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  1. #11
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    My only statement to the harvest stats question will be... Ask an out of state hunter who took the time to research all the stats and pick their OTC units based on success, and ask them if they killed anything. A majority of seasoned vets kill the elk, newbies get lucky occasionally. Seasoned vets like their hunting areas to stay good, so they are "unsuccessful" every year, to weigh the stats down to keep internet stat researchers out of their area. Don't rely on it until it is mandatory. Just pick an area and hunt it 3 years, minimum. If you are not successful, move on. If you learn it and find animals, stick with it.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CODAK View Post
    My only statement to the harvest stats question will be... Ask an out of state hunter who took the time to research all the stats and pick their OTC units based on success, and ask them if they killed anything. A majority of seasoned vets kill the elk, newbies get lucky occasionally. Seasoned vets like their hunting areas to stay good, so they are "unsuccessful" every year, to weigh the stats down to keep internet stat researchers out of their area. Don't rely on it until it is mandatory. Just pick an area and hunt it 3 years, minimum. If you are not successful, move on. If you learn it and find animals, stick with it.
    This is solid advice but I hope people are being honest about their success in units as I fear the DOW bases a lot of their information on these statistics.

  4. #13
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    I had four tags last season. I was only surveyed on two of them. The animals that were reported in our groups surveys didn’t show up in the stats. I’m sure they were reported too. I don’t place a lot of weight in the stats. The best advice in this thread was to pick an area and hunt it a few years in a row. You’ll find the animals. There isn’t a unit in this state that I haven’t been able to find elk in at some time or another.

  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowrunner View Post
    While you guys are talking about dates. I have a question for you all. My dad and I have OTC archery hunted in southern Colorado 4 times without a shot, but have always been there around September 1-7 give or take a few days. We are set to go there later on this year, after the muzzloader season, Sept 15-22. Is this a smart move?? We are just looking at trying different tactics, and maybe find some more vocal animals.

    My thought is, its not like we are slaying them left and right going in early like we have in the past....
    I always enjoyed hunting the last week of the archery season. Most of the hunters have given up and gone home. That and you might get the chance to archery hunt in the snow, which can be a lot of fun.
    If you don't care where you are, you are not lost....

  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimP View Post
    I always enjoyed hunting the last week of the archery season. Most of the hunters have given up and gone home. That and you might get the chance to archery hunt in the snow, which can be a lot of fun.
    Best rutting action I ever saw was on the last week of archery many years ago with a snowstorm upon us. It was hard leaving the mountain but we had to because we were going to get snowed in.

  7. #16
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    Anytime you do sampling and anytime you do it by phone you decrease the accuracy of your results.

    Most guys are honest and will say what unit they shot the animal in or whether they were successful at all, but some will lie about it. What unit they shot it in only comes into play for hunt codes that cover multiple units, but anyone can lie about whether they were successful, how long it took and whether it was a 4-pt buck or 6-pt bull.

    It's better in the few states that require a written harvest report to be turned in before they can apply the next year, so you eliminate most of the sampling error (some may not care about the penalty) but there is still the potential for a certain number of people to be dishonest. What that percentage is, I don't think anyone really knows, but I don't think it is so high that it throws the results off dramatically.

    I think stories from hunters of what they saw or shot are far more subjective and subject to being wide of the truth. Some people's stories are just that. Hunters who didn't see anything worthwhile may just not be the best hunters. There's a reason some bucks get big enough to sport great headgear. Some bucks are going to go nocturnal or head for places hunters who don't see anything are not willing to go.

  8. #17
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    If a unit has something like a 5% success rate (which is not what I think would be out of the realm of normal for some units/hunts here in CO) to me that means for 1 out of 20 guys it was a darn good hunt. I just try hard to be one of those guys.
    Sorta goes along with another of my theories that 78.2% of statistics are made up on the spot :>)

  9. #18
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    Interesting comments....and I gotta say...I agree with 50% and disagree with 50%.

    Each unit is significantly different from season to season with regards to hunter pressure, types of hunters, #s of hunters per season, type of pressure each season and # of animals harvested....throw in weather and it gives all the previous data points 3 more variables.
    The ONLY way to know whats going on in a GMU is to spend time in it. CODAK mentions 3 years and that pretty much spot on for the minimum.


    Types of hunters is huge in my opinion for how my season goes. There are the loud ones, ones that only hunt 48 hours then give up, ones that only stay on trails, those that only stay with 1/2 mile of camp, those then rent horses and go down the trail 24 hours prior to the opener acting like elk dont know what the sound of metal on rocks sounds like, those that have no clue about scent control and my all time favorite....the bugle from the trail all day and wonder why no bulls respond to that. All that factors into the archery muzzle loaders success #s.....in that particular GMU.



    CDOW stats.....I think more people just plain flat out dont respond to the questionnaire vice lie or tell different stories to mess data up. Regardless its info to take in and analyze but I'm not to sure if id be using it as a determining factor. With regards to using that data for herd management, CDOW knows its faulty and leans heavily on the herd counts on winter range to help with the management plan for each DAU.

    That being said.....in the limited entry GMU I've hunted in the past 7-10 years, every September......one thing has always held true regardless of resident or non resident....archery guys all are around 10% success if they hunt the standard 10-14 days of the season. If they spend the whole season or over 20 some odd days in there hunting (sometimes the whole season) that number jumps to 25-30%. If the muzzle loader guys hunt like an archery guy they have a roughly 25-30% success rate with their either sex tag. If the muzzle loader guys hunt like they have a rifle in hand....the success rates drop to 10% or below.

    Just what I've seen. Hope that sheds a little light.

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  11. #19
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    Thanks for the info Slugs!

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  13. #20
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    Good stuff Slugz. Thanks for the post.

    I'm surprised at how low the success rates are for muzzleloader. I would think if a guy hunted hard and had an idea of what he was doing, that he should be able to shoot a bull with a muzzy during the rut. Not saying it would be easy but I would just expect better success. Lots of the muzzy tags are easy to draw though so maybe lots of guys figure if they don't shoot one, they can get a tag the next year or the year after?????

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