Caribou Gear

Limited & otc question

Hopeful44

New member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
24
Hey all this will be my first year archery elk hunting and I was wondering if someone could help me understand the purpose of limited draw units in Colorado where the quota ends in a surplus of tags or can be drawn with 0 pts. Is this because the elk population in such units are below desired strength or are they trying to get a better class of elk? It seems like in a lot of otc Units they have a stronger population than l.e. Units? At first I thought I wanted limited entry because less people but I’m not so sure now.
thanks for your help
 

Khunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
2,191
Location
western Colorado
you generally want limited entry. can be lower hunt pressure and higher quality. However each hunter is different and it always boils down to knowing how to find and hunt spots other will not be pounding heavily. That is possible in some OTC, but gotta do the homework.

If you do OTC this year by all means apply for any get a preference point for sure, so you have a point in hand next year...Fair number of guys dont get pref points “because they do not need them for OTC” and then some years down the line realize the screwed up cuz wanna do a limited hunt but waisted years that they could have been building points. Don’t be that guy.
 

Hopeful44

New member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
24
Thanks for the reply! Plan is to get a point this year and hunt otc or a left over. Figure it’s smart for the future if they begin to change anymore otc to draw.
 

LopeHunter

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
2,858
Location
MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ&NW
Have you elk hunted before with a rifle or muzzleloader? If this is your first time hunting elk, will you be on your hunt with someone who has previously hunted elk?
 

Dsnow9

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
1,190
Location
Colorado
When it comes to the archery hunts, some of the units have been put to draw tags like Eagle and Aspen areas because of declining populations. At least that is what was talked about in different meetings and by game wardens. The confusing pet of that is otc rifle are still available in those units. That’s a discussions for a different day though.
 

ElkFever2

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
3,231
Location
Iowa
Some low-quota LE units are well-roaded, have ample public access, contain open terrain, and/or are relatively easy to glass. The harvest success rates are high, so in order to prevent too high of a harvest and ruin the age class, tags are kept low.

OTC or high-quantity units generally have fewer of the above characteristics, so many more hunters can hunt it while maintaining herd quality...to a point. I think the large tag caps were put in place in part to try to determine the ceiling of what a herd can handle. I would anticipate those high caps to eventually be reduced further if herd health does not recover to the extent that the agency desires them to.
 

Hopeful44

New member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
24
Have you elk hunted before with a rifle or muzzleloader? If this is your first time hunting elk, will you be on your hunt with someone who has previously hunted elk?
I haven’t elk hunted before. It’s a completely new adventure for me. I’ve hunted Iowa whitetails for the last 25 years, should be a fun learning curve
 
  • Like
Reactions: Guy

Hopeful44

New member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
24
The confusing pet of that is otc rifle are still available in those units. That’s a discussions for a different day though.
That’s the part I can’t wrap my head around and was hoping to understand.
 

Hopeful44

New member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
24
Some low-quota LE units are well-roaded, have ample public access, contain open terrain, and/or are relatively easy to glass. The harvest success rates are high, so in order to prevent too high of a harvest and ruin the age class, tags are kept low.

OTC or high-quantity units generally have fewer of the above characteristics, so many more hunters can hunt it while maintaining herd quality...to a point. I think the large tag caps were put in place in part to try to determine the ceiling of what a herd can handle. I would anticipate those high caps to eventually be reduced further if herd health does not recover to the extent that the agency desires them to.
Good information! Trying to understand parts of the elk management and distribution of tags to decide on where to go. I’m hoping to get familiar with an area and continue to hunt it in the future.
 

LopeHunter

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
2,858
Location
MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ&NW
I haven’t elk hunted before. It’s a completely new adventure for me. I’ve hunted Iowa whitetails for the last 25 years, should be a fun learning curve
Well, if there is truth to 20% of elk hunters are killing 80% of the elk then the learning curve can be steep. Consider finding someone to hunt with that has a few elk seasons under their belt. Or, not popular here, hiring a guide. Whitetail deer hunting skills only partially transfer to hunting mule deer and even less to elk. If have never hunted where can briskly walk for 4 hours and never cross a fence or road then that is another issue as is some big country in Colorado.

Last time I checked, out West the harvest rate for elk hunters for all hunts and weapons was around 20% combining OTC/Limited/All States. Generally, archery on public land is lower harvest rate than the "all weapons" harvest data. I have awesome memories of hunting in Colorado and beats the heck out of sitting at my office desk in the autumn. Putting meat in the cooler is far from a certainty. Can be an expensive hike with a bow and are the big county risks including altitude sickness. Prepare and stay safe.
 

Hopeful44

New member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
24
My expectations for killing one are low and am satisfied keeping it as a glorified backpacking trip with bow in hand. Just excited to finally have the opportunity to get out and make a sincere attempt on something other than whitetail!
 

nrpate05

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
1,164
I can't say for sure, but they are units that are generally on a downward trend (and many have been for awhile). I think going to a limited draw makes them easier for CPW to regulate as opposed to OTC. Still don't understand why many of those units are still OTC for rifle, but I'm sure there is a reason. As more and more units go to limited entry, it may put more pressure on the OTC units, something to keep in mind.
 

Bluffgruff

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
552
Many of the newly limited archery hunts in central and SW Colorado were made that way in response to falling productivity and populations.
Elk are there, but tag numbers were meant prevent increasing pressure and harvest as archery elk hunting grows in demand.
 
Top