Sitka Gear
Colorado legal elk?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
miller1 05-Jun-14
ELKDIY 05-Jun-14
sticksender 05-Jun-14
Ziek 05-Jun-14
Vids 05-Jun-14
Sage Buffalo 05-Jun-14
xring 05-Jun-14
Ziek 05-Jun-14
smarba 05-Jun-14
Vids 05-Jun-14
Franzen 05-Jun-14
wildrnesspaddlr 05-Jun-14
miller1 05-Jun-14
miller1 05-Jun-14
MathewsMan 05-Jun-14
HDE 05-Jun-14
xring 05-Jun-14
cnelk 05-Jun-14
ELKDIY 05-Jun-14
misfitmedic 05-Jun-14
trkytrack 06-Jun-14
LUNG$HOT 06-Jun-14
oldgoat 06-Jun-14
Rick M 06-Jun-14
cnelk 06-Jun-14
#1BEAR 06-Jun-14
kadbow 06-Jun-14
xring 06-Jun-14
Ziek 06-Jun-14
Ziek 06-Jun-14
elkmtngear 06-Jun-14
Rick M 06-Jun-14
Vids 06-Jun-14
xring 06-Jun-14
goelk 08-Jun-14
Brun 08-Jun-14
midwest 08-Jun-14
midwest 08-Jun-14
midwest 08-Jun-14
midwest 08-Jun-14
midwest 08-Jun-14
midwest 08-Jun-14
IdyllwildArcher 08-Jun-14
Stickman 18-Feb-22
Jaquomo 18-Feb-22
FORESTBOWS 18-Feb-22
Pop-r 18-Feb-22
cnelk 18-Feb-22
Treeline 18-Feb-22
From: miller1
05-Jun-14
Reading the regulations for Co. it says a bull is legal if it has 4 or more points on 1 side or a 5" brow tine. A cow is a antlerless or less than a 5" tine, does this mean with a either sex tag pretty much anything is legal with a bow? am I reading this right?

four-Point rule- Bull elk taken in all seasons must have four points or more on one antler, or a brow tine of at least 5 inches long.

» cow (antlerless): A female animal with no antlers or a young male with antlers less than 5 inches long.

From: ELKDIY
05-Jun-14
Legal - Cow or a Bull with 4 points on one side or 5" brow tines. No Spikes or bulls smaller than stated.

From: sticksender
05-Jun-14
miller1 asked: "does this mean with a either sex tag pretty much anything is legal with a bow"

It definitely doesn't mean that. Virtually all spike bulls are off limits. The intent of the rule is to protect 1.5 year old bulls so they survive to their third summer to become branch-antlered. A bull has to be branch antlered, in the ways described in the rule, to be legal. Cows are cows, they don't have antlers. And it's extremely rare for a yearling bull (1.5 years old) to have spikes less than 5 inches.

From: Ziek
05-Jun-14
How can you even ask that? Cow = less than one 5" spike = legal. Bull = at least 4 points on one side, or a brow tine = legal. That leave any elk with more than a 5" spike and less than 4 points, off limits. It's pretty clear.

From: Vids
05-Jun-14
What sticksender said, but I'll add this too. I've seen a bull yearling get shot by someone that thought it was a cow. If you do that you're legal, you just need to keep the head attached to a front quarter to provide evidence of sex and that it qualifies as antlerless.

From: Sage Buffalo
05-Jun-14
Ziek: I think some guys get themselves turned around. Happens to all of us...

From: xring
05-Jun-14
In Colorado, it depends on the unit you're hunting. There are some units with no antler restrictions. Check the regs.

I personally don't see the reasoning behind not allowing archers to shoot spikes statewide. It's hard enough to get ANY elk, much less having to shoot a 4-point. The bow harvest isn't high enough to really have any impact.

I'd rather shoot a cow than a 4 or even 5-point bull.

I think there is some confusion about this. Last year I saw a guy packing out an elk and stopped to chat. I asked what it was and he said it was a 3-point. I told him I thought it had to be a 4-point or larger in that area, and he said not for archers....any elk is legal. After he left I went down to look at the carcass and it was a spike with barely a tiny fork on top of one antler!

From: Ziek
05-Jun-14
xring, When they first instituted point restrictions, it was that way. Bow hunter could shoot any elk. Evidently, rifle hunters complained that if they were restricted, bowhunters should also be. Anymore, I also would rather shoot a cow than rag horn bull, so I don't really care.

From: smarba
05-Jun-14
Perhaps miller1 is interpreting bull ">5-inch browtine" and cow "<5-inch (brow) tine", in which case an ES tag would cover all animals.

But I assume that the "<5-inch" is referring to horn length and not referring to a brow tine?

From: Vids
05-Jun-14
From the regs:

1. An antler Point is a projection of antler at least 1 inch long and which is longer than the width of its base.

2. A brow tine is an antler projection, minimum of 5 inches long, on the lower half of the antler. It usually starts not more than 8 inches from the animal’s skull.

Four-Point rule: Bull elk taken in all seasons must have four points or more on one antler, or a brow tine of at least 5 inches long in GMUs: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 52, 53, 54, 55, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 85, 86, 131, 140, 161, 171, 181, 191, 211, 214, 231, 301, 361, 371, 411, 421, 441, 444, 471, 511, 521, 551, 581, 681, 691, 711, 741, 751, 771, 851 and 861.

No restrictions: There are no antlerpoint restrictions for any season in GMUs: 1, 2, 10, 20, 29, 39, 40, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 56, 57, 58, 61, 69, 76, 84, 201, 391, 461, 481, 500, 501, 561, 591, 682, 791, or units east of I-25 (except unit 140). Antlers must meet the minimum length of 5 inches long.

My takeaway: In units where the 4 point rule applies it has to have 4 points on one side, OR a BROW tine at least 5" long. In units with no 4 point restrictions both antlers must be at least 5 inches long. So, in a unit with no 4 point rule you could shoot anything with an E/S tag - if the antler is less than 5" inches long it counts as an antlerless animal.

From: Franzen
05-Jun-14
I believe the idea would be that IF a young male were to have "spikes" less than 5" it may be difficult to discern, thus they are grouping that potential scenario with cows. Spikes with antlers over that limit (most common) would seem to be easily visible and avoidable. Three point raghorns are an obvious no-no, or you better be damn sure there is a brow tine over 5".

I could be wrong on this, but that is just the way it makes sense to me. I'm not sure why I would equate making sense with any government agency, but for some reason I did it.

05-Jun-14
"It's pretty clear."

Pretty clear,huh?

From: miller1
05-Jun-14
How can you even ask that? Cow = less than one 5" spike = legal. Bull = at least 4 points on one side, or a brow tine = legal. That leave any elk with more than a 5" spike and less than 4 points, off limits. It's pretty clear.

Ziek, apparently not everybody is as inelegant as you are, next time just ignore the post if you are above giving a decent answer!

From: miller1
05-Jun-14
Perhaps miller1 is interpreting bull ">5-inch browtine" and cow "<5-inch (brow) tine", in which case an ES tag would cover all animals. But I assume that the "<5-inch" is referring to horn length and not referring to a brow tine?

That's exactly what i was trying to figure out, thank you Smarba

From: MathewsMan
05-Jun-14
I personally would like to see it changed to 5 points on at least one antler. That would do miracles for our trophy quality.

From: HDE
05-Jun-14
But not everyone is necessarily interested in trophy quality all the time but increased opportunity to hunt and harvest instead.

Good rule to use if it's got a fork and other points, it's more than likely legal in a 4 pt area.

Some of the regs as written can be somewhat confusing. For example, UT's definition of a spike in the spike only units. As long as one antler does not branch above the ear, it is considered a spike.

Near impossible to determine if a brow tine is 5" long from 30 yds, not much difference between 4 or 6 at that distance...

From: xring
05-Jun-14
Why not make it 6 points minimum? Then every bull that's shot will be a "trophy". I personally don't consider a 5-point a trophy and have passed up on lots of them over the years. In fact, I've passed up 5x6 bulls.

I think it's just the opposite. If you allow guys to shoot spikes, they don't shoot the bigger bulls and there's more bigger bulls for those who want to shoot them. Just think if you could ONLY shoot spikes how many big bulls there would be running around.

Antler point restrictions make ZERO sense to me. I don't think they solve any problem nor do they increase trophy quality. Limiting rifle bull tags would do a lot more to increase bull to cow ratios and trophy quality.

From: cnelk
05-Jun-14

cnelk's Link
Once I was up hunting in one of my OTC units, I called in this spike. Is he legal?

Look close!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWYccZlVuLg

From: ELKDIY
05-Jun-14
Looks close. I have passed a few up similar to that spike. When in doubt yield to not shoot. I am sure he would have tasted great though!

From: misfitmedic
05-Jun-14
Chances are if a bull has a brow tine of 5 inches, then they are branch antlered in the first place

From: trkytrack
06-Jun-14
Hard to tell with all that shaking going on with the camera. But to me too close to call so I'd pass.

From: LUNG$HOT
06-Jun-14
Only thing that makes that bull legal is if the brow tine is over 5 inches long (which is very hard to tell from the video) because he definitely doesn't have 4 points or better.

From: oldgoat
06-Jun-14
VIDS has it correct. The point restriction applies to OTC units. Main reason I went to trying to hunt limited draw units only. I'd rather shoot a cow or a spike than a raghorn. Funny thing is since I started hunting limited units I've had more chances at branch antlered bulls and very very few chances at spikes or cows. I'm stuck in OTC this year. Hopefully my old stomping grounds still have some elk in them.

From: Rick M
06-Jun-14
cnelk, I must have called in his twin a few years ago:) He had a 10 inch brow though, yours is too close to call. I passed. I talked to a warden at the trail head after my hunt and described the bull, he know it and said he would have shot it in a heart beat.

The Co. regs are pretty clear to me.

From: cnelk
06-Jun-14
"The Co. regs are pretty clear to me."

Me too

From: #1BEAR
06-Jun-14
I personally think that archers should be allowed to harvest anything with an either sex license. Leave the restrictions to the firearm hunters.

From: kadbow
06-Jun-14
I am with Mathews Man, 5 pts or better would be nice. I remember before the 4 pt restriction seems like all you would see were spikes.

From: xring
06-Jun-14
" I remember before the 4 pt restriction seems like all you would see were spikes. "

That's not because bowhunters were slaughtering all the branch-antlered bulls.

Think about it....UNLIMITED rifle bull licenses in much of the state. I know it's because of money, but it's a real shame that they allows such a slaughter of immature bulls. Colorado sells 250,000 or more elk licenses every year and about 50% of them are to non-residents. Nonsense, but what can you expect from DOW/CPW?

From: Ziek
06-Jun-14
"Perhaps miller1 is interpreting bull ">5-inch browtine" and cow "<5-inch (brow) tine", in which case an ES tag would cover all animals. But I assume that the "<5-inch" is referring to horn length and not referring to a brow tine? That's exactly what i was trying to figure out, thank you Smarba"

That is exactly true. However, there is another section which restricts the size of bulls you can kill in most units and the regs even refer you there under the definition of a bull. I don't know how much more explicit they could be.

"" I remember before the 4 pt restriction seems like all you would see were spikes. " That's not because bowhunters were slaughtering all the branch-antlered bulls."

xring you are correct, they weren't killing all the branch antlered bulls. They WERE killing most of the bulls BEFORE they even grew that big. The 4 point restriction was a huge success in allowing more bulls to grow older. A 5 or 6 point restriction would be even better. Restricting JUST rifle hunters will never be accepted. Rifle hunters already think bowhunters have it too good.

From: Ziek
06-Jun-14
A note on brow tines. One year I came up on a spike with the usual 16"+ spike on one side and a similar "brow" tine only, on the other. I was looking for a bigger bull so I just watched him even though technically he looked to be legal. (The regs don't say a 5" brow in ADDITION to higher up points). As he walked off, the "brow tine" was moving/loose. Evidently he had recently broken it and it was just laying forward, still attached. Might have been a tough sell to a wildlife officer.

From: elkmtngear
06-Jun-14
Has anyone here ever killed a spike or a bull with less than four on one side that had a 5" (or greater) browtine?

Just Curious, I don't think I've ever seen one.

We decoyed in a 3x3 several years back, had him at 15 yards and could not put a one inch point on him anywhere no matter how hard we looked. No way his browtines were anywhere close to 5 inches.

It would have been my Brother's first bull! He was at full draw but held off, as he should have.

On another note, I videotaped a branch antlered bull at 10 yards one year from a treestand...and after reviewing the video, realized that he had a number of small (nontypical) antler points on one side that would have easily made him legal!

I'm a meat hunter, but I've always tried to make sure I was looking at 5 on one side before I shoot.

Best of Luck, Jeff

From: Rick M
06-Jun-14
Jeff,

One in Co. Long spike with 8 and 10 inch brows. Legal but he got a pass.

From: Vids
06-Jun-14
cnelk, too tough to call, I'd pass on that one. Had a similar situation 2 years ago and I tried like heck to grow a 4th point on a 3x3 but couldn't see it. Glad I passed on him, because I shot a pretty big 4x4 the next morning.

elkmtngear - I remember a picture on bowsite within the last year or two that showed a 2x2 killed. It had the typical spikes going up, but he had about 12" brow tines sticking out. Not a 4 pt bull, but clearly legal and interesting antler growth.

From: xring
06-Jun-14
If bowhunters supposedly have it so good then why is the archery harvest half of that of the rifle hunters? ;-)

What I hear from rifle hunters is that bowhunters supposedly harvest too many mature bulls. If we allowed bowhunters to take spikes, the bigger bulls would walk. Seems that the rifle hunters would accept that since many of them are trophy hunters too.

From: goelk
08-Jun-14
i think it would be helpful to have pictures of this rule on elk. i have seen three points with 5" brow tine.

From: Brun
08-Jun-14
The idea behind the spike or 5" brow tine is that it means the bull will be 2 and one half years old. I would love to see more restrictions also, but it is pretty common for bulls to be missing seconds or thirds. Normally you look at the top end and if you see the split you think 5 point, if you see three at the top you think 6 point. I'm sure we have all been fooled by this. It would certainly mean more mistakes and probably more elk left in the woods.

From: midwest
08-Jun-14

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Legal

From: midwest
08-Jun-14

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Legal

From: midwest
08-Jun-14

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Legal, legal

From: midwest
08-Jun-14

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Legal

From: midwest
08-Jun-14

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Not legal (This one not killed in CO 4-pt. restricted unit)

From: midwest
08-Jun-14

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Not legal

08-Jun-14
midwest, you ought to be careful keeping all those barely legal photos on your computer.

From: Stickman
18-Feb-22
Hi, this old thread came up on a search and when I read this I thought back to when I was a new hunter and thought the same thing as the original poster so I get it and maybe some will stumble on this thread again so I'll post my thought process in case it helps.

My confusion was that I thought those initial spikes WERE the brow tines. So in my mind if those "brow tines" were over 5" it was a legal bull and if less than 5" it was anterless; making all elk legal in my young hunter mind.

Those spikes are not the brow tines or eye guards.

I'm wondering if the regs state the 4 points OR brow tines over 5" for instances were the antlers break off from rut or other reasons it gives you a secondary thing to look at when deciding if legal or not.

From: Jaquomo
18-Feb-22
No caveat for broken antlers. But a bull with one antler is almost always going to have at least one brow tine or four points, unless he's a weird one. I dont believe I've ever seen a 2.5 year old bull without one or the others and I've seen a LOT of bulls.

18-Feb-22
I called in a giant 3x3 last year. At least a 3yo.

18-Feb-22

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Colorado has a legal elk on the front cover this year.

From: Pop-r
18-Feb-22
I wasn't too impressed with the cover myself. No disrespect to the artist. I personally just like pics better.

From: cnelk
18-Feb-22
That drawing of the moose was done for the DOW back in 1978. About the time the first moose were transplanted in North Park

From: Treeline
18-Feb-22
Well, with the wolf introductions, won’t have to worry about moose pictures for much longer…

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