14 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Arvada, CO
Joined: 01/24/2007
Posts: 15
Colorado first time antelope hunt

I am going to put in for my first antelope tag this year and was wondering if anyone had a recommendation for either unit 87 or 88? For residence, neither of these units require pref. points for a doe tag, so I thought I would start there. The Pawnee National Grasslands span both units, so it looks like there is plenty of public land available, but I don't know about populations, best access to the PNG, etc. If anyone has an opinion on either of these units, I would appreciate hearing from you. Thanks in advance.

Colorado-Rookie

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Re: Colorado first time antelope hunt

The best thing to do would be to take a drive out there before the application deadline and scout the area. A lot of hard work has to go into a rewarding hunt and it all starts by scouting. My experience with Pawnee is that there is also a lot of private owned land there as well with pockets and holes of public land. It's really dotted, but plenty huntable.

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Re: Colorado first time antelope hunt

Like he said, National Grasslands are not large contiguous blocks of public land. There are plenty of antelope out there, but you need a good map to find which parcels are public and which are private. The DOW only shows the administrative boundary. I would venture to guess that over 80% of what is shown is private land. In fact the draft management plan for that area is online now and probably shows the actual public ownership.
Regarding the draw odds, you're right in that they do not require a point, but if you look at the draw summaries, those with 0 points have a very slim chance of drawing, as guys with 5 points even put in for that tag last year. Next year would gaurantee the tag for you though.

BleuBijou's picture
Offline
Location: Loveland , Colorado
Joined: 03/22/2010
Posts: 464
Re: Colorado first time antelope hunt

If you draw, you shouldn't have a problem. Scouting is the key. I use to hunt out there every other year until the public found out about it and I started collecting points instead. There is also a big chunk of public called Central Experimental Range. You have to sign up to hunt this, but it is a good area.

borisspider7's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/16/2011
Posts: 7
Buy the map!

The US Forestry Service sells a $10 plastic-coated map of the Pawnee Grasslands. It details public and private land. Drive out there and get used to the size of parcels to make it easier to navigate. 

Me and a buddy hunted coyotes there this last weekend. Didn't get any dogs, but saw many, many antelope. We even had 5 running parallel to us for over a mile at 35 MPH! 

 

Offline
Joined: 01/21/2013
Posts: 1
Hunting

We are landowners in unit 87 west of Hwy 85. We have a large herd that live on our property. I've thought about letting hunters on but I'm scared of one my animals getting killed. 

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5746
Greetings!  I can absolutely

Greetings!  I can absolutely understand your concern.  However, I have to say, that with the millions and millions of hunters out there, probably 99% of which are ethical, law abiding people, the odds of one of your animals being hurt or killed is very, very low.

I would suggest starting with someone who you already know, versus a stranger.  Give them a set of parameters that you feel comfortable with, such as what area they can or cannot hunt.  If you have your cattle on a certain set of acreage, then keep that off limits until you get more comfortable.

The best thing about ethical hunters in todays time, is that private land is a great thing to have, and most of us would be willing to be even more cautious than we already are, just to get access.  Lots of Access is being taken away these days, so any connection to a private land owner like you is a great thing to have.

COMeatHunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 619
Well said Vermonster, well

Well said Vermonster, well said.  Most public land hunters are not that respectful of the land they hunt.  The small number of public hunters that actually ask for permission (rather than just blatantly trespass) are a very small group and IMO much more respectful of the land, the animal, other hunters, etc.

Although it is difficult to ask sometimes, trying to figure out who owns or manages the land and where they live, I have found landowners to be respectful in return.  We don't get permission every time we ask, but we are greeted politely every time.  And for landowners that have given us permission year after year, we like to do something nice in return for them.  Sometimes that is a thoughtful Christmas gift and card, sometimes it's a weekend of labor mending fence, bucking bails of hay, or just cleaning up the barn.  

My point is respectful hunters are gracious as well and will make an effort to "repay" access in lots of ways beyond just not shooting the buildings or animals.  Unfortunately, it only takes one jerk hunter to abuse a landowner to the point of denying access to all.  And I can't blame landowners from not welcoming hunters when most who hunt public land I wouldn't invite to hunt in my backyard either.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
respecting private land

Not to add fuel to the fire. Just thought I'd share just how much disregard for private property actually extends far beyond hunters. A photographer who my wife hired to do some family portraits of us had suggested a vintage abandoned barn as a nice backdrop for our photo shoot. We arrived before the photographer and I noticed a barricade at the enterence to the so-called abandoned property with a clear visible sign stating "Private Property" "No Trespassing". As the photographer arrived I watched as she drove past the barrier onto the property. I clearly had asked her if she had recieved permisson from the property owner to do this shoot. Her reply - oh no, not at all, we do this all the time! I had to explain to her that it is clearly private property and the owners obviously don't want trespassing as indicated by the clearly marked sign she just drove past. I just had to treat it like a hunt and suggest we try a different public location to do the photo shoot.

It really drove the point of how even so-called professionals don't even comprehend what private property is and the concept of obtaining permission first. Too many people out there think that because something exists in an open or rural area that it's free to use by anyone.

BleuBijou's picture
Offline
Location: Loveland , Colorado
Joined: 03/22/2010
Posts: 464
Like

Unit 87 better!!!! If you draw , let me know!!!! I use to brand cattle and get my ass kicked just to shoot Goats!!! The Beer afterwards  tasted better for some reason!!!

Offline
Joined: 03/01/2009
Posts: 39
87 worth 5 points?

I'm not really saving my points for anything in particular, but I realized I could likely draw rifle tag in 87 this year.

The pros are that it is close to home so I could drive up and scout a bunch, success is high, and I have maps that show public/private. I'm not terribly concerned with getting a trophy, just a representative buck would be nice.

Is there something I am missing as to why this unit only takes 5 points?

Brian

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Colorado antelope in 3 and 301Centennial207/20/2009 09:20 am
Antelope(doe) whyoming jtaylorc106/11/2012 09:40 am
Antelope in east Coloradoniceshot_smitty506/21/2011 09:23 am
Where to hunt Antelope in ColoradoTKD409/06/2003 21:03 pm
Big Time Application TimeCritter1302/24/2011 06:26 am