I never sit out a year. It would drive me crazy to not hunt. I just take a cow for 2nd pick while getting points. Which is only 2 points for a bull in my unit. Never been a trophy hunter, so cows are fine. Good eating.
I wouldn't worry about the hybrid draw since the odds of getting a tag off of it is worse than the regular drawings I believe. So what I would do if I was in your shoes is pick the unit that I could draw my hunt in and go for it. With 20 points you are into most hunts.
Still Hunter: I have never sat out a elk hunting season or even a deer season here in Colorado since I started to accumulate points. I now have 15 deer points which I will use this year and 16 elk points that I'll use next year. Granted for deer I have been archery hunting for the last 15 years but I was hunting and in those 15 years I have taken 3 deer and 2 elk with a bow. Now if I would of wanted to leave the home base and hunt there were deer rifle tags available that I could of drew as a second choice but I didn't put in for them.
It is all in knowing how to play the game. Also for figuring out if you can draw a hunt here is a application the is on another web site that all you have to do is put in your points, the unit, and what weapon and then it will show you the odds of drawing.
Yes, I know all that, but i'm stubborn and only hunt my unit. That eliminates most all options to gain points and hunt at the same time. This is the first year they offered a dow tag. It's been bucks for all seasons. How do you hunt and gain points? No way.
Elk is much easier, because they always had cows in all seasons, and it's easy to get a 2nd pick cow tag. At least it used to be. Now taking a cow as 2nd pick is taking a chance.
I see what you are talking about if you want to stay in the same unit. The last couple of years I actually put in for 4 choices for the deer hunt. The first was a PP, second was a ML tag in my home unit, third was archery for my home unit, and the fourth and last one was for my good old fall back tag a archery tag where I had to drive a little ways but not far.
As for elk I have had it easy. Since I have been archery deer hunting I will usually buy a OTC either sex elk tag, and then put in for the draw for a PP and a fourth season cow tag in my home unit.
It is going to seam strange this year not archery hunting and being able to actually look for deer to shoot during the fourth season instead of throwing rocks at them. Then hopefully next year I can start to draw a ML tag again.
Yeah, I know i'm limiting myself, but I have some nice honey holes in my unit that I love to hunt. All high timber. I hardly ever see another hunter which is really important to me. I love to come home each night to a shower and bed too.
We don't have any OTC tags here either, so I don't even have that option. You know what though. I'm fine with cows and does. Still hunting makes any game a challenge, and it's hard to be the meat.
I just got back from my elk trip to Colorado and must say that I learned quite a bit about hiking in that one trip. I researched all I could on the internet and thought I was prepared going out. For the most part I was but I want to pass on a few major things I learned that helped me drastically!
1. Pack light. I know this may sound like common sense but believe me. After reading everyone's advice on what you need to pack, chances are your pack will end up weighing more...