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Help me burn my deer points

jwatts

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Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
177
You know that guy that just banks points and never hunts? That's me. When I started hunting out west I also started banking points. I knew I wanted to hunt pretty much anything you could hunt. Over the years elk, antelope, turkey, sheep, and moose hunts have made deer take a back seat. I have wanted to hunt deer the whole time. I even tried for a deer tag a few times, but struck out in the draw. As I try to figure out my application strategy for 2024, Colorado deer keeps creeping back to the top of the list.

Depending on my work schedule next year, and when I can take my vacation, I could likely catch any deer season Colorado has to offer. Even if I can't take vacation, I am off for 2 weeks a month regardless, so if a season falls just right I can make the drive, hunt all season, and make it home in time to get back to work. And there's the dilemna. What season to I focus on? I'm in the middle of the road for points. I'm kinda in no man's land. I have 11 points. Looking at past draw odds, and factoring in points creep, it looks like I can pull a decent tag, but not one of the top of the line units. I can still get a tag though, and finally get out to chase mule deer.

So, if you were in my shoes, what season would you focus on? Would you spend the points on a 2nd season tag for a better unit? Go for 4th season in a slightly worse unit, but get to hunt the rut? Split the difference and hunt 3rd? Scrap all that and go for archery in the high country?
 
I'd hunt the rut. Look over all available options, their hunt statistics, narrow it down and make some calls to the biologist in those regions. Heck, I'd even pop for a membership to epic outdoors and pick their brain on best area to burn your points.
 
Are you a non-resident @jwatts?

I'd look for a rut hunt in a unit that borders one of the better units (all the same genetics, just more tags issued), an early rifle hunt in 82/86/861, a second season tag like 66 that benefits from early weather and limited elk tags, or spring for a great Muzzleloader or archery tag- with your 11 points, you're only a couple years off from a 55 muzzy hunt, or could do 55 archery this next year.

You may as well find that hunt that sits right on the cusp of what you can draw versus burning 11 years on a 1-2 point unit. The hunts I listed above are all right there around 11 points for a NR. That said, find the style of hunt that intrigues you, as there is potential in every unit and season dates for something special, but nothing is a guarantee, so find something unique or fun to you that you otherwise couldn't/wouldn't do.

Epic Outdoors or Huntin' Fool could both be helpful places to start, and then once you've drawn, reach out to the biologist in the unit as well as that previous tag holder list from either HF or Epic.
 
What kind of hunting do you want? Warmer nicer weather? Cold and snowy? Rutting bucks or not? Any time better than others in your personal/work life? Preferred weapon? Answer those questions first and decide what you want and then see what your points can get you. That’s how I would go about it. Honestly in Colorado there isn’t a big difference in the top to the bottom units in buck quality anymore especially if you haven’t been hunting mule deer a bunch. The biggest difference is the amount of tags. I would recommend looking for a unit with less tags to give you a better overall experience. You have more than enough points to have a very quality experience. Just my .02
 
I'd hunt 3rd if the dates stay the same. more time, rut is actually starting.

why spend the points on a 4th season tag when you get less time and you can basically hit the rut in 3rd season?

that said, i really hope we can get the dates shifted back and get 3rd back to truly being a pre pre rut hunt.
 
I like the idea of a 3rd season tag with the new season dates. It looks like the chances of hitting the rut now are pretty good, without having to use the points needed to pull a 4th season tag. My only concern there is the amount of elk tags issues wherever I decide to apply. I'll make sure to take that into account.

Honestly I want to experience a rut hunt and a high country hunt. I have enough points in WY to pull whatever tag I don't get in Colorado. I can get a rut hunt in one state, and a high country hunt in the opposite state.

I have a Huntin Fool subscription. I didn't even think about getting on the phone with them. I pay for it, I may as well use it.
 
I like the idea of a 3rd season tag with the new season dates. It looks like the chances of hitting the rut now are pretty good, without having to use the points needed to pull a 4th season tag. My only concern there is the amount of elk tags issues wherever I decide to apply. I'll make sure to take that into account.

Honestly I want to experience a rut hunt and a high country hunt. I have enough points in WY to pull whatever tag I don't get in Colorado. I can get a rut hunt in one state, and a high country hunt in the opposite state.

I have a Huntin Fool subscription. I didn't even think about getting on the phone with them. I pay for it, I may as well use it.
Well that’s easy then. Do 3rd Colorado and high country wyoming.
 
I'll caveat that with wanting to wait 4-5 years for Wyoming high country to start to recover from last winter. The Colorado deer that summer in the high country weren't as impacted on their winter range as the Western Wyoming deer.
It would probably end up being 3 to 4 years before I headed to WY anyway. I've got an elk hunt in mind, and maybe caribou as well before I decide to go to WY.
 
It would probably end up being 3 to 4 years before I headed to WY anyway. I've got an elk hunt in mind, and maybe caribou as well before I decide to go to WY.
I hunted WY H this year and it was tough. Definitely hold your WY points for several years to hunt the high country. Reports were dismal.
 
If I had that many point, I’d look into the alpine rifle hunts. Looks like a load of fun, and you get a chance at a big fat nasty velvet buck.
 
I hunted WY H this year and it was tough. Definitely hold your WY points for several years to hunt the high country. Reports were dismal.
My goal has been Region G, but it seems I'm always just behind the points curve
 
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