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Location: Arizona
Joined: 04/15/2009
Posts: 56
Colorado Unit 75 3rd Rifle Cow

I decided this year to start accumulating preference points towards a good, high country Muley/elk hunt. The application deadline snuck up on me before I finished my research. Deer was a no brainer, I just put in for the point. On elk it appeared, in my last minute panic, that I had to pay for a minimum of a cow tag in order to get the point. Based on that, I put my 2nd choice for a Unit 75 Antlerless tag in the 3rd season.

I'm curious what people's opinions are of that hunt. I've got an AZ Antlerless tag the week prior, and need to decide how to allocate vacation time between the two hunts.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
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Colorado Unit 75 3rd Rifle Cow

That's a good question. There's no doubt that there will be more elk in 75, but I don't know if you're more likely to kill an elk in one place or the other. One on hand Arizona has limited elk habitat and water sources, which should help narrow down your search area, on the other hand Colorado has lots of elk and good success rates.

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Location: Arizona
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Colorado Unit 75 3rd Rifle Cow

Thanks!

I'll be hunting both units for sure. I'm just debating which one to devote a whole week to, and which to give a long weekend. I know the AZ unit well enough that I can probably make the decision easier by filling my tag in the first couple days. This of course assumes I draw that CO antlerless tag.

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Location: Colorado
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Colorado Unit 75 3rd Rifle Cow

The Colorado elk tag is almost a sure thing, but since you don't know the area, you'll probably want to devote a little more time to coming out here before the season starts. I've shot the vast majority of my western game animals on opening day, but I've almost always spent about two days scouting/relearning the area before the openers.

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Location: Arizona
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Colorado Unit 75 3rd Rifle Cow

Thanks for all the guidance. I'm was mainly wondering whether it's a quality hunting experience, with a chance to get away from crowds. I'm not too concerned with success in my first CO hunt. I've got both my AZ hunt, plus my wife's December cow hunt in units I know well to take care of the freezer. I was mainly concerned that with the bull tags being OTC, that the unit will be packed with people. The nice thing about AZ is that the draw only hunts give you a chance to get away from other people if you get off the roads.

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Colorado Unit 75 3rd Rifle Cow

Yes, it will be packed with people. The good thing is you decided to go with 3rd season rather than second.
I have a little formula that I use to tell how bad the hunter pressure will be, but it assumes a lot things like everyone is hunting public land. In this case it also assumes no one has more than one tag, which isn't realistic, but it allows me to make conservative estimates.

2nd season: 6.494 hunters/sq mi of public land
3rd season 4.136

As a comparison, next door in unit 76, a trophy unit, these numbers are:
2nd: 0.397
3rd: 0.482

The numbers for 75 are pretty typical of the popular areas (Flattops, Grand Mesa, Elkheads, Fryingpan, San Juans, West Elks, etc). These are places with lots of elk, but you have to work to get away from the pressure.

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