Colorado vs Utah OTC

KRH

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May 25, 2018
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Wondering if anyone with experience with these two hunts (specifically archery) would be willing to share. Which do you like better? Why?

I live in Utah and have had success on the any bull units, but it’s becoming more and more of a rat race with crowds, even way back in wilderness areas. I’ve killed multiple bulls on the general Utah hunt but I’ve also hunted in almost every other western state besides Colorado and had a better experience in all of them over Utah (granted, not all were general hunts but those that were general were better). I did not draw an out of state tag this year so I am debating the Utah otc or Colorado otc archery hunt. When I look at the success rates between the two hunts, they are pretty similar but Colorado has a lot more elk. My main reason for picking Colorado over Utah would be if it’s less crowded in Colorado relative to Utah. Because there are so many otc units in Colorado and a large herd does that thin people out? I have horses and can get way back in but these days that doesn’t get you away from people in Utah. Could i get away on a Colorado otc archery hunt in an roadless area or are those typically packed too?

Any words of wisdom or sharing of experiences/comparisons if you’ve done both of these hunts would be much appreciated. Thank you
 

utah400elk

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Feb 15, 2012
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808
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Sterling, VA
I have hunted both in the general seasons but have hunted Utah way more than CO. I lived in Utah for over 20 years and know the areas I hunted well so I usually did well. In Colorado, I hunted one area and got into elk pretty quick. I heard more bugling in CO but not much.

I really think that question would depend on your knowledge of the area and willingness to hike. The best OTC hunt I have ever been on was in the Unitas. We horse packed in about 12 miles and had an entire basin to ourselves. Last year we went on a Utah Youth hunt and had a blast in my old stomping grounds and got into a lot of elk.
 

ColoradoKid

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Jul 12, 2021
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People always complain about how Colorado is too crowded, but in my experience even if you're on a busy trailhead once you hike in more than 2 miles, you're past 75% of the other hunters. I get into elk every year in Colorado hunting OTC units. I am a resident so that affords me the opportunity to do a lot of scouting in the summer, but its just like anything else; you get out what you put in.
 

KRH

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May 25, 2018
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People always complain about how Colorado is too crowded, but in my experience even if you're on a busy trailhead once you hike in more than 2 miles, you're past 75% of the other hunters. I get into elk every year in Colorado hunting OTC units. I am a resident so that affords me the opportunity to do a lot of scouting in the summer, but its just like anything else; you get out what you put in.
I wasn’t complaining I was just asking about it… the reality is there are a lot of hunters. Demand outweighs supply
 

GrantK

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Aug 30, 2018
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165
Location
Western CO
I'll have an answer after this year as I struck out in all the other states and ended up with a UT any bull tag just so I can go on more than one elk hunt for the year...
I archery hunted CO every year until about 4 years ago when I switched to rifle in CO and archery elsewhere, it's been interesting to see the woods get more crowded during archery and less crowded during rifle seasons, my opinion of CO archery is that it isn't all that difficult to kill a small bull, there is a bunch of them and they just aren't that hard to hunt, you won't get away from people, no matter where you are but it really doesn't matter much, there are still elk there, you aren't likely to get into wild bugle fest, and if you do there will be 10 people there as fast as they can run, for me that definitely cuts into the experience, I would rather have fewer people even if it means less elk, but the hunting isn't bad by any measure, it just tends to be crowded...
 

Tucks

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Aug 1, 2021
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Thanks for the info. I've been hunting CO and I've been interested in trying Utah. I got lucky with a Northern New Mexico tag this year. Anyone have experience with NM 52?
 

goodhunt

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Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
35
I feel like Colorado is quite a bit busier in the OTC units during archery than Utah. Especially since they moved most of the southwest units to draw only during archery. Last year we bounced around to a few different OTC units and all of them were loaded with people. Similar to what others have said tho, you can weed out most people just by being willing to go where most won't. If I was a Utah resident, I do not think I could justify the NR tag cost for Co if my primary objective was to beat the crowds.
 

TruckStevens

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Sep 26, 2021
Messages
22
People always complain about how Colorado is too crowded, but in my experience even if you're on a busy trailhead once you hike in more than 2 miles, you're past 75% of the other hunters. I get into elk every year in Colorado hunting OTC units. I am a resident so that affords me the opportunity to do a lot of scouting in the summer, but its just like anything else; you get out what you put in.
Agree! A lot of folks come here to hunt because of the OTC tags. But many of the out of staters aren't as comfortable getting too far from the road or the truck. Not to say that many aren't - I am sure that there are plenty of guys who travel to CO from PA who get after it. But I think people get trailhead phobia. Get three miles deeps and you have a lot of room to roam.
 

TruckStevens

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Sep 26, 2021
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22
Wondering if anyone with experience with these two hunts (specifically archery) would be willing to share. Which do you like better? Why?

I live in Utah and have had success on the any bull units, but it’s becoming more and more of a rat race with crowds, even way back in wilderness areas. I’ve killed multiple bulls on the general Utah hunt but I’ve also hunted in almost every other western state besides Colorado and had a better experience in all of them over Utah (granted, not all were general hunts but those that were general were better). I did not draw an out of state tag this year so I am debating the Utah otc or Colorado otc archery hunt. When I look at the success rates between the two hunts, they are pretty similar but Colorado has a lot more elk. My main reason for picking Colorado over Utah would be if it’s less crowded in Colorado relative to Utah. Because there are so many otc units in Colorado and a large herd does that thin people out? I have horses and can get way back in but these days that doesn’t get you away from people in Utah. Could i get away on a Colorado otc archery hunt in an roadless area or are those typically packed too?

Any words of wisdom or sharing of experiences/comparisons if you’ve done both of these hunts would be much appreciated. Thank you
Can non-residents get an OTC Utah tag?
 

GrantK

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
165
Location
Western CO
Non-residents are in the same queue as residents for the OTC tags in UT, I think this year it sold out on the first day...
 

KRH

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Joined
May 25, 2018
Messages
15
I would never buy a Utah OTC tag unless I was a resident. Much better options in other states
 

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