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Which Colorado Unit With 21 PPs...?
I've been chasing a Colorado 201 archery elk tag for over 2 decades and have remained 1-2 points behind the creep. I don't think I'll ever catch up to it, so I'm ready to dump my 21PPs on a different unit in 2020. So far, I'm considering 2, 10, or 61. I'm most familiar with 2, but I'll have time to scout whichever unit I choose. 2 isn't a guarantee with 21 PPs, but my odds are decent. 10 and 61 should both be a shoe-in.
In your opinion, which unit offers my best chance at a 350+ DIY bull, and why? Feel free to PM me, if you prefer confidentiality.
Thanks in advance,
2, if you have the time to hunt for most of the season (or get lucky like we did). Scouting isn't as important as having time to hunt during season. We killed the two biggest bulls we saw, and we had never seen or cammed either one before they showed up.
10 has bulls that size but there are challenges to access to them in some places. Chris Roe ended up renting a boat and coming in from the Utah side, and the bull he finally killed was in the low 340s, if I remember correctly.
Can't speak to 61 as far as bull size.
I'll have the entire season to hunt. I also own a drift boat and love to fly fish, so a river hunt is certainly a possibility that's appealing to me.
Any other opinions?
I have hunted in Unit 10 and 61, and while 61 is a lot of fun, it's not in the same league as 2 and 10 in my opinion. I also have an archery tag in Unit 10 this year and will be happy to share everything I learn. Only 1 out of 7 applicants drew Unit 2 with 21 points this year, so I think you have almost no chance of drawing next year with 21. Having said that, I had 21 points this year, and I didn't choose 10 because I felt it was my only choice. I chose 10 because I believe it to be the better unit. This is partly because I know it better, and there has been much discussion on this site about which unit up there is the best. Many like 2 better, but I'll give you a few reasons why I favor 10. Unit 10, according to CPW estimates has more elk than 2 and 201 combined, in an area about 60% of the size. Unit 10 also has the best bull/cow ratio in the state, by a large margin. I personally think their estimated ratio for 2 and 201 is too low, but it's clear there are more bulls in a smaller area in 10. There is a total of 100 bull tags in Units 2 and 201 counting archery, muzzleloader, and rifle seasons. There are only 53 bull tags in Unit 10 for the 3 different seasons. The most common reason you hear for favoring 2 or 201 over 10 is that the chance for a huge bull is a little better, but I know of no real evidence to support that claim. Treeline, Jaquomo and his hunting partner killed some fantastic bulls in 2, but I know of equally large bulls killed in 10 that haven't gotten the exposure on this or other forums. I don't mean to be a naysayer about Unit 2 in any way, as it is a fantastic hunt, I'm trying to point out that I believe 10 to be just as good, and it's the only one you are just about assured of getting next year. It is true that the private land situation is a little more difficult in 10, but it's still approx 75% public. You need to know where you are in all of those units as most boundaries are not marked or fenced. I don't think everyone will ever agree on the best unit up there, but most will agree you will have a great experience in any of them. Feel free to shoot me a PM if you like. I am pretty excited about this fall and happy to discuss it at any time.
Great Information, Brun. Thank you.
It seems there was a pretty massive point dump this year, perhaps due to the strong economy, or the hints of the PP system being restructured. I was kinda hoping 2 would not have point creep next year, but that's probably just wishful thinking.
I will definitely contact you privately to discuss 10 some more. If I can help you with your 10 hunt in any way, please let me know.
Brun, Its exciting to read about your upcoming hunt in 10 this year. Obviously most of us will never get there. You cited only 53 tags. I agree with you and would always go with less tags for a better experience with all else being close to equal. Grey Ghost, I only know what I have heard or read about 2, 201,10. But I have first hand knowledge of 61 and have spent a lot of time in it. It is also a “good” unit with the occasional good bull taken. But I don’t think it’s on par with the 3 units mentioned above. One thing I like about 61 is that you can actually get away from people in the steep draws. You shouldn’t run into 6 spotters per hunter. The outfitters in the area are good ethical hunters and people. So none of that BS either. 61 can be a good experience But I don’t think it has the same age class of bulls.
Based on the 2019 stats, with 21 elk PPs there are literally HUNDREDS of people with more elk PPs than that.
The way I see it, you have 3 options:
1 - wait for another decade +,
2 - apply for a lesser unit and leave some PPs on the table
3 - switch method of take
"Based on the 2019 stats, with 21 elk PPs there are literally HUNDREDS of people with more elk PPs than that."
To be exact there were 856 residents with more than 21 points in 2019. 102 of those hunters pulled tags this year, leaving 754 still in the game. That's for all methods of take. They don't post specific numbers for those seeking archery tags, but I'm guessing it's probably in the 10-15% range, so that means there's roughly 100 archery hunters with more than 21 points.
Not all of those archery hunters will be prepared to cash in on their points, nor will they all apply for the units I'm considering. 1 out of 7 archery hunters with 21 points drew in Unit 2. Hunters with 22 points went 4 for 4. In Unit 10, anyone with 20 points or higher drew a tag.
As I see it, I stand a fair chance at either of those units, and especially 10.
I seriously doubt there's a 350 bull in 61 on public. If so there's not many.
Grey Ghost- you are correct but you just don’t know who or when they are going to cash in.
Many guys - myself included - hunt elk with more than just weapon. That right there is a major wildcard
Lol PopR. I’ve seen better than 350” in otc units. You might be correct about not many but that first sentence is hillarious.
I don’t know much of anything about those units but from the sound of things I’d make a go at 2 or 10 for a few years. If that doesn’t happen in the next 2-3 draw cycles you’re still ahead of the curve for a 61 tag down the road.
Grey Ghost- Of the 856 residents you cited with more than 21 points 382 actually applied for a license. Of those 382 applicants 355 applied for rifle, muzzleloader, or Ranching for Wildlife. 27 hunters applied for archery tags which is 7.6% of the applicants, considerably lower than you suggested. There were 474 people that only applied for PP, and I think it's reasonable to assume that the percentage of archery to other methods is approx. the same in this group. One big question, as cnelk suggested, is when these PP only guys will actually apply. There is no way of knowing this, but the percentage of actual applications to PP only has been pretty constant for at least the last 5 or 6 years. It is also true that some people hunt with multiple weapons, but I have glanced at these percentages, and they don't seem to vary much from year to year. The biggest question in my opinion is the new 5 year season structure. We can only speculate about this, but any big change could greatly alter the application numbers. If there are no big changes you will likely draw Unit 10 in 2020. I think you are 2 or 3 years out for Unit 2.
That's my thoughts, too, LINK. If one year goes by without creep in either 2 or 10, I should be almost guaranteed a tag. I know a guy with 24 points who hasn't drawn a tag because life simply won't afford him enough time and finances to dedicate to an all-season hunt. So, he continues to rack up points until that time comes. I'm betting he's not the only one in that situation, so the number of hunters with more points than 21 doesn't necessarily reflect on my odds, directly.
Of course, I'm probably lowering my odds by talking about this, here. But I've gained some valuable information from Lou, Brun, and others, so I'm glad I started this thread.
Thanks, again, for all your responses.
More great info from you. Thanks.
I sincerely hope we can hook up in 10 this year, even if only to share a campfire and tell some lies. I'll PM you my cell phone number so we can stay in touch.
This would be the year to have a trophy tag in your pocket. The antler growth is going to be as good as it gets.
61 is going to take 23 pts next year.
Why do you think that, elknailer?
Because he doesn't realize you're a CO resident.
Unrelated: I believe a lot of people build points with big dreams and few intentions. And they'll take those points with them to their graves.
If you're one of those people who puts in for points and not tags, don't get your undies in a bundle. I'm not saying everyone who puts in for points have little intention of actually going on the hunt, but I think a lot of people will apply for points only, for a lot of species in a lot of places and do that till the day they stop applying, whether that be because of advancing age or death.
It’s going to take 23 points next year because I’m going to do a live hunt in 61 and kill a monster................Raghorn
Do it, Caz! LOL!! That will increase my odds for 2.
Jaquomo screwed your odds for 2. :)
You have some stones if you'd consider taking a drift boat through Dinosaur national park to access unit 10. This is "disaster falls", where William Ashley lost his last boat on his expedition and Powell lost his 1st boat on his. Would make for a super fun trip though. Not totally sure, but I think you need permits to float through there too. I went commercially and I don't think I'd float that myself and I've spent a lot of time on the river.
I've never hunted Colorado, so I'm of no help there, but I've always wondered why 2, 201 are so sought after and 3 corners and Diamond mountain units in Utah which are right across the Green river are are not really sought after units? Diamond does have a lot of private, but the public area isn't exactly small either.
49... drop your 21 pts on 49.... let's see how much point creep can really get out of control... do it!!!
I sense a little frustration from you, Colohoythunter.
Ben, I've never floated Lodore Canyon, but I don't think it would be safe in a hard-sided drift boat. Besides, I don't know if that float would provide any unique access that isn't available by vehicle from the south.
Great advice above from several guys with first hand knowledge.
My $0.02 would be to use those points next year. Sounds like you’re planning to spend some time over there this fall and get the lay of the land. Will probably help the decision.
Good luck! Hope you get a crack at a monster!
I really enjoyed reading about your unit 2 hunt. Boy oh boy, you were blessed with a beautiful bull...with a long bow too!! Wow.
I got tired of the point creep and never being able to catch a unit if you are behind it. I hunted GMU 62 and scouted GMU 61 for years and just gave up finally. I really screwed the deal for everyone in GMU 76 about 5 years ago......dumped all my points there and happy I did it.
There are a bunch of reasons why floating Lodore to access 10 wouldn't work. The most important is that everything bordering the river is in the Monument and is miles and thousands of vertical feet up to even reach legal hunting within the unit. I have rowed it in a raft and I wouldn't even consider it in a hard shelled boat. The Yampa is the border of 10 for a short distance , but it's virtually all private. The rest of the way the Monument stands between the river and legal hunting in Unit 10, and as Grey Ghost has suggested, it's actually easier to access all the stuff that borders the Monument on roads from the south.