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  1. #1
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    Why OTC hunting has ruined CO

    Plenty of opinions on this one... let's get the debate rolling

    I'll start with my say:

    FACTS:

    OTC hunting success and elk numbers in CO has decreased over the past 15 years, some areas very significantly. For all you locals or yearly returners, we know this first hand

    I have seen more late breeding in OTC than ever before. Late breeding due to a number of causes directly impacts calf survival.

    Breeding has gone quiet. What used to be rut crazed bulls for days and weeks are now rut crazed bulls at midnight for 20 minutes. Plenty of factors on this one, but pressure has to be one of the top factors. Seen this first hand

    IMO:

    The DOW seems to have an issue with tag allocations. They seem to base tags on success percentages, and increase tags to coordinate with ups and downs of hunters success. This is why you see thousands of tags for some areas, or OTC but success is less than 15%. It's a money scam when the population just isn't there, at least on public lands

    They need to make it EITHER an OTC or a preference point. Both is just stupid and is killing the point creep. Or increase draw areas.

    -CODAK

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  3. #2
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    I always thought a state could possibly, go unit by unit, kind of in a checkerboard, and have say half the units be for quality, limited tags/hunts, and the other half, be for numbers/opportunity.

    I'd also like to see say on an ultra limited elk hunt, not have OTC or a mass mule deer tag/season open at the same time.,


    Might be nice even if 100% draw, to just make all OTC tags, a draw...

    also every state is different but rather than 3000 hunters having a 6 week season, giving 1000 hunters 2 weeks each, could help increase success rates and reduce pressure at the same time IMO.
    Last edited by HuskyMusky; 12-03-2018 at 12:46 PM.

  4. #3
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    I think your right in many of your statements.

    I seem to remember P&W managing some units as trophy elk units and NOT having any OTC in those units. I also think the OTC should be managed unit by unit and only so many tags available as OTC, when the number is gone, that's it for the year. I also think this should apply to archery.
    Colorado Cowboy
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  6. #4
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    Only way I see anything working well in Colorado to improve the hunting and success rates is to limit ALL people hunting there and increase the number of animals all while decreasing the number of predators.

    If I can only hunt there every three years thats fine. Its all I hunt there anyhow. If by making everyone only hunt there every three years makes the hunting better for all wouldn't people rather do that? Why hunt Elk every year if the hunting sucks? The flip side to this is what if the decreased pressure puts the success rates through the roof and people are actually killing more animals spending less time there. I know if I had half the pressure in the areas I have hunted that I would be waaaay more successful.

    I also dont understand why a resident would hunt in an OTC unit in the first place when they have so much access to good tags in the limited entry units with 0 points (11 units) 1 point puts you into 24 units and 2 points puts you into 30 units. Putting you light years above the Non-resident hunters in the archery season. If I was a resident there no way would I hunt in an OTC unit unless it was my last option for the season.

    Just brainstorming here and trying to understand the bigger picture.. I know...dangerous.

    Speaking Archery only here in my numbers posted above.
    Last edited by mallardsx2; 12-03-2018 at 02:05 PM.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mallardsx2 View Post
    CODAK,

    Confused on your statement of "They need to make it EITHER an OTC or a preference point".

    So you are saying make it entirely OTC or Limited Entry.Correct?

    Not a combination of the two.

    Thats how I took your statement. Correct me if I am wrong please.
    Lots and probably most guys are getting a point every year, then also hunting OTC archery or rifle. I think he’s saying you should only be able to get one or the other. If you hunt, you can’t get a point too. Adds to the point creep.
    For many hunters the stigma of being unsuccessful has become so unbearable that the satisfaction of the hunt itself has become lost...

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuskyMusky View Post
    I always thought a state could possibly, go unit by unit, kind of in a checkerboard, and have say half the units be for quality, limited tags/hunts, and the other half, be for numbers/opportunity.

    I'd also like to see say on an ultra limited elk hunt, not have OTC or a mass mule deer tag/season open at the same time.,


    Might be nice even if 100% draw, to just make all OTC tags, a draw...

    also every state is different but rather than 3000 hunters having a 6 week season, giving 1000 hunters 2 weeks each, could help increase success rates and reduce pressure at the same time IMO.
    If you had to buy your OTC tag 1 week after the draw results were released for OTC you would see a HUGE drop in hunting pressure. If they did that it would make hunting there 3 times better. Instead like people have posted in the past, its a fallback plan for people later in the year. I myself have used it as a fallback plan. I made the decision to go there 3 days before I went there to archery hunt.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoHiCntry View Post
    Lots and probably most guys are getting a point every year, then also hunting OTC archery or rifle. I think he’s saying you should only be able to get one or the other. If you hunt, you can’t get a point too. Adds to the point creep.
    Oh, I completely read that wrong. Sorry. I had my mind made up when I read it I guess.

    This would also be a good way to deal with the point creep. Well stated.

  10. #8
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    As an out of stater that loves to head west every fall chasing elk, there are a few things that make sense. To me it is clearly revenue driven with minimal correlation to the actual herd size and success rate. Couple things that dont make sense to me. (im not saying they dont work, just havent come to CPW way of thinking). 1) what is the point of "leftovers" in a draw season? If you are trying to manage opportunity/success why just make them either sex tags? 2) In order to get a somewhat accurate data on success rates, there needs to be a registration process. I understand that this would be hard to enforce and probably expensive. But how else do they have ANY idea whats going on with the herds? 3) Allowing people to purchase numerous tags, at full price. My point on this is again with revenue. And because I have to believe with most hunters especially non residents, you buy 2 tags to better your odds, not so much to harvest 2 elk.

  11. #9
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    I think that the amount of tags that are offered is in direct relation to the herd numbers and the hunters success percentage and not much more. If the herd can sustain a success rate of 20% and is growing there is no need to limit the OTC licenses. If it is dropping with that 20% success rate then they need to look at it and regulate it accordingly. In my home unit you used to be able to draw a cow tag every year in the left over draw, not no more and the herd numbers are also dropping, so fewer cow tags are issued to help stabilize the herd numbers. If that doesn't work then I would expect the CP&W to go to a total elk draw for the unit, not to increase the trophy potential but to increase the herd numbers by limiting hunters.

    They have done the same thing to the deer tags in most of the state. After a very bad winter years ago they realized that the herds could not sustain what ever percentage the harvest was, so they went to a total draw to limit the hunter numbers. Lets say that deer hunters harvested at a 30% success rate. If there were 1000 hunters in a unit that was 300 deer. If they dropped the hunters numbers down to 500 hunters and kept the same success rate they now only killed 150 deer. A lot of it is simple math.

    In the CP&W want to give out the maximum amount of tags and as long as the herds are healthy they will keep the OTC tags out there. But watch the herd numbers drop and they will change the regulation to bull only on OTC archery tags and even start to look at requiring hunters to put in for the draw in that unit.

    Now setting up all the units as a draw and making hunters use preference points in that draw could cause problem with hunters wanting to hunt elk every year while gaining points for the best units in the state. Right now a elk hunter would have to give up elk hunting for 10-25 years depending on the unit that he wants to really hunt. That is unless he wants to fight for those left over tags that go up for sale after the draws.
    If you don't care where you are, you are not lost....

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  13. #10
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    Mallards:

    I don't always have an OTC tag in my pocket when I go out. Sometimes I do, sometimes my family or friends do. I just like to be in the woods in September. Just depends on where my other hunts lie. It is not my first preference.

    JimP:

    I guess my point is to eliminate the double hunting of getting OTC tags and gaining points for high tier units. It would make people make a choice, and decrease numbers one way or the other....

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