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Joined: 03/24/2012
Posts: 2
Father and Son first time for Colorado elk

New to the forums, and glad to be here.  Many years ago I hunted Roosevelt elk once near my former home in Oregon, no success not knowing how to go about it.  Now living on the east coast and I have a 14 yr old son that is begging for a big game adventure. 

 

We were thinking about applying for a Pref.point for 1st choice and going for Unit 49 Muzzleloader cow tag for 2nd choice.  Unit 49 ML cow looks to need 1 Non res pref point to draw with 22% success rate, would it be worth applying with no points?  This is our first year in this game and would like to pull off an excellent adventure with decent chance of success.

This whole drawing thing is mind boggling with how many choices there are, we have never been to Colorado.  We are looking at a DIY hunt on public lands Unit 49 gives us the San Isabel Nat Forest.  We would certainly be open to other areas or units as well, we have rifles too. 

We really just want a decent chance at getting some meat for the family and having a kid have his first success.  This year was his first here in our state and he missed his only shot of the year during the muzzleloader season at a young doe.  We are excited for our first out of state hunting adventure.  Are there any kind souls out there who could help a guy out with this?  Thanks for your consideration.

 

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 920
You picked a tough unit with

You picked a tough unit with no points. It doesn't look like you could get a cow tag even as a 1st choice.

Study all the info on the DOW site. It will tell where your best odds are.

buckykm1's picture
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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 365
Welcome

Welcome to the forum.

just a thought, apply for a Elk pref point this year, and then apply for a Muley tag this year. do the deer hunt, to get your feet wet, so to say, learn the area, and then Elk hunt next year.

Kevin

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 920
Lots of units are easy to get

Lots of units are easy to get a 2nd choice cow tag, but unit 49 isn't one of them. I live 1/2 mile from unit 49, and I don't bother to hunt it.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
If you truly just want a chance for meat....

Don't bother with a muzzleloader tag.  Go with an either sex 1st rifle in a unit that you can draw with a cow tag as a 2nd choice.  Almost without fail, that will be your highest success option.

If you really meant you want a fun backcountry hunt for bulls only and don't care whether or not you harvest, then go for a muzzleloader tag, but I don't believe there are any 0 point nonresident bull muzzleloader tags available.  So, next option might be to look into a unit where you might draw with 1 point next year, and use a 2nd choice to draw a 1st season tag for that same unit this year to help you learn it.

ClemsonTiger's picture
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Location: Johns Island, SC
Joined: 10/13/2011
Posts: 4
Exbio please read!

exbiologist wrote:

Don't bother with a muzzleloader tag.  Go with an either sex 1st rifle in a unit that you can draw with a cow tag as a 2nd choice.  Almost without fail, that will be your highest success option.

If you really meant you want a fun backcountry hunt for bulls only and don't care whether or not you harvest, then go for a muzzleloader tag, but I don't believe there are any 0 point nonresident bull muzzleloader tags available.  So, next option might be to look into a unit where you might draw with 1 point next year, and use a 2nd choice to draw a 1st season tag for that same unit this year to help you learn it.

Exbio, I wanted to reply to this earlier, but did not care to unveil my "draw strategy" on the internet prior to the 2012 draw.  So here it goes ... By doing some research I noticed that a bull muzzy tag is pretty easy to draw for Units 44/45/47/444.  I really wanted to do these units as a 1st rifle either sex tag to give me the best chance of harvest, but it was about 35% odds that i could pull this with zero points and nonresident.  I still put this in as my 1st choice and put the muzzy bull tag as 2nd choice.  I figured there was no way I could draw it as secound choice unless they upped the quota or a couple less people applied for the muzzy tag and one tag would go to 2nd choice.  I figured as unlikely as that was, if it happened I would be the only one crazy enough to put a bull muzzy tag down as 2nd choice.  Well I checked my draw results yesterday and you will never guess what happened???  I now have one preference point and a ticket to hunt high elevation bull elk during the rut with a muzzleloader!!!  I know you work alot with statistics, so please let me know what you think the chances are of that?

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
probably about 0

Seems like that should be impossible, I guess we'll have to wait and see until the draw stats come out to see how that happened.

ClemsonTiger's picture
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Location: Johns Island, SC
Joined: 10/13/2011
Posts: 4
I couldn't believe it

I couldn't believe it either.  I was pretty much planning to hunt my 3rd choice until i saw this.  I assume I am reading it correctly...

ELK SUCCESSFUL LIMITED LICENSE FOR 2ND CHOICE: EM044O1M

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
I'll be danged

You're reading it right.  I'm not aware of any bull muzzleloader licenses that were part of the former statewide tag that could be had on a 2nd choice over the last couple of years.  Really curious to see if it was just fewer applicants this year or what happened.

ClemsonTiger's picture
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Location: Johns Island, SC
Joined: 10/13/2011
Posts: 4
I noticed the draw stats from

I noticed the draw stats from last year seemed like everyone except one or two got the tag as 1st choice, so I thought if a few less people applied maybe one tag would go 2nd choice.  I also thought because of low success rates that more muzzleloaders may put in for 1st rifle instead of muzzy which would decrease my odds on my 1st choice (1st rifle).

Anyway, I was just interested to see what you thought?  I have really enjoyed your articles, posts, and everything you have offered on here (also I was a paying member of westernhuntingdata).  I look forward to becoming more involved with the forum over the next few months. That is when I have free time, because it looks like most of that will be taken up with working on my physical conditioning and muzzleloader skills...

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Location: Parker, CO
Joined: 04/15/2009
Posts: 9
Father-son hunt

Exbio is right, if you want the adventure, go with the muzzy hunt.  Success rates are generally lower but a better chance at chasing bugling bulls.  1st rifle has a better chance at sending you home with meat, but most years the rut is nearly over.

Dont be intimidated by the idea of DIY in CO.  Its easy.  Do your research, ask questions, you'll have a good time.

Hunt the north and east faces, get in shape, enjoy.

Good luck on your hunt

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