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Elk Rookie
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
okarcher76 18-Jul-22
Brotsky 18-Jul-22
okarcher76 18-Jul-22
KHNC 18-Jul-22
Beendare 18-Jul-22
pav 18-Jul-22
pav 18-Jul-22
wyobullshooter 18-Jul-22
Tracker 18-Jul-22
Bowboy 18-Jul-22
Quinn @work 18-Jul-22
cnelk 18-Jul-22
BeanMan 18-Jul-22
Cheesehead Mike 19-Jul-22
BULELK1 19-Jul-22
T-rex 19-Jul-22
Jethro 19-Jul-22
okarcher76 19-Jul-22
Brotsky 19-Jul-22
KHNC 19-Jul-22
[email protected] 19-Jul-22
wytex 19-Jul-22
okarcher76 19-Jul-22
Beendare 19-Jul-22
From: okarcher76
18-Jul-22
I'm planning on making a trip out west to chase elk next year for the first time

I've built points (1-3pts) in 3 states but would prefer to hold onto them for another couple years until I get some experience chasing these animals and trying to figure them out.

I don't want to play the long term point game but I'd like to get into some units that have a little less pressure and a chance at a quality bull down the road after I have some experience and know what I'm doing.

Initially I was debating Wyoming General or CO OTC but a majority of what I've read seems to push me away from that option. Id be willing to burn my points on a lower point unit in CO if it meant dealing with less people and upping my chances at seeing elk. I know I'm going to have to deal with people on any OTC or lower point unit but from what I've read I'm better hunting the lower point draw units are over the OTC units.

I'm really just trying to gain some experience and understand these animals better before burning points in a good unit. I'm just trying to get out there and start gaining some knowledge and experience

I've considered drop camps but it seems like those are hit and miss and I don't seem to see too many great reviews or stories about those. Almost seems as if I have just as good a shot on my own.

If anyone has any info they are willing to share PM me or comment some ideas here. I'm open to other states and ideas even if it's an antlerless hunt. I just want something where I can do and be in an area I can watch and learn elk behavior and tendencies and maybe come home with some meat.

Thanks in advance

From: Brotsky
18-Jul-22
You say you don't want to play the long term point game, but then you say you don't want to hunt general or low point areas. There's nothing good in the middle ground grasshopper. Start elk hunting, do it every year anyway you can on a rotational basis between a handful of states. That's some of the best advice you'll get, and don't be afraid to hunt cows.

From: okarcher76
18-Jul-22
When I say low point areas I mean 0-5pts, I see guys spending 15-20yrs building points and that's just not something I want to do

I have no issue burning points on smaller point units 2/3pt units but I also don't want to burn those if I'm not really gaining anything as far as better quality hunt if that makes sense ? If a 2pt unit doesn't gain me much more than an OTC then I'd prefer to hold onto it a few years to gain that small edge on a 4-6pt unit and I'll hunt OTC or General tags gaining experience through that

I'll 100% hunt OTC no issue but if I can burn a couple points and have a little better odds by all means ill choose that road.

I've read posts all over the internet from 2002 up to recent and I'm just trying to pick people's brains on their thoughts and opinions on how things are now. Some of that older info helps but some of it doesn't apply much now either

From: KHNC
18-Jul-22
Just do a bunch of google searching and asking questions. Especially ask about specific areas or units that have low pressure and a lot of elk. Those are the best, especially if they are overlooked and dont take many points to draw. Or better yet, OTC. Lots of guys will give out info on low pressured OTC areas since they dont have to lose points going to them each year.

From: Beendare
18-Jul-22
Just buy a CO otc tag, throw a dart to find a spot, lace up your boots and cover some ground.

The key to elk hunting is just covering a bunch of ground and analyzing the sign you see. Thats what I do.

From: pav
18-Jul-22
Unfortunately, point creep is quickly escalating virtually everywhere. The last three elk tags I drew (three different states, with 2, 4 , & 6 points) , now require virtually double the points spent on each of the previous tags. With more and more states supporting outfitters in the draws...it is only going to get worse.

From: pav
18-Jul-22
"Especially ask about specific areas or units that have low pressure and a lot of elk. Those are the best, especially if they are overlooked and dont take many points to draw. Or better yet, OTC. Lots of guys will give out info on low pressured OTC areas since they dont have to lose points going to them each year."

Ouch!

18-Jul-22
lol! Hopefully he’s being facetious, Paul.

From: Tracker
18-Jul-22
What Brotsky said!!!! Hunt often and hard and you will figure it out. I just burned 4 points to hunt a unit in WY that is a general tag for Residents. Nice thing is that for the first 15 days its a type 9 take which limits the units hunters to 150.

From: Bowboy
18-Jul-22
Brotsky gave you some sound advice.

From: Quinn @work
18-Jul-22
The reason you don't see many good reviews on drop camps is that if you happen to find one that's good you keep your mouth shut. Good drop camps that consistently produce elk are few and far between. Most of them are nice camping trips.

From: cnelk
18-Jul-22
Colorado OTC tags go on sale Aug 2nd.

Better start packing your stuff.

From: BeanMan
18-Jul-22

BeanMan's embedded Photo
BeanMan's embedded Photo
Great elk can be found OTC in Colorado, get your tag and go.

19-Jul-22
Wyoming general tags now take 4 points to draw in the regular draw and will continue to creep higher each year. Units in Colorado that took 2-3 points 10-12 years ago now take 7-8 points and climbing. A New Mexico tag that I drew 3 years in a row 12 years ago is now nearly impossible to draw. Three years ago I was able to buy an Idaho tag after I filled my Wyoming tag and then go hunt Idaho. Now they sell out very quickly.

Bottom line is if you want to hunt elk you're most likely going to have to hunt some Colorado OTC, at least until the entire state becomes draw. Since you're not in the long haul points game I would hunt Wyoming general whenever you can draw and you might as well hunt Colorado whenever you can draw a 2-3 point tag. A 4-6 point tag is probably not that much better and probably not worth the extra wait if you'd rather not hunt OTC. Your choices of lower point units is getting to be fewer every year.

You'd be wise to get some experience in OTC units before you burn any points but if you're only burning 2-3 points it's not that big of a deal. You might as well hunt those units when you can because if you build points for another 2-4 years, due of point creep your options will probably be those same units you could have hunted 2-4 years prior. In other words, the extra 2-4 points won't get you much. Keep in mind that there's no guarantee that a 2-3 point unit will be better than an OTC unit or that a 4-6 point unit will be better than a 2-3 point unit. How good a hunt will be will be determined more by your ability to find and figure out the elk and your commitment to killing one. A rookie or non motivated elk hunter in a 4-6 point unit most likely has lower odds than an experienced and motivated hunter in an OTC unit. I've had OTC hunts that were much better than hunts that took 1-3 points to draw. Also, more points to draw does not guarantee reduced hunting pressure. In 2020 I hunted a Colorado unit that now takes about 8 points to draw and I experienced the most hunting pressure I've ever experienced. Some of that may have been Covid related though.

Get out there and good luck!

From: BULELK1
19-Jul-22
Many of us learned by mistake, error and just dumb luck when we started bow hunting elk in OTC units of Colorado, Utah or Idaho.

You have gotten some dang good advice, go with it man--------->

Good luck, Robb

From: T-rex
19-Jul-22
X1 Cheesehead Mike

From: Jethro
19-Jul-22
If you want experience, why wait till next year? Even a not that great CO OTC unit will teach you something you have zero chance of learning at home.

From: okarcher76
19-Jul-22
I would love to start this year but have to wait til next year due to other hunts and a family vacation I have this year.

I've got 0 issue hunting OTC I probably should've worded it differently. Mike kind of answered what I was curious about

I guess I was just curious if a 2/3pt unit doesn't offer me more opportunity than a OTC then should I hold onto those points and get into the 4/5pt range and hunt OTC tags until then.

From: Brotsky
19-Jul-22
A 2-3 pt tag and a 4-6 pt tag are pretty much the same thing as far as hunt quality, it just takes you twice as long to draw the 4-6 pt tag. I think that's the part we aren't conveying clearly enough here.

From: KHNC
19-Jul-22
"lol! Hopefully he’s being facetious, Paul."

:)

19-Jul-22
All the signs here in CO point to OTC archery elk going away at some point in the future. Many units have already gone limited eventhough rifle has remained OTC in them.

Yes, some spots are busy but most OTC days I don't see or hear another hunter when away from the road or access trails.

These will likely be considered the "good old days" 20 years from now. My advise is go as often as you can.

From: wytex
19-Jul-22
Have you thought about cow hunting until you have the PP to draw a better bull tag? Wyoming cow elk licenses can be had with 0 PP and are good hunting. Good way to learn a bit about elk without burning your PP.

From: okarcher76
19-Jul-22
Wytex, I have not but I will look into that as well. That wouldn't bother me at all just for the experience I'd gain

From: Beendare
19-Jul-22
Good synopsis Mike…

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