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colorado nonresident with 14 pts
I got 14 points now and the unit I'm chasing it looks like I'm never gonna hunt again. where would you put em next year and why?
Well, Chip, I have 17 points, and in the same fix...probably draw 76, but at my age and no one that I know with enough points to draw, I will probably have to go with an outfitter to ever hunt it. So, burn em next year and spend the money for me I guess to go guided. There is a statistical chart online with the most productive 25 units, I think if you look at the chart you could find one with the highest success rate in the last three years.
No public land hunts to draw at that point level, besides some units available to burn them on that require only a few points. Your 14 points, same as my total, mostly just means we’ve waited WAAAAY to long to use our points. Unit 76 is the only feasible public-land possibility among high-demand hunts, but right now it is just out of reach and several years wait to a guaranteed draw.
I am sitting on 20 now and feel like I am in the same boat. When I started, unit 61 elk took 3-4 points. Now, 20 years later and I am still 3+ points away from a 61 archery tag. I am trying to find a good hunt to use them on.
If your leaning towards guided, look into unit 20 You can choose a wilderness or private land type hunt. Does not require 14 points. And that may seem like your “wasting” points but to base the quality of the hunt on how many points you have will paralyze you until you are even further down that road. Burn em.
don't want guided. may do drop camp but I may just take my mule. thinking about 66 right now but I don't know anything about it. may have to talk my wife into a scouting trip this summer for next year.
Just because a unit takes more points does not mean that it will produce a better hunt or bigger bull. Especially in Colorado.
The top units in Colorado would not be on the radar in states like Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Montana, or Wyoming.
Absolute insanity how many points several units are taking that only produce 320-330” bulls!
Have seen great bulls come out of very low point and even OTC units. Don’t get hung up on having to get a unit that is “worth my number of points”. If you want to hunt, pick any unit that takes less points and go.
Shot this bull in Colorado, used 6 points. Of course they are not behind every tree. But it doesn’t take 25 points and my expectations were way lower. I just lucked out
You are close to being able to draw Unit 76, which is an excellent hunt with lots of elk and some good ones. Lots of wilderness so having a mule as you do is a plus. There are also drop camps available. No one really knows what going to happen with the new 5 year season structure, and that of course may change everyone's approach. You have enough points to draw Unit 40, which would be a no brainer if you considered a guided hunt. There are huge bulls there, but it's a tough hunt on public land which is why it doesn't take as many points. As others have mentioned there are other good hunts that don't take as many points, and you may see some good bulls, but they won't be numerous. Good luck!
The point creep trend has been steady for 76 archery elk for the past couple decades. With no allocation changes, those of us with 14 points today, are roughly 4 or 5 years out from a guaranteed draw in 76. The pool that's 2 points ahead of us, started drawing their first few tags in 2016. And then the pool 1 point ahead of us went 15-for-41 in 2019. That pool should be guaranteed to draw in a couple more years. Thereafter, our pool will start drawing a few tags for a couple or three years, until we're guaranteed to draw, probably in either 2023 or 2024. Hard to say whether it's worth waiting 19 years to draw that hunt. Just gonna be up to the individual to decide that. If my Septembers had not been booked up over the current and past several years, I'd have already blown my points on a private land hunt in 40. Might still do it, but will continue to take it year-to-year right now. Meantime, with so many other options available to hunt elk every year if desired, not only in Colorado, but in 6 or 7 other states, it's really not a desperate situation ;-)
I'm right there with you. Missed a few years in the early days of buying points and now I'm really regretting that. However, I should draw WY next year so 2021 is the next time I will seriously look at a CO point tag so I'm probably going to do 76.
Burn it on a unit that has a that has the highest success rate, shoot the the first legal animal, and enjoy some fine table fare and agreat adventure. If you judge your adventure by antler size, you'll never be satisfied. There will always be one bigger. In the end an 8x8 wont another minute buy.
Antlers don't taste good, but I hear the Asian culture makes use of them as an aphrodisiac.
sticksender is absolutely right. If you can afford a guided hunt in 40, than do it. Otherwise, you can look at his dates for 76.
For some reason, people think that because they've held out for so many years in CO that they should have an equivalent hunt to their wait and that's just not the case. 61 in CO is an 8-9 point draw in AZ or WY with a 1-2% chance every year and a 3% draw odds in NM year after year. This is based on the bulls that are coming out of these units every year. 61 developed a great reputation 30 years ago and people have been chasing it ever since. Unfortunately, there's a lot of elk and not a lot of quality elk (because people with rifles save points for years hoping for a 350 bull but will kill any 6X6 on the last day of the hunt and they can and why shouldn't they?) and the restructure of the rifle season has hurt the unit even more than an archery, a ML, and a bunch of rifle seasons were.
CO is a great place to hunt elk OTC every year (because you can and they have a lot of elk). It's a lousy place to try and draw a good elk tag.
Those 14 PPs cost you about $140 over the years. Not a huge investment.
If you look at the Colorado Elk Statistics page, you will see lots of people who applied for lesser units with 14 PPs or more.
Next year, pick a guaranteed draw unit and go hunt elk
To be clear the pic of the bull I posted above was a rifle hunt. I only showed it to demonstrate that quality hunts are out there without needing 25 points.
I'm in the same boat you are with points. I'm in no man's land and don't want to burn them on a "cheap point hunt" but at the same time, I have private ground access that is great for archery. Problem is that it's very doable as a 1st choice hunt with 0 points. I was able to get a nice 6x6 bull last year through the reissued tags. This hunt has me really questioning why I've put off years of excitement to chase an extra 20" of antler. It honestly doesn't make sense. Yes, I can hunt this unit with a rifle OTC but I would much rather do the archery thing.
We might be able to alleviate a lot of this creep by allowing people to split points with another hunter like they do in WY. We talk about getting kids into the outdoors and this might be the way to do it. Dad is sitting on 12 points and is able to split these with a son or daughter to go hunt a 5 point unit together. This may screw-up some of the 5-6 point units but perhaps this is a good way to eliminate some people from the point pool who really want out but are too far in to cashout at the moment.
I know there are some issues with averaging points, but I do think it would help the NRs for CO given the current situation with points. I'm a prime example I have 12 my son has 4. If we could average I would burn my points to hunt with him, but I can't make myself drop down to his points(4) at this point to draw with him. I think there are ton of guys who would use up their points in our level 10-15 points if we could share them with a family member or friend.
KS, I’ve been trying to get that change to Colorado’s draw for years. Totally frustrated with the BS answers and gave up.
I would have much rather drawn a hunt with my son or friends using my points that hunting alone up in Unit 2. Colorado’s system pushes hunters with points into solo hunts.
Something to think about for you guys in “no man’s land”:
Success in the high point Colorado elk units is only a point or two higher than OTC. At best 20% with archery equipment. So 80% of the hunters go home empty handed. Statistics say you are more likely to not kill any bull, much less the bull of your dreams.
There are not 400” bulls running around stupidly trying to commit suicide to your arrow behind every bush in those top Colorado units! The majority of the successful archery hunters in the high point units (1, 2, 10, 201) are killing 300-330” bulls. Those types of bulls can be found even in hard hunted OTC units. Some OTC units actually will have decent numbers of those kinds of bulls or bigger with a little more research and work.
Hiring an outfitter or paying for private land access improves the potential of having a chance at a higher scoring bull. The chances of killing a really big bull (350+) on private land with a guide are still slim. Public land 350+ bulls in those units are much tougher to find, let alone kill.
High points required to draw tend to have more people out there looking much harder for those top end bulls that are supposed to live there - guys spend significant amounts of time in those units looking for a bigger bull. Hell, there are a bunch of guys working those units for oil companies, ranches, or outfitters year after year that really get those areas and the elk dialed in. When they find one, they tend to keep tabs on him and might sell that location or guide a rifle hunter to that specific bull.
Competition for those bigger bulls is fierce! Much more so than in lower point units.
You may never find that bull that they are watching even if you spend every bit of time you can beg off through the summer and probably won’t know where he is likely to go when the rut kicks in if you do.
Building points is a trap. If they are cheap and you don’t have the time, build a few. You will have a hell of a lot more good/great elk hunting if you use whatever you have when you want to hunt rather than holding off and waiting for a unit you may die before you draw.
Pretty sure those points won’t do you a damn bit good on the other side...
Elkocd, pick a year and go with your son. Do not let the opportunity pass you by or you will regret it.
Your 12 points will NEVER buy you a better hunt in Colorado than you can have with your son in a 4 or 5 point unit.
BTW, 76 is a 300” unit.
Decent elk numbers and can be a lot of fun, but not big bulls. Beautiful country and great fishing - dinky bulls.
I love that country, but wouldn’t consider burning even 1 point to hunt elk there. Much better quality animals and hunting in much lower point units.
Treeline, I agree 100%. Using the 12 points to hunt with the son in a 4-5 point unit would be much more fun than waiting 12-15 more years to chase one bull. As said 12 points doesn’t get you much different Hunt than 4-5 in Colorado. Go hunt with your son every 1-3 years.
Treeline, I am hunting with him every year just not in CO. He will draw a good OR archery tag this year. Probably WY next year for us if not MT, or maybe use his CO elk points and take him on an wilderness hunt there. This year I have a CO unit 21 deer tag and will get him on OTC elk tag so we can hunt together there.
I hear what you guys are saying and I have always followed the hunt now rule in every state. Heck, I've never had more than 7 points in any state. OR, WY, NV, AZ, UT. I like to just hunt and feel confident in finding bulls in lesser units. I've just been putting CO off because I've been in a certain unit there and seen some really good bulls I could get to.
I am getting over it tho, so who knows...
As a resident, I'm sitting on 14 points, and have no interest in dropping them in 76. I get to spend a lot of time in 76, get to see some good bulls come out of 76, but they are coming out of areas less hunted cause of the distance required to get to them. Let me tell you about 76. Guys go in eight or nine miles, hope the divide and hunt 76 on an otc tag. Lots of guys are now doing this. Who's to know... and they access 76 from several different areas.
If you go into 76, go in from the Creede side, and go in deep. You're not gonna see 340" bulls in every basin, and don't pass up a 300" bull thinking you can do better. I know lots of guys that have burned their tags in 76 cause they refused to kill a dink bull, believing all the hearsay about 350" bulls in 76. 76 is a steep place, lots of dead fall now with lots of standing dead trees. Some places are best avoided.
Point creep seems to be a huge problem in a lot of states. Idaho, and NM have a true lottery system, I believe the only two states in the west with the same draw system. Somewhere along the line these states are going to have to make adjustments to their draw system, But there will be a lot of angry hunters if they get screwed. It is a shame a lot of hunters keep accumulating points only to see those desired units raise the number of points to draw, something will have to give eventually. It would not surprise me to see a Law suit brought against Game and fish departments over this, anyways good luck next year in the draw.