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exbiologist's picture
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Colorado Point Creep

All the more reason to cash those points in sooner rather than later:

 

Select high point elk hunts: 

unit 2 early rifle from 17resident points/19 nonresident points in 2010 to 18/20 in 2011

unit 2 archery from 15/18 to 16/19

unit 10 early rifle from 16/19 to 17/20

unit 10 archery from 13/16 to 14/18

unit 10 RFW from 20 to 24

unit 4 muzzleloader from 1/6 to 2/6

unit 12 muzzleloader for 2/9 to 2/10

unit 33 muzzleloader from 2/8 to 2/9

unit 40 archery from ¾ to 4/5

unit 40 muzzleloader from 5/10 to 5/12

unit 61 muzzleloader from 12/17 to 13/18

unit 66 muzzleloader from 4/10 to 3/11 –ought to tell you nonresidents something

unit 67 muzzleloader from 3/7 to 3/8

unit 76 early rifle from 11/15 to 11/17

unit 76 muzzleloader from 7/13 to 7/14 

unit 76 archery from 4/8 to 5/9

unit 201 early rifle 18/20 to 19/21

unit 201 archery 16/19 to 16/20

unit 201 muzzleloader from 17/20 to 18/21

Top resident elk point holders:

2 with 25, 4 with 24, 2 with 23, 6 with 22, 20 with 21, 54 with 20, 105 with 19, 159 with 18, etc, etc

Top nonresident elk point holders:

1 with 24, 2 with 23, 8 with 22, 33 with 21, 154 with 20, 334 with 19, 438 with 18, etc, etc

You can see that the point creep will soon exacerbate in the next four years as those very few top point holders are joined by hundreds of top point holders, especially the nonresidents.

 

Deer this point creep is made worse by declining populations in addition to increased demand

Unit 1 2nd rifle from 3/7 to 4/9

Unit 2 3rd rifle from 10/15 to 13/15

Unit 10 rifle 6/14 to 9/13

Unit 21 no change

Unit 22 4th rifle 5/13 to 7/16

Unit 201 

Unit 44 3rd rifle from 6/9 to 9/12

Unit 44 4th rifle from 10/14 to 10/16

Unit 53 4th rifle from 4/12 to 8/15

Unit 61 4th rifle from 11/17 to 12/18

Unit 66 3rd rifle from 7/9 to 8/9

Unit 70 4th rifle from 3/8 to 4/11

Top Resident deer point holders (who knows what these guys are holding out for, as there aren’t really any options with this many points)

2 with 22 points, 3 with 21 points, 4 with 20 points, 19 with 19 points, 23 with 18 points, 67 with 17 points, 139 with 16 points

Top Nonresident deer point holders:

1 with 23 points, 0 with 22 points, 1 with 21 points, 4 with 20 points, 16 with 19 points, 36 with 18 points, 90 with 17 points.

So, I’d say we probably have closer to 6 or 7 years before the  point creep really starts to balloon here, unless of course the deer populations start recovering quickly.

exbiologist's picture
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hybrid odds

And if you wanted some more cheery news, take a look at the hybrid draw odds.  Most of the qualifying tags are around 1 in 200 to 1 in 400.

Critter's picture
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I started out just applying

I started out just applying for points years ago when there was some light on the horizon.  Just this year I cashed in my 17 antelope points and drew a tag that last year took 14.  Now for next year and deer I'll take my 16 points and try and decide just where I am going to go.  It is quite possible that I'll choose a unit that takes less than 16 but who knows.  In those 16 years of accumulating points I have hunted deer every year, either archery or a second choice rife so it really hasn't been a problem with me.  The interesting one is going to be in 2013 when I cash in my 17 elk points.  I haven't even started to try and figure where I want to go with them. 

The big thing is that point creep isn't just a Colorado thing and there are quite a few DOW's that are going to have to try and deal with it somehow.  It is going to be if you want a real quality hunt then you are going to have to have points, either preference or bonus depending on the state you want to hunt.  That is unless all the states go back to 0 points and you just have to go by the luck of the draw.   

exbiologist's picture
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totally agree

As I mentioned in my blog, it essentially impossible for anyone to ever catch the Utah units at this point.  Of course you can get lucky by pulling the random tag in the Henry Mountains and similar units, but there's essentially no chance if starting from scratch.  One other thing, and the baby boomers won't want to hear this, but they are now getting close to their 60s, and I'd suspect those are the bulk of the high point holders.  Most of them won't be hunting for too many years due to various types of attrition, whether it be physical ailments, death, loss of hunting partners and similar issues.  It's possible that when that happens, there will be a chance for a younger generation to catch up.  But, what will our wildlife populations be looking like then?  Tough to forecast with so many variables.  But it doesn't look good for guys in their 20s and 30s.  I definitely won't be accumulating 20 points to go hunting, and as I've said before, I'd rather have really good hunts more frequently than one stellar hunt.

Critter's picture
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The big problem that I have

The big problem that I have with Utah's system is that it is a bonus point system and there is a possibility of a hunter drawing a coveted tag with 0 points, and I have know a few that have done so.  It also bothers me in that as many points that I have for their once in a lifetime tags I may never draw a tag but  somebody who just started to put in just might draw the tag that I have been waiting to draw.  Some people like that system and some don't.  The ones that like it are to hunters that are able to draw the tags with very few points.  I know of a couple of archery hunters that have drawn the coveted Henry Mountain deer tag with 5 points or less and both of them have come home with a trophy of a lifetime.  I guess that I shouldn't say too much about it since I did draw a Book Cliff elk tag with 9 points but since that time I have 11 deer points for another tag and in all reality don't expect to draw a tag. 

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This is exactley why I went 

This is exactley why I went  ahead and applied for the unit 10 tag that I drew this year. I originally was waiting for 201 but was afraid it would pull even farther away th longer I waited and  I would spend too many more years before I could just get back to low draw units. I realy looking forward to this hunt but I missed a lot of good one over the years while I was waiting.

Other than antelope I will mostly shoot for hunts that take 3 points or less from here on out.

GooseHunter Jr's picture
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Well the way they keep

Well the way they keep creeping up it looks like by the time I will have enough points for one of the premium units it will be 5-10 years fom now....I have 10 points right now...maybe I should should just cash them in on an area that may give me a chance at a giant but mayube a place that will yeild a nice respectable bull that woyuld look giood on a wall and then atleast I can uild a few points back up and yet some lower PP areas every few years or so.  Pretty crazy to think that the area that I was shooting for originally would take me about 8-9 points now it is up to 13.  Sucks but what can you do??

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I am with Ex and Hunter25 in

I am with Ex and Hunter25 in that I am looking for a happy medium between getting quality hunts and how long I have to wait acquiring preference points for those deer and elk hunts. 

I am expecting to have to acquire 6-7 preference points for my rifle buck antelope tag, but I do not see much alternative to this to rifle hunt buck antelope in state.  It also helps that I have access to some land with good quality and quantity of buck antelope.  Unfortunately it just takes so long to draw. 

My current desired deer hunt takes 2-3 preference points to draw.  At that level, I am comfortable waiting that long for that tag, but if it grows much beyond that, I might have to re-evaluate my priorities. 

A person has an outside chance (~20%) of drawing my 1st choice elk tag with 0 preference points.  I am still deciding if I like the unit and season, but I did like what I saw hunting it last year on an OTC 2nd season tag. 

Point creep is highly frustrating, particularly if you are one of the individuals who has been chasing a dream hunt for 10+ years.  On the lower end of the preference point scale, point creep is a bit more tolerable thanks to the quality and quantity of 2nd+ choice options.   If you are a CO resident and an elk hunter, I believe you can find a quality 2nd+ choice option every year.  Even though there aren't as many 2nd+ choice deer options, I now realize that you can find a 2nd+ choice deer hunt that you can enjoy so long as you study out your options. 

WishIWasHunting's picture
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Ooops!

So after opening my mouth, I checked out the statistics on CDOW.  Since I said I could tolerate some point creep on the lower end of things, I guess I got what I was asking for.  My preferred deer license now requires 3 pts minimum, and my current preferred Elk license now has a 1 pt minimum.  The only good news was that my preferred antelope license now only requires 5 pts to have a chance to draw.  I will be curious to see where it is at in 2 years to see if I actually have a chance of drawing it then. 

HOGGETTER's picture
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    I apply for multipul

    I apply for multipul states and chose good units that take under 6 points so I can always be in some kind of rotation. I feel there are big animals in most units, you just have to be willing to work for them.

   If I had to wait 15+ years for a deer or elk  hunt and didnt take a 400" bull or 200" buck i would be very disapointed! But I still love just to get out there and just enjoy the outdoors. I drew a late Nevada rut deer tag and I was willing to shoot a thirdy incher or nothing, and empty handed I was that year. 

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Why bother saving points?

This is exactly why I don't try to save points for a trophy elk hunt in Colorado.  I would much rather take advantage of the quantity of good elk hunting in Colorado using my points every couple of years and save the trophy hunting for guided hunts every 10-12 years or so.  If you think about it, spending $7-8K on a hunt every 10 years to satisfy the "big horn itch" isn't too expensive when you consider all of the good hunting you get to do in the 1st choice areas you like to hunt.  And if you're thinking one of the NW units in Colorado, you WILL be waiting more than 20 years to pull your tag.  It's just too high a price in terms of time for me.

I have friends in my hunting group that are in the early teens in the preference point game.  They are in a tough spot because they've already invested a lot of time and they will likely have to invest another decade to get the result they want (pulling an early rifle tag in 2 or 201).  

With that said, we've found great antelope hunting in Wyoming is cheap (less than $300 for a buck tag) and only requires a point or 2 to pull a tag in a "good" unit.  Hunting deer in Nebraska is cheap and lots of landowners are very willing to allow you to hunt--all you have to do is ask politely.  In a way, I'm hoping more hunters get lured into collecting lots of preference points in Colorado because that will make pulling tags in good 1st choice areas easier for those that don't want to play the game.

Just my humble opinion....

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