Caribou Gear Tarp

Colorado 76 or 61

Elk247

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Feb 23, 2016
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84
Location
Minnesota
I have enough points as a nonresident to possibility draw a unit 76 early rifle tag, unit 76 muzzleloader tag or mabye a unit 61 bow tag. I have read all I can about both units over the many years I have been gaining points I know all the pluses and minuses of each unit still when it comes time to actually have a chance to use my points I keep second guessing myself. I have been elk hunting for as long as I have been gaining points but never with a rifle or muzzleloader bowhunting has always been my passion, but I wouldn't mind a good rifle or muzzleloader hunt in a limited draw unit. I have taken one bull over 300 so that is kind of my goal doesn't need to be 320 or anything just a good solid six point. I guess I am just looking for some guys who have done these hunts in the last few years on your own. Is 76 doable without horses? I'm in fair shape I run a few full and half marathons every year so I can take alot but I have heard it's some pretty rough country. I will be taking a minimum of two weeks if I did the rifle or muzzy hunt for hunting and scouting and at least three for the archery hunt.
 

utah400elk

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Feb 15, 2012
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660
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Sterling, VA
I am almost in the same boat...I am interested in the answers you get.

For me...I am not interested in 76 1st season rifle. I have read that the elk can move down with early snow and make this a very frustrating hunt.
76 Muzzle sounds like it could be fun...I think you will see lots of elk and have a shot at a bull over 300.
61 archery should be a great experience. Lots of elk and a fun hunt. A better chance at a bull over 300.

Like I said I have looked at the same units.

I have also looked at 1st rifle on 61 as another decent hunt.
 

Elk247

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Feb 23, 2016
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84
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Minnesota
61 rifle would be a fun hunt but I think I'm eight to ten years out from that. I think I would draw 76 this year with any wepon but I am just at minimum points for 61 archery. Usually when points level of for a year it brings alot more people into the draw so even 61 archery is probably less than a fifty percent chance this year, but I don't want to put in for 76 this year and draw then regret it. So I guess I really want someone to convince me it can be good there. Any experiences with it would be great to hear about.
 

MNElkNut

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Jan 27, 2012
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Minnesota
I did 76 1st rifle a few years back. Why don't you PM with your questions or maybe it is easier to talk over the phone.
 

Elkoholic

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Jul 19, 2012
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Ohio
Anyone notice the "early rifle" season added to 61 this year? That may be an option for you...?
 

Southern Elk

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Nov 3, 2015
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Montana
61 is a much better unit in my opinion. I have a friend that killed a nice bull there with a ML a few years back. I will never catch the point creep, but that is my dream hunt.
 

elkduds

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Jan 22, 2016
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Location
CO Springs.
The 61 early rifle hunt will take more points than 1st rifle. Adding that hunt will not reduce the points needed for 61, because it does not add any new licenses. It just takes some tags from 1st season and offers then during the rut.
 

Elk247

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Feb 23, 2016
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Minnesota
The one thing an early rifle might do is get some guys with higher point totals to apply for that instead of the first rifle season mabye slowing point creep there but I don't think it will bring it down to 19 points so I'm a few years away from first rifle. I would probably draw second though.
 

nylogger

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Dec 12, 2010
Messages
118
Location
NY
I hunted 3rd rifle this past year and saw over 30 bulls ( no spikes) before taking a bull. Lots of 270-320 bulls. Turned in 19 points to draw. I ended up taking a 310 bull 6x7.
 

Elk247

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Feb 23, 2016
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Minnesota
Nylogger I sent you a PM would be interested in knowing more about your experience there.
 

Elk247

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Feb 23, 2016
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Minnesota
I talked to a lady at the DOW today she said there could be as many as 50 early rifle tags given out in unit 61 and it is all from a new quota of tags meaning no tags will be pulled from other seasons. Can the unit handle that many more tags without a drop in quality bulls? What do you suppose will happen to the preference point scenario now. I think it would slow point creep for the later seasons. She said that's one of the reasons they have for doing it. Just hope it can handle it.
 

elkduds

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Jan 22, 2016
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CO Springs.
247, that is different than what I heard and posted above. My info was 2nd hand, though. In 2014 there were 140 1st season bull tags issued. Residents drew w 12 pp, 20-21 for NR that year. I suspect the new season will attract pointholders from 61/1st and other high point units as well. 61 1st will likely drop in points needed, maybe to 10-11.

The bigger question is, how many points will the new season take? Pure speculation. I'll guess residents will need 15 points to draw the new season.
 

elkhunter340

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Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
14
Location
Blue Ridge Mtns of North Carolina
unit 61

In 2003 I drew archery 61 and had one of the best hunts I have ever had, I had taken 12 bulls and 4 cows so I've been pretty lucky over the years but came home empty from 61 because of a little bad luck and having to leave early because of a family emergency that came up for my hunting partner. I will tell you the bulls were there and I did see several over three hundred that were vocal early mornings but got quite quickly in early morning .I recommend a good topo map and couple days scouting before opener also give yourself lots of time to hunt they're not dumb draw unit or not .Could have shot small bulls last evening I was there but after you miss a couple chances at 320+ takes the fun out of that. If you want pm any questions I can answer I will .Love archery opening morning and you won't regret 61
 

270elktaco

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Oct 2, 2011
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11
If you are a bowhunter I would wait on 61 archery. 61 is definitely a step or 2 above unit 76 in terms of quality and hunting there during the rut is an awesome experience. 76 is not bad itself of course but it is alot of rough remote country , where 61 is alot easier to hunt due to the terrain. 76 is better hunted by backpacking in. That being said I may be going to 76 1st rifle if my dad draws this year. I won't have a tag but will be taking vacation and tagging along! Good luck to you whatever you choose!
 

88man

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Jan 31, 2011
Messages
1,769
Location
Pa
I can't speak on unit 61. I have had the 76 first rifle tag. I will be going this year to help my best friend if he draws and he should. I think the early rifle hunt would be a great hunt. Should be able to find a 290 or better bull.
 

Zim

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Dec 4, 2011
Messages
752
Location
LaPorte, IN
I have 19 NR points and was planning on applying for a 61 archery tag. Curious about the new early season rifle dates, and if that early pressure would affect the archery hunt much. Will that new rifle hunt be pre-rut? Also curious if that extra rifle hunt might pull some applicants out from the 19 point pool archery applications, which likely would be required for me to draw. 19 points is probably one short otherwise.

A 310" bull would be quite a let down for waiting so long. Heck the last NM bow hunt I went on in 2011 I took a 330" bull from a 50% draw unit, no points obviously.

I've only hunted CO once, ten years ago, but passed on a 310" bull while on a deer hunt, in a unit that only took 3 elk points to draw last year. These 19 points have to be the lowest value points in my entire hunt portfolio. :(
 
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270elktaco

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Oct 2, 2011
Messages
11
88man maybe I'll see you out there! Ha! If your buddy does draw let me know if you want to exchange any info or help each other out in any way. My dad should also draw and I will be going with to help out. I have hunted the unit during bow season but never during the rifle. Hopefully the elk won't be to hard to find!!!
 
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