5 replies [Last post]
catfishryan's picture
Location: Texas
Joined: 10/01/2007
Posts: 5
preference points. which states?

ok,  i am wanting to start putting in for preference points now so in a few years maybe i can do a couple diy hunts and have some success.  i want to do a mule deer gun and an elk archery. which states should i put in for for each?  how many years until i will have enough points? thanks

Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 924
You can get OTC elk tags in

You can get archery OTC elk tags in Colorado.

buckykm1's picture
Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 366

It really depends on the class of animal that you want a chance at ?, a pre-mo elk tag in AZ could take 16 points for a non-res hunter Kevin

COMeatHunter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 639
Your question is a little too

Your question is a little too broad.  Most regular members can comment on states they currently hunt, but few have probably hunted in all of the Western states.  You'll also need to narrow down your main priorities: trophy class or just "good"?, combo hunt or separate hunts for mule deer and elk?, DIY solo?,  etc.  How do you measure success?  How much time do you plan on hunting and/or travelling to hunt?  What are the most important criteria for you?  

In Colorado, the Parks and Wildlife Department puts together statistics that can quickly help you get an idea of how much time you'll need to invest to draw a tag in limited units (as opposed to Over-the-Counter unlimited tags).  Here's the link to the statistics page:


Stillhunter is correct about OTC tags too.  Many good hunts in Colorado can be had with an either-sex OTC tag for archery elk.  And, many more good hunts can be drawn with only a few preference points or less.  So check out the data and put some thought into what you really want out of your hunts.

I can't really comment on other states since we only hunt elk in Colorado.  What I can tell you is non-resident tags can be very expensive (Colorado charges non-residents $586 for a bull or either-sex elk tag) so you may want to look at the fees too before you invest too much time checking out multiple states if overall cost is a primary consideration for you.  Also, some states allow non-residents to simply purchase points rather than "apply" for points in their draw process.  Lastly, many states will require you to pay for the tags when you apply and then send a refund following the draw.  This can put a temporary strain on the checkbook if you plan to apply for multiple states.

Good luck in the planning of your hunts.  This is a great forum with lots of helpful members.  Just keep asking questions and you'll likely get some very helpful advice.

WishIWasHunting's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Brighton, CO
Joined: 01/31/2011
Posts: 700
All the advice above is

All the advice above is excellent.  I can't add much since I have really only hunted big game in Colorado.  However, I would suggest that you read through the Western Hunter blog on this website.  It has several articles that address deer and elk hunting in the western states.  None of the articles are going to tell you where you should go, but they should help you start figuring out what is important to you and what questions you really need to ask.  

BoneCollector's picture
Location: Ohio woods
Joined: 02/01/2011
Posts: 290
All good advice given thus

All good advice given thus far. Figure out what you want and then read and research all you can. The truly best teaching method wil be when you go on your first hunt. Best of luck and keep us posted.

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