Colorado's Elk OTC Tags Now Available

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Colorado is home to the largest elk herd in all of North America. There are 283,000 elk, and 23 million acres of public land to house these majestic animals. Monday July 12th over-the-counter tags went on sale. Colorado offers unlimited bull elk tags for residents and non-residents. In some units, archery hunters can get a bull elk tag and an antlerless elk tag. The over-the-counter elk tags are good for archery season and the second and third rifle seasons in most units. Over-the-counter tags were used on more than half of last year's harvest of bull elk. Colorado offers elk seasons starting in August and even into January in some areas.

Hunters with questions about what licenses they can purchase and where licenses are valid can find more information on-line or by phone with one of the new Colorado Parks and Wildlife Hunt Planners at (303) 291-PLAN or (303) 291-7526. Hunt planners are hunters themselves and well versed in the opportunities available around the state.From Summit County Citizens Voice.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Does anyone know if they have

Does anyone know if they have a list of the OTC elk licenses on their website, or do I have to call?  I am trying to plan my 2012 hunt in Unit 62, and I believe there are always OTC bull tags there, but I want to be sure.

I am also wondering, for you Colorado elk and deer experts, can I get an OTC cow tag for that zone, or at least draw one with zero points, or should I just hope for the deer tag draw (I have 1 point), and buy an OTC bull tag?

I'll have to bounce around their site some.

WishIWasHunting's picture

Just in case

So, you probably already got your questions answered elsewhere on this site, but just in case, I thought I would respond.  

First off, the CDOW site is very confusing, but it is getting better.  The more time you spend on it, the more information you will eventually find.  

You can buy the OTC elk licenses online or at any retail location that sells CO hunting licenses.  The hunt code is EM-000-U2R for 2nd season rifle or EM-000-U3R for 3rd season rifle.  Each of these licenses are valid in Unit 62, as well as the other 92 OTC rifle units.  I was confused by this also the first time that I purchased an OTC rifle tag because I was looking for the specific OTC tag for my specific unit.  I also think it is reasonable to assume that Unit 62 will remain OTC for 2nd & 3rd season for the next several years.  I tried to find the Herd Management Plan for E-20, which contains Units 61 & 62, but they must be working on it currently because it is not posted.  

There is not an OTC cow tag for the zone during the rifle seasons.  If you want an OTC tag that is valid for bulls or cows, you could go during archery season with the EE-000-U1A.  As for Cow licenses during rifle seasons, only the Private Land Only tags are List B, while the cow tags that are valid on public land are List A.  Since you can only have one List A license per species per year, the only way you could have both the OTC bull tag, which is a List A tag, and a cow tag in this unit is if you can utilize the private land only tags (EF-062-P2R for 2nd rifle or EF-062-P3R for 3rd rifle).  If you will have private land access, it looks very likely that not only could you gain a preference point in the draw, but you could also get one of the 2nd or 3rd season rifle cow tags on second choice since 222 of these tags made it to leftovers this year.  Then you could also buy your OTC bull tag.  If you don't have private land access, it looks like you will have to be content with your OTC bull tag.  

Do you have 1 preference point for deer going in to next year's draw?  With one preference point, in this year's draw you would have had ~19% chance of drawing the 2nd season rifle buck tag.  They gave out 117 Non Resident tags for 2nd season rifle.  93 applicants had more than 1 preference point.  125 NR applied with 1 preference point.  117-93= 24, 24/125=19.2%.  For 3rd season, it looks like it requires 2 preference points to have a chance at that tag.  

I hope I did not mess anything up, but I think I got it right.  I also hope I did not confuse the issue in case you got this all figured out since you originally asked these questions.  Good luck with the draw and your hunt, no matter what you decide!  

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Thanks! I did get it answered

Thanks! I did get it answered in the regular forum, but it's nice to have it reinforced in my head Wink


niceshot_smitty's picture

ok,  why is the 1st and 4th

ok,  why is the 1st and 4th season is draw and 2nd and 3rd left over or otc?  Any help?

hunter25's picture

I didn't realize how close it

I didn't realize how close it was. I know the leftovers are not on sale yet and I just assumed the otc tags went on sale at the same time. I don't usually need to buy these as we have been very successful getting either sex tags for the 4th season for many years now and then a leftover cow tag as well for the 2nd or 3rd as well. My son drew either sex 1st season this year and my dad and I drew area 10 with 17 points so the only one in the family that could use a bull tag is my daughter and we'll probably just wait till it gets closer to be sure she has the time to use it. Other than that I will be standing in line for the leftover cow tags as usual when that one finally opens up.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Yeah, I always like it when

Yeah, I always like it when all the leftover and OTC tags start to go on sale.  That just means that the seasons are really starting to get close.  I guess I will have to go out and muy my archery elk tag for the the blood starts to really get pumping!!  love tgis time of year...plans starting to get finalized and getting thing tuned back up!!