Contributors to this thread:
Colorado OTC Elk - I’m done with it
Just as the title says, I’m done with OTC Archery Elk in Colorado. Such a shit show anymore.
Until the CPWolf Department gets their head out their ass and realign things, you guys can have it.
I can draw LE tags every year - they might not be ES tags but at least I won’t be competing with the throngs of NonRes bugling their damn head off with bad bugling (when the elk aren’t bugling) and Stomping thru the woods with no care about wind.
Keep buying your tags for the yearly archery elk ‘Shit Show’. I won’t be.
Sounds like someone didn’t get their elk…lol Although having only hunted Colorado once in otc unit it was quite busy…..I feel your pain
^^^ I could care less about getting an elk. I’ve killed dozens and dozens. That wasn’t the point.
Hunt Man - Keep up with the discussion of overcrowding in Colorado
I haven't bowhunted Elk for a long time in Co now but when I did, never had "other hunter" problems. My son is out there now with 2 buddies (2nd trip OTC area) & they are having a great time. They are in Elk but haven't put anything on the ground yet. I talked to my son yesterday & I asked about other hunters. He said they saw/talked to 3 others "one" day & they are all together like him & his buddies. Otherwise, he's seen no other hunters.. As hunting sometimes goes, he bought a small game LIc as they had seen so many Grouse on his 1st trip. So, going back to camp one day, he shoots a Grouse. Walks over, picks it up, Grouse in one hand, unloaded Bow in the other. Looks up & 40 yds away is a Cow watching him. Puts Grouse down & she takes off. He's hunting Elk, Like I did, she was fair game. He's had one very close encounter with a Bull but unable to get a shot & another Cow too. That's bowhunting & I'm glad he's enjoying his adventure. I've bowhunted 15 states now, public land, on my own for a variety of biggame & my western bowhunts have always been great & not disappointing.
I just got back from Wyoming took 12 points to draw a tag and there were so many people in the woods it was a big disappointment it will be my last elk hunt
As much trouble as we have killing elk in LE areas, I am for sure not going back to OTC areas in CO. Should be a lock for a LE tag in WY in 2024. If no tag in 2025, then I will just skip elk hunting until i can get another LE somewhere. Lately, LE areas are crowded too seems like.
Last time I was in Colorado for 2 weeks OTC, was same way a lot of people and only a couple elk seen. Buddy who rifle hunted same area said way more guys archery hunting than gun hunting. Soured me, haven't been back.
isn't Colorado going to draw only ?
Been a long time since I went OTC elk, maybe 10 years. I remember your pain, lets drown our sorrows after my Oct 1-14 cow moose season at Hooters.
100% draw wouldn't fix things unless the overall tags are reduced. It's still 50,000 bowhunters.
We can rearrange things but every place there is one less hunter, another place has one more. Plus all the rifle and other users aside from bowhunting also in the woods at the same time doesn't change.
I would like less pressure but most solutions that have a chance go down a path of me having to sit out with no tag at some point. As a resident, with our current elk numbers, that's not acceptable.
I usually hunt an easy to draw elk unit lately. Just as much pressure as my OTC spots and not as "easy" to draw as it was.
Glad I didn’t miss anything this year. I’ll enjoy my limited hunt in Wyoming this year and limited entry hunt in CO next year. Alaska the following? Absolutely. But going to sit the OTC elk out for now.
Good news. Some guys staying out of the woods.
I gave up on OTC elk several years ago. It’s post like this that reinforce my decision was the way to go. ts either LE draw or private property for me these days.
Unless you’ve archery elk hunted Colorado otc public land consecutively for the past 5,10,15,20+ years you have absolutely no effin idea. And hardly have enough wisdom to comment
^^^Agreed. It’s gotten out of hand. Has been for at least the last 5 years if not longer. Sadly they will most likely remove archery OTC all the way around the board to cater to the non resident money. Whore out the resource at its finest.
Just because CPW changes a unit from OTC to LE doesn't mean the numbers go down when the draw quota has an almost infinite number of tags.
I am right there with you!
I still don't understand why they won't adopt the WY model. Draw for non-residents and OTC for residents. I know WY has significantly less people in it, but still.
Brad, its a no brainer to Convert your Wyoming place into your personal res
I'm at about the same point, Cnelk. If I can't hunt private land, it's likely futile. I've got a cow tag for first rifle this year, and I'm expecting the woods to look like a pumpkin patch from an aerial view.
MT is headed the same direction......Western states with OTC elk hunts are going to have to start limiting tags. Not enough space or game for the demand to hunt them. At some point people will stop coming-out, the hunting is so bad it's hard to justify it. Sorry it's gotten that bad Brad.
I’ve been a nonresident hunting Colorado for the last 20 years. Between the CPW, social media, and onX it absolutely sucks. I’ve killed a lot of elk out here over the years but these last four or five years it’s been absolutely crazy with the amount of people that are here. Any of the secret spots that I used to have are no longer secret because of onX and the other apps. Until CPW makes it all draw and puts a limit on tags it’s just going to keep getting worse. I will more than likely be going with outfitters from now on.
There's hope in the future guys, when we go completely green and digital currency , we locals will have it all to our selves again, like it was in the fifties. However I doubt it can last that long.
Cnelk i Had the same problem in my OTC area.
Sounds like Montana. I came away thinking the same thing.
Wolves should help things.
Brad, you lasted a year longer than I did. This is the first CO archery elk season in 40 years that I wont participate in due to overcrowding.
All of the OTC units not in the NW corner are going to have even more pressure next year. With the dismal elk numbers (winter kill, it's real) in NW Colorado, a lot of people that usually hunt NW CO will be looking for new paces to hunt for a few years.
The army of NR OTC archery elk hunters has to stop at some point. It's out of hand.
Going all limited draw won't help either as the CPW will still give way too many tags per unit. It's time for Resident Only OTC and Draw for NR's. Enough's enough.
Colorado OTC, should be for resident only. NR should be a draw. So many DNRs, treat the residents, like the help
The internet has ruined a lot of things!
Started elk hunting back in '93, (been to CO, WY, ID, OR, & MT) except for the past 3 or 4 years, I've only bumped into a few hunters. I'm a meat hunter, so I take the first legal adult elk that gives me a shot.
As a non-resident, I agree that something has to be done. The residents should be the only ones for OTC. Even if I could only hunt every 3 or 4 years, that's better than what it's been like with hunters everywhere (especially the past 3 years).
After this year, my hunting partner said this was his last year. He refuses to get sucked into the point game. Most likely I'm done as well. I've got 4 points in WY, hopefully I draw next year - then I'm done as well.
That said - don't see it changing much in the near future, it's all about the almighty dollar.
I couldn’t agree more with the overcrowding of OTC. The most maddening part is the wondering around with no regard for wind and blowing bugles and cow calls every minute.
I couldn’t agree more with the overcrowding of OTC. The most maddening part is the wondering around with no regard for wind and blowing bugles and cow calls every minute.
I'm amazed that any western state has OTC for NR.
The only brightside to the new alien wolf populations is that they should help push the herds off the sewed up private to where the public land hunters get a chance .
Thank your local youtube “hunting influencer”
At least we now know it requires 5 years minimum of hunting elk experience to be able to comment on bowsite. Should be a lot less crowded on here too.
If it’s not a limited tag anywhere I’m not leaving the driveway, regardless of the state, been that way for me 10 plus years.
I would bet that if they went back to requiring all "bows" to be released with the fingers as archery was intended to be there would be a significant decline in elk bowhunters. Of course too much money behind all the technology that has long since removed most of the challenge that was once known as hunting with a bow and arrow. To those of us who have been doing this for over 50 years, the term "bow season" is now a joke.
"At least we now know it requires 5 years minimum of hunting elk experience to be able to comment on bowsite."
Sorry to hear it Brad. Best.
At least we know Stringgunner’s reading comprehension needs some work.
Stupid question from Florida guy. Does/has technologies like OnX(love it) have an effect on the hunting out west. They sure took a lot of work out of the equation. Just curious.
Whatever cnelk. Your post said as much. I get your struggle for real. But seriously, your 4th post in this thread was tears in your beer man. “5,10,20,25, years of experience needed to have wisdom to comment.” Lol.
Been reading your posts on this forum for 15+ years. You can do better than that.
See cnelk’s 4th post. Not enough wisdom to post without 5+ plus years of experience. Give me a break.
Bigswivle, OnX definitely makes it easier for folks to go, but that isn’t the root cause I don’t think. People sprinting west to be the next “hunting influencer” is. Joe Rogan constantly talking about it doesn’t help either. Hunter recruitment is an enemy whether folks want to admit it or not - a tough pill to swallow and a complex argument since everyone was recruited at one point or another - whether it be when they were 4 years old or 60. Unfortunately, those being recruited now seem like they’re doing it more to be like the “cool” guys on YouTube than they are because of their own aspirations.
If 100k non-hunters (or whitetail only guys) watch an elk hunting video and even 1% of them end up going on an elk hunt because of it, that’s 1,000 more hunters in the woods because of 1 video. Amplify that across the mass amount of hunting content out there, and those hunting influencers are doing some damage. Even just 10-15 years ago, the barrier to entry to have a hunting show was big enough that most folks didn’t try. Nowadays, with zero barrier to entry, everybody wants to have their own sexy hunting show and they think going out west to film is the way to do it.
I’m curious as to what would happen to hunter numbers if no one could post their hunting content online. No trophy pics, no videos, no trace of it on social media? I bet the dent would be more than most people realize.
Like I said Stringguner, you left out the key point of that particular post….
Unless you’ve archery elk hunted ‘’COLORADO OTC PUBLIC LAND”consecutively for the past 5,10,15,20+ years you have absolutely no effin idea. And hardly have enough wisdom to comment
11 years ago when I discovered Bowsite I learned that OTC Colorado elk wasn’t for me. I can only imagine what it’s like now days.
With more wolves on the way it’s only going to get worse. Hopefully sone day it will get better. I doubt any of us will see it though.
Got cnelk. So for all you guys hunting otc Colorado archery, who only have 1-4 years (consecutively) under belt, you lack the wisdom to comment on this post.
"Midwest- See cnelk’s 4th post. Not enough wisdom to post without 5+ plus years of experience."
stringgunner, See cnelk's last post. You must have skimmed over the "Colorado otc public land" part.
I feel bad for the residents of Colorado who've had to watch the decline of their once great elk hunting state. I'm not mad that more people want to hunt elk. I love elk hunting so much I want others to experience the thrills I have. I'm willing to step back and wait a year or two for others to have their turn at a quality hunt. As it is now, I don't want anything to do with the current otc shit show that Colorado has turned into.
Midwest- I get it. I’m dealing with the same in my units in Oregon. I totally get the struggle. I went 12 for 15 in a unit in Oregon, after this year I will be moving on for the same reasons cnelk posted. How to change tactics to still be successful is my option, not hunting, especially now that my boys are going with me isn’t a good option.
The basis of my overall point was simply cnelk and many on bowsite for 15+ years have been teaching, mentoring, and helping to raise up the next generation of successful hunters, the comment about not having enough wisdom to comment isn’t helping or mentoring those endeavoring to learn.
Yep. I’m also done mentoring, teaching, helping the next generation, or others (except a select few) about Colorado OTC archery elk hunting. No more spots will be given out (Paul).
They can pay for it and learn just like I did. By getting out there and scouting, losing sleep, and driving many miles over rough roads, cutting trees, etc.
I do wish them luck tho. They are gonna need it.
Is it true 85% of Colorado elk are taken by 1/3 rd of the hunters. Those that have it figured out are consistent killers The rest stumble around and hope
Stringgunner, are you saying Oregon is as crowded as Colorado?
PECO2, no I wouldn’t presume to have wisdom enough to speak about otc Colorado. :-) But….I’ve hunted multiple states, LE tags and mostly over the counter. Oregons new draw system has sent the masses into a few select general units, I don’t know the stats but my guess is archery numbers are increasing as well. Overcrowding in units is not unique to otc Colorado (though likely CO is worse?) many on here have already attested to this in their experiences in other states, not sure if their “wisdom” is at the same level at cnelks so I’m not sure if their comments are worth reading or have value based on cnelks post.
Success rates are not dramatically increasing, but the same few hunters continue to kill elk regardless. The experience is less enjoyable but perhaps the increase in hunter numbers will keep the opportunities open (voting numbers and advocates) for future generations.
Wishing there were solutions that would accomplish both less crowding and opportunities for everyone.
Maybe states with OTC tags for residents and non residents need to make their archery seasons into 1 week intervals with 4 options, divide the masses into 4, 1 week options. But then….we would bitch about having only 7 days to hunt rather than 30.
How did this turn into a pissin' match? LMAO
Yep I’ve been done since 2019. Not because I don’t think I could have success, not because it’s too “crowded” but because it’s just plain bad for the elk and that much is obvious. It’s going to be a reason for contention with the non-hunting outdoors crowd as well because it’s obvious to them also. It’s only gotten worse since then and until Colorado decides to severely limit NR (that’s me) and make it worthwhile for sportsmen to take up residency there it will continue to only attract more and more anti hunting voters
Side note, I burned some Colorado points on a hard to draw unit this year and had an absolutely amazing hunt. More than healthy herds of elk doing elk things. I learned more about elk and in this last week than I had since 2015 on my first Elk hunt
Just killing an elk isn't as important to me as a quality elk hunting experience.
Colorado has had a problem for a while. The only way to fix it is limit access by NR’s and increase resident tag costs. By a huge amount. Because legislature isn’t going to cut parks and wildlife revenue. Too much money. They’ll pass it on to residents. They’ll have too if they limit NR money.
“How did this turn into a pissin' match? LMAO”
Somebody posted a topic.
no chit bou......... sigh
"Is it true 85% of Colorado elk are taken by 1/3 rd of the hunters. Those that have it figured out are consistent killers The rest stumble around and hope
I've heard that nonsense for years, but have never seen any proof of it. Colorado doesn't have mandatory kill reporting on elk. So how could anyone possibly know who consistently kills elk or not? Even the estimated 10% success rate for CO archery elk hunters is a joke. Again, without mandatory reporting that statistic is just a wild-ass guess.
Obviously, it also depends on where a hunter has access to. I killed bulls 10 out of 12 years on OTC public land, but it was landlocked by private and we had permission to trespass. My success wasn't because I'm a great elk hunter, it was purely because we had exclusive access to a great non-pressured area with plenty of elk. I hated to lose that spot.
I agree the swine cpw will not give up any money. However the answer is not to bend over the residents and increase their cost to hunt the state they live in, "by a huge amount." It's real simple. limit the nonresidents, increase their tags by a huge amount. Also, nonresidents must check their kill in and pay a trophy fee on anything over a 300" bull. Like maybe $100 per 10", capped at 400" So a 400 inch bull will cost you an extra grand. It's a brilliant idea. I would gladly volunteer to work at a local check in station.
Soon, everyone will be done.
1/3 of my friends kill 100% of the elk. The other 2/3's never kill anything.
Ouch! Non-resident tag fees increase on a regular basis out west and I get that. But the idea of adding trophy fees to the mix? That absolutely sucks!!!
Yeah, peco is a prime example. Complain about the nonresident, then complain when they move a direction to limit the nonresident. Because that means residents pay more to cover the loss of revenue created by less nonresident participation.
Bravo on the trophy fee thing. I can see the optics on that one settling right into the mix.
Just suck it up and pay more. That’s the way it works for more exclusive involvement with anything that you pay to play. Resident Colorado hunters are no different.
How much more would you like me to pay?
Your comment might have weight if WV was a destination state for big game hunters. It's not. All our CO residents are asking for is some semblence of balance and perhaps preference shown to residents, as it should be. They've seen their state over run in the last 10 years, something a WV resident knows ZERO about.
"Also, nonresidents must check their kill in and pay a trophy fee on anything over a 300" bull. Like maybe $100 per 10", capped at 400" So a 400 inch bull will cost you an extra grand. It's a brilliant idea. I would gladly volunteer to work at a local check in station."
Would this be Gross score or net? B&C or P&Y official scoring? What about Buckmasters or SCI? I have been told the score means nothing unless its official and entered in record book. Otherwise its NOT a record book scoring animal. So , would there be a mandatory requirement to enter in record book somewhere? Also, what about 60 day drying period? Hunter would be overcharged for an incorrect score if not , correct? As you can , charging a fee by score is a stupid idea. No thanks. Plus, no OTC public land bulls in CO are over 300 anyway. :)
It's not that complicated. You have to check it in just like you do a bear. It gets measured, you pay on that number. It's a better idea than just sticking it to the guy who lives here. Maybe you and the guy from WV can form a committee and decide what is best for Colorado.
What budget is going to pay for the official measuring stations? We can't even get an accurate harvest number system let alone scoring all of our rag horn bulls.
CPW doesn't have a revenue problem. Like every government agency, they always say they do.
Mule deer were the golden goose into the 80's. Elk replaced them. It allowed outsized budgets. Hunters and mother nature are what do the bulk of managing Colorado's wildlife. CPWs roll could be accomplished with a much smaller budget.
Yeah, I don't think the trophy fee idea would ever work.
IMO, the only way to improve the elk hunting in Colorado is to limit tags in all units, just like they do with deer. Give residents 75-80% of the tags, and charge them more. As a native of Colorado, I've always thought our resident elk tags are ridiculously cheap. I mean $62 for residents versus $760 for NR? I'd gladly pay $250 for a tag, if it resulted in 25% fewer non-residents and a better quality hunt.
Bowbender, I do have a good idea on the over crowding. And, I’m on your side. I’
The only thing I have zero reasoning with is the idea that nonresidents need controlled. Yet, someone besides residents is supposed to pay for the revenue gap created by doing so.
Glunt gets it. The cpw budget has grown exponentially the last 20 years with the high elk numbers and revenue generated from them. Time to cut the fat, elk numbers are down quite a bit from then! Wyoming game dept is smaller and does just fine with their res-non res mix.
"I just got back from Wyoming took 12 points to draw a tag and there were so many people in the woods it was a big disappointment it will be my last elk hunt."
Huh, on a LE hunt that took 12 points? I'm gonna slowly raise the brown BS flag on this one.
"Maybe you and the guy from WV can form a committee and decide what is best for Colorado."
I stopped hunting elk in CO as a NR years ago. I saw the BS coming from a distance. As for me, I live in a high demand state slammed by NR deer hunters. High lease prices, corn piles and very expensive NR tags. My state jacked the license costs a few years ago for NR's. Seemed to help a little but not much. Having the longest deer season in the country will do that.
CNELK Just curious, based on all your previous experience that you have. Is this frustration as relates to places that you have put in a lot of time and boot leather now being over run? Or regardless of where you try to start over, there is hunters everywhere? Either way your frustration is real and I feel that increase of NR license in Kansas for deer has made deer hunting harder for all the residence here. Unless you own land or have access to land, you are either going to pay a pretty penny to lease or own. The cost of recreation property is through the roof and is often bought by NR. In reality I think you are decreasing the quality of the hunt for all which used to be something Kansas was known for. As someone who has hunted OTC in Colorado I get it, have also done WY General, would much prefer the reality of maybe not going west every year with hope in the years I do go its a quality experience. Yes regardless of outcome of hunt a week to ten days in mountains is reward itself, but I do want an opportunity at quality hunt without running into a hunter every turn.
cnelk, I feel you. My favorite unit was put on blast on the internet for "best dispersed camping". Onces came across a dude taking a dump while smoking a cig in a common elk bedding spot. Now the unit has a hotel built on it a 1/2 mile in from the entrance.
Another time had a bull responding to my bugle, then hung-up and watched him run away. Just then a trash hunter walked right up behind me and called me a "F----R" for not being a real bull.
"I mean $62 for residents versus $760 for NR? I'd gladly pay $250 for a tag, if it resulted in 25% fewer non-residents and a better quality hunt." Disagree. $250 for a resident elk tag? Then only a 25% reduction in the crowds? Doesn't sound like a good deal to me.
PECO2, sorry if I wasn't clear. Making all elk units a limited draw would reduce crowding, assuming the tag allocations aren't. too generous. Giving residents 75-80% percent of those tags would result in less non-residents. The net affect of both would hopefully be a significant reduction in crowding. That would be well worth $250 to me.
Sounds like a few more candidates may want to sign this petition to the commission for resident only OTC.
Suddenly I love Canada so much more. If I see evidence of people I won't even hunt within a mile. Over an elk season I may or may not run into a hunter.
I would be willing to pay more for a better experience, but there are 3 main reasons I don't support that path.
The first is that I want resident hunting to be accessible. The costs for a family to get tags, gear, gas and time off can already be restrictive.
The second is that in my experience, pay higher government fees in hopes of better opportunity, service or results rarely works out.
Third is the amount of restriction actually required to see a substantial improvement. A unit like 61 has 95% less hunters than the OTC unit next to it that's basically the same size. At even 1/2 that amount of reduction, it means a lot of September's with no tag.
Having hunted MT, CO and WY, respectively, the last 3 seasons, I can say unequivocally that hunter numbers/pressure is rising as is nonhunting recreation. Our general area in MT has become so overrun that we have decided to abandon it. Our OTC CO hunt last year was a shit show as well. Even though we were packed in and guaranteed we would not see another hunter, we had six hunters hunt through the small basin we were based in on day two. One group even camped within 200 yards of our tent. We just returned from a WY LE 10+ pt unit that had way more pressure than we expected. It seems this unit is the favorite for campers from Sheridan, Buffalo, Cody, Casper, and Gillette. ATV's, UTV's, motorcycles, bicycles, hikers, you name it, we saw it. We even had a homeless guy wander into camp looking for food. By Sept. 15th, every gated road/trail would have a truck or two along with ATV's. Road riders were creeping along the main roads attempting to poach elk from the roadway/vehicle with crossbows. We witnessed this firsthand and it ultimately costed us an elk as the poacher stopped and attempted the shot as my buddy was at full draw. So, RonP you can lower your BS flag. Did I mention the cows? Hundreds along with cowboys and cow dogs every damn day. But that's another issue that will never be solved due to money and politics. Regardless, we still got into elk and had a few good hunts but not the experience we were expecting for our 10 year wait.
I did OTC Colorado in 2018. I vowed to never go back. I think I would run into less people in Disney World. If I have to be in that mess to hunt elk, I'll never hunt them again.
Non residents are not the only problem. I see way more Colorado plates at the areas i hunt than out of state plates. Just as many residents going around blowing on a bugle every 30 seconds not knowing what the hell they're doing .
There has to be a limit in all units for everyone. Grey Ghost has it right, 75% for residents 25% for non residents and resident prices have to go up considerably. Id be fine with coming out every few years instead of every year at this point.
"resident prices have to go up considerably" NO, wrong answer. What if instead, nonresident tags go up considerably. If you are fine coming every few years, pay up. You hunt at home for cheap, we want the same.
Well I'm not a CO resident so I have no say in this. But I will say it's tough to pay $760 for a tag and see more hunters than elk. I haven't been doing it nearly as long as others, but I've seen the difference in just the one unit I've hunted. First year was 2009 and we hunted the last week and saw nobody. I think we've been back 5 times, and every year it gets harder to see or hear elk, and more and more hunters. Last two times I never saw an elk. Last time I went I heard exactly one bugle.
Frankly when you dream all year about it and you take the time off work and away from family, and then just have a bad experience, it's not a whole lot of fun anymore. It will be hard for me to go back. I won't say never, because sure enough there will come a year where I have nothing drawn or planned, and I'll end up out there and be disappointed again. . . .
I don't know the solution, and it's really not any of my business as I'm not a resident. I'll just take my money somewhere else that provides a better hunt/experience. I'm sure that will mean hunting a lot less, but I'm okay with that. I'd rather do fewer hunts and have better experiences than lots of crappy hunts :)
"because sure enough there will come a year where I have nothing drawn or planned" That's the problem right there. Everyone comes to Colorado when all of their plans fall through and/or they don't draw elsewhere. Then they complain it's crowded and the residents need to pay up to fix the problem. I know you didn't say that, but most of the other nonresidents did.
Interesting stats Brad. I wouldn't have guessed that the total number of OTC hunters was nearly the same as 6 years ago. I've done 5 OTC hunts during that period and my perception is that more hunters are out there every year. This year I officially saw more hunters than elk in the woods in my hunting area (a mile and a half from the road).
I wonder if what we are experiencing is hunters hunting for longer periods during the season so while there might not be more total hunters maybe there are more "hunter-days"?
Look at all the stats
OTC archery non res hunters have almost doubled since 2002.
That is probably the issue that everyone has.
They make 15+ million in otc archery NR license sales. 90% of them are just on an expensive camping trip. I bet if they cut otc they find a way to squeeze that funding out of the remaining participants.
The CPW has already figured out ways to keep over funding their bloated budget - see link
OTC archery numbers same as doubled for R and NR since 2002. As bad as that is. I don't think that alone is that bad. Packing double the people into the less OTC units caused it to be felt on two fronts.
More OTC hunters with less OTC units equals crappy hunts.
Wonder why they didn't show the surge in tag sales in 2020. At least this is real data since they can actually track OTC tag sales. Now get some real harvest data.
Looking at the graph that Brad posted CPW would have to cut non resident OTC tags by more than half to get in the area of 2002. How many less OTC units are there now compared to then? A dozen or more?
They would have to same as do away with NR OTC archery elk tags to get to the same level of OTC archery elk hunters in the field as 2002. And even doing that it will still be more crowded in OTC units since there are a lot less OTC units.
Yep. But according to Peco, they just need to charge a trophy fee and everything will be ok.
Government budgeting is no doubt the problem. But, never has government recognized it. Let alone do anything to fix it. So, it’s safe to say the revenue isn’t going to decrease.
So, that leaves the residents to cover the gap. Sucks but, that’s the way it works. Regardless of some people insisting that non residents need to cover the tab.
If they put a 25% limit on nr archery participation, the tag would cost almost $3000 if resident fees don’t increase. Yeah, I see guys lining up around the corner to pay that, then a $1000 trophy fee to get the privilege of sharing the Colorado elk woods with people like Peco.
The problem is easy to fix. U til you get guts with zero reasoning complaining they are entitled to cheap elk tags. That’s the problem. And, the very reason Colorado went towards recruiting so many non resident elk hunters.
I don’t live there. But, I’ve been there 5 times elk hunting. I plan on going back. I have zero problems with a limited draw. And, would prefer it over the open gates. But, I’m not paying $3000 to do it. Nor is anyone else.
In 2024 a Wyoming special elk tag will be 2,000 dollars( actually 1965.00) and there will a line of people waiting to fork it out for what they feel is a quality hunting experience. I might just try and cash in my max points for a try , and chances are I still won’t be able to draw the tag I want because the demand will still be beyond the supply
Wyoming and Colorado are two different ships.
So your only solution is that you want to come here for a quality hunt, at the expense of the people who live here. Nice.
I’m not saying that’s my solution, I’m just stating the reality of the current situation.
Mountaineer, I realize that Wyoming and Colorado are 2 different situations but are related in that they are 2 of the options available out of a handful of options for all the NR hunters wanting to hunt elk and that all the states with elk hunting available are competing between themselves for NR dollars because they are addicted to NR revenue to run their game and fish agencies. Not a dig against them but just the reality of how the system has evolved because the demand has exponentially expanded beyond the supply in the last couple of decades.
I can still remember the time when I could apply in WY and get elk, deer, and antelope tags in WY all in one season before the point system was conceived of
Advancements in bowhunting technology put a lot of archery season hunters on the scene, all competing for available tags.
PECO, as a resident would you not pay substantially more for a higher quality/lower pressure hunt?
I’ve experienced the same thing on the whitetail side with Missouri, and don’t even attempt hunting public land much anymore. We only pay $20ish for an archery tag that gives us two bucks (one early, one late season). Nonresident tags are OTC and $250ish, and if you go to north Missouri on opening weekend of rifle, well over 50% of the trucks you see are out of state plates. They love it because they can get a deer lease and can hunt Missouri deer every year for $250. They make door knocking for land impossible, why would a farmer let me hunt if he can get out of state doctors to pay him $5,000 for hunting rights? I am STRONGLY, STRONGLY against trophy fees - it makes no sense to punish folks financially for being successful, but I would happily pay $100 for my archery tags as a resident if it meant that they would limit NRs to a tag every 3 or 4 years like Iowa. It would open up vast amounts of prior leases to door knocking and would decrease pressure tremendously on public land.
Unfortunately, MDC is greedy and care about hunt numbers instead of hunt quality. But if me paying more for my tags meant that it would be a substantially better hunt in multiple ways - absolutely I would do so
"resident prices have to go up considerably" NO, wrong answer. What if instead, nonresident tags go up considerably. If you are fine coming every few years, pay up. You hunt at home for cheap, we want the same.
I would have no problem paying a lot more to hunt my home state. Its cheap for NR to hunt here as well. Both of those need to go up considerably.
You want fewer NR, then you have to pay up to make up the difference.
I don't feel like I should have to pay substantially more as a resident in order to limit nonresidents. I want to hear other options from the nonresidents. Until I do, I'll throw out some more crazy ideas, like the trophy fee idea.
Yes, trophy fees are a crazy idea
I've been saying for years it needs to go 80/20 across the board and no more OTC. Non resident tags could easily sell for 1,000-1,100. Residents wouldn't have to increase that much especially with the new states park pass on your vehicle registrations they started
It’s no secret that It takes effort to kill OTC CO elk on true public land. It always has. The problem is, 95% of elk hunters don’t have it in them to do what it takes to kill them. Sadly that’s a reality most don’t want to admit, or accept. It’s easier that way, and keeps their egos afloat. To each their own, but yesterday’s smile of a classic call in and dead elk will keep me in the game. You can take your toys and go home, I’m staying.
Having a few hundred hunters bump a few hundred elk for several days results in anything but a hunt that resembles a hunt decades ago on the same part of the mountain. Rather than patterning the elk you look for where the elk head as are continually bumped. Is hunting but if elk are behaving more like stampeding longhorns then have to ask if are outsmarting the elk or merely other hunters?
Cazador I kill plenty of elk, so do my kids. That's not the point
“Cazador I kill plenty of elk, so do my kids. That's not the point”
Good for you and your kids. Job well done. I get the crowding, but this thread reads as a bunch of old spoiled guys acting like their shitty elk hunt is the norm in all OTC units because that can’t ride around in their 76 Chevy with the un cased 06 at the ready as they crack their next beer. Heck the OP has a favorite saying “go deep boys go deep” well, now he had a shitty hunt. What does he expect? You can only publicize stuff for so long on the WWW and now he’s complains about being overrun? You don’t see the irony in that? If not, I guess there is no point.
Same Ol Caz….
You don’t know what you don’t know.
Well said Cazador, it's pretty obvious most everyone is experiencing about the same just about everywhere.
Just spent 16 days around residents from AZ in a very limited draw unit, and they were saying the same thing. And truthfully while I was grateful for the experience and chance to hunt there. I was at times blown away at the number of people, side by sides everywhere, and bugling non stop. Had several hunts and areas blown by other hunters. And by hikers and people out party camping raising hell. So do we kick all of those people out too or just the ones buying a hunting license? Not to mention the two or three spotters/scouters for every hunter that was there. In the end yes I did kill a bull but the hunt was not what I was expecting.
Point is this is the new elk hunting get in or get out your choice. It is very possible nothing will ever be done to solve this problem.
And any proposed solution that gets carried out could likely affect both residents and non residents negatively.
"And any proposed solution that gets carried out could likely affect both residents and non residents negatively."
I've lived in CO for decades through a lot of changes. I fear the cure far more than the ailment.
Dr CPW likes to cut off a finger to cure a hang nail.
Peco, When the cost difference gets within $450, I’ll take that as fact I over looked. But, until you quit complaining $70 for a couple elk is somehow justified for residents who want less nonresidents, I ain’t listening. Get real man.
With the exception of that chart with stats - this thread is awful - just a bunch of guys bickering with each other on the internet.
With the exception of that chart with stats - this thread is awful - just a bunch of guys bickering with each other on the internet.
AND. As opposed to all the other threads where everyone is in agreement.
“Same Ol Caz…. You don’t know what you don’t know.”
I don’t have the long history in Colorado as you do, but I’ve hunted OTC every year but 1 since 2001. Don’t tell me what I do and don’t know. Face it you had a shitty hunt and now it’s take your toys and go home and kick and scream.
Next year you’ll go into the same spot, the same bugle blowers will have thinned out, you’ll kill an elk on day 2 barely any hunters seen a great OTC hunt. Again, I don’t know shit, but I have 20+ years in the trenches of otc hunting and don’t know anything different but how the units change year to year.
Again. Caz you still don’t know what you don’t know.
My PPs in Colo and Wyo are in place so I don’t have to archery hunt elk OTC in Colo. So no, I won’t be in an OTC area for the foreseeable future. And I thank god for that.
There’s been a steady decline in Colo in otc for several years. Sure, success can be had, but it ain’t what it was and the juice ain’t worth the squeeze.
Just read all the posts above that reinforce how Colo archery elk otc has sucked.
I spent 9 days with my son with his LE elk tag a couple weeks ago. Holy hell. What a difference a quality elk hunt can make. Seeing elk every day, playing with bugling bulls every day, not having hunter pressure. What a concept.
So you and others just go ahead and keep on doing the otc elk thing. You still don’t know what you don’t know.
It's too bad that the elk hunting experience has been diminished by overcrowding. I imagine that it is hard for fish and game departments to reign in hunter numbers, when greater numbers equal more revenue. I am glad that I realized that the nature of OTC tags would create future problems, so I'm not out any money and don't have any additional frustrations. I have enough issues trying to get a Boone and Crockett whitetail in Wisconsin.
WVmountaineer, well maybe listen to Orion then: "I've been saying for years it needs to go 80/20 across the board and no more OTC. Non resident tags could easily sell for 1,000-1,100. Residents wouldn't have to increase that much especially with the new states park pass on your vehicle registrations they started"
Peco, let’s do some math.
6000 x 1000 = 6,000,000.
That’s still 9 million short of just nonresident revenue.
Orion’s Example has residents paying $450 more just to cover that 9 million.
I didn’t look at the link. I have no argument that nonresident fees shouldn’t be higher. I have no argument that residents should get priority concerning hunter numbers. 80/20 sounds about right. The only reason I keep responding to this thread was your ridiculous assertion that nonresidents could pay the bills so you can hunt cheaper than a night of family bowling.
Colorado surely did whore out the elk hunting. Colorado couldn’t care less about how that has affected you as a resident either. They care about revenue.
With 30,000 people traveling to Colorado to hunt, spending 10 times more for a tag then a resident, spending much more on hotels, food, etc… then residents, you’ve got a big hole if you take any of it away. Much less 80% of it. Somebodies gotta fill it. Because nonresidents aren’t going to pay thousands and thousands in just tag costs so you can hunt cheap.
20% percent to nonresidents will be more than 6,000 tags. You also didn't add in deer, antelope, moose, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, small game licenses and conservation stamps for non residents. Try again WV
Brad, sorry to hear you had your hunt ruined by the horde.
It is true, though, that OTC elk hunting in CO is a shitshow.
I love hunting elk, but it took me one lucky-draw LE tag to realize how stupid most elk hunting is. The animals (bulls) are slaughtered which causes a ridiculous bill:cow ratio, pushes the elk to private/inaccessible land, and results in a ridiculous age structure where a mature bull is a rarity.
It’s not natural and it’s a poor facade of what hunting should be.
I haven’t hunted elk in years now, as I won’t even hunt a WY general tag anymore, as it’s just one step up from the CO shitshow.
I haven’t had the success in AK the past several years that I had hunting elk, but at least I know that all I have to do is get away from roads/aTV trails and I can at least be alone and the animals are acting like they always have instead of the cattle that lower 48 OTC big game have become.
You make some good points but a lot of the what you are saying is wrong and you are barking up the wrong tree to a few of these guys. CO could do away with a lot of the NR tags and still be fine with their budget. You claim to know what budget the CPW needs?
Orion, we weren’t talking tags for those animals. And, the numbers I used was a conservative tag allocation for ELK archery.
I’m not trying to do anything but put sense in it. If you want a change, you gotta have a resolution that works besides just in theory.
Time to limit the weapon and the numbers will take care of itself. We have allowed hunting to be too easy.
Quinn, I don’t claim to know anything except Colorado abuses residents for NR participation. I’m assuming that’s budget related. Because that’s what anyone with a lick of sense would assume.
Here’s the flip side of that coin. You suggest I’m wrong. What is their budget. You and a few others seem to imply you know it because you e all said they can get by on less nr tags. Which I agree. Where I differ is suggesting the legislature is going to change something without a plan to be revenue neutral.
Regardless of the back and forth, I don’t believe that and neither does anyone else. Except the handful of fellas on thread that keep insisting there are ways to do this without a huge hike in resident fees. Do tell. I keep hearing it but, I haven t seen the first example that even meets third grade math levels yet from you guys. Fire away. I love learning things. I’m not being a wise guy either.
WV surely you have another idea other that sticking it to the people who live here.
I don’t consider a resident of Colorado, getting anything stuck to them, if they limit nr elk archery to 20% of total tags. It’s great hunting as is. There are lots of elk as is. But, if you restrict nr archery elk to 20%, it’s going to be even better. No resident is getting stuck with anything if resident fees increase and nr are held to 20% of allotted archery tags.
Colorado otc units are madhouses. I wish i had a good solution. I dont.
I think wv mountaineer is right about one thing....
The state gets 15,000,000 just in license sales from nonresident archery hunters. Anyone who thinks a politician or bureaucrat is gonna give that up without finding a way to suck it out of someone else is living in never never land.
Im no accountant, but ran some numbers. To get 15 million with an 80% nonresident reduction you are talking $4k. For an otc tag.
I would be happy to pay more for a higher quality less crowded hunt. But not that much more.....
Plenty of ways to get that money by not charging 4k for a tag. Raise license fee to apply or to hunt, increase price of non resident preference points, etc. etc.
Show me Orion. I can’t grasp where 30,000 NR are going to spend $500 a year for an elk preference point.
I have no dog in this fight, and never will since I have no intentions of ever elk hunting in Colorado. I have also never hunted elk, but will when I reach a certain point level in a couple states.
What I will offer is very similar to what Boggs described, only in Ohio.
Our NR fees are stupid cheap, private access, for the most part is pay to play, and public is overcrowded with NR hunters. I drove past one of the public areas I used to hunt last year. Its a fair size(for Ohio) piece of ground. I counted 14 different states license plates. Most of those had multiple hunters in them. This was archery season. Firearms season is much worse. This problem exists just about everywhere.
Until the NR hunters are put on a quota, or are required a wait period, or are charged enough that they decide it isnt worth the trip ever year, this problem doesnt go away. That goes for all species, and states.
Revenues have to be made up somewhere, no matter how it shakes out. I would be willing, and do, pay more for a quality hunting experience, than what an OTC hunt provides. As NR hunters, for the most part, we all pay more when we travel to hunt other states. That is to be expected. I also believe, and would totally support it here, even though it wont happen, with paying a good deal more for my own tags at home. Would it help? I seriously doubt it. Guys willing to write the checks will continue to do so in order to continue to hunt.
Ask enough hunters in enough states, and most will tell you the DNR or G&F does a sihtty job in all of them. It really is just about the money to them. Unfortunately, we all just have to deal with it, and when we stop dealing with it, the outcome will be much worse than what we have now.
WV your trying to get 15,000,000 out of one way. There are dozens of ways they can make that 15,000,000. A 20% cap on Non residents doesn't equate to only 6,000 tags as you said earlier. 70745 non residents only bought elk points last year, you can pull it up on the hunting statistics. So your number is drastically low. Another 64,122 bought deer points. If they Charged 120 a point for both those species that would equate to 16,184,040 dollars. Your tunnel vision is clouding your thinking that residents are going to have pay a huge amount for an elk tag.
Nope. I think it’s horrible what it’s done to resident hunters. I’m just very passionate that you gotta prioritize what’s important to you. I don’t take anyone seriously who suggest Colorado residents shouldn’t have to pay more for what they want. Non residents didn’t cause this. It’s stupid to complain only.
Concerning your example, I asked and received. Great response and thanks for the lesson.
Now, take it to CPW. If it’s possible as you say, I’d think it’d be criminal to not enact it. Good luck and keep me updated. I rooting for you.
Thanks Cnelk for your thread! I had a very similar experience this year in CO, and like you will not hunt elk OTC in CO ever again. This was my first and only OTC CO elk hunt. Preface my comments with the following: I have hunted archery OTC elk in several states. Early years were mostly in Oregon, but their overcrowding and slow going to limited entry draw units drove me out of that state. Their 5% cap on NR's helped a lot too. I have hunted ID and UT OTC as well.
I've archery hunted elk in CO three times, with his year being the first in an OTC unit. I didn't get drawn to a limited entry unit in any state this year, so I opted to try OTC in CO to get out in the woods. Elk hunting is my passion, and I have been at it for 30-ish years.
I had a good time in the woods, but I didn't need to buy an elk tag to do that. I could have just gone out camping. I would rather go camping in a limited entry elk unit so at least I can hear and see elk. I spent 10-days in the OTC unit and did not see a single elk, I got away from hunters, and only saw 4-muzzleloader deer hunters one rainy day out in the woods. I may have heard one elk bugle back one morning, but then again it may have been another hunter. It was too far across canyon to be sure and the winds made it hard to locate the source. I should add that we rarely bugled (locator) if at all. The guy I was with saw a cow and spike come up behind on one set up, and that was the extent of our elk sightings.
I did see CO plates but like me most of the hunters were NR's. All the guys I talked to were having a similar experience to mine. Just the shear number of hunters in the woods, quads, side-by-sides, and vehicles on the roads at all hours of the day and night was something I have rarely seen on my elk hunts.
I archery hunted in CO's unit 40 several years ago, and it was similar, but even with the mtn bikers, runners, horse riders, and road traffic I was able to see and get into elk because there were few guys actually hunting.
CO needs to implement 100% draw archery elk hunting just like they do their deer hunting. That will solve a couple of problems in time, 1) force folks to use their points if they want to hunt elk in CO (more on this below), and 2) manage hunter densities.
1) I know that you can get your second choice without using points, and build points over time, but if you want to hunt there will come a time when it will be difficult to get your second choice. Eventually, guys will have to chose between burning points and hunting, or not burning points and not hunting. Now, you can get a point and hunt, albeit some pretty piss poor hunting in the OTC. There will not be that option if all units are draw units.
2) The stats provided show the demand for OTC archery hunts doubled in 20-years. Not just NRs but residents doubled too. That kind of increase is not sustainable, and CPW knows it (or they should). They will have to get religion on managing the number of hunters in each unit for several reasons. 1) hunter experience will degrade and this will create an hunter pressure to change things. 2) with wolves being introduced into several of the OTC areas, CPW will have to manage hunter numbers to decrease the interaction between humans and wolves as well as do a better job managing the elk populations in these units and one way is to convert the OTC units to draw units. 3) converting OTC units to draw units piecemeal, will just make the problem worse in the remaining OTC units. therefore, CPW should convert all OTC units to draw units at the same time. Take the medicine and move on. The initial drop in number of tags sold will be made up for in time (fee increases most likely). The demand for tags appears to be inelastic, and there is pricing power, unfortunately I am part of that problem. I just want to elk hunt.
The wheels of governmental change get stuck and if enough folks start sending letters, emails, and attending meetings the changes will come faster. Personally, I do not advocate for decreasing NR quotas, but that will probably be the result of trying to fix these problems. Until next season...
Somehow Colorado successfully managed elk when bowhunter license sales were a third of what they are now.
A solution that results in less revenue may not be a possibility but that is due to politics, not due to that revenue being necessary.
"Non residents didn’t cause this." Yeahhhh, like, we are talking about crowded woods, crowded with nonresidents. How are nonresidents not the problem?
" I didn't get drawn to a limited entry unit in any state this year, so I opted to try OTC in CO to get out in the woods."
"I did see CO plates but like me most of the hunters were NR's."
This is what everyone is saying. Too many nonresidents. Didn't draw a tag, fuck it we will just go to Colorado. Yet, someone keeps saying nonresidents are not the problem with nonresident crowding and the ONLY solution is for residents to pay up, hugely. LMAO
He also thought only 30,000 nonresidents bought preference points. It's almost triple that just for elk.
I hear you Brad. The OTC quality has been increasingly deteriorating for years.
I remember when you posted about shooting a cow and then a bull a short while later right on public land. I thought that was quite the accomplishment. My brother and I cut our archery teeth in Colorado state forest state park before too many folks figured out there were quite a few elk in there. Then one season, there are tents pitched in multiple feeding and transition areas and the area was pretty much ruined.
It’s sucks that so many folks with a lack of woodsmanship and knowledge of ungulate tendencies and habits are flooding the mountains and ruining what used to be some good elk hunting. Our group has taken to only hunting draw tags every couple of years on a rotation and helping out the tag holder.
Sorry to read this Brad.
I hardly ever see nor hear any other hunters in my OTC Utah unit of choice.
I agree, I am more after an enjoyable elk hunting experience.
Hang in there,
We do like JBunn. There is my dad, brother, 16yr old son going on his first elk hunt this year and me. My 14yr old son will join in a few years. We rotate and are able to hunt a limited draw unit.
PECO, I bet you’d cut your nose off to spite your face.m
NR only captured an opportunity that resident legislature and CPW created. Look at your fellow residents for the cause. Not the guy driving 3000 miles round trip to come hunt because there’s a license that says he can.
You really make more sense complaining about other people buying Sitka, using expensive broadheads, bows, arrows, boots, etc…. Versus trying to justify sone e paying for your elk hunting.
WV name one western state where residents pay close to non residents for elk tags, I'll wait.
Colorado residents legislated for unlimited nonresident elk tags?
Orion, Go back and read what I’ve said. Are you dense?
I don’t hunt CO so all that bugling wasn’t me but I do find that times that I’m not in elk and all is quiet, that it is a great time to practice bugling. So I might bugle quite a bit. You never know if a curious elk will come in or not. I’ve bumped a few elk at times after a “practice session” when getting up and heading off.
I did notice that the elk in the areas that I’ve been hunting the last 15 years or more have maybe moved out of the area. They have always been there in the past and I’ve taken quite a few elk out of the area but this year they never showed up in my cameras. It’s been 2 1/2 weeks since I have had an elk in my cameras and it’s not hunting pressure that pushed them out. I have seen a lot of wolf shit in the area though.
How about, the first and last weeks of archery season residents only OTC. In Canada where I moose hunted, ( Ontario) the first week was residents only. i thought that was fair?
I really hope cn holds true to his word and does not hunt in CO anymore.
You mean CO OTC. I haven't hunted OTC here for years but likely will again since my draw unit is starting to require a point.
I’ll hunt Colorado every chance I get. It just won’t be OTC archery elk - might want to re-read what I wrote in the very first post.
This is my first year experience with OTC Colorado. I've hunted elk for over 20 years all DIY but NOT Colorado OTC. Like a lot of others, this was our last option as we didn't get drawn for the states or areas we wanted but we thought going elk hunting in an OTC unit is better than sitting on couch. There were four in my group and we decided to go to unit 62. Our research told us there would be a ton of people there but a couple sources said if you can get off the roads and willing to backpack in far enough you can be successful. My expectations were probably where they should have been. As we drove up the divide Rd there were camps at every spot you could pull a truck over. THERE WERE A TON OF PEOPLE. We finally picked a spot. We brought quads and spent the first day driving around getting a feel of the mountain and did some glassing. The first night on the spotting scopes we spotted a nice bull and cows waaaay down in some deep drainage. Looking at OnX the only way to them was about a 7 mile backpack hike. We packed up our packs for about a 3 day stay back in there. Once we got back there we got in elk. Good bugling and plenty of action and some close calls. We came back out to base came after 3 days to replenish our food and a little rest. Three of us went back down there and one in our group decided to stay back at our base camp. On the way to our spike camp I ended up shooting a bedded cow about 6 miles back. It was a smaller cow so we deboned it all out decided the three of us would pack it out that night. We probably over did it but we ended up getting it back to base came and got well deserved rest. The next day we went back down there. With time running out on our hunt on the last day, my hunting buddy arrowed a huge cow. My other buddy missed a good sized bull the same morning. With time running out, we decided to call a packer whose phone number we got from chatting with people back at base camp that had a horse and mule to get this cow out. It was a good call as it would have taken about 3 trips back there to get out that big cow and our spike camp. On the way home I was extremely satisfied. Very tired and sore and a ton of hard work but it was very rewarding. I guess my lesson learned was that I could have easily gotten a negative attitude with the sight of ALL the other hunters. But staying positive and wiling to go as far as we were physically able to made this Colorado OTC hunt a great hunting memory. No big rack for the wall but my freezer is full. I'm just fine with that for a Colorado OTC archery hunt.