Caribou Gear

Colorado vs Wyoming

chrispbrown27

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Messages
42
I have been debating this for a while now....whether it is worth starting to build points in Colorado or just sticking with my original plan to concentrate on Wyoming. Here are my thoughts, feel free to correct me if I am wrong about something and share anything that I might not have thought of.
Originally, I was thinking that Colorado would be my best chance because of the availability of first-season rifle tags that can be drawn with 0-1 points. If nothing else, the OTC tags would be available if I couldn't draw what I wanted. But, with the state possibly moving towards limiting OTC opportunities and non-resident opportunities, I have to wonder how this is going to change what is possible now. Another thing in Colorado's favor is the lack of grizzlies. I have no desire to deal with them and that will limit my options in Wyoming, whereas in Colorado I would have the entire state to choose from.
I am not looking to jump from state to state, as many do. I am not looking for a trophy-class animal by any means. I would prefer to get to know a unit or two in one state so that I can go back and use what I learned from previous seasons each year, even if it's with a cow tag in my pocket. With Wyoming's portion of random tags and the reduced price cow tags, I would at least have a chance at drawing a tag with or without the points. As of right now, Colorado would also work for me, but may not if they make major changes.
From what I have read, the hunting pressure in Wyoming is considerably less than what there is in Colorado, especially during the OTC seasons. Having hunted public land in Kentucky and Illinois, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to deal with orange around every corner and that pressure has certainly helped me out a time or two by moving game around, so I am not necessarily turned off by crowds.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you think that big changes are coming to Colorado? If so, are the easily drawn 1st season tags going to dry up? What are your thoughts on the pressure in Wyoming?
 

Wind Gypsy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
648
The only way I could understand settling for only playing in one state is if you are happy with hunting CO OTC or cows almost every year or if you dont plan on hunting elk more than once every 3 or more years.
 

rmyoung1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
1,862
Wyoming also has signaled changes to their R/NR allocation for limited quota areas. Avoiding change is a fool’s errand, in my opinion. I think you should cover your bases and put together a plan that includes both. That’ll be much more effective long-term, changes or not.
 
Last edited:

chrispbrown27

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Messages
42
Wyoming also has signaled changes to their R/NR allocation. Avoiding change is a fool’s errand, in my opinion. I think you should cover your bases and put together a plan that includes both. That’ll be much more effective long-term, changes or not.
Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing that they were considering changes. Aren't they considering lowering the percentage allocated to non-residents?
 

bpeay4

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Moscow, Idaho
A Wyoming Elk point is so cheap at $50, even if you end up mainly hunting Colorado, it won't hurt to have options in Wyoming for future. I've never met someone who regrets getting in the points game early.
 

Wind Gypsy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
648
Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing that they were considering changes. Aren't they considering lowering the percentage allocated to non-residents?

Opportunity is changing everywhere for NR elk hunters. I wouldn't plan on hunting any one place annually unless you're a resident, are buying landowner tags, or cow hunting the easiest to draw cow tags in CO. And I wouldn't be surprised if cow tags became difficult to come by too with many of the populations struggling, wolf intro, and the constant social media/forum/podcast/tv/magazine/etc message to everyone that it's actually not that difficult to plan a diy elk hunt.
 

old roper 42

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
89
Location
Black Forest, Co

rmyoung1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
1,862
Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing that they were considering changes. Aren't they considering lowering the percentage allocated to non-residents?
There’s a thread here that discussed this at length, but I think the take-away for nonresidents is that limited entry tags are highly valued by the residents of western states, as you’d expect. In places like WY and CO with generous NR tag allocations in limited quota areas, expect those numbers to creep down toward the more widely accepted 90/10 distribution model as residents become less tolerant of giving those opportunities to out-of-staters. That’s my working assumption anyway.

If CO eventually goes fully limited for nonresidents in a 90/10 split, I sorta shudder to think of what’s gonna happen to nonresident elk hunting opportunities. You’ll want those WY points. That much is for certain.
 

MiHunter1

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2022
Messages
19
Can’t say anything bad about the opportunities in either state. What sold me on Wyoming was the WFGD website and the amount of information provided, it even moves easily over to OnX. I call the numbers provided on the WFGD website and a person answers and gives me a cell# for the biologist of Natural Resource officer for that region. That is unheard of in Michigan, Ohio, or Indiana.
 

220yotekiller

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
291
I grew up in Colorado, I now live in Wyoming if that tells you anything:) I hunted over the counter a few years ago and it was a circus. I hiked the highest ridge that I could find and counted 22 other hunters (I use that term loosely). If you are going to hunt Colorado apply for some sort of limited entry tag.
 

deer_shooter

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
1,994
Location
Southwest Pa.
Why not both? Points are cheap. Understanding things may change down the road but for now, I would (and currently do) build points in both. Colorado IMO has a few decent opportunities in the 2-6 point range, but the next plateau is over 20. Wyoming has good general tags for 3 or so points and good opportunities for a few more points beyond that. Add in colorado OTC and you can put together a solid plan pretty easily.
 

ElkFever2

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
3,855
Location
Iowa
If you want to elk hunt the same area repeatedly, CO may be a better option than WY, because even without OTC some draw units are undersubscribed for bull and/or cow tags. WY it’s possible to do the same if you do the special draw with type 4 as your second choice, but that’s a lot of $ for tags. Furthermore, WY is considering making major changes to their draw system so it’s hard to count on that plan for long. Another idea for WY is to make a trip to your area every year and hunt deer, antelope, bear, small game or even fish to gain familiarity until you draw elk. Note that with the reduced price cow/calf licenses these are almost never areas you can easily get a bull tag for.

Personally all my NR eggs are in the WY basket as there is plenty of hunting opportunity to keep me busy every year. I could just have easily done CO and had fun there too.
 

chrispbrown27

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Messages
42
If you want to elk hunt the same area repeatedly, CO may be a better option than WY, because even without OTC some draw units are undersubscribed for bull and/or cow tags. WY it’s possible to do the same if you do the special draw with type 4 as your second choice, but that’s a lot of $ for tags. Furthermore, WY is considering making major changes to their draw system so it’s hard to count on that plan for long. Another idea for WY is to make a trip to your area every year and hunt deer, antelope, bear, small game or even fish to gain familiarity until you draw elk. Note that with the reduced price cow/calf licenses these are almost never areas you can easily get a bull tag for.

Personally all my NR eggs are in the WY basket as there is plenty of hunting opportunity to keep me busy every year. I could just have easily done CO and had fun there too.
I have considered tossing in a mule deer or antelope hunt in the off elk years just to keep me in the field.
 

Trial153

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
2,869
Location
New York
If it goes the distance Colorado will win in a decision. However there is good chance for an early knock out by Wyoming
 

ImBillT

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
2,966
Just hunt both states. If you stick to the WY general tag, then both WY and CO are reasonably predictable. Hunt CO 2-3, years, then go hunt WY, then repeat.

If you don’t want to do that, then you need to choose between hunting crowded CO 6-9 years out of ten, or hunting WY 3 years out of ten. WY will probably give you higher success rates and bigger bulls if you could hunt each state 100 times, but realistically, if you can hunt CO 3X as many times in a lifetime, you might actually have a better chance at developing the knowledge and skills to have a high success rate and kill big bulls in CO, and when you compound that with the increased probability of just lucking into success by hunting 3X as often, CO is by no means a bad place to be. So..if you won’t hunt both states, then you need to decide if you want to hunt often(and go with CO), or if you don’t want to(or can’t) hunt often, and thus want to maximize your opportunity for success on the hunts that you do choose to(or can) go on, then WY would be your better choice.

As mentioned above, points are cheap. Start applying and hunting in CO, and buy points in WY, then when you want to go hunt WY, do it, and buy one point in CO.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
100,400
Messages
1,587,215
Members
31,512
Latest member
fadilale
Top