Contributors to this thread:
If you had 4 years to build points...
Starting a new job in March that won't allow me any major hunting for the next 4 years, that being said, after 4 years I want to plan a 2 month-ish trip out west hunting and fishing. Want to chase 2-3 species (I figured Elk, Muleys, Antelope?) and preferably be able to hunt different states to get the most out of the experience. If you guys had 4 years to build points, what would your 3 species be and what states would you target for them in order to get the best "out west" experience?
That many points wouldn't get you anything in Arizona. In fact, twice or three times that many points wouldn't get you anything in Arizona...
That's what I figured, Stick, to be clear I'm not looking for the best tags by any means... Just the opportunity to get to experience multiple states and hopefully get to look at a few animals as well. Not planning on going out and sticking 3 different species within 2 months, haha. Current plan is Montana general elk, Wyoming antelope if I can draw, and still researching for Muley's. Was looking at Arizona OTC muley/coues in December, but thats gonna be waterfowl time :)
Get antelope, mule deer and elk points in wyo. if u have time, go otc in CO
I’m a newb and no expert but that’s what I would probably do, interested in hearing other thoughts as well
I would do Wyoming antelope for August 15 opener. Then head to Colorado for mule deer on opening day there. After mule deer either back to Wyoming or Montana for mid September rut. 4 points will get you some good hunts. Sounds like fun! Hunt
Unfortunately, the info I gave you for Arizona was for the very easiest to draw hunts for elk and antelope. Even for residents, every antelope hunt in the state (even archery) takes more than 10 points to have enough points to be assured a tag. Elk isn't much better. As you mentioned, there are OTC deer hunts. Some of the Bowsite regulars are very successful at these hunts and make it look easy, like Paul with Coues and Roy with Mule Deer, but statewide success on these hunts is only around 6-7% (and that's with about 10 weeks of open season per year). As mentioned, Wyoming antelope is a great opportunity to take one with a bow and doesn't require too many points.
Hunt has a good plan.
Antelope can be a pretty quick deal and then you can jump to deer. Might consider getting a deer tag in WY to go with the antelope tag and you might be able to shoot both in the same spot.
Colorado deer may open sooner, depending on the way the season structure discussions go here. Might be the same August 15 date.
I would look at building points in CO for deer, elk and antelope. There are great deer tags for archery at 0-1 point and 4 points could get you a decent antelope tag here as well. There are some decent elk hunts that are lower points for elk and if more units go draw, a few points could mean a lot.
In my experience, Wyoming has better elk hunting than Colorado for the number of points it takes. From what I hear, Montana is also better quality elk hunting.
Even though there are very long odds for really top end elk hunts in states like Utah, Arizona, and Nevada - you still have a chance the first time you put in and every time you apply, you have more chances. New Mexico is pure lotto so might hold off till the year you get the time and put in for everything down there just in case you get lucky. Shoot for the moon and you might win the hunting lottery in one of those states!
Same could be said for sheep, goat and moose tags. You just have to keep plugging away at the draws if you ever want to hunt sheep, goat or moose. Somebody has to win...
Put in for moose (or other sought after species) in Idaho, then do Montana unlimited sheep if you don't draw. ;^) Or you could go with the basics...
Agree with Hunt's plan. 4 points gets a pretty decent antelope hunt in WY, basically your pick of archery mule deer tags in CO and should give you a WY general elk license. That would give you a pretty diverse swath of country and also species/hunting tactics.
For elk I wouldn’t buy points for anything. I regret chasing point creep in WY the last 10 years. I’d rather apply (and have) hunted in random draw states with OTC areas year after year.
Antelope in WY might be a good option. I’ve never done it but it’s on my list for sure so I’ve been buying WY points until I “feel like it”.
Thanks Treeline! I have hunted MT elk before, so most likely I will be going there to get my elk fix in from now on. Forgot who it is on this site that always goes Alaska DIY Moose on here, but that is certainly an option that spikes my interest as well, and would be very unique. Might cost more in the long run when you count travel expenses, and would be more of a put-all-my-cookies-in-one-jar decision, but would be an adventure for sure. Was thinking western-48 because I could determine my own schedule and how long I stayed in each state and on each animal, lots of time to think about it though and I will start building points either way. Thanks a ton for the help, guys! I'll make sure and have one heck of a thread here in the fall of '23 no matter which decision I make :)
If you throw in Alaska, there are some very fun options!
Bear hunting is a blast! As a NR, you can DIY blackies. and there are a ton of them in SE Alaska. Coastal bear hunting is a ton of fun and not that hard to figure out on your own. The best time is May when they come out on the beaches and hit the grass, but you can also have a lot of fun with them when they are fishing the salmon runs in the fall.
Kodiak is about as much fun for a hunter as a guy can have in this life. That place is awesome and can also be done DIY to save you some coin.
Caribou and moose hunting up there can be a bit hit or miss, but you can put together something on that end DIY as well. You would need to get started on that one now if you are looking at flying in and start talking with some of the guys from up in that part of the world.
You are young. Move to Alaska as soon as you can...
Actually, GO NOW! If you stick around down in the lower 48, you will get hung up with a girlfriend/wife/kids/job/etc and never make it!
I didn’t include Western whitetails but there are options for hunting them in the velvet in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana that could be of interest. Coues whitetails down in Arizona are also possible in August-September and can be very good in the right locations.
4 years of points will get you 8 years behind due to point creep!
Alaska is definitely not off limits. I'm not going to be super financially restrictive on myself since it will more than likely be a once-in-a-lifetime type of self-reward, but I will try to keep total cost under $8,000 just from a responsibility point of view. I figured building 4 points for pronghorn/muleys out west would offer a pretty solid trip with lots of opportunities to see different places and try different hunting styles, especially throwing in MT general elk. Stretch the dollar more, in a way. Will definitely have to look into DIY Black Bear in Alaska, didn't know there were opportunities for DIY coastals (have known guys that went on guided coastal trips and absolutely had a blast) but doing one of those that May and an OTC Arizona muley hunt that winter would allow me to go to college that fall semester as well, which I was previously not planning to enroll in due to this trip. Montana Unlimited Sheep has been a realistic dream of mine for years, even though the odds are loooong, somebody gets one. Definitely an option, although I wouldn't have the balls to try something like that without a rifle within reaching distance, which is the wrong way to do it if you truly want one with a bow. Learned that the hard way on a Mountain Goat hunt.... This is going to be a harder trip to plan than I thought, just based off of all the good options I'll have to decide between. And yes, FlyingBrass, as a 19 year old just now starting to build points, I have no expectations of drawing any "premium" tags anytime soon. Hopefully by my mid-40s enough guys will have given up on drawing the hot-shot tags due to point creep that the ceiling will have dropped a bit.
WY lope & elk. CO deer. Easy choice - nothing else even close in 4 years.
I did almost exactly this in 2014. Drove out west and lived out of my truck hunting with friends for 7 weeks. I started in WY for antelope opener, then drove to MT (leaving my truck to fly to Alaska for a moose hunt and to help a friend with a sheep tag), then back to MT where I filled my elk/deer combo tags.
Basically, Hunts plan is the ticket. I’m not financially ready to do it again now that I’m not a college kid anymore, but one of these years I’ll repeat it again but add 3-4 more tags in the mix.
What kind of experience do you have with elk and mule deer or hunting out west in general to ne able to use those points?
Mule Power, not near as much western experience as most guys on this site. Killed a solo OTC 5x5 bull this year after hunting 5 days with a bowsiter, and hunted DIY Antelope with many close calls, no filled tags. As well as a BC Mountain Goat hunt that turned into a rifle hunt as soon as I had one 200 yards and broadside. Fairly confident in chasing elk and antelope. I have no mule deer hunting experience, but got within 30 yards of a decent (to me, not to most guys probably) buck on my elk hunt. Nearly all of my experience has been Midwest white tails. Not expecting the 4 points to get me a great unit, and definitely not going into it expecting shot opportunities at elk/muley/antelope at all. I mainly just want the points to be sure I have tags in my pocket and an opportunity to chase some animals on a unique trip :)
Four years from when? 2019? Keep in mind that when playing the PP game, you are always 1 year in the 'rears' so in 4 years you probably have 3 PPs.
Not that is a bad thing, just that 1 PP difference could mean a non draw in some states/areas by that time.
Something to think about.
Very good point, cnelk, fall of 2023 is when the trip will take place.
first off, the days of the 4 point WY PH tag are going, going...
4 years from now, those units will all be 5 points and many of them are now.
It's just like the WY Gen tag. The tag will cost 5 points in the not-too-distant future.
Are you joining the military? What's your situation and plan and we can tell you more.
If I were to put off hunting for 4 years (and that's crazy no matter what you're doing, as not only are there no guarantees in life, but you live now, not in the past or the future), a good season would find me in August in either Kodiak/Brooks or CO/WY, hunting blacktails (goats/sheep if you're a resident), otherwise PH then MD and then moving on to elk in WY and/or moose in AK.
You should be able to draw a good CO MD tag, a reasonable WY PH tag, and the WY Gen Tag in that time, so if you're not going to hunt, I'd do that outside of going to AK.
But the best advice I could give you is to not wait 4 years to do these hunts.
If you want a quality hunting opportunity, 2 years for a decent CO archery mule deer hunt, 2 years for a decent LE elk hunt in CO, about the same for WY, waiting longer in either state won't result in much better hunting..............unless you wait a really long time!
I agree, the Wyo 4 pts for Antelope, in a unit that isn't boo-coo private might be a tough catch to get but I can't think of any other state that would offer you a chance to hunt them other than Nevada and staying with Bow only hunt codes.
For Muley's,. I'd go the Preference Point General bow Buck in Utah and then if you didn't harvest during the bow dates you could take the Ethics Course and hunt the Wasatch Front bow only option into November and Rutting Bucks.
Wyo gen tag will prolly take more than 4 points to draw in 4 years from now-------> Maybe look into Montana or Sleeper units in Colo.
1 thing for sure, you have plenty of time to look into most any units in the next 4 years.
Good luck, Robb
I’ve oriented my schedule so that this type of Fall has basically become my norm. I’ve learned a lot the last few years and this year was to be my biggest yet. I burnt double digit points in WY and killed my first bull, followed up with OTC tags for KS pronghorn, Nebraska deer, and KS deer. Then finished it off with an Eastern Plains CO muley mid Nov. Still had an ‘18 Arizona general deer tag burning a hole in my pocket, but was unable to make it back down over Christmas...
If I had 4 years to build points, which you do if we’re talking about Fall of ‘23, my schedule would look something like this:
WY PH, WY general elk tag, Montana LE elk tag, an OTC Nebraska or So Dakota either/species tag, Kansas deer and Eastern Plains CO deer. Certainly not the only way to go about it though. If you ask me in 4 years I’ll probably have something completely different in mind! Good luck! Can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Now that is a good season, Kaleb! Congratulations!
For you guys with more experience in Wyoming I now have 4pts each for PH and MD and 5 pts for elk. Should I burn them now being in no mans land with point creep or keep getting points?
Keep getting the PPs. That way you wont bump me this year.... haha!
Now that is a good season, Kaleb! Congratulations!
Idyll, yes, joining the military so I don’t believe I’ll be able to pull off any trips, or else I’d try to split this one big trip into a smaller trip each year. Right now I’m hoping for drawing WY Antelope, but will keep SD as a backup plan. Good to hear on CO Muleys. As for elk, I can’t see myself going anywhere but Montana after the year I had last year.
Hell, in four years, the way it’s going in Colorado with the liberals, nobody may be hunting except the lions, bears, coyotes and wolves...
CPW is not helping by the way.