where can i get elk tags


Active member
Feb 27, 2002
some of you know me and my traveling situation but for those of you who dont ill say it all again.I drive a truck all over the country, the type of work i do gives me alot of time in the fall and winter just sitting around waiting on a load and sometimes that can take several days to fill my trailer.Im trying to find out what states or units in a state have elk tags that can be bought over the counter.I would like to get a bull tag but i would rather get a cow in an area with lots of elk than a bull tag and never see the first elk.this would be my first elk hunt and would really like someone to go with me to show me the ropes about elk huntingany help anyone can give me would be appreciated
texas sounds great del, i think i would need a guide there though think you could come out and hold his antlers for me. ;)
All over Colorado for the bull tag.......and a lot of units still have cow tags, but they are not over the counter but can be purchased at a DOW until they are gone in the respective units. Any units with a shitload of cow tags usually have plenty on cows, so that is not a big issue. But the bull tag is a much tougher order in Co, usually taking getting back in a ways, which may be tough to do on your first elk hunt.

You would need to come for one of the early seasons as the later seasons are very weather-effected, and locals play that game a lot better than someone half way across the nation. I would recommend one of the units around the Flat Tops (12,13, 23, 24, 25)...the heart of the White River Herd which is the largest in Colorado. There will be plenty of folks unless you hike off the roads a couple of miles, but hey, this is Colorado ;)........you would do well bringing a buddy and you can buy the bull tag at any sporting goods and most country stores in the small towns...so no pre-planning required on that, they are unlimited in quantity meaning they will sell them until everyone who wants one has one.
There are always lots of elk in most any area of those units and lots of folks too, so being successful takes a certain amount of luck.....but that is about as good as it will get for you in this state unless you are privey to a few honey holes somewhere, which are not likely to be given out on this forum. But you would have a great time and maybe even learn a good many things that you could build on for years to come.
Those units are just south of Craig Colorado, and are about 4-6 hours from Denver...depending on where you go.
Another real good area I like is the Routt National forest above Steamboat Springs. It is big, rugged country edged by some wilderness(Zirkels) and offers terriffic hunting in certain niches. It runs up into the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming which holds tons of elk.....so theoretically, the farther north you go in the Routt the better off you'll be concerning less hunting pressure and more elk numbers.
The Durango area is notably good as well. I have never hunted that area, but know lots of folks who have that return every year. I never hear anything bad about that area.
Just stay away from the Front Range....meaning the mountains on the east slope or near there. The farther west areas are better in the way of less hunting pressure. The front range areas are overwhelmed with people from the metro area and all the towns along the front range....you definitely want to miss out on that :rolleyes:
That's an awful big spot you have there Todd! :eek: ....I only named half of the West Slope! :D But they are all good general areas.......as good as Co has to offer for someone on their first trip out with no prior knowledge. Tncbtcb, after you pick a generalized part of the state, make a few phone calls to game and fish in that area, and tell the receptionist you would like to talk to a Biologist...if there is one there he will talk to you. Give him the bleeding heart story about it being your first trip out and how you REALLY want to kill an elk, and he may just hook you up with good info. About half the time those guys will answer your specific questions, but they make you ask the question ;)
There's still lots of cow tags left for some areas. You can check it out on the DOW's web page.


Sales have been very brisk, some areas may sell out soon. We've had a steady stream of people here at the Ft Collins office since the left over licenses went on sale last Tues. They sold over 1,500 here on Tuesday alone!

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