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Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
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The way things are sounding I

The way things are sounding I may have to get my good luck charms out and start to work on them if I want to get a deer tag here in Colorado this year.  For a change this year I am depending on my 4th choice to get me a archery tag in 444. 

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
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Like I said we'll have to see

Like I said we'll have to see how it all plays out. This is the first year in the last 5 years that I did not apply for the 3rd season in 444 as my second choice buck tag. My first choice is for a preference point and this year I chose the second season for second choice. If I had done as usual I would not have even had a chance at one. My chances might not be good anymore but at least it's still possible.

Edit. After going and looking at the data and what I actually applied for I was slightly wrong as I did not apply for a preference point but for a 4th season buck as my 1st choice and 2nd season as 2nd choice. The data for 444 shows no change in the issued permitsin the second season and a 15 tag reduction in the 3rd season that thankfully I did not apply for this year as my second choice. What surprised me is that if I read it correctly is that they increased the tags from 10 to 25 in the 4th season. So even though I believed I did not have enough points for the 4th season I applied for it anyway and now with the increase in tags I do have a slim chance of getting one. This is of course if I am understanding the data corectly.

Keeping my fingers crossed now.

Topgun 30-06's picture
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I believe you are correct

I believe you are correct because I'm on another site that has a ton of guys from Colorado and the surrounding states on it and most are up in arms because of extra tags being put in the 4th season.   Most of them feel that tags should be cut in the 4th season or the season even eliminated because the good bucks are much more vulnerable as the rut gets going and they say too many good deer are taken too easily.

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
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While I do hope I draw the

While I do hope I draw the tag I agree that there is no reason to increase the number in the later season. If the goal is to improve the herd then increasing the late tags is not the way to go. There are a lot more high quality bucks wandering around when the rut gets started and the snow pushes them down some.

The overall tag count did not change at all in this unit, they just moved some to the late season. The doe tag count didn't change either. I have to admit that I'm a bit confused with the logic here.

I have chosen to wait several years to draw the late season and I'm afraid it will be devalued because of this move.

Topgun 30-06's picture
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It could work out that way

It could work out that way and I see some of those guys are even making nasty comments about firing the biologist for that area and stuff like that.  I don't know how much input that person has in what tags go where, but the way they are doing it this year seems crazy to me unless there is  more to the story than we know about.  It would seem that the last season would be the one that should not be increased of all the the seasons they have to tinker around with!  That's just my opinion, but there are a lot of what appears to be knowledgeable people saying the same thing, including yourself.

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remember what I wrote about 444

In a blog post a few weeks back, I mentioned 444 was way above the sex ratio objective, and I had calculated that there was no way it would decrease this year based on a typical harvest.  It's my guess that moving those extra 15 tags to 4th season is partly based on demand for shooting bigger deer and partly to be more effective at decreasing the buck:doe ratio without significantly increasing hunter pressure during the OTC seasons.  I suspect in the hunter surveys there has been some dissatisfaction regarding hunter pressure, so that's why they chose to increase tags in 4th season.  It's only 25 total hunters.  It's just a guess.  I probably would have increased a little of everything:  2nd season, 3rd season and 4th season to sell more licenses because you'll kill a lot fewer in bucks in 2nd or 3rd season than those 4th season tags.  But there may also be a push to help guys use up preference points.  I'm just speculating on that one too.

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
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I read your report earlier

I read your report earlier and I have to say I have not seen that high of a buck count where I hunt. But I admit I only hunt a small part of the unit and have no idea the status of the entire area. I also admit to complaining about hunting pressure but that's mostly because I have seen the changes from 20 years ago when I didn't see hardly anyone.

I've only drawn the 4th season one time with 3 prefernce points and took a 170 buck on opening morning. Not a monster but a very good one for me. I have 1 point now and did apply for it so we'll see how those extra tags affect my chances as I know some guys drew with 2 points before.

Critter's picture
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I presume that a lot of the

I presume that a lot of the deer in 444 hang out on a lot of the private that is in that unit.  When I am bow hunting it I feel lucky at times to see 3 or 4 shooter bucks all season.  I have also found that the closer that I hunt to the private the more deer I will see. 

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