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Location: Troy Ohio
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Anlerless Bull ?

I was reading an old post and it reminded me of a situation I ran into about 6 years ago.  I was elk hunting with a cow tag and came across what appeared to be a gut shot cow.  It was lying down in a small draw panting heavily and it kept leaning back to "lick its wound" I guess but I couldnt see a clear entry wound or blood.  I was about 60 yards uphill from it.

Anyway I was preparing to put it out of its misery and claim it as mine when I noticed it had antler bases or pedicals that were pretty large.  The animal itself was really big too so I assumed it was a mature bull.  I chose not to shoot it as I didnt know the regs in this situation.  So I walked off feeling bad for the animal and had mixed emotions on my decision.

My buddy was quartering a cow about three hundred yards away.  I walked over to help him finish up and we then went to where this bull was laying and it was gone.

Did I do right or should I have shot the animal and found a CO?  By the way this was during 1st rifle Colorado.

Deer hunting in Indiana a buck can be killed on an antlerless tag if it doesnt have antlers, thus some of the confusion on my part.

Any thoughts?

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
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In Colorado a bull elk is

In Colorado a bull elk is described as a animal having antlers longer than 5 inches and if they are less than 5 inches that the animal can be considered a anterless animal.  So it would of been legal for you to of shot it and taged it with a anterless tag.  However you would of needed to of kept the head attached to the carcass for proof of sex and that the antlers were less than 5 inches. 

It is also illegle to dispatch a animal and then contact a game and fish officer, you could be cited for shooting a animal and not tagging it.  The proper thing to do would be to mark the spot that the animal is located at and then contact a officer and let him do the deed.  I know that it sounds wrong to let a animal suffer but that is the way that it is.

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Location: Troy Ohio
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I felt strongly that it was

I felt strongly that it was probably considered an antlerless elk, but not knowing for sure I didnt want to chance it.  I would never have killed it without tagging it regardless.

Thank you for clearing it up, sometimes it is hard to read between the lines and I certainly do not want to jeoprodize my priveledges....however, it has bothered me ever since.

vinny217's picture
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Location: frederick CO
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Everything Critter said is

Everything Critter said is correct the only thing I would add is before you hunt a state or area you should really study the regs. They change things every year.

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Location: Troy Ohio
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I agree wholeheartedly

I agree wholeheartedly Vinny. 

This will be my 31st year of hunting and 12th in Colorado after two years in Wyoming.  But even the regs cannot prepare you for every situation you may face in the woods and there is no hotline in dark timber as you may know.  In fact, after that happened we went back to base camp that night and went through the regs over and over.  Keep in mind that my hunting buddies all have similar time in the woods, if not more as they are older, and one is a CPA, one is an Aeronautical Engineer, two are Civil Engineers and I have several Mechanical Engineering credits but do not hold a degree.  My point is none of us could find in the regs that a bull without antlers is without doubt a legal kill- how often does this happen, its a new one to me.  It was still a bull and you can definitely tell the difference in their bodies and heads.  We understand that there is a 4pt and 5" restriction and we get that it is an "antlerless" tag, doesnt mean it isnt confusing.

My 2015 Colorado regs are nearly worn out and have been since the second day I received them.  I still have them sitting on the rack in my bathroom.... look at them every night!

I guess I proposed the question inproperly and so I dont look undereducated again I will just say that it was odd to me that a mature bull was without antlers the first week of October.  Maybe those of you who live in elk country would know better than me.  I have never seen a whitetail in the fall without antlers (bucks that is). 

Also just so you know, I once saw a whitetail deer standing in the sideditch of a heavily traveled state highway in Indiana.  Seemed odd but she was definitely not right... this was in June.  I called the sheriffs dept and they dispached a deputy.  He came out and "dispatched" her and gave her to me for the meat.  I took her home and started processing her only to find a broadhead lodged in her spine with about 2" of arrow attached.  It was surrounded by a large area of green infection which I removed after consulting with several "knowledeable" people, processed and then consumed her.  Guess I figured that one out, but then again it was in my home state.   

At any rate, no offense taken or meant, just a fellow hunter who stumbled onto this forum and hoped to meet new people and share experiences... thats all.  Dont let it fool you that because someone ask a question that may seem simple to you, that they are not intelligent enough to read the regs. I understand that there are idiots who just go out and hunt not having any clue about the regs not to mention ethics.  I am just not one of them.

Here is a photo of an Indiana archery buck that one of said buddies killed in 2013.

My hunting buddies and I at the meat pole in 2011 as we were breaking camp in the other photo 3/5 with two mature cows and and a calf.  The other guy was a non-hunter.

 

 

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vinny217's picture
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Location: frederick CO
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I wasn't trying to be rude I

I wasn't trying to be rude I was just stating a fact even though the regs don't cover every situation the cover most. In my opinion the 5" or less rule would have applied in this situation since no antlers could be clearly seen if it was 200 yards off it would been considered a cow and could have been taken leagaly but that is just my opinion. But I also agree if ever in doubt DON'T do it 

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Location: Troy Ohio
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No Problem

I know you were not trying to insult me or were being rude... its all good Vinny.  What you said was good advice and there are definitely people who need it. 

That was the route I took.... better safe than sorry.  It really comes down to I hate seeing any animal suffer especially at the hands of errant or misplaced shots so I wanted to end its misery, but not at the risk of a citation or fines. 

No foul no harm and I wish you good luck this season Thumbs up .  It will be upon us shortly  .

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