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Joined: 07/09/2009
Posts: 4
Elk hunting

My brother and I are planning a elk hunt (rifle) to either MT or CO does either state sell over the counter tags? Also we would be hunting public land so any info on wich WMA would have the best success rate would be helpful

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Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 43
Elk hunting

ID and CO have otc tags, you had to apply for MT tags but the deadline has passed. There's a buch of other people on here who may be more familiar w/ the units in those states than me, hopefully they can help.

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Joined: 07/09/2009
Posts: 4
Elk hunting

Thanks for the reply. I know the application deadline has passed for this year in MT. we are planning this hunt for 2010. I'm just wondering if we don't get a draw tag if we can still buy an over the counter tag. I know that probobly sounds like a stupid question, but, I've been told that the lottery is for either bulls or cows depending on the year. So the opposite sex would be available over the counter. Again we haven't decided on MT,WY or CO yet wich is why I was wondering if anyone knew the best public areas to hunt for the best chance of success

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Elk hunting

That information is way off. Montana elk tags are OTC for residents only, nonresidents apply in March for the general elk tag, then if successful, are eligible for the special tag drawings for high demand units and/or cow tags.
All Colorado cow elk tags are limited, but there are often leftovers available after the drawing. Colorado also has unlimited bull tags for most of Western Colorado during what is called 2nd and 3rd seasons. Idaho tags are availabe OTC, but are limited in some units. The special back country September rifle units sell out not long after they go on sale in December for the following year. Oregon and Washington also have OTC elk tags. Washington has a screwy system, but Oregon has OTC tags available for the western portion of the state and the east is draw only.
If you're even remotely considering Wyoming, you'll have to have your application in by January 31.
Success rates are usually recorded by units, not WMAs, counties or national forests. Colorado has a few units with extremely high success rates, especially for cows or either sex tags(draw only, but fairly good draw odds in many units for 1st season). Some easy to draw areas average in the high 30s to mid 40s, which is VERY good.
The White River National Forest around Meeker, and the National Forest northeast of Craig are two very popular areas due to their high success rates. Also, unit 70 northwest of Durango has very high success, easy access and plenty of public land.

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Joined: 07/09/2009
Posts: 4
Elk hunting

Thanks alot for that reply. That's why I posted my questions on here, to get the right info from someone who knows. Again I appreciate it, you probobly saved me alot of hassle

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