Contributors to this thread:
CO 76 in 2022 . . . Hopefully
OK, while I won't send in my application until shortly before the deadline, I'm committed to applying for 76 this year unless my achilles pain gets worse or something completely unforeseen comes up. Last year one person drew the tag with the same number of points I had, and I have one more this year so I think I will have at least a 50% chance of drawing. If I don't draw in 22, then surely I will in 23.
Anyway, I spent some time up there last summer and will spend more this year. I have an area picked out that I am going to focus on but would love to hear from guys who have hunted it in the past. Unlike many, I won't lie, I would love for you to share your honey holes or your best friend's or worst enemy's. However, I'm also putting a lot of work into the scouting, planning, etc. so I'm not one of the guys who posts "I'm not looking for your honey holes" after the draw for a unit he's never been to. :) I'm fully DIY and will likely try the spots I find on my own first, and places other share if my spots don't pan out. I like to do it myself but am not too proud when my efforts fail to use any and all the help I can get.
As some of you know, I have been on here since the earliest days of the Bowsite though I don't post as much as I used to. I'm 56 and am not in the kind of shape I know I would like to be for 76, but I have been ramping up since the start of the year to get as close as my foot pain will allow. Unfortunately the pain doesn't have a solution other than a pretty major surgery that I hope to avoid at least for several more years. It won't stop me from hunting, but it will limit how far in I can reasonably go.
So, with that introduction, I would love to dialogue with anyone who has hunted or has any good intel you are willing to share with me. Send me a PM with your email address as I want to protect all share info and email is a much safer way to do that.
Thanks in advance guys. Bowsite has always been good to me when it comes to sharing information.
229 days to fine tune my plans, equipment, get in shape and make sure my old style snuffer tipped arrows are shooting true! Can't wait!
76 is a unit you will need to hike....but maybe not. There was a member here that killed a bull right in camp back in about 08...so maybe that whole unit is a "sweet spot"
We were hunting about 8-10 miles in ....then driving out of 76 in 2010 and saw a great 7x7 bull right off the main road.
I'm no help, Darrell, but I do wish you good luck. I hope you have a great experience in what is some dang awesome country!
It's good that you're getting the tag before the wolves are released.
Thanks for the help of guys who have chimed in so far. One of the things I'm realizing is that I'm finally at a place in life where I have the funds and the time to do a hunt like 76 in the way it should be done, but my feet are going to make that harder.
I have always had some issues, especially where my achilles attaches due to surgery I had in Jr. High, but now that I want/need to get extremely serious about getting in shape for this September, it decides to flare up. Dr. says I could have another surgery, but that would be a six month recovery at best and who knows what else might creep up next year. So, I'm all in for this year.
I was in the same point pool as you last year. They actually emailed me and offered me the tag after someone turned theirs back in. After some thought I declined as I had previous plans. But I don’t plan to put in this year so you will have one less to compete with. Good luck!
Decided enough was enough last year and cashed in my 21 points for this unit. Had a great hunt, for 5 days, until I jacked my knee up and had to be hauled off the mountain at 1 am!! I did a solo pack in with an outfitter. 8 miles back into the wilderness and from camp I was walking 3 more miles deeper into the wilderness every day. Came super close on day 1 and 3, passed a decent 5x5 on day two. Nothing on day 4 and blew out my knee on day five walking back into the wilderness in the dark that morning. I'm still pissed about burning all those points and not being able to give the hunt the dedication it deserved. Knee still isn't 100%. I hunted with an outfitter who had horses and drop camps. I had it pretty much all to myself. I won't share the location if you aren't using the guy so don't ask. He's an honest hard working guy and I won't undermine his operation by giving out the location for free. It's an awesome unit and some of the prettiest elk country I've ever had the pleasure of hunting! Get yourself in shape and don't end up like I did!!
Such a bummer about your knee, especially just at the point you had to be thinking things were about to come together. As for you spot, appreciate your protecting the guy. I wouldn't ask for that kind of spot both on principle and because I know without horses, that's way beyond my abilities. Hope your knee gets back at least closer to 100%
I’ve got 7 resident points now and it looks like I still a couple years out.
No need to go deep in the wilderness 76 unless you want to. Plenty of elk closer to the road.
BIG country! I don't really know if I'd attempt to hunt it without stock &/or some help. The tag is too valuable to be a badass and try to do it all on your own especially if you're going in anything less than 100% physically. Jmo.
Im in the same boat as the OP with points. I'd like to go DIY but am not totally against going with an outfitter. If anyone can recommend one please send a PM.
I will have some help. Hopefully my longtime hunting partner will be there for a good part of the time and I have a couple others who will join me for parts of my hunt. I don't want to fight with stock. I have known too many others who have spent more time fighting their stock than hunting. :) Might consider getting packed in for part of the hunt, but I've had pretty good success finding elk in units with small scattered elk populations so I think with some of the pointers I've been given and what I have already learned with boots on the ground, I will do well.
Darrell, as I plan to do some scouting there later this summer and have not bowhunted 76 in recent years, I will likely have some more current information that I could share with you. If this happens, I will send you my email and phone number so that we can communicate. Badbull
llamas were pretty darn easy to manage in there as compared to horses. Consider that OP to ease strain on your bum foot and to get deeper than would otherwise get.
I might could be open to that idea, but no idea where to start. Does anyone rent llamas?
packing out my bull the SMART way for once.
packing out my bull the SMART way for once.
yes, google llama rentals colorado.
Redwood llamas in Silverton was great to work with. This pic is me packing out of 76 from way way back in there.
That is one of my favorite pix KHunter!
I sure miss my llama pack string.
Good luck, Robb
That does look like fun. Probably out of my price range and plans for my hunt, but intriguing to say the least. Nice bull also!
The price would be of minimal investment. It'd be worth it's weight in gold. I can't imagine thinking I could effectively hunt that unit without stock and do it justice. Especially not with a physical impairment. I wish you luck!
If you also had 15 non-res points, then I'm that one guy who drew last year! Hunted 18 days DIY solo, on foot, and I'm a few years older than you. Called in 6 bulls over the last 9 days, and I'm a very inexperienced caller. Damn tough to get a longbow shot when they're coming straight in looking for you! Blew my one decent shot when he changed course at the last second. I'm sure you've searched and found the areas of the unit that are best known for elk. Try to hike in a mile or so away from roads and trails. I had plenty of action 1-2 mi from truck access. If you have some areas you're considering, PM me and I'll let you know if I tried that area. I tried some areas that were pretty empty of elk.
As esean has noted, plenty of spots close to the road that hold elk.........
Darrell. How many points you going in with?
About ready to apply. Good news is I think I've made some good headway on dealing with my foot pain. Now the pain in my neck that goes through my shoulder is being extra stubborn but that doesn't keep me from working out. 2.5 miles and 725 elevation gain this morning. That's pretty good elevation in Kansas. :) (Of course it takes me 4 trips up the largest hill in the area.) I may be able to get in better shape than I thought I would. It still won't be as good as I would like, but I'll take every bit I can get.
Thanks to those who have touched base and shared info. Very open to hearing from more guys who have hunted it in the past.
Used to go in a lot in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Only took about two maybe three points max to draw it. The good ole days! Never hunted it myself but have been in there a lot with others who have. Also did lots of backpacking and fishing trips in there.
I will have 16 points this year. I’ve missed 9 years and would be at 25 now.
You can hunt close and have a decent hunt. Most of the better bulls are taken off the beaten path. Will you settle for a 280 bull or are you expecting something bigger? It's really tough to pull a top end bull out of this unit. It's a fun hunt but also a hard hunt.
I hunted 76 several years ago. Most days we hiked to the top as the elk were right at tree line. That said the biggest elk we saw was from the road and I got within 40 yds on a stalk when he saw me before I saw him (which is why he was beaded where he was, perfect place to see any approach). The last day it snowed and I spotted an elk in the valley and was able to intercept it and shot it within 300 yds of the road. So 76 can be tough but there are also some easier opportunities. If and when I go again I am going to take a dirt bike or e-bike as there are some trails that are open to two wheeled vehicles but not ATV's. PM me if you want specifics.
Starfire, I will have that 76 elk tag this year and will be scouting it this summer. If you would like to share some info, I would really like to communicate with you. Thanks, Badbull
Without stock or a drop camp that can bring out a bull you are limiting your hunting to areas closer to some type of vehicle I assume. Not sure llamas would cost more than a drop camp and would give you flexibility. Bringing in your helpers will likely up the pack in cost. I hope to tag along with my son in that unit next year. Good luck.
I bet that pic of Khunters just juiced the points required to draw 76…..nice bull.
Well, I guess I have an extra year to learn the unit. If you drew the tag this year, congrats. If you drew it with 16 points, I hate you. Ok, not really but it will be interesting to see how much point creep got me and how much I was just unlucky. Like I said, not all bad. It gives me more time to learn it and get ready for it.
Draw stats are posted at the link, looks like 2 out of 55 drew at the 16 point level.
Thats insane….good unit but not 18 years of applying good…..
Wow. It took a full year's jump. I was hoping for a 1/2 point jump.
Buddy of mine drew 76 Muzzy tag I thought he said he had 25 pts. He's never shot an elk before so it should be a fun hunt for him. Hopefully his body can take the abuse of hunting in thin air.
Darrell for that hunt (and most of Colorado's other high-demand archery elk hunts) it takes on average about 5 years to move one point closer to drawing as a NR. It's been that way, and very predictable, since I first fancied drawing 76 and building points for it. I was in your same point class, and a couple years ago I figured it was going to be 5-7 more years for a guaranteed draw for 76. So I changed course and burned my points on another unit. Right now you are roughly 3-5 years from a guaranteed draw. But you should have a slim hope next year. Probably somewhere in the 5-10% odds range, would be a good guess. And then the odds for your point pool should go up slowly each year. Whether it's worth the wait is completely up to you. The only positive with Colorado's system is that you can have a pretty good feel for future draw outcomes. Until they decide to change the system again, of course.
Darrell I'm sorry for your bad luck this time around. Here's to you staying healthy and strong another year until your time comes
When I drew in 2007 it took 6 or 7 points. Yikes. I doubt I will ever get back there!
Yep, other areas are certainly drawing my attention. Sure am kicking myself for forgetting to get a point in 2018. Had I done that, I likely would have hunted it last year.