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Location: Grand Junction, CO
Joined: 01/24/2014
Posts: 21
A few Questions about hunting Colorado.

I moved to Grand Junction last summer but I hunted in Utah last year, to aviod the out of state fees. I now have resident status and I am spending a large amount of time searching the web and talking to locals, trying to get intel on hunting in this state. I have participated in Forums in the past and I am finding that this is one of the best for information on hunting Colorado. I am trying to determine which hunts to put in for and am having a hard time figuring out the odds tables.

I am planning on doing OTC archery elk and building Preference points for 40 or 61. I would like to put my daughter in for a cow elk tag but I would also like to starting getting her Preference points. I would like to get her a limited cow tag, so that she is eligible for the late season. The tables show the minimum points but how do you determine if she can draw the tag as a second choice? I have spent many hours staring at the draw summaries and I have learned the meaning of the phrase "it's all Greek to me."I would also appreciate any advice on good units, for her to have a good experience.

I am also looking into the same thing for deer. Are there any local units that can be drawn as a second choice for Archery?

I understand that we are talking about general season units. I would appreciate just being pointed in the right direction. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 855
In case you didn't know. You

In case you didn't know. You can call the DOW, and they'll help you with all of this. This time of year is slow for them, and they'll talk to you all day on the phone.

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3889
There should be quite a few

There should be quite a few units around Grand Junction where you can pick up a left over tag for a cow elk. Most hunters will do as you are planning and go for a point first and then use their second choice to draw a cow tag.  But it can depend on the season being hunted also.  Also be aware of the late season cow hunts.  A lot of these units have a lot of private in them or they depend on snow to push the elk off of the high peaks down to where you can get to them.

For deer that can get iffy. There are units that you can pick up a tag on your second, third, or fourth choice during the archery season.  I did that for 17 years until I cashed in my points in 2012.  What I suggest that you do if you haven't found it already is to to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife statistics page and start looking at it for the units that you are interested in.

Another thing that you might want to do is to purchase your hunting license at the Parks and Wildlife office in person.  When you show them your hunters education card they will mark your license as verified, that way you will not be required to pack it with you when in the field.

WishIWasHunting's picture
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Location: Brighton, CO
Joined: 01/31/2011
Posts: 667
Welcome

Welcome to the site!  

To answer your question about drawing a second choice tag, if a license requires any points to draw, you will not be able to draw it on second choice.  One quick way to find licenses that might be available on second choice is to look through the Big Game Regulations brochure and look for licenses that have an * next to them.  To get more info, as was mentioned previously, you will have to go to the Statistics page.  Use the appropriate "Hunt Recap" report to find out how many people applied for a specific license as 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice.  Use the "Draw Summary" report to see how many people got the license for each choice.  If a license makes it to the next level of choice, then everyone with lower choices drew that license as well.  In other words, if a license is drawn on 3rd choice, all eligible 1st and 2nd choice applicants drew that license as well.  

Since there are OTC licenses for elk, it is pretty easy to build preference points while hunting every year.  However, there are not as many options for deer hunting, even using archery equipment.  

Giving a quick look at the statistics, it looks like DE-031-O1A made it clear to 3rd choice last year and a few DE-041-O1A made it to 2nd choice.  

That's all I have for now.  Good luck!

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 855
Then call the DOW office, and

Then call the DOW office, and talk to the Hunt Planner.

COMeatHunter's picture
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Joined: 06/01/2011
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Yep, save yourself the

Yep, save yourself the frustration and call the DOW.  They will help you understand all of the rules and stats as well as give you good advice.  Be sure the mention if your daughter is a youth or not.  Youth in Colorado get some special privilidges for drawing "elidgible" hunt codes for their first and second choices as well as late season hunting opportunities.  

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Location: Grand Junction, CO
Joined: 01/24/2014
Posts: 21
I think I understand it better.

Thanks for the advice. I was actually looking at the hunt recap and not the draw summary. As Wish adviced, comparing the two makes it a lot clearer. However, I think I will call the hunt planner. Are the planners at the local offices, or do you call a statewide number?

I did notice that you can draw a cow muzzy tag with 2nd and 3rd choices in most areas. How are these hunts? I am thinking about putting my daughter in for one of these tags. That way I can take her out a few days with me on the archery hunt and then we can go out in the late season. Is there any legal issues with me hunting archery and her hunting with a muzzle loader? Before I go to far I will need to take her out and see if she can handle my muzzleloader, before the draw.

Also, are the late hunts perferrable. The majority of the late hunts in Utah, were in wintering areas and were the more sought after cow tags.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 855
Call the Denver office.  303

Call the Denver office.  303 297-1192

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Location: Fruita Colorado
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Welcome

Welcome to BGH ! It is pefectly ok for you to hunt archery and your daughter to hunt muzzy together. As for the 2nd and 3rd seasons for cow elk it can be tough or easy just depending.

Quinton

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
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I have found that the late

I have found that the late season cow hunts can be hit or miss and mostly miss.  You pray for snow to push the animals off of private so that you can get to them and then find them standing just inside the fence on the private one day and then next day they came across and into another unit over night. 

I would actually look at having your daughter try the muzzle loader hunt for a cow as Quinton mentioned you can archery hunt as she is packing the smoke pole. 

Also don't forget to put in for Utah this year and buy your combo license towards the end of the application period.  That way you can put in for all of the OIL tags along with a couple of LE hunts and use the license for two years as long as they don't change what they are doing. 

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My son really enjoys

My son really enjoys muzzleloading and he is pretty recoil shy.  We simply worked up a lighter load for him, slightly smaller bullet weight (270 gr vs. 300 gr) and about 20 grains less on the powder (70 gr vs. 90 gr).  Still plenty of oomph to put a hurt on anything including elk within 100 yards with a lot less kick.  I'm sure you can do something similar for your daughter without any trouble.  And, the time of year is hard to beat.  September is absolutely perfect for hunting and camping.  We look forward to muzzle hunting every year, whether for deer or elk.

One small bit of advice though.  Muzzle hunts are not eligible hunt codes for youth preference in Colorado so be sure you understand the draw odds for your daughter.  AND, if you put an ineligible hunt code on your daughters application (for any of the 4 choices) it will invalidate youth preference for her entire application for deer, elk or antelope.

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