The secret to success is knowing the areas, and elk, which only comes from time and experience. If you are coming from KS and can spend a couple extra weekends in CO scouting vs one hunting trip to ID, I would do CO.
Where would you apply?Contributors to this thread:
Planning is in place for Colorado OTC in 2019, however also considering applying for draw in other states. What would be everyones choice? Apply for units in Colorado where you have chance to draw with O points, New Mexico, Wyoming, or wait on leftover licenses to be released. Will be applying with hunting partner.
New Mexico! It’s a complete lottery in that state no preference points. Your odds are as good as the next guys. Idaho also has otc tags as well as Utah for otc cow tags. Tons of options out there aside from the obvious Colorado otc tags that are everyone’s “plan B”.
Idaho has OTC tags AND their limited entry (controlled) tags are completely random as well.
New Mexico was where I was leaning, doing some research on GoHunt look like some good draw odds in good units. Thanks for response so far!!
Apply everywhere you can afford. NM is true lottery, there are some good mid tier units in Arizona, Utah doesn’t stand much a chance of drawing but it’s reasonable priced for points. Colorado is the one that gets me. I wouldn’t waste my time unless you’re wanting to hunt 2-3 point units.
If you are planning Colorado OTC in 2019 then I would apply for a point there as well. You can do both and work towards a better unit and still hunt. I would also buy a point in Wyoming, it only takes 2 or 3 points for a general tag, which is better than Colo over the counter. There are also OTC tags in Idaho, and I believe they have quotas, which should make them a little less crowded. New Mexico is totally random, but out of state quotas are very small. Not my favorite system, but somebody has to get a tag, it might be you. Leftovers can sometimes get you a tag, but it can be tough to plan a hunt from out of state at the last minute. Good luck.
For those that have done Colorado vs Idaho coming from Kansas is it worth the drive time difference or are same crowds expected on OTC units in Idaho as Colorado? Looks like success rate is higher in Idaho on OTC, but have also heard that Wolves I have created some issues in OTC units?
In NM there is no good draw odds in good units I don’t care what go hunt says and that’s a fact. You can buy a landowner tag in NM. Good units go for $6000 on average, great units can go for $8,000 to $10,000 just for the landowner voucher. Just put in for as many states you can afford to and eventually you’ll get lucky.
KSBOW- usually its recommended to not drive past elk to go hunt elk, all else being similar. For how bad people make OTC CO out, plenty are killed; look up total harvest numbers for ID vs CO. I would say CO get more hunters in general and more inexperienced/first timers so the success rate over all is lower.
NR diy hunters dont get a fair shake from NM. 6% is so marginal when you consider whats going on in NM. It's a rancher welfare state. Ranchers get around 48% of the tags off the top. The remaining estimated 52% of nm tags go to the draw. So as a NR diy your applying for 6% of the 52% that goes into the draw. That being said NM gnf banks on that most rancher vouchers go to NR that can afford $k6-k12 for a hunt. So NR get more tags in NM that other states but the common diy hunter gets left behind. One thing I would like to see in NM is for them to get rid of optional unit wide ranch tags. Nm eplus is a mess.
I would encourage you to do your best to block out any negative comments that you get on here. My advice would be to apply everywhere, or every state you can possibly afford. I was in your place about 5 years ago. I decided to set aside a couple grand per year for applications costs and gear upgrades. I decided that if it was important to me, I would make it happen. Best decision I've made. Yes, the odds are very tough, almost everywhere, but I'd rather have my name in the hat. I apply for other species as well. The research, the planning, the preparation, and the anticipation is half the fun anyway! Good luck to you!
Between LO and 10 percent outfitter pool. NM screws over its residents and non residents alike..
Go to the "Anyone going to Colorado OTC" thread......enough said. There are publications out there that have the studied the odds....areas...units etc. There is so many choices it`s really hard to say.
Do your research for a OTC unit in Colorado or Idaho, I prefer Idaho. Hunt that unit. If you’re not successful, trust your research. Time spent in a unit is important. The more time you can spend in a unit, the more likely you are to be successful. Buy your point in other states, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona. Put in every year for that New Mexico tag. This has been my strategy and I get to elk hunt every year I want. I’ve figured the cost of all the apps and tags. That money is put in an account and that debit card is only used for tags and apps. Not saying this is the way to do it, but it works for me.