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Colorado archery gobbler season
As the 2017 gobbler season SLOWLY but sure approaches it got me wondering why Colorado doesn't offer an early archery turkey season? Currently if anyone wants to bowhunt turkeys they have to hunt them at the same time as those with shotguns. I'm wondering if this has been considered and possibly why there is no early archery season? Maybe it's because turkey numbers have always been fairly low? With turkey numbers and units expanding across Colorado maybe it's a viable option? Both neighboring states of Nebraska and Kansas offer archery gobbler seasons..why not Colorado?
I honestly don't know the answer to this, but I don't THINK it is common in most states to have a special archery season. That obviously excludes the two states mentioned. In my opinion, it isn't worth the effort put in by the states to have a special archery season for turkey.
In a few states tags may be unlimited, but I believe that most states have limited tags and therefore limited hunters afield. Does CO have unlimited tags?
Yes, most of the turkey hunt west of I-25 can be accomplished with an OTC tag. There are OTC on Private land tags available in some units east of I-25. Limited tags are usually along the river bottom units out east where there is more demand but hunting is restricted to along the narrow river corridors. .
The CBA proposed an earlier bow hunting turkey season to the CPW a few years ago, and while considered, it was not improved. You are correct, Colorado does not have the turkey population as Nebraska or Kansas and you are limited to only one tom in the Spring in Colorado unless you draw a limited tag then one can also hunt with an OTC somewhere else. Colorado does have a limited Fall season. Especially in the mountains, west of I-25 I have never had a problem killing a tom during the all manner of take turkey season. I usually wait until the season is half over when the vast majority of the hunters are staying home.
This tom was killed in mid May the last week of the season on public land and I never saw or heard another hunter.
Great picture Paul, looks like fun!
I don't think there are enough turkeys and hunting opportunity to warrant an archery only season. The hunting in otc can be tough because of the limited birds compared to other states but it can be done! I've always hunted otc. This year I hope to draw my first limited tag out east.
Wow Justin, that is probably the best turkey hero photo I've seen. Very nice bird, nice way to display it.
As Paul mentioned above there are OTC turkey seasons for shotgun/bow in many Western Colo units where decent populations of turkeys exist. What I was proposing was to offer an archery season separate from shotgun season for both limited and OTC units. It would be similar to how Colo's deer, elk, and antelope seasons are conducted. Hunters would have the choice of either hunting the OTC or limited archery season or OTC or limited shotgun seasons but wouldn't be able to hunt both archery plus shotgun seasons. If desired it would still be possible to hunt with bow during the shotgun season (similar to anyone can use a bow during rifle big game seasons now).
If harvest was a concern they could possibly move the archery season to Mayish and have the shotgun season earlier before toms really start strutting or split things up somehow so the shotgun season was shorter duration than the archery season.
Anyway, as more and more turkey hunters seem to be hitting the hills in the OTC units it may be an option to break up the crowded conditions and offer archery hunters more opportunity to hunt separate from shotgun hunters. Everyone may be happy hunting along side shotgun hunters but currently there are no archery only turkey options available in Colorado. Just thought it would be interesting kicking this idea around.