Vortex Broadheads
Colorado Unit 76 in 2018
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
starbux 19-Dec-17
otcWill 19-Dec-17
starbux 19-Dec-17
Cheesehead Mike 19-Dec-17
LINK 19-Dec-17
starbux 19-Dec-17
Don K 19-Dec-17
Scoot 19-Dec-17
elkstabber 19-Dec-17
Bottomdweller 19-Dec-17
zimmy 19-Dec-17
Michael 19-Dec-17
starbux 19-Dec-17
Teaspoon 19-Dec-17
wifishkiller 19-Dec-17
starbux 19-Dec-17
Teaspoon 19-Dec-17
ryanrc 19-Dec-17
Ucsdryder 19-Dec-17
Buglmin 19-Dec-17
starbux 19-Dec-17
Treeline 19-Dec-17
HDE 19-Dec-17
starbux 19-Dec-17
JSW 21-Dec-17
JSW 21-Dec-17
Pop-r 22-Dec-17
goelk 02-Jan-18
cnelk 02-Jan-18
LINK 02-Jan-18
LKH 02-Jan-18
sticksender 02-Jan-18
JBarch 02-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 02-Jan-18
HUNT MAN 02-Jan-18
starbux 02-Jan-18
elkmo 03-Jan-18
From: starbux
19-Dec-17
Guys, after reading through a lot of older Unit 76 info There is certainly a lot out there. Some is dated and has changed with the fire and vegetation. I moved to CO in August for work and will be a resident for draw purposes in February with 11 points and want to cash in after talking to some members who understand the system and point creep. I’ve never killed an elk, but would really like to go DIY instead of outfitter. At the most, I may consider a drop camp. I live close enough now that I plan on going up as much as possible to scout. When and why is better for scouting? A couple members said mid-summer was a waste of time since they’ll move before season. Pack in to a spike camp or try to find sleeper canyons by the road that others walk past? Have a pack horse on call? What does that cost? I’ll be 47 in a few months. Thanks in advance for any advice and PM’s are welcome.

From: otcWill
19-Dec-17
Bill, sorry for the delay in responding to your pm. I'll be glad to help you out. I have a few spots that are sworn to secrecy but can point you to some great areas that you won't need a packer or guide for. Talk soon

From: starbux
19-Dec-17
Thanks otcWill. I would also add that I do all of my own butchering so if I’m lucky enough to get one down I don’t mind putting one in bags and hanging while I pack out...weather permitting of course.

19-Dec-17
You say that you've never killed an elk but do you have any elk hunting experience? This might be an off the wall suggestion but if you don't have any elk hunting experience, rather than burning 11 points on a DIY hunt you might want to consider getting a little elk hunting experience before you shoot your wad on what might be a once in a lifetime hunt. Being a resident you'll probably have enough time to find an OTC unit with similar conditions as 76 and then hunt there for a year or two and gain some elk hunting experience before cashing in your points. Just a thought...

From: LINK
19-Dec-17
Mike, reading between the lines I was guessing work might take him away from CO in the future making him a NR for drawing the 76 tag later. Maybe I’m reading too much? ;)

From: starbux
19-Dec-17
I have been on 2 OTC rifle elk hunts and a guest on a first rifle draw hunt. I did see elk on every hunt but the only legal bulls were on the draw hunt and the day before opener on a OTC second rifle hunt. I would have killed a nice 5X5 on the draw hunt if I had the gun but the shooter didn’t see him in time. I found the elk, rubs, wallows, bull and cow tracks, etc. I found good spots to glass, watch and wait. I understand thermals and scent. I’ve just never hunted in September. I’ve never hunted an area that they were a little less pressured. I know it’s completely different, but I can get it done on 160” whitetails in a high pressure area in IL. Those guys don’t walk without the wind in their nose. I have the vacation to burn and the willpower to try my hardest.

From: Don K
19-Dec-17
Get in shape, get in some more shape, and get in shape :)

I hunted it last year ended up packed in at 12,000 to 12,500. First time I have ever camped that high.

From: Scoot
19-Dec-17
Starbux, your rifle hunts and whitetail hunts will offer you a little help on this hunt. However, only a little. Elk in Sep during the rut are a different deal. Cheesehead Mike's suggestion is a good one as you no doubt have a lot to learn and it'd be a bit of a waste to do it while burning your points in 76. That being said, if this year is when you can do it, then read everything you can about bowhunting elk between now and then, get in the best shape you can, and go have a blast. Good luck!

From: elkstabber
19-Dec-17
Starbux: Scott and Cheesehead make solid points. This would be a good year to hunt somewhere OTC with a bow for a few weeks. You'll have a blast. Shoot the first legal elk. Then take what you've learned and go after a big bull in 76 the following year.

19-Dec-17
Sounds like your mind is made up. Go for it! The quickest way to learn about bowhunting elk in the rut is to go to an area with lots of them! You'll most likely learn more about elk on a 2 week hunt in 76 than 2 years hunting OTC. Good luck!

From: zimmy
19-Dec-17
Starbux, I agree with the comments from above, good advice, I hunted unit 76 a few years ago good unit had a good experience, it takes 6-7 points to get in there why would you want to burn 11 points. This is just my opinion, I would wait get some experience OTC, get a couple more points and apply for unit 61, less hunters and better odds.

From: Michael
19-Dec-17
I agree with Zimmy. If your going to continue to be a Co resident. I would hunt OTC for a couple of years to learn more about elk hunting with a bow during the rut. Then cash in on a unit 61 tag.

This past year was my 5th year bow hunting elk. I sure wish I knew then what I know now.

One more thing I would add to it. Someone that is new to calling elk is going to have a harder time calling elk in alone then someone that has some years of experience.

From: starbux
19-Dec-17
Interesting responses and I appreciate them all. I just went to the DOW to check deer and elk points. I was wrong in that I have 10, not 11 points. I’m gonna look again to see how much 61 is creeping with the guys giving up on the NW corner. The last thing I want is to chase that tag for several years when I can hunt good units after I cash in and maybe catch 76 again if I get lucky.

From: Teaspoon
19-Dec-17
61 was 50% odds with 12 points last year, 100% with 13. 61 creep has been difficult since the release or the early rifle tag. A lot of guys sent for it that had 13-15 points thinking they might draw, so 61 draw results were skewed 2 years ago just fyi...

From: wifishkiller
19-Dec-17
I hunted it with my dad this season and will draw myself this year. That said I wouldn't waist that many points on that unit.

From: starbux
19-Dec-17
Teaspoon, please explain the early rifle issue. Do you think 12 points will hold or it will go back up in 61?

From: Teaspoon
19-Dec-17
So 2 years ago they offered an early rifle either sex tag, it falls between 1st rifle and archery. The first year they offered that tag everyone sent for it, people with enough points to draw 1st, archery and muzzleloader. In turn that caused the amount of points it took to draw the early rifle to be astronomical the first year, don't quote me but 20+ comes to mind. The same year it only took 9 points (back up to 12ish now) to draw first rifle because everyone sent for the early rifle tag. Last year the points were a little back to normal. I havent fact checked my numbers but it was a 3-4 point difference on most 61 tags from 2 years ago to this last year. That won't be the case now that we can see it takes 19 to draw the early rifle. Unless people still are holding out for it. Last year's draw odds are good info, don't go by 2 years ago.

From: ryanrc
19-Dec-17
Hold out for 61. With that many points it would be a waste not to.

From: Ucsdryder
19-Dec-17
Might make sense to get a couple otc tags then in 2-3 years hunt 61. You’ll be amazed how much you learn in a year. It would be a tough curve learning in a place that took over a decade to draw!

From: Buglmin
19-Dec-17
If I had 11 points, I wouldn't burn em on 76!! 76 is my back yard, and I get to spend a lot on time in or around 76. Lots of entry points, lots of trail heads. If the bulls are bugling, 76 can be fun, lil bulls running around every year. The first two weeks of the season can be great in certain areas of 76. As for 76 not being a pressured unit, you have lots to learn!! I think 76 gets more pressure in certain areas from the hunters not having tags. Easy access and guys cross the line on a regular basis.

If you have the time and money, the deeper you go, the better. Pick your access points and go from there. Don't be dumb and kill a small raghorn seven miles in. Lots of deadfall now, and the trails ain't getting cleaned up. Last year, we rode an extra eight miles to get where we wanted because of the downed timber. Its rough country, and the high basins are tough to get into. Good luck and plan ahead...

From: starbux
19-Dec-17
Thanks for the thoughts and opinions everyone. I just checked the numbers again on goHunt. It looks like unless the resident numbers slip again, in 2-3 years I may be able to draw 61 archery. I need to dig into the total tags issued and research the unit a bit more but it looks like the size potential is better and the success rate hovers just below 50%....slightly above the rate in 76. This CO residency thing is pretty cool....I wish I had more than 2 points for muley and antelope though.

From: Treeline
19-Dec-17
You really should get out next year OTC for elk to start getting your feet wet like Cheesehead suggests. Great advice. You can continue to build points and pull 61 in a few years and have a much better hunt.

If you go ahead and put in for 61 or even one of the NW units (1, 2, 10 or 201) , you may get lucky and draw on the hybrid system in the meantime.

76 is way overrated. A number of units are much better that can be drawn on way fewer points.

From: HDE
19-Dec-17
starbux - it boils down to what you want out of an elk hunt and only you can decide that.

Good luck in whatever you decide!

From: starbux
19-Dec-17
Treeline, the more I dig into it that option has a lot of benefits...the biggest of which is more time in the timber with less pressured elk, a call and a bow without the added pressure of burning all the points.

I agree HDE. Fortunately, I’ve got a lot of time to decide yet. Gonna do a lot of research over the holidays.

From: JSW
21-Dec-17
The good news is, you can hunt elk every year now, even if you only have weekends off. I would agree that if you are only 2 or 3 years away from drawing 61, you should wait for that. 61 can be a much easier hunt, physically if you want it to be. There are some tough holes that you can hunt that can make it even better. Don't rush into using up all your points. If you just want to kill your first elk with a bow, 76 is a great hunt. Lots of elk and lots of action but it is lower on the trophy scale. You do need to reconsider your tactics though. If you are going to be hunting on your own it's harder to call in elk and get a good shot. I've been hunting elk on my own for 30+ years and haven't called in and killed a bull by myself in, well, never. I've killed lots of bulls but I let them call me in. If you want to kill an elk in 2018 get a 76 tag. If you want to learn how to hunt elk and have a chance at a great bull in a few years, wait for 61. The OTC hunts in Colorado are not very good anymore but there's plenty of opportunity if you want to put in the time.

From: JSW
21-Dec-17
The good news is, you can hunt elk every year now, even if you only have weekends off. I would agree that if you are only 2 or 3 years away from drawing 61, you should wait for that. 61 can be a much easier hunt, physically if you want it to be. There are some tough holes that you can hunt that can make it even better. Don't rush into using up all your points. If you just want to kill your first elk with a bow, 76 is a great hunt. Lots of elk and lots of action but it is lower on the trophy scale. You do need to reconsider your tactics though. If you are going to be hunting on your own it's harder to call in elk and get a good shot. I've been hunting elk on my own for 30+ years and haven't called in and killed a bull by myself in, well, never. I've killed lots of bulls but I let them call me in. If you want to kill an elk in 2018 get a 76 tag. If you want to learn how to hunt elk and have a chance at a great bull in a few years, wait for 61. The OTC hunts in Colorado are not very good anymore but there's plenty of opportunity if you want to put in the time.

From: Pop-r
22-Dec-17
I wouldn't burn 5 PT's on 61! Spent over 2 wks there this year. A total embarrassment to the state of CO! & with all due respect JSW your last couple of points are nothing but wrong.

From: goelk
02-Jan-18
Otc is great. I hunt by myself all the time and never have a problem calling in elk. Last year i had 5 chances but something always went wrong. I had a huge 7x7 only 20 yards and all i could see was his head. He was in a hole and i was above him. Needed him to come out of the hole then the wind turn wrong. Busted! Im almost totally death and i relied mostly on movement and smell. I have to be really close to hear a bugle. Ive been hunting this way for over 50 years. Good luck in what choice you choose.

From: cnelk
02-Jan-18
"The OTC hunts in Colorado are not very good anymore but there's plenty of opportunity if you want to put in the time."

Yeaaahhhh.... keep saying this PLEASE!!!

From: LINK
02-Jan-18
All the elk in Colorado are on private!

How about that one cnelk.

From: LKH
02-Jan-18
goelk, I'm hoping you're like me and quite deaf. Totally death is another matter. I know what you mean about not hearing the elk.

From: sticksender
02-Jan-18
Starbux, if you go for 61, FWIW you're about 8 years from being in the guaranteed draw pool for 61 archery elk as a resident, and about 6-7 years from being "in the hunt" for the 61 tag, if nothing changes.

In last year's draw, when you had 10 points, it took 14 to guarantee draw (and residents who applied with 13 pp were 30 for 52). Resident point creep for the guaranteed draw pool has been 1 point every 2 years since 2009. So you are 4 x 2 = 8 years away (i.e., April 2025) from being in the guaranteed draw pool, if nothing changes.

From: JBarch
02-Jan-18
If you do go 76 try and find a canyon or two that everyone drives past. If it had a trail in it than everyone and their brother was in there. Elk are EVERYWHERE in that country so don't be bashful about just trying a spot cause it's probably got at least a herd in there. Good luck either way.

02-Jan-18
You're not going to draw 61 in 2-3 years. It will take you 6-7 years, based on the rate of creep and you having 10 points right now.

The first thing I thought when you said you hadn't killed an elk and then again when you said you haven't hunted them in September, was that you really ought to hunt OTC first. Hunt OTC at least a year. The biggest mistake people from east of the Rockies make is hunting elk like Whitetail. Your killing some good whitetails means only that you are a good white tail hunter and could be a good elk hunter. They are completely different animals and one of the keys to hunting elk is hunting elk like elk need to be hunted and not getting hung up on pre-conceived ideas that are ingrained in your head from years of whitetail hunting. And that goes for every specie to some extent.

From: HUNT MAN
02-Jan-18
Ike just nailed it. Best elk hunting post in a long time! Hunt

From: starbux
02-Jan-18
Thanks for the feedback everyone. The point creep Is tough!

From: elkmo
03-Jan-18
Hunted it as a NR and never set foot in the unit. You will be in elk. Good advice above regarding a chance at 61, besides point creep, change is almost a guarantee in some form regarding the draws and tags.

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