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SFC B's picture
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Didn't pull a cow tag for 25/26...now I know why :(

After the results of the draw my camp partners and I were wondering how none of us(7) got a cow tag.  We thought that as there were 500 OTC w/caps last year we would have a decent chance as 2nd choice pickups.  WOW were we wrong :(  CPW only issued 25 tags for 2nd-4th seasons!!!  But it gets worse....They then increased the PLO tags from 300-400!!!  WTF!!!!  Looked at the justification paper for making the units draw for cows and the reasoning was that damage from elk had diminished to an acceptable level to start a draw.  OK, I get that but a 95% reduction in tags?  and then a 33% INCREASE for the ranchers that are already making money as outfitters and bases for outfitters in the area?  Holy crap I am HOT!!!  I don't get the fuzzy math at ALL.  If this is the new normal we may have to find a new gmu as we are all generally meat hunters.  I guess the only silver lining is that I did pull a doe tag...so at least I have two tags to try for.  I need a drink :/

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4018
They are cutting a lot of

They are cutting a lot of tags in areas were the herds are coming into line of what they want in the units. Perhaps the reason behind increasing the tag number for private lands is that is were the elk are hanging out at, also if the rancher, farmer, or hunter has a private land tag that is where he needs to hunt. They are not just so that outfitters or land owners can make more money off of it. If you really want a tag you might go out and check to see just who has the private land tags and see if they will part with one for you. This also will not stop you from purchasing a over the counter bull tag for the season that you would like to hunt.

SFC B's picture
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Where I hunt the elk end up

Where I hunt the elk end up in private land as the weather worsens. We hunt about 4 different drainages and a higher ridgeline surrounded on 3 sides by large ranches and the really high ground on the 4th. All of the ranches have outfitting operations running off of them. I am sure that if I want to pay them several hundred or a thousand bucks I could get access. That puts it out reach for me. I will be receiving my OTC bull tag since I didn't draw and that is still a good deal. Buuutttt....given the way the herd moves in the unit (high to low, public to private with no real "resident" herds on the private)I just think the drastic move in tags is very suspicious. Seeing as how those folks on the private land could get the same OTC tags that I can get to use in the gmu and that they are given FAR more tags than they can personally use, if money and isn't the reason what is? If the elk didn't have to come through public to get down to the private and were there all the time I could understand it but that doesn't seem to resemble the migration/movement at all. We are still lucky to have OTC bull tags. It is just a bad deal for us as public land meat hunters to cut our chances by that much while the folks with large tracts of land, $$$ and businesses making money off of the hunting get more. Looks like I will probably be alternating years at RFW operations with family members to try and keep the freezer full.

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1951
Sorry to hear that !

That is a huge drop in tags ! Someone from the CPW must have really dropped the ball in the last couple years for that unit.

They raised the tag numbers for elk and deer in my OTC unit, and from what I have seen in the last 6 or 7 years, that should not have happened either. "STRUGGLE" !

Quinton 

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 917
There's one big huge annoying

There's one big huge annoying flaw in the Colorado draw. To be fair. They should post the number of tags offered BEFORE the draw.

 

Who gives a crap what they are after the draw?

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4018
It would be nice to at least

It would be nice to at least know if they plan on cutting tags in a unit before the draw. I have missed out on a few tags just because that is what they did.

It would be nice in a perfect world where we would draw all the tags that we put in for and were able to harvest the animals that we hunt but it just doesn't work that way. That is why you need back up plans.

SFC B's picture
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SH, I agree totally. It would

SH, I agree totally. It would certainly allow us to make a more educated choice when something like this happens. For instance, I could have put in for a second choice RFW tag on one of the Ranches where cows usually go very low (0-1). Also, if there are going to be crazy swings like this in one year wher there were no huge events (fire, flood, huge blizzards etc) how can you even have an idea of what next year brings?

SFC B's picture
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I wrote to CPW and....

I wrote to CPW and.... surprise...surprise....CPW wrote back!! While I don't get their circular logic (I will discuss), I sincerely apprecate the fact that an actual human wrote back. Here is the short version of the reply. Populations have been shaped over the past several years and have gotten to a point where hunting pressure on PUBLIC land was no longer needed/appropriate to maintain the population. I have no issue with this at all. I think all of our main concern is a healthy, thriving elk population. Here is the problem.... In the same message they say that the increase in PLO tags was in response to "damage" to meadows on the PL and that these tags were also needed to provide these pooooor landowners with extra $$(selling tags and hunts) to compensate these guys for any possible damage as well as control the population??? Sooooooo.....we are not going to let public land hunters have the additional chance at a cow but instead continue to fatten the kitty for the ranchers. Also of note is the fact that a large portion of livestock from the ranches in the GMU spend a big portion of the year on public land already. I just don't understand how they can talk out of both sides of their mouth like that and not think something is wrong. "We don't need to control the population of cows anymore, we are only going to throw a token 25 tags to the public, BUUUUUTTT we will then say we DO need to control MORE cows once they reach the sacred private land and provide the PL guys with 33% more tags instead of preventing any possible damage by allowing public land hunters to take the same amount of cows before they even get to PL" Wow, I knew they were in bed together but you think they could of had a better line of reasoning ready.

SFC B's picture
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Here is a little update with

Here is a little update with respect to last year.  Went to the mountain with bull tag in hand.  There had been several early snows (prior to 2nd season) which did not bode well for elk being on public land. Opening morning proved that to be true as the ranch to the northeast of us killed 20 elk in the first 3-5 mins :(  One of the guys in our camp was on a high spot hunting deer and witnessed the carnage.  The elk had moved down into the pastures and the outfitter/rancher had positioned his "hunters" in an off set cross fire manner with his ranch hands riding horses and trucks along the fence line to ensure the herd stayed on his land.  Put a real cloud on the whole hunt.  I did see two small herds (6-12 head) of elk but they were cows and spikes only so it was tag soup for me.  When the stats came out we found that it took 1 pt for residents to draw the cow tags.

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Location: Colorado
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Not hunting. Slaughter, and

Not hunting. Slaughter, and how it was done in the old days.

SFC B's picture
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Joined: 09/20/2012
Posts: 93
It made us sick.  Not to

It made us sick.  Not to mention that it was all being done for profit.  At the going rate for hunts in that area the made at least $80,000 for that fiasco :/

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