I was just able to look at a friends Pulsar Accolade XP50 two days ago and was absolutely blown away by it. I was able to pick up a small bird in a pine tree at close to 100 yards. A lot depends on your use on deciding between NV vs thermal. Thermal has incredible detection but the NV would be...
I can't comment on CO tags as I've never hunted there before but I do feel that resident tags are cheap in many states. For example my resident IN deer combo tag which can be used for any season is $65 for one buck and two does while a NR deer tag is $300+.
Dang I didn't realize that you had to purchase a point if you didn't draw this year. Thankfully I only missed out on one antelope point but based on draw odds next year might be interesting for antelope.
I have been using a molded in ear pair for rifle shooting as the muffs don't allow me to get low enough on a rifle. They worked excellent this fall in Wyoming but I haven't tried them for waterfowl yet.