanagement by the CPW. And it will continue as long as the cash register keeps ringing up unlimited NR elk tags.

From: Orion
27-Mar-18
the same thing happened with bears but they finally admitted their number was about half of what the actual number was once they actually did some research.

From: Glunt@work
27-Mar-18

From: MathewsMan
27-Mar-18
I am all for the one and done on Sheep, Goat and Moose- which consequently is already true for Desert Sheep and Bull Moose. So you are talking Rocky's and Goats, and possibly cow Moose being "added" to that list.

Of course this would be implemented upon legislative approval and so anyone after the implementation would not be eligible to harvest again.

From: cnelk
27-Mar-18
The next 5 Year Big Game Season Structure discussion topics are on the horizon so with social media and forums such as this, maybe, just maybe steps will be taken in the right direction to address Pref Point creep - even small steps are steps.

It would be great to think about not only 'your' PPs, but also the future hunter's opportunities when suggesting changes

From: Orion
27-Mar-18
The future generations is why preference points should be done away with. I have an 11 year old and 9 old and they will never draw a primo elk tag in their lifetime if this keeps up. Thank god they have been super lucky in the New Mexico draw and have already killed some nice animals

27-Mar-18
Cutting NR numbers comes at a price to the local economy too, don't forget that.

There's no "fix" that isn't going to upset someone. Change the point system and it'll upset the long-term point holders. Do nothing and it screws the younger generation who have zero chance at the better units.

But there is a few things that CPW could do:

1. Make all elk on a draw. There'd still be leftover tags after the draw - CO has a lot of elk. This year will be the 6th year I've hunted Wyoming in a row. I did NOT draw every one of those tags. If CO went all draw, you'd still be able to hunt... it just might not be in the place or gender you prefer.

2. They could change the system to a BP system, but that really is pulling the rug out from under the folks that have been putting in for 20 years...

From: Treeline
27-Mar-18
Mathews Man, I am talking about cutting out anyone that has drawn sheep or goat. There are a bunch of guys that have multiple sheep and goats out there. Some that have taken many as 4 of each! And they are still putting in for the draws. Seems a bit over the top.

If a bonus point was implemented, it would sure make sense to revise the crazy math that CO uses. Just a straight up chance in the hat for each point.

From: ohiohunter
27-Mar-18
Looks to me Colorado should double the price of their resident elk tags... just to stay in line other western states.

From: Dotman
27-Mar-18
Didn’t a hybrid draw start for trophy units which gives those without high pts an opportunity? I only hunt one unit in CO and only because my parents live there. Truthfully if my parents moved I’d probably go back to MT as I can get a tag cheaper there.

I do wonder what would happen if all units were LE, would the OTC units be better or just like deer where really you can draw many units with 0pts.

I do think pressure is high in CO but it can also be an advantage. Big bulls will not be as common then if there were fewer hunters but wildlife conservation is not about antlers.

I do think there are fewer elk in CO then the state advertises and something should be done about this more so then worrying about prf pts. Maybe a 5pt min on bulls and very limited cow hunts.

If there was a draw for all units and NR numbers were limited I do wonder what this would do to the funding and what further reductions would be made to continue funding non-game studies etc.

Interesting topic for sure.

From: PECO
27-Mar-18
A better option would be to charge people from Ohio 10x the standard NR fee.

From: Dotman
27-Mar-18
Would people be in favor of just drawing for a general elk tag and then also having the opportunity to try for a LE unit?

Similar to what MT does, limit the NR and allow a tag to be drawn that is good for all seasons. This would give the tag holders more opportunity for time in the woods hunting with a possible increase in success.

From: JLeMieux
27-Mar-18
I'm sure there are some drawbacks to this, but what about taking all the higher point (elk) LE units, say 76 and above and splitting the season in two like NM does. Then increasing the tag allocation by 50% give or take per unit. Is that even feasible? Would it even make enough difference to be worth it?

From: LUNG$HOT
27-Mar-18
JLeMeiux, that’s definitely not a bad idea either but I don’t think It would make a huge difference in the issue of supply/demand. Sure it would double the amount of tags allocated therefore doubling the amount of folks in that point pool being reset back to 0 but in the big scheme of things I think you would still have creep. It would have to be more than just the top tier units to really make a difference.

From: LUNG$HOT
27-Mar-18
Not to mention the extremely high success rates in the top units which would most likely overreach their population goals and bull/cow ratios.

From: Grasshopper
27-Mar-18
"splitting the season in two like NM does" That is exactly what the CBA has opposed since 1969.

From: Orion
27-Mar-18
As of last year there were 38,040 residents with points and 44,052 non residents with points. That is not even counting the increase we will see this year and beyond now that tag costs do not have to be fronted. The only way to clear this would be to somehow phase out the points and point system by either going to all draw for elk or going all random like New Mexico with an 80/20 resident to non resident split across the board.

From: ohiohunter
27-Mar-18
100x if it'd make you feel better.... won't effect me none

From: JLeMieux
27-Mar-18
Lungshot, that thought crossed my mind with the increase in harvest. I figured with only a 50% increase in tags and the shortened season length, maybe it would balance out.

Grasshopper, you'll have to excuse my ignorance/inexperience on this subject. I was not aware of that. Just throwing some different ideas out there. I can definitely understand CBA fighting that. I'm not a big fan of losing opportunity myself.

From: Treeline
27-Mar-18
Colorado resident tags are already above the midpoint of the 10 western states.

The few states with higher resident prices have much higher quality and much fewer tags sold.

With the price increase currently planned, we will move up one spot in that ranking.

We deal with more nonresidents and total hunters per acre than any other state for our OTC elk units every year.

Our Colorado Parks and Wildlife department wants to increase the numbers of tags sold, they appear to be overstating the elk population when compared to other states and is not interested in improving crowding issues nor hunt quality.

Our resident elk tags should be reduced in price or free.

From: ohiohunter
27-Mar-18
If you were to split the season you wouldn't necessarily have to double the # of tags, surely there would be an increase. BUT to properly allocate tags CO would have to have mandatory harvest reports requiring pertinent details to implement management programs to achieve desired goals.

From: Orion
27-Mar-18
Yeah they don't want to work that hard I haven't been called for a harvest survey or been emailed one in over 5 years

From: cnelk
27-Mar-18
I’d be in favor of mandatory harvest reporting along with all draw for elk.

I believe would be a real wake up for all involved to actually see the true success rates.

That in turn would affect Pref Point usage.

From: PECO
27-Mar-18
"mandatory harvest reports requiring pertinent details" yes, do this and charge nonresidents a progressive trophy fee based on green score of antlers.

From: Orion
27-Mar-18
No, but make it like New Mexico where if someone doesn't fill out and submit the harvest report they are ineligible for the draw the following year

From: Glunt@work
27-Mar-18
The system can be changed but it can't be fixed. Demand is higher than supply. We can rearrange who gets to hunt and how much they pay, but there isn't a "fix".

I will say that bowhunting should be looked at as a great user group. We pay the same as rifle hunters, we take less, we are less obvious to nonhunters, and our tags create more recreation days.

For a wildlife manager looking to get the most from a limited surplus of elk, looks like bowhunters are a great tool.

From: Zim1
27-Mar-18
I strongly suspect CO will morph to the 50/50 model you see in WY, UT & now AZ. And there will be no kind transition period. They will screw us high point holders hard and fast. You will see the same thing in NV soon. I've been trying to burn points wherever I can in anticipation of this. Not in time for AZ lope with 22. Got screwed there. The only place I feel protected is UT & OR because they both have so few NR tags. Two of my target hunts only have one NR tag so they can't really degrade those point values any more than they have without eliminating the hunts altogether. And I know they ain't gonna cut the throat of their golden goose.

From: txhunter58
27-Mar-18
"Our resident elk tags should be reduced in price or free"

LOL. Good luck with that one!

Simple but difficult to swallow solution would be to use all preference points if you draw a tag as a first, second, third, or 4th choice.

And even better would be to make all elk draw.

I could live with both I think, but it might make the 0-1 tags more difficult to draw/ predict, as least for awhile.

From: Knothead
27-Mar-18
Granted, I did not read all the posts so I am not sure if it was suggested or not. I never even consider Colorado draw because I am so far behind. Really unfair to young people just getting into hunting. My recommendations: 1st choice. First 1/3 of tags go to guys with most points. Remaining 2/3 rds go to random draw where everyone has a chance.

2nd choice. Convert preference to bonus points and then follow my first choice recommendation.

3rd choice. Phase out all points over 5 years then go to total random draw.

As a NR. I like bonus points because you can more accurately plan hunts. Random draw, you never know. Face it some guys just have terrible luck. I have been playing the lottery for 35 years and have not won yet.

From: johnw
28-Mar-18
I don't see CO ending OTC elk hunts anytime soon. Too much money into the CPW from NR OTC hunters (compared to Resident hunters), and the same NR hunters are spending money in the local economies.

Cut the cow tags to improve elk population. The way I understand it, there are calf recruitment issues in many areas, more calfs on the ground has to help. If you have to, issue a very small amount of cow tags to Residents, and issue no cow tags to NRs.

From: Jaquomo
28-Mar-18
The elk population isn't a problem. They've been actively trying to reduce the population in much of the state, and are getting close to objective. In my lifelong OTC unit they've reduced the herd by more than half in the past 10 years.

The bigger problem is elk not accessible to public land hunters. In some areas they migrate rapidly to private ranches at the beginning of archery season. Exploding numbers of archers also push the public land elk beyond the reach of most rifle hunters, the average age of whom is now over 50.

Both these issues are a big concern of the CPW managers, and they're trying all sorts of bandaids to try to fix it while still selling as many tags as possible.

When you look at harvest stats for an area, there's a reason why they don't break it down by public vs private/guided. Listing a 3-5% success rate for public land elk hunters might discourage NRs from paying big bucks to chase the dream of a big bull.

From: pav
28-Mar-18
What about removing the option of building points the same year one holds a legal tag for that species? i.e. Buy an OTC license for elk = no preference point for elk. You get one or the other in any given year. Could create a similar affect as going draw only...without asking CP&W to eliminate OTC tags?

From: Predeter
28-Mar-18
I'm just thinking out loud but what if they went to a tiered preference point system with 3 or more levels? Ex: A unit has 20 tags allocated. People with 0-5 points get 5 tags and 5 points is "max" points for that bracket. 2nd level is people with 6-10 points, they also get opportunity to draw 5 tags with 10 points being "max". 10 plus points would be the last level and would get 10 tags with no max point level. Obviously you could do more or fewer levels depending on tag numbers. This would give lower point holders a shot at some of the tags while still rewarding loyalty. I would think it would reduce creep as well because some guys would only stay in to the 5 point level and get out then if they don't draw. You could apply for a primo unit up to 5 points and if you don't draw, "burn" your points on a unit that has a lot more tags available at the 6-10 point level.

From: tkjwonta
29-Mar-18
Predeter, I think that's an interesting idea, but I wonder if it would create weird "point creep" situations where people would jump around to different units as they crossed the 5 to 6 point threshold and the 10 to 11 point threshold. In this respect, it would be even more difficult to plan when you might be able to draw a given tag, which is one of the redeeming qualities of the preference point system.

I agree with the idea that all NR elk should go to a draw in some fashion. Part of the reason that people are building so many points is that they can keep elk hunting every single year in any number of units while still building points.

From: Franzen
29-Mar-18
I don't think there is a true solution. I like what Colorado has to offer the NR, even if I don't ever hunt there again. My state essentially offers the NR unlimited opportunity too, albeit landownership is wildly different here, so it isn't the same situation by any means.

My best offer for a fix would be to require say 0.5 preference points to acquire the OTC tag and allow everyone to purchase preference point(s) each year they don't DRAW a tag, with a maximum of 1 per year. This way those that want to hunt OTC each year can; they will just have to purchase 0.5 pref. point when buying their tag. Those that want to chase the highest demand units still can the same way they always have. Those in between will generally have to make a decision: Do they want to hunt every year while still building points? They would only be able to bank 0.5 points per year.

It isn't a true fix, but I think it would make some people choose to only bank points (reducing crowding), or just go the OTC route. In all likelihood the OTC route won't necessarily increase crowding because all those people were likely hunting OTC already anyway as they built points.

29-Mar-18
Yep Lou...3-5 percent and 20 percent of the hunters are killing 90 percent in that group...so a guy with midwest hunting skills coming west and actually getting into viable elk hunting on his own is damn near zero...

From: pav
30-Mar-18
"so a guy with midwest hunting skills coming west and actually getting into viable elk hunting on his own is damn near zero... "

That's ridiculous....coming from someone as midwest as it gets.

From: otcWill
30-Mar-18
I don't have time to read every post here but I'll respond at least to the "sell as many tags as possible" farce that some believe about CPW. In actuality, the public wants OTC tags. The VAST MAJORITY of public support is for tags they can just buy at Walmart or the nearest sporting goods store. These are residents that support this. The CPW simply manages as best they can based on what the public wants. I sat down with a large group of the CPW "heavy hitters" yesterday, including a few hard core hunters who apply across the West, and discussed this very topic, the "fix". The most likely thing to happen is a lot more tags going to the Hybrid draw, giving people with 5+ pts a WAY better chance at a primo tag. No speculation here, simply delivering the facts from the horse's mouth. I myself would love to see party apps with point pooling for what its worth. As for what they (CPW guys who hunt) prefer, they like the WY system best but stated that it is behind the times and will change very soon do to the exaggerated point creep they'll experience in the next few years.

From: PECO
30-Mar-18
Adding more units to the hybrid, or more tags to the current units already in hybrid? Wouldn't that be bad for point creep in those units?

From: otcWill
30-Mar-18
More tags. Maybe. I'm not saying that is my plan, just that it is most likely

From: Bake
30-Mar-18
I don’t know about a fix. I do know that I will probably never elk hunt Colorado again unless there is a big change.

It’s just such a bad bet. $600 plus dollar tag for a low chance and a crowded hunt. And Ive had success there. I’m 3 for 4 OTC. Can’t kill a bull on a primo hunt, but usually stumble into one in CO. ;)

Last year there were many more people than usual where we hunt. There was a resident camp at the trailhead with over 30 people in the camp. I can’t remember exact count, but there were 12-15 campers in this one group. Large fenced areas with horses. Best I can tell they rode an 8 mile circling bugling all the way. Not all of them were Bowhunting. Some were “scouting” for rifle season.

I’m to the point I’d just as soon skip a season than hunt OTC Colorado again.

I think I have 1 point for elk in CO, which I acquired before I understood Colorado’s system. I see no reason to ever participate in their system again. Except for possibly mulie

From: cnelk
30-Mar-18
Based on what OTCwill mentioned on more tags for the Hybrid draw, it should be noted that there are 21 Hybrid hunt codes, only 3 units that are available for archery, 5 for ML, 6 for rifle and the remaining 7 are RFW.

In 2017, there were 4 Hybrid Archery tags issued, 10 ML Hybrid tags, and 12 Rifle Hybrid tags. Total = 26 tags

I did not calculate RFW tags

From: Glunt@work
30-Mar-18
Just remember that if you "fix" one groups complaints, it will be at the expense of making another groups complaints louder.

Some want to hunt elk every year, some want to hunt bigger bulls, some want less crowding, CPW wants more revenue, some want lower prices, some want their private access to be worth more, some want easier and less expensive access, some want the freedom of hunting different parts of the state throughout the season, some want the great tag they saved 20 years for, some want a chance at that great tag but they just entered the system, etc, etc, etc.

From: elkstabber
30-Mar-18
Maybe require that elk hunters have a "bugle counter" installed on their bugles? For every 100 times that the hunter bugles the state will deduct a point from the hunter's total. Once the hunter gets to 0 then his bugle can only make cow calls.

From: Jaquomo
30-Mar-18
Will, how do they know that the "vast majority" of residents are happy with OTC tags and the current system? I've never been surveyed or seen a survey about this. What I hear in the field during archery and rifle seasons in OTC units is complaints about too many hunters. Unless it's "their" camp of 15 guys, LOL!

One thing for sure, the CPW isn't going to do anything that isn't revenue-positive, and any limitation on NRs (and residents) will affect that unless they increase license prices upward again and try to hit that willingness-to-pay threshold where revenue is maintained while reducing hunter numbers. Right now the strategy for OTC hunting seems to be testing the "willingness-to-suffer" threshold, with respect to crowding and difficulty in finding elk for the average hunter. This may take care of itself in the next 15 years as more and more hunters drop out. The CPW bean counter mentioned this at the last Roundtable I attended.

More Hybrid tags may scrape a handful out of the point pool, but won't make a dent, really.

From: Ziek
30-Mar-18
Glunt has the truth of it. But he stops short of the real problem - too many hunters vying for ever decreasing habitat to hunt. There are only so many ways to "fix" that. None of which are very palatable. But without the will to address the real issue, we are left with various schemes that have components that each constituent finds unacceptable. Everyone wants to hunt anywhere, for anything, when ever he wants. In reality, no one gets to do that. So the question is not what do you want, but what are you willing to give up?

To increase quality (more elk, bigger elk, less crowding) you either have to increase available habitat - not an option, or decrease the number of hunters in the field. If you are not willing to give up some of YOUR opportunity, there is NO solution possible.

From: patdel
30-Mar-18
Unless there is a way to do it that doesn't cut into revenue, I have strong doubts anything will ever change.

The income from all those non resident otc tags is like crack for a bureaucrat. No way they give that up without a fight.

From: ohiohunter
30-Mar-18
Good break down Ziek.

From: otcWill
30-Mar-18
Agreed, ziek.

Lou, they told me they base demand for OTC tags on the difference between#s of OTC tags sold verse number of point holders. Said far more people just buy OTC and don't collect pps. Don't shoot the messenger

From: JLeMieux
30-Mar-18
I like the idea of making every unit limited entry but what about taking the current OTC units and making 50% of them LE?

Yes, people are going to flock to the remaining OTC units, but how many would be willing to start earning/burning points to continue to hunt their current OTC honeyhole?This would continue the option to hunt every year, though with plenty of company, while potentially taking many low point holders out of the pool.

The pressure on the new LE units would drop and hopefully create a more enjoyable hunt. There are LE units now that can be drawn with 0-1 point so I would imagine some of the new LE units would settle into that range as well.

This could potentially take some of the heat off the 3+ point units because it seems many feel these are just average hunts without the OTC pressure.

Or would the potential OTC disaster that could ensue outweigh any benefit of this change? And is this just a temporary bandaid?

From: Ziek
30-Mar-18
Many may not know, but Colorado had a plan to help deal with point creep right from the beginning. They set a goal of increasing the number of "quality" units (draw units) as time went on, up to a percentage of total units. When it came time to add draw units and recommended them for consideration, virtually EVERYONE screamed 'not in MY back yard'. We are still below the number of units originally anticipated.

Like Lou, I would support all draw for elk, but only if point banking was implemented at the same time. At least until all existing points reached some sort of equilibrium.

Another method that would likely help both 'quality' issues (overcrowding, and bull size), would be a "voluntary" opt out system. By voluntary I mean that the hunter decides by what he shoots or doesn't shoot whether he gets to hunt in subsequent years. If you don't kill a bull, you get to hunt the following year. If you kill a 6pt, you have to take a year off. A smaller bull, more years off. In any case you would be able to put in for cow tags. Of course, this would require a management plan that includes verifying who killed what.

From: Jaquomo
30-Mar-18
Ziek, yes, good idea about the point banking. Over a five year period the points should level out across the board except for those who are close to a premier unit and continue to collect points while hoping for a "second choice" either sex tag, or possibly hunt a cow as long as there are extra cow tags available.

I remember the discussions about increasing the draw units as a solution. The WCOs and DWMs in an area recommend which ones to convert to draw, and from my discussions with the ones I know, it's a huge political albatross because locals complain about crowding but don't want to give up that every year OTC opportunity. When my current units went to all-draw there were leftover tags every year. So not a problem collecting points. Now it's about 80% for residents with zero points, and creeping rapidly. Just four years ago a few second choicers drew. If more units went to draw it would even-out the creep and demand and help level out the problem.

From: Nesser
30-Mar-18
How about a 5 year structure where all elk units are draw...liberal tag numbers based on demand but they all have to be first choice draw. During this 5 year period there are no more points gained by anyone. I think many just want to hunt and will scrape clean of points to get in the woods. Also creating opportunity hunts in the best units like a November archery hunt as Arizona does. Just random thoughts?!

From: sticksender
30-Mar-18
Why was there no major fuss in 1999 when OTC deer licenses were eliminated, and all units became draw-only for deer? Mostly because there was general agreement that a change was needed. I don't recall any grace period, special points deal, or "point banking" being offered then. Just a cold turkey switch. And mule deer hunting in Colorado is now considered to be among the best in the west. At the same time, hunting opportunity for mule deer is still plentiful across the state. One can choose to hunt deer in a lower-demand unit every year if desired. Many hunts actually go under-subscribed. It could work out similarly for elk if they were managed the same way.

From: Grasshopper
30-Mar-18
I talked a bit with Chairman Yeary about BGSS recently. His take - Last time CBA took to many, hard to understand proposals to CPW. I tend to agree. CPW has told me they may tone down the outreach, and perhaps options from previous cycles. I am only speaking for my vote, but I think it would be beneficial if the board had several different proposals to consider, and decided on a small subset, maybe even one species to advance, It might be more effective than the last cycle which went nowhere. What ever proposal floats to the top, it needs to be easy to understand, and simple is better than lots of moving parts affecting all seasons and all methods of take. I think bowhunters, should focus on bowhunters - not rifle hunters. Just my opinion so far, no offense meant.

Sounds like I have smart guys ready to talk through ideas......When do all you guys want to meet at the FCAA clubhouse to draft up preliminary proposals for the CBA board to look at? How about the week of April 9th Which week night works for you guys?

I'll reserve the clubhouse if guys want to devote some time to proposal development.

From: cnelk
30-Mar-18
Steve, I’d be open to a discussion setting but it would be helpful to know the back stories from the CPW why previous ideas were quashed so time isn’t wasted.

For instance, why was Point Banking only implemented for one year? It was discussed again in 2009 but tabled... why?

Also, why is the idea of creating more Draw units not being pursued?

I remember back in the 90s when the CPW implemented the 4 pt elk rule. From being able to shoot spikes to branch antlered bulls. Actually it started out as a 3 pt rule but it was changed to 4 a year or so later.

It took a few years but this change was for the better. As more opportunities for branch antlered bulls were had.

I’m not sure if the CPW is interested in going ‘all draw’ for elk. Prob add more draw units before that happens

From: Grasshopper
30-Mar-18
I doubt I will get any data for awhile, for the last month CPW has been quota setting for the May commission meeting, revising herd plans, trying to get through the draw/IPAWS migration, and other priorities. They are busy right now. I have out standing data requests for turkey participation, and a better breakadon on our growth. Patience will be required to get data, we would be ahead of the timeline to start now - but that is a good thing to develop, refine, sharpen, polish, discuss, and survey.

Hopefully when Paul gets back he can dig though his archives and come up with past proposals.

From: Grasshopper
30-Mar-18

Grasshopper's Link
Of course, there is this stuff

http://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/SeasonStructure.aspx

From: Grasshopper
30-Mar-18

Grasshopper's Link
and this: https://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Hunting/BigGame/5YearSeasonStructure/Big-Game-Seasons-Structure-2015-2019.pdf

and other stuff on google

From: cnelk
30-Mar-18

cnelk's Link
Steve

Thanks for the links, very helpful

To start, anyone interested in Summary of Public Involvement in 2014, please see the link.

Once there, scroll down to pages 9-13. Then, read where 2 focus groups were in favor of eliminating / reducing the Hybrid Draw.

My first thought is what has changed since 2014, and yesterday when OTCwill was told the CPW is favoring INCREASING Hybrid Draw tags?

Also note that Point Banking was supported by most of the focus groups... but not implemented

From: NvaGvUp
30-Mar-18
"What ideas do you have? "

My idea is to let the professional game managers, who have access to a hundred times more information than we do, make the call.

From: Grasshopper
30-Mar-18
"My idea is to let the professional game managers, who have access to a hundred times more information than we do, make the call."

Generally Kyle, the Colorado Bowhunters Association support CPW on biological discussions, but season structure discussions are often philosophical, and our mission statement clearly identifies and guides us to action. The wildlife commission always has options, staff preferences and we may or may not agree. Advocacy is the primary reason why our members join, we need to inform them, survey them and act on what they want. You can join today Kyle at www.coloradobowhunting.org

From: PECO
30-Mar-18
Would it help all states if you could only get one tag nationally per year? If you get a tag in Arizona, you don't get to hunt Colorado, etc.

From: Glunt@work
30-Mar-18
If only it were as simple as managing wildlife and hunters. Agriculture, land owners, non-hunters and local economies have a huge influence.

From: Jaquomo
30-Mar-18
A high-ranking CDOW official once told me that if the DOW had their way they would lump bowhunters and Muzzleloaders into one ten day season at the beginning of September. Then they would be done with them because "they" are a pain and a hassle to manage. He then said (not knowing I was a bowhunter) "If not for the damn CBA lobbying, we could make that happen".

Thanks, Steve, for doing what you do. I'm in for another think-tank.

From: elkmo
31-Mar-18
"I’m to the point I’d just as soon skip a season than hunt OTC Colorado again." Amen...made that choice about 8 years ago.

From: jims
31-Mar-18
I was super excited when Colo went to all draw for muledeer. The muledeer hunting in Colo is world reknown and it doesn't take many years to draw excellent quality archery tags. I don't know many Colo muledeer hunters that complain about not drawing tags nor complain about the quality of bucks available?

I've been waiting years for this to happen with elk! Hunters would then have to burn pref pts rather than accumulating them. I'm aware that this isn't popular with those that like to hunt OTC every year and small Western Colo towns would complain about the loss of revenue with possibly fewer hunters. If tag numbers were similar to current levels I doubt it would impact revenues. The CPW would finally be able to manage elk hunter and elk numbers/quality (similar to deer) if converted to all draw.

I'm totally against point banking. Hunters would be able to draw multiple tags over several years rather than burning all their pref pts once they draw 1 tag. Units that currently take few to mediocre pts to draw would likely point leap with point banking. That's not a good option if you like to hunt Colo big game on a fairly regular basis! There are so few tags offered in the premium units that point banking would do little to help draw odds in tough draw units. Currently muledeer tags are relatively easy to draw in all but only a handful of units....this would change with point banking! There would be more units that take more years to draw! I see no advantage to changing to point banking.

I actually like Nevada's bonus point system. Everyone has a chance to draw tags in any given year and those that have more points have a chunk better chance to draw. Currently there are more applicants that start applying for difficult tags to draw (like moose) than tags issued so there is hardly any advantage to having even max moose pts! It's tough to please everyone...and I'd be excited just to switch to all draw for elk.

01-Apr-18
"My idea is to let the professional game managers, who have access to a hundred times more information than we do, make the call."

With CO going more liberal like CA I wouldn't trust them any more with PETA running CA's show. All policy is driven by politics CBA is a good thing

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