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Colorado OTC - How bad is it

Colorado OTC, How bad is it? All i see is doom and gloom comments about the amount of people and lack of elk. How many of you routinely participate in the OTC rifle hunts? Is it reall that difficult to get away from people?
Look at the numbers/stats, if you want to see the participants.
Don't consider it much different than getting away from the crowds in WI.
 
All across my area, when I talk to people about elk hunting, I hear "Yea, me and some guys from work are going to Colorado to elk hunt". Well, they are obviously going OTC, so that means these 4 or 5 guys from South La are heading to Colorado. Multiply that times 1000 and that's probably just Louisiana hunters. It seems everyone who wants to go elk hunting, first place they think about is "Colorado". I may be exaggerating a little bit, but my comment is right on for the most part. I have pictures of my elk hunts on the wall by my desk at work, and someone will always ask "Where was that hunt?". When I reply New Mexico, they get a puzzled look on their face thinking I mean Mexico (our public school system). They then say, "oh I'd like to go to Colorado one day".
 
Look at the numbers/stats, if you want to see the participants.
Don't consider it much different than getting away from the crowds in WI.
I actually think CO otc archery is way more crowded then the deer hunting we have in WI on public land if you don't count gun opening weekend and maybe Thanksgiving day. Any other day in the season CO OTC late Sept has trump
 
Knew a few guys who went last year. They counted over 30 people in one valley. Another group who were experienced in co otc. They had a few years off and went to their old spot, couldn’t find a place to park. For most people it is an expensive camping trip. If you want to go then do a full send and try to get creative and avoid crowds.
 
I actually think CO otc archery is way more crowded then the deer hunting we have in WI on public land if you don't count gun opening weekend and maybe Thanksgiving day. Any other day in the season CO OTC late Sept has trump
Sorry, was thinking gun.
Agree with archery.
 
If you are hunting North of I-25 do not expect a quality experience unless you have some private land access. This year should be really interesting to see how many camps move out of the NW units because of the extreme winter kill.

The flattops are the biggest joke of all even if you have horses. There can be 50-100 vehicles at some of the trailheads on Dunckley and Ripple Creek pass and Trappers Lake area. Most of these trailheads are barely big enough to hold 10-20 vehicles. People talk about getting in 4-5 miles, the problem is then you start running into people that came in from a different trailhead 8-10 miles away. Very tough to get away from other hunters in these units.

There is game to be harvested in OTC units, but I would never use the word QUALITY in describing my experiences.

Hopefully your experience will be better. Remember when you talk with CPW about where to hunt, the person you are talking to is also giving the same advice to a 1000 other callers when you pick the unit or units you are interested in.
 
I am planning on never hunting Colorado OTC again. Doesn’t mean I won’t. Just planning on not. And hoping I don’t have to. But I will if I have to. It’s still a viable hunt and based on my past experiences, I’d expect some elk encounters (i.e, a chance).
 
The last time I hunted OTC in Colorado I had some other guy (a complete stranger) in orange with a rifle that just followed me around. He stayed about 150 - 200 yards behind but he simply followed me no matter where I went, rough country, steep country, timber, or open areas. I tried turning back to talk with him but he just kept that buffer distance. We "hunted together" from dawn until after dark. I was already a few miles from the trailhead before daylight when he found me. My best guess is that he did not know much about the area or elk hunting and thought his best bet was to tag along and hope for the best. OTC can be very strange.
 
The last time I hunted OTC in Colorado I had some other guy (a complete stranger) in orange with a rifle that just followed me around. He stayed about 150 - 200 yards behind but he simply followed me no matter where I went, rough country, steep country, timber, or open areas. I tried turning back to talk with him but he just kept that buffer distance. We "hunted together" from dawn until after dark. I was already a few miles from the trailhead before daylight when he found me. My best guess is that he did not know much about the area or elk hunting and thought his best bet was to tag along and hope for the best. OTC can be very strange.

The way you reacted to this is commendable in that you didn't choose to fist fight him at some point like most of us would have.
 
The last time I hunted OTC in Colorado I had some other guy (a complete stranger) in orange with a rifle that just followed me around. He stayed about 150 - 200 yards behind but he simply followed me no matter where I went, rough country, steep country, timber, or open areas. I tried turning back to talk with him but he just kept that buffer distance. We "hunted together" from dawn until after dark. I was already a few miles from the trailhead before daylight when he found me. My best guess is that he did not know much about the area or elk hunting and thought his best bet was to tag along and hope for the best. OTC can be very strange.
Next time use him as your bird dog, circle him and keep pushing towards him to make him flush something out for you. 🤣
 
With OTC going away will CPW put a realistic # on how many permits are given out for each unit or will there still be to many given out.
 
If you are hunting North of I-25 do not expect a quality experience unless you have some private land access. This year should be really interesting to see how many camps move out of the NW units because of the extreme winter kill.

The flattops are the biggest joke of all even if you have horses. There can be 50-100 vehicles at some of the trailheads on Dunckley and Ripple Creek pass and Trappers Lake area. Most of these trailheads are barely big enough to hold 10-20 vehicles. People talk about getting in 4-5 miles, the problem is then you start running into people that came in from a different trailhead 8-10 miles away. Very tough to get away from other hunters in these units.

There is game to be harvested in OTC units, but I would never use the word QUALITY in describing my experiences.

Hopefully your experience will be better. Remember when you talk with CPW about where to hunt, the person you are talking to is also giving the same advice to a 1000 other callers when you pick the unit or units you are interested in.
Pretty hard to be north of I-25 since it runs north/south through eastern Colorado
 
OTC is for hunters who plan extremely well and are in great shape. And it’s for hunters who don’t plan at all and are in terrible shape.
I went on one Colorado OTC hunt years ago and I’ll never do it again.
 
With OTC going away will CPW put a realistic # on how many permits are given out for each unit or will there still be to many given out.
If it's anything like when they closed the SW section of the state's OTC a little less than a decade ago there'll still be to many tags given out.
 
As someone heading to Colorado this mid September for the first time and my first dusky grouse hunt, y'all are making my anxiety level climb. My apologies in advance to any elk hunters I encounter, hopefully I'll move elk your way.
You have every right to be there on public land as the archery hunters. I'll be chasing grouse in September too and have had some really great encounters with archery guys when my dog and I are busting through the country hahaha!

Best time to go is the first week of October after archery closes. You have the mountains to yourself for the most part. Well that use to be true, but anymore there are just a lot of people in the mountains period, especially the last 5 years. PM if you're in need for some general area's to go to for Duskys & Sharptails. Grouse hunting is hands down my favorite!
 
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