Yeti

CO Elk harvest statistics

wllm

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Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
14,644
Location
Boston
It's incredible to me that eastern states that have to beg folks to shoot enough deer require hunters to report their harvests, but western states that have to throttle down the demand for tags because of insufficient supply are still relying on folks that don't "hang up the phone the minute they state the purpose of the call." I mean, I'm not a stats guy and I guess they'd say that the data they're getting is "good enough." But, like, it could be better, couldn't it?

FWIW, I've had 4 big game tags in Colorado, and have been surveyed 3 times: once for OTC elk, once for LE elk, and once for LE deer.
Historically it was a logistics thing. In NE you're never hunting more than 45min from a check station (mostly). Some of the CWD check stations in CO are like 5 hours from the trailhead, in the wrong direction from your house.

But in the age of the internet there is no reason why you can't fill out a report for every tag.
Did you harvest an animal
How many days did you hunt
Did you feel like it was crowded
Did you use an outfitter
etc.
 

TexanSam

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Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Messages
247
I've hunted there twice, both times got a survey asking about my harvest success. It took 3 minutes to fill out the survey via the email they sent.

In New Mexico, if you hunt and do not fill out the mandatory survey, you do not get to buy a tag/apply for the draw the following year. I do not understand why Colorado cannot do that.
 

drifter52

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Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
102
I can't understand why any one who cares one iota about hunting would do this, I answer every call and have written numerous emails asking for CO to go to mandatory hunt reporting.

In my mind your response makes you ineligible to complain about management in your state.
Pretty sure ive yet to complain about montana's management , . as far as your opinion your entitled to it. But truthfully i could care less about it
Have a good day
 

Redman

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Joined
Mar 31, 2017
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1,270
Location
Indiana
I can't understand why any one who cares one iota about hunting would do this, I answer every call and have written numerous emails asking for CO to go to mandatory hunt reporting.

In my mind your response makes you ineligible to complain about management in your state.
I agree. I even volunteer in archery surveys here in IN that ask about hrs hunted, county, all species of game and furbaring animals seen. I don't get anything for doing it but I believe it helps manage other animals than just deer. I also participate in a volunteer deer hunt survey after season closes. It asks all sorts of questions from equipment used, animals seen, my opinion on buck management vs herd numbers, and possible equipment changes in the future. I feel that as hunters here in Indiana the survey gives the DNR a hunters opinion.
 

Nick_CO

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Dec 20, 2018
Messages
196
Location
Southern Colorado
Pretty sure ive yet to complain about montana's management , . as far as your opinion your entitled to it. But truthfully i could care less about it
Have a good day
You are complaining though. By hanging up the phone when the wildlife agency calls you for info about your hunts you're complaining in a very obvious way, just one that's not helpful to anyone.

I also dislike Colorado's harvest reporting methods but I still take the surveys when presented to me. It's better than nothing.
 

squirrel

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Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Messages
599
Your concern is mis-placed, it should be with the herd count and buck/bull/100 numbers. This is where the voodoo math kicks in

It would be interesting if they would publish the % success of NR, public land, OTC, un-guided hunters, but that would lead to a lot of people staying home and hunting the back 40.
 

BrokenChicken

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May 20, 2020
Messages
159
Location
Denver, CO
i look at that data and take it into consideration when picking units to hunt. sure i know it's not 100% accurate, but i like to believe that people who do answer is truthful and extrapolated data is accurate enough. i dont remember where but i did read CPW articles explaining how they extrapolate harvest data and that it's actually pretty accurate. good enough for me, and definitely better than not having any data at all.
in 3 past years that i've hunted i've had multiple tags here in CO every season. i've been survey every season (not about every tag, but about multiple) And i am very happy to answer these surveys and do so truthfully in hopes that it helps CPW better understand herd dynamics and population management. I actually wish they would open up Voluntary harvest reporting for those who were not selected but did harvest and want to self-report. i'd be happy to report on every one of my tags. I also answer their small game HIP surveys.
 

WYelker

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Feb 1, 2021
Messages
170
I have very little faith in Colorado's data on anything except the mandatory reported species. Here is my example, my home unit is a pretty low end unit for archery elk. Years back it had very few elk (still does) but also had very few hunters. The elk are concentrated into a few areas and the locals who hunt it typically hunt it every year in and out. We all knew each other on some level and we could predict where each other would camp, where they would hunt, how they hunt, etc. On the average year there were 12 camps in the area and somewhere around 30 hunters out of those camps. Again we all would gather chat and interact, and of course BS with each other... The number of NR resident hunters was minimal all the way around and usually if a NR camp showed up it was 3 days before it left for better grounds.

Well one year all the sudden there were several huge NR camps all over the unit. Where we typically saw the usual 12-13 camps there were the normal local guys and huge camps of NR from all over the country. Again in the archery season. One camp had 14 guys from Missouri, another camp had 9 from Oklahoma etc. I could not believe how different it was... After 3-4 days one of the Missouri guys tracked me down and asked me what was the deal, where are all the elk. I told them that there are very few elk in the unit, they are few and far between. I asked why they decided to try and hunt there, he said the stats from last year showed the archery hunt was really good. Later that day I checked in on the guys from OK, same story. I looked up the stats. The published data showed that archery elk success in the unit was way high, like around 70% or something. The NR camps came and went. Both groups of hunters I spoke with ended up seeing 2 cow elk, no bulls etc. I did my own informal survey. Of the 12 local camps, I asked how many were surveyed the year before... From my camp we had 5 lic holders in total, I was the only one who was surveyed in our camp, I was also the only one that year to tag out. In the other camps I found 2 others who were surveyed. Both of them were successful the year before but the others in their camp were not surveyed. My results showed that the locals who hunt the unit every year had about 10% success rate the year before, but somehow the CPW data showed over 50%...

The data is just a minimal slice of the pie... There are other really crazy data anomalies that show up as well. For example, some units show 80% success rates on elk. Then when you dig into the data you find the unit is nearly all private and that late season and private land hunts greatly skew the results.
 

LopeHunter

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May 31, 2007
Messages
3,051
Location
MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ&NW
I participate truthfully as to if hunted, days hunted, where hunted and if harvested. Biologists need accurate data to parse through as prepare suggestions for tags. The fewer data points bios have then the less relevant the conclusions are. If incorrect data is part of the data set then that fuzzy data hurts the herds they are trying to manage.

No one is "sticking it to the man" or "saving honey holes" by keeping accurate data re the better limited entry units out of the hands of F&G.

The blue chip areas for elk, deer and pronghorn are widely known and stay that way until too many tags are added or a winter kill happens. The middling units are less known though middling limited entry unit tags are not being drawn for deer or elk by the same applicant year after year, in WY, CO, NM, AZ, NV, UT, OR, WA or MT based on my resident friends' success rates. If we are talking about low-success lower end units then is there even a honey hole on public land to be protected?

Every sheep, moose, bison and goat units is known as to quality by the people that follow those species closely. No one is drawing those tags year after year other than the Unlimited MT sheep units when you are failing to harvest since you have to sit out, otherwise.
 

Lilhowie83

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Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
473
Location
Southeast Idaho
Never registered the states they were harvested in do not require mandatory harvest reporting
/Registering so your assumption would be WRONG you can't incorrectly register them when its not mandatory now can you ? i dont do surveys
I hang up the phone the minute they state the purpose of their call
So you have no desire to contribute to the conservation of the species you hunt by participating in a simple survey?
 

Lost Arra

Active member
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
79
Historically it was a logistics thing. In NE you're never hunting more than 45min from a check station (mostly). Some of the CWD check stations in CO are like 5 hours from the trailhead, in the wrong direction from your house.

But in the age of the internet there is no reason why you can't fill out a report for every tag.
Did you harvest an animal
How many days did you hunt
Did you feel like it was crowded
Did you use an outfitter
etc.
A 15 yr old geek could produce a Colorado phone app for mandatory harvest data.
It's used successfully in many other states and provides great info.

Colorado's system is example #1 of garbage in, garbage out.
 

BrokenChicken

Active member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
159
Location
Denver, CO
O i wanted to add suggestion for CO CPW,
2021 was my first year archery hunting in CO. and i was Surveyed for this tag. i was happy to answer.
but i ran into one issue: i spent 16 days in field total that September chasing Elk, in that time i hunted 6 different GMU's, but during the survey if i remember correctly it only allowed me to put in 3 or 4 GMU options & # of days in each before it went on to next questions. since most of mine were fairly evenly split, i just left it at the first units from my hunt list.
i wish they allowed to enter all the different GMU's and not limit to 3 or 4.
 

Lost Arra

Active member
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
79
You were mistaken. They don't want accurate data. That would mess up their conclusions and management recommendations.
 

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