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exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
Colorado DOW cutting more licenses

Antlerless elk licenses will be cut 9% statewide.

Antlered elk licenses down just 1%, either sex elk licenses down 5%.

Notably, they are cutting cow licenses from the White River Herd by 15%, units 80 and 81 by 55%, the San Juan herd by 51%, and the Bear's Ears herd by 38%.

Slight increase in muzzleloader elk licenses.


Antlered deer licenses will be down 11%.  Antlerless deer licenses will be down 23%.

Notable cuts include unit 70/71/711 buck deer by 25%, another 8% in the Flat Tops and unit 10 is really dwindling down to just 56 buck tags for all seasons, in another 24% cut.

Big increase in the Grand County unit buck tags, 18/28/37/371/27/181, up 46%.


Don't expect a great selection of leftover licenses this year.  Expect deer leftovers to be really slim considering how bad they were the last few years.


This hasn't been passed yet, but this is what's being proposed to the commission May 5th.



GooseHunter Jr's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3748
Man that really sucks.  Why

Man that really sucks.  Why is that that caanot get this infornmation out mto the hunters before we are to have our draw applications in.  It might make a differenece where we all apply to.  I for one have been bitten by this the last two season and it appears that I may be bitten by it again this year.  It really does drive me nuts that they do this to us after the application dealine.  Alomost like they do not want to tell us til they have out money in the bank.  I am not evebn looking to kill a bull I just want to get my Dad on one more good hunt before he hangs it up.  And for the last two years we have had to make drastic chjanges to oyur plans to try and put us in a decent spot for a good hunt.  Getting old thats for sure....OK done ranting.

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4413
I agree with your rant.  A

I agree with your rant.  A few years ago I missed out on a archery tag because they drooped the tag numbers to where there were not any left overs.  Granted I should of put in for archery as my first choice but after years of left overs who would of thought that they would of changed it. 

Trouble it Colorado isn't the only state that does this.  I have put in for a number of hunts in other states that were available for the application but not for the draw.  It can get very frustrating at times. 

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
I think Oregon does it like

I think Oregon does it like that as well. Your apps need to be in by may 15th but they dont set the tag numbers until their commision meeting at the begining of june then results are posted by mid june. it doesnt make sence to me. You'd think they would have the tag numbers set before the draws so people had a chance to rearch and prepare for the app season. but it is a government body so i guess its on par for being ass backwards.

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
Everyone in my family has

Everyone in my family has been fortunate in getting leftover doe tags for the last 5 or 6 years now but it looks like that may be over as there are never many left anyway. I'm more concerned about my buck tag as I apply for a point first and always draw second choice. If they cut my area I may get left without one and not enough time to find one for somewhere else with every thing I have planned. I have never not held  a buck tag for the 26 years I have hunted here.

There have always been tons of leftover elk tags so even with a cut I should be able to get an extra cow tag. Just gonna have to wait and see how it all plays out.

benjicunney's picture
Joined: 08/20/2010
Posts: 21
Wow, I would agree that it is

Wow, I would agree that it is lame this information gets released after the application deadline. However, what I would be more curious about is why the cuts are happening. Anybody know the current status of our deer and elk populations and how they held up during the winter. I am all about doing what it takes to keep the herds healthy and strong. 

Have any of you been following what has been going on with our neighbors to the west in the state of Utah? They have made some pretty significant changes to their deer hunting season due to some pretty crappy herds. I lived there for 4 years and never once hunted the state because of how crowded the deer season is there. 

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4413
If you think that the

If you think that the crowding was bad when you hunted it with the current regulations you should of hunted it back in the 70's when there were 200,000+ hunters out in the field at one time. 

All the western states are having a problem with their mule deer herds and are taking measures to help them out.  Utah next year is going to 29 or 30 units so that they can do some micro management to see if they can build some of the herds back up.  That along with cutting 13,000 tags over this and next year.  There are some big arguments on weather to increase the buck to doe ratios or finding a way to up the fawn survival rate.  Some hunters want to be able to hunt every year and shoot the first 2 pt that they see while others want more mature 4 pts.  But right now it is just a wait and see what is going to happen with the herds. 

borisspider7's picture
Joined: 05/16/2011
Posts: 7
Up the fawn survival rate

A large percentage of the fawns that do not survive to adulthood are falling prey to coyotes. In a 1988 southeastern Colorado study, coyote predation was believed to be responsible for 71% of pronghorn fawn mortality (Gese et al. 1988). Studies in Colorado and Utah have shown that 30% - 40% of fawns that die in their first year are taken by coyotes. Since Colorado has banned trapping of coyotes, deer, elk, and pronghorn hunters should start hunting coyotes in a systematic way. 

Quoting from http://wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/predators-mule-deer.html

"Taking coyotes randomly doesn't help


Even though coyote predation has an effect on Utah's mule deer herds, a scattered taking of coyotes won't necessarily lessen that effect. When and where coyotes are taken makes all the difference.

To have the greatest effect, the following needs to occur:

    http://wildlife.utah.gov/i/bullet_green.gif); padding: 0px;">
  • Coyotes should be taken in February and March, and in April, May and June.
      http://wildlife.utah.gov/i/bullet_green.gif); padding: 0px;">
    • February and March are the months when coyotes pair up to prepare to breed. Research indicates that coyotes establish pair bonds within just a few weeks. If coyotes are taken too far in advance of the February and March timeframe, the surviving coyotes can still establish a new pair bond before the breeding season occurs. And that means more coyotes on the landscape once the pairs' pups are born in May. Taking coyotes in February and March can break the pair bonds and eliminate the ability a surviving coyote in the pair has to pair up and breed with another coyote that year.
    • Breaking up pairs in April is important because breaking the pairs up makes it difficult for the remaining adult to successfully raise a litter of pups.
    • May and June are also important months to remove coyotes, especially those that are raising pups. Removing coyotes during this time period reduces the number of coyotes that are on the landscape before fawns are born and during the time the fawns are being born.
        http://wildlife.utah.gov/i/bullet_green.gif); padding: 0px;">
      • It's also important to focus coyote control on specific deer fawning grounds rather than taking coyotes over a larger area. If control takes place too far from a fawning ground, the fawns that are born on that ground won't receive much protection."



I think that all of us big game hunters should join the coyote hunters in the game areas we hope to hunt come Autumn.




exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
that link provided shows the population status

In relation to objectives, we are way down and still declining from just 4 years ago.  We are down to about 380,000 deer west of I25, and the goal in those units is over 500,000.  

Some units are in truly horrendous shape compared to objectives, especially some of the trophy herds.  Unit 44 is one of the worst, but so is unit 10, 1, 2, and 201.  Those units are all below 50% of the their long term objective(some WAY below), and not really recovering, despite there being no doe tags.  

Topgun 30-06's picture
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Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 693
I think a lot of guys

I think a lot of guys chastize the F&G Departments on stuff like this when they are really between a rock and a hard place.  A lot of people want to know as soon as possible in the calendar year if they have drawn a tag so they can finalize there vacation plans at their workplace.  At the same time, if the tags are issued way before the biologists have a good handle on a game population by doing their winter kill surveys then what are they going to do if they decide the game isn't there to support the number of tags they have issued?  IMHO they do a pretty decent job when you look at everything they have to take into consideration to do the job properly.

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
the breakdown

Here's how the quotas break down:

But I can sort of summarize the changes. With the license reductions, may want to reduce my estimates on the leftovers by at least another 10% on elk, 20% on deer to factor in other unsuccessful applicant draws pulling with their 3rd or 4th choices.

Buck deer leftovers
9/19/191 2nd and 3rd rifle about 300 
9/19/191 4th season reduced to about 40
18/28/37/371 2nd season up to about 480
18/28/37/371 3rd season up to about 370
18/28/37/371 doe tags up to about 250
27/181 2nd season up to about 200
27/181 3rd season up to 125ish
33 down to 200 in 2nd season
No more 444 2nd choice in 3rd season

Doe deer:
41/42/421 does up to 380
No unit 43 doe leftovers


Early cow 25 cut to 25 from 75 tags, so no more 2nd choice draw
No 2nd choice unit 4 1st season tags for either sex or cow
Unit 3/4/5etc no 4th rifle leftover cow tags
No 10 4th rifle cow leftovers
Very few unit 11etc 1st rifle leftovers, less than 100 probably
Practically guaranteed 1st choice draw in 11 either sex 1st as they increased the either sex tags by 500.
No more leftovers1st cow unit 14, but easier to draw 14 either sex
Unit 15 2nd through 4th float cow leftovers increase to over 500
19 1st season draws out 3rd choice instead of 4th.
Reduce unit 19 leftover bull tags to maybe 180 for 2nd through 4th float
No more 1st season leftover 21-32 cow tags
Maybe 20 leftover either sex 4th season 21-32 tags, if any
About 340 leftover 2nd/3rd 21/30 cow tags
No more 3rd choice either sex unit 28/37 either sex elk
150 leftover 28 either sex 4th season (reduction)
Cut 25/26 OTC cap cow license from 1000 to 500
28 cow tags 1st season down to 180
No 2nd choice 28 cow tags in 2nd 
Maybe 45 28 3rd cow tags (reduction)
About 300 leftover 28 cow tags in 4th season
35 2nd 3rd 4th cow tags up to 120
42 2nd season cow will have maybe 50-100 leftovers (increase)
42 3rd/4th up to 420 cow leftovers
47 2nd/3rd/4th cow leftovers up to 330
64/65 2nd rifle down to 120 leftovers
Less than 100 64/65 1st rifle leftovers
No more 2nd choice either sex 75 etc tags
No more leftover 75 4th season bull tags
75 2nd/3rd/4th cow leftovers down to 175
No more 4th rifle 77 cow tags
No more 80 or 81 4th rifle leftovers cow tags
82 2nd cow tags up to 300, 3rd up to 150
444 cow tags 2nd to 4th float up to 300
521 2nd to 4th up to 300 leftover cow tags

Oh, heck lets do muzzy elk tags too while I'm at it:
Unit 14/214 either sex might get close to a guaranteed draw for residents, but fewer cow tags, so prob tough 2nd choice draw odds
Unit 15/27 either sex, pretty close to a guaranteed 1st choice draw for residents. Cow tags reduced, but still available as 2nd choice, no 3rd or 4ths this year.
Grand Mesa units, pretty much guaranteed 2nd choice cow tags. 
No more leftover unit 75 cow tags

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