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WesternHunter's picture
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for this season

Anybody else notice something odd about Colorado biggame brochure?  They're offering OTC Plains rifle tags for elk.  They're offering an OTC Plains Black Bear too.  There's a unit out in eastern colorado that has no public land yet they are offering a specific public land deer tag. 

I'm beginning to wonder if this state just isn't trying to rip-off sportsman. I know of a few units out east that do have a very small number of elk, but barely huntable numbers.  Yet the CDOW is offering plains tags in units I know for certain have NO elk.  Same goes for Black Bear.   Or so I thought.  And I'm still confused about that public land deer tag out on the plains in a unit that I know has no huntable public land.  Is there something the CDOW knows that they aren't telling us? 

Critter's picture
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While this isn't official I

While this isn't official I believe that Colorado is doing what some other states are doing to get rid of animals in areas that they don't believe that they belong. As Ex said in the other post there are some bears that follow the creek drainages down and out into the plains and I am sure that some elk do the same thing.

I know that in Utah there are several areas the the DOW does not want elk and those areas are open to any bull along with more cow tags than there are cows. The only problem is that unless you get lucky you may never see a elk in these areas but they are there.

HeavyC's picture
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Location: Greeley, CO
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Oh yeah

Actually, there is a very active member of this here very site. that has taken advantage of the list "C" elk licenses the last couple of years and has been successfull! I personally have seen elk and bear within a handful of miles from the Kansas line. You may think you know for certain there are no elk, but you may be VERY suprised where you find them! I have been told by a very reliable source, about a pretty decent herd that has remained between Bennett and Keensburg since last summer! I personally have seen elk in at least 4 counties that butt the Kansas line, I have seen elk just south of Limon, and many times  all along the South Platte units. But still a few times in counties like Kiowa, Bent, Prowers, Baca, Cheyenne, & Yuma. ...so you might be suprised!

 

Now as for the deer tags, I also know a few folks that draw for those tags regularly and if successful, hunt private, as even the private land tags are hard to come by in many places.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
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Thanks!

HeavyC wrote:

Actually, there is a very active member of this here very site. that has taken advantage of the list "C" elk licenses the last couple of years and has been successfull! I personally have seen elk and bear within a handful of miles from the Kansas line. You may think you know for certain there are no elk, but you may be VERY suprised where you find them! I have been told by a very reliable source, about a pretty decent herd that has remained between Bennett and Keensburg since last summer! I personally have seen elk in at least 4 counties that butt the Kansas line, I have seen elk just south of Limon, and many times  all along the South Platte units. But still a few times in counties like Kiowa, Bent, Prowers, Baca, Cheyenne, & Yuma. ...so you might be suprised!

 

Now as for the deer tags, I also know a few folks that draw for those tags regularly and if successful, hunt private, as even the private land tags are hard to come by in many places.

Heavy! We got to hook up sometime. PM me and we'll set up some kind of hunt this year. Yes, there are areas out east to hunt but there not guaranteed by any stretch as far as seeing game. I've been successful but it's been with many gallons of gas purchased, many miles of walking sometimes rugged dry arid country, and many dry trips. They are out there in river bottom country and canyon country. If you're weathy and can pay high dollar private ranches it's pretty easy. If you're a middle class joe like me it takes putting in the hard earned dollars to get there and the physical work of hunting, but it can be done. I had to put in the work of finding em and others can do it to if they want it bad enough.

WesternHunter's picture
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plains

I know of elk in the areas you stated HeavyC.  Those herds are small and mostly all on private land, but they are out there as I've seen them as well.  There is also a growing sizeable herd out in the eastern plains that I am aware of as well and many of those elk spend time in Kansas too, all private ranch land.  I'm sure ranchers will charge a pretty hefty fee for access.

But for the majority of units out there I really have to wonder about.  There is one area that I hunt Pronghorn every other season in.  That unit offers a plains elk tag. I've been all over that unit. I have yet to even see any evidence of any elk in that area. Granted I don't spend all year in that unit, more like 5 days in early October is all.  Then again wildlife have a way of popping up in areas and parts of the country where people swear they do not habitat.  As was stated here, you'd have to be rich to afford the gas these days driving all over the plains looking for those few elk.

WishIWasHunting's picture
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I think those OTC plains tags

I think those OTC plains tags have been available for quite a while.  My friend's dad took advantage of those OTC tags a few years ago and got an elk on his land.  There aren't any elk herds in that area.  My understanding is that these tags exist more for these one-off type of situations rather than to encourage people to buy tags that there is virtually 0% chance of filling.  There isn't much that I put past government agencies in general, but I don't think these OTC tags are fraudulent in nature.  

I will give you that the placement of these OTC tags in the Big Game brochure has become more prominent in the last 2 years, but I chalked that up to the general improvements in readability in the Big Game Brochure as a whole.  

As for the public land deer tags, that describes the vast majority of all hunting tags in eastern Colorado.  Since "public" tags aren't restricted to public land only, I don't see a problem with this.    In fact, the "Private Land Only" tags are a relatively recent (last 5-10 years maybe) development, so prior to that, all tags were general unit tags with no restrictions regarding land ownership.  Just like it always has been, it is up to the hunter to know if they have a place to hunt before applying for a license for a given unit.  

On a side note, I just saw a picture on Facebook of 2 elk in Unit 95 that was taken today.  To my knowledge, other than the elk ranches that used to exist in 95, there aren't any elk herds in that unit.  However, on occasion, an elk or two will wonder through.  

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Location: Pueblo Colorado
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About three weeks ago

On a Turkey hunt out east me and the wife ran into these gals and a few guys heading out of our area. This is about 25-30 miles east of I-25, there are herds out there.

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WesternHunter's picture
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thanks

SoCoKHntr wrote:

On a Turkey hunt out east me and the wife ran into these gals and a few guys heading out of our area. This is about 25-30 miles east of I-25, there are herds out there.

Lovely!!!  That is pretty reassuring.  Thanks for sharing.  Was this on public or private land?

SoCoKHntr's picture
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That

Happened to be private but not far from an area I hunt. I can't really disclose more then that or I'd have some partners ready to give me a horse beating. I will say this they are elk east of I 25 from Trinidad up to Colo Springs that I'm aware of and all the way out to the Commanche Nat. grasslands. True mainly private property but the Commanche gives you public access and there are a sprinkling of others. My uncle talked to a game warden last year about the elk and the list c tags and the warden told him the elk are considered pests, I guess by the ranchers/farmers, that's why the tags are unlimited. If one had access to prime river bottom country they could clean house. There are some ranches in these areas charging 7,500 trophy elk hunts and they got the prime river bottom country to hunt.

HeavyC's picture
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Love to!

I'll hit you up for sure! ...might not be this year though...family and weddings are screwing up all my hunting plans this year!! Glad I was basically going for PP, but had planned to hunt backcountry archery elk for 15 days and that went to hell in a hand basket real quick! Cashing in the tag and getting a OTC 2nd season tag in hopes of at least sneaking out for a long weekend right after the second wedding in Oct.

WTF! ...my sisters know better than to get married in the fall of the year!! What were they thinking?!?!?!? ...one sis is getting married for the second time and I missed the first wedding so better make that one!

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