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bearklr's picture
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Colorado legal elk

I just wanted to run this by someone to make sure I'm understanding it.  According to the Colorado regs it says a legal bull is a bull with 4 points on one side OR a brow tine longer than 5 inches.  Isn't it safe to say that if a bull has 4 points on one side that he'll also have a 5 inch browtine?  Why don't they just say any bull with a browtine longer than 5 inches is legal and be done with it?  Also, if a bull has browtines what are the chances they'll be less than 5 inches?  I'm used to deer so I'm not too familiar with elk antler growth.

hawkeye270's picture
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It is probably safe to say

It is probably safe to say that a 4pt bull will have a 5inch brow tine. If you can see a brow tine... chances are it's five inches and I'd take the shot. The main goal of this regulation is to take 2.5 year old bulls or older and to leave yearlings (spikes) alone. All of the LE's I know won't hassle you if your raghorn bull is a 3x3 and only has 4.5 inch browtines.

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Remember that there are some

Remember that there are some areas with no antler point restrictions.  It's all on page 26 of the DOW's 2010 Big Game Hunting guide.

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Bulls taken in any unit other

Bulls taken in any unit other than the ones listed below must meet point restrictions. Straight from the brochure:

An antler point is a projection of antler at least 1 inch longer than the width of its base. A brow tine is an antler projection at least 5 inches long on the lower half of the antler. The projection is usually not more than 8 inches from skull.

There are no antler-point restrictions for any season in units: 1, 2, 10, 20, 29, 39, 40, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 56, 57, 58, 61, 69, 76, 84, 201, 391, 461, 481, 500, 501, 561, 591, 682, 791, or units east of I-25 (except unit 140).

There are no antler-point restrictions on Ranching For Wildlife properties.

Minimum antler lengths apply.

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Just needed to clear this

Just needed to clear this up... So then you can shoot a bull with less than four points, as long as it has brow tine at least 5 inches coming off the spike?

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yep

Moose5 wrote:

Just needed to clear this up... So then you can shoot a bull with less than four points, as long as it has brow tine at least 5 inches coming off the spike?

Yes... you can shoot a bull with less than four points as long as it has a 5 inch brow tine. Raghorns (2.5 year old bulls during the fall) most commonly have 4 points to a side with brow tines longer than 5 inches. Sometimes they are 3x3's with brow tines and some young bulls with good genetics and summer forage can be 5x5's.

You mention spikes though (a 1.5 year old bull during the fall). Yes, theoretically if a spike had a five inch brow tine than he would be a legal bull. I have never seen a spike with a brow tine however. I'm sure it happens but it must be pretty rare. I have however seen spikes who's antlers forked at the top, much like a giant fork-horn mule deer. These would not be considered legal however because that extra point is not a brow tine.

The reason why the Colorado Division of Wildlife has this regulation is to limit the bull harvest to two and a half year old bulls or older. So you wouldn't be held accountable if you shot a spike with a brow tine but it isn't the harvest that the CDOW is looking for.

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thanks

Thanks! that's what I thought I just wanted to make sure. I read the brochure over and over and saw everything posted so I knew what the regs actually said, it's the interpretation of those regs i wanted to make sure of.

Bull Buster's picture
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I alway thought the same

I alway thought the same thing.  I'm sure there is the odd case but, I never seen a 4pt bull that didn't have a 5" brow tine.  I have seen several 3 pt bulls with 5" + brow tines.  It has always been my rule while meat hunting on a bull permit to determine if the bull has a 5" brow tine and not count points because sometimes you don't have time to count and it's alot faster to observe one point to confirm the bull leagal than it is to observe 4 pts.

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hmmm okay so is it 4 point

hmmm okay so is it 4 point counting both sides? for four total points? that would be a spike with brow tines?

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Western count

Western Count....you only count one side. Count the side with the most points. For example, a 4 X 3 is a 4-point, not a 7-point. A 4 X 4 is also a 4-point. I have passed on a shots at 3-point bulls because I couldn't quite determine if the brow tine was 5 inches long. It sucks, but what can you do?

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NH is right. The bull only

NH is right. The bull only needs to have atleast one antler that has four points. If one antler meets that criteria it does not matter how many points the other side has. As far as brow tines go, the bull only has to have one brow tine (on either antler) that measures atleast five inches to be legal. I guess I take it for granted because judging legality of a bull has become almost instantaneous. I suggest looking up as many pictures of elk on line and judging them quickly. Maybe print them and have someone flash the picture in front of you quickly. When it happens in the field, it is going to be fast and you will need to be ready for it. The other thing that can complicate this process is distance. It becomes much more difficult to judge legality if the bull is much over 300 yards. You need to be sure that the bull is legal before you take a long shot.

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