5-Year Big Game Season Structure alternatives

Oak

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Starting a new thread to discuss the proposed alternatives which have now been posted on the CPW website.

Highlights of note:
  1. Three of 4 archery elk options have a season of September 2-30. One of those options would require the hunter to choose either the first 13 days or the last 16 days to hunt.
  2. Two of 3 rifle options shorten the 3rd season to 5 days. One of those options would create a 5-day limited entry early rifle bull hunt in OTC units. All 4 regular rifle seasons would be 5 days long with 9 day breaks between.
The big game season structure topic is on the CPW Commission agenda for the afternoon of June 6 at the meeting in La Junta.
 

wllm1313

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Curious to see what the public comments yield, I like option 2 but I think 3 is probably a decent compromise.

I'm not sure how I feel about the early rifle season, I definitely like the longer breaks.
 

rideold

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Well, that's a lot of options to digest. Seems to me that splitting the archery season into two with one being OTC and one being draw would be interesting except for them both being list A. I like that now I can opt for a list B OTC Archery and then apply for the draw for a third season rifle list A. I guess reducing the number of list B tags would reduce crowding. In the end I hope the final choice is the one that is best for herd management. Looks like option 3 moves the 9 day season to 2nd rifle from 3rd. I'm wondering what that will yield. Seems like the later season being longer was done because its a harder hunt that time of year and the weather can be dodgy. Maybe I'm misinformed on that item. I'll second that the longer breaks seem like a good thing for the herds. Don't know if there is any science to back that up.
 

HighDesertSage

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Oak thanks for posting this. At the end of the letter it states" These recommendations and alternatives will be discussed with the Commission in June, with proposed final approval of the 2020-2024 BGSS in July. A second online comment form will also be available for 30-days (starting May 28th) to allow the public to share feedback on these alternatives and recommendations."

Would you have a link to where we can comment?

Thanks again.
 

wllm1313

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Well, that's a lot of options to digest. Seems to me that splitting the archery season into two with one being OTC and one being draw would be interesting except for them both being list A. I like that now I can opt for a list B OTC Archery and then apply for the draw for a third season rifle list A. I guess reducing the number of list B tags would reduce crowding. In the end I hope the final choice is the one that is best for herd management. Looks like option 3 moves the 9 day season to 2nd rifle from 3rd. I'm wondering what that will yield. Seems like the later season being longer was done because its a harder hunt that time of year and the weather can be dodgy. Maybe I'm misinformed on that item. I'll second that the longer breaks seem like a good thing for the herds. Don't know if there is any science to back that up.
? OTC tags are list A, you can't get a OTC archery tag and apply for a 3rd rifle tag?

107186
 

Bambistew

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What were the catalysts for these alternatives? Some interesting changes for sure. I'm not sure I would support shorter seasons, it would just intensify the pressure vs spreading it out a bit. I can't say that I've ever had a hunt in CO that I thought there was too much pressure. To be fair, I don't hunt OTC areas though, but have hunted plenty of units that are super easy to draw or have left over tags.
 

jvanhoy

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Thanks for the link. Not sure which option is best for the archery but I’m glad the deer season will run the whole month of September. That was my main concern cause my dad only deer hunts and I only elk hunt. I like the idea of the split season but not the idea of having the second have limited.
 

rmyoung1

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Yeah that’s pretty interesting. Those longer breaks push the 3rd and 4th seasons later in November. Although shorter in length, the third season would sit in a better slot for deer hunters. Would be interesting to see what happens with those applicants, like me, who are sitting on mule deer points.
 
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ZBB

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Am I way out in left field thinking that a limited general elk tag like Wyoming or Montana would be out of line? Get a general tag, buy an archery license hunt with a bow or a rifle for the open season. Is it a money deal? Just curious because it seems to work for Wyoming.
 

wllm1313

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Am I way out in left field thinking that a limited general elk tag like Wyoming or Montana would be out of line? Get a general tag, buy an archery license hunt with a bow or a rifle for the open season. Is it a money deal? Just curious because it seems to work for Wyoming.
That's essentially what CO has right... you can put in for a limited area just WY or MT (permit units) or you can get a general tag and hunt a bunch of different units. Colorado just has the general seasons broken up into 3 pieces Archery, 2nd Rifle and 3rd Rifle because there are so many more people hunting in CO and with that added pressure you have to limit the number of people in the field so it doesn't get too crowded.

Some food for thought...
Aside: I couldn't find the OTC numbers for CO anywhere not sure if they even exist... seems like the total hunter number might be the states WAG unfortunately CO is the least transparent of all the states in terms of data, and seems to have the worst data collection policies.

107195
 

ZBB

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That's essentially what CO has right... you can put in for a limited area just WY or MT (permit units) or you can get a general tag and hunt a bunch of different units. Colorado just has the general seasons broken up into 3 pieces Archery, 2nd Rifle and 3rd Rifle because there are so many more people hunting in CO and with that added pressure you have to limit the number of people in the field so it doesn't get too crowded.

Some food for thought...
Aside: I couldn't find the OTC numbers for CO anywhere not sure if they even exist... seems like the total hunter number might be the states WAG unfortunately CO is the least transparent of all the states in terms of data, and seems to have the worst data collection policies.

View attachment 107195
Right, I get that. What I mean is just have one limited general tag that could cover those hunts. I would think that the time would help spread the pressure a little better. Also I think the table is like comparing apples and oranges. There is that many hunters in Colorado because they aren’t limited like the other places. I don’t know though man, I could be wrong. Thanks for the reply
 

wllm1313

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Right, I get that. What I mean is just have one limited general tag that could cover those hunts. I would think that the time would help spread the pressure a little better. Also I think the table is like comparing apples and oranges. There is that many hunters in Colorado because they aren’t limited like the other places. I don’t know though man, I could be wrong. Thanks for the reply
CO NR licenses are also cheaper, larger elk herd, etc. etc.

The idea is that you can afford more people a crack at elk if you limited each persons number of hunt days. Think of it this way: Success is a function of days in the field lets say your elk quota for a unit is 10 animals and if someone hunts 5 days they have a 10% chance at success and if they hunt 10 days they have a 20% chance at success.

50 people hunting 10 days will kill 10 elk
or
100 people hunting 5 days will kill 10 elk.

Therefore if you want to maximize the number of people who get to hunt you give a bunch of people limited time instead a few people a bunch of time.

The success rate in CO is 20%, 27% in MT, and 35% in WY by designing a season structure that decreases your average hunters chances of killing an elk you are able to get more hunters in the field.
 

vanish

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( Reserving my archery thoughts for the moment )

Wow, I didn't notice the impacts of the rifle alternatives at first.

Rifle Alternative 2: "1st Rifle Combo" season would mean a new deer season (albeit not a very interesting one). 4th rifle becomes a late tag. That would make some questionable migration elk hunts almost a sure bet. Shortening 2nd/3rd rifle seems like it would piss a lot of people off.

Bear Concurrent Rifle Season - Have OTC bear licenses available for the concurrent rifle season (no hunting during breaks between seasons). No season participation rules apply.
YES PLEASE. The whole idea of "requiring having an unfilled deer/elk license because it makes poaching too easy" is just ridiculous. I might actually buy a rifle bear tag if I could use it while helping out on someone else's deer/elk hunt.
 

COEngineer

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I really like the month-long archery elk season, so I think I would keep that at the expense of having to apply and/or having a tag for only one sex (bull or cow). Basically anything but option #3.

Man, I thought the 9-day seasons were already pretty hectic in some units. Shortening the season to 5 days seems like it will just make that worse. Is there any data that shows a 5-day season will redistribute some of the elk back onto public land? Or will this be an experiment to see if that works?
 

PrairieHunter

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Right, I get that. What I mean is just have one limited general tag that could cover those hunts. I would think that the time would help spread the pressure a little better. Also I think the table is like comparing apples and oranges. There is that many hunters in Colorado because they aren’t limited like the other places. I don’t know though man, I could be wrong. Thanks for the reply
Yep. Thats the problem, lots of elk, but also 6 million residents looking for tags. Per capita elk MT and WY blow CO away. Those residents lose out on the landowner tags and the high % of tags for NR"s and the OTC elk tags compromise much of the states public land elk hunting. Total bum deal for the residents who get screwed at every turn it seems.

Now you might get 5 days to hunt elk in CO while they get nearly 3 months in MT. Advantage MT.

Rich hunters in CO still have it good, as do NR hunters and landowners, but for the average guy working all year to hopefully draw a tag for a 5 day season it seems like a raw deal to me. Every time someone like a landowner or NR gets a tag, someone else loses a tag, and in so many cases the residents of CO just lose it seems.

There are a lot of good sides to living in Colorado like economy/jobs/entertainment/etc , but the resident elk hunting in MT or WY is much better. I would take a general MT tag over any tag a CO resident can draw with 0-1 preference points if for nothing else the season length and less crowded hunting.

MT resident can have a general with a chance for limited entry every year
WY resident can have a general with chance for limited entry every year
What are your comparable options for hunting elk every year in CO?
 
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