Does it makes sense anymore?

CrimsonArrow

Very Active Member
Feb 21, 2011
819
290
Minnesota
I think Residents need to concentrate on improving hunting and taking advantage of what they have in their states.

Hunting as a NR has always been a luxury and the most complaining I'm hearing is from the johnnie-come-lately's that have jumped on the traveling hunter bandwagon being pushed by every outdoor magazine, podcast, and website.

I started hunting in 1979 and didn't do a single NR hunt until 1995. My Grandfather never once hunted out of Montana in the 80+ years he hunted (well, he did hunt roe deer in 1944-45 while over-seas via Uncle Sam).

My Father and Brother never hunted out of state until 2002 and only have because I live in Wyoming.

IMO, there are unrealistic expectations for a lot of NR hunting. I have applied for over 20 years in a lot of states for about everything offered and there are still states I haven't drawn a single tag for (UT and NV).

I've been concentrating on my own State a lot more lately and I expect that will continue.
I have found it challenging to hunt for mule deer here in Minnesota.
 

Rich M

Very Active Member
Oct 16, 2012
571
368
It is all about what your priorities are, and those may change throughout life.

On a scale of 1-10: Hunting for me is a 6.

I been beat down by the changes of time and lack of opportunities.
This year I should draw two 3-day hunts. Gonna be a busy year.
 
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ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
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Unfortunately, Im seeing a lot of people tighten their belts on their family to feed their western hunting addiction.

That doesn’t sound feasible to me. A guy I know told me he used his tax return for his Wyoming application….two sentences later he was telling me how he couldn’t afford his truck payment any more and his kids braces for their teethe were going to bankrupt him…..
That’s just dumb priorities!
 

D_Dubya

Active Member
Aug 8, 2012
402
799
South Texas
NR opportunity is not going to zero, but no doubt the “golden” era of NR hunting is in the rear view mirror. I’ve been buying points for 10 years everywhere (except Montana) and I think there is a reasonable chance of hunting every year (not counting CO OTC). It is just going to require more planning. When CO bites the bullet and does away with unlimited NR elk hunting I think it will rock point systems everywhere.

I don’t have any actual #’s, but I would speculate that a huge part of application increases is people like me who apply their kids & wives for tags & points - I bet that is more common than it used to be.

When ever the next major market correction occurs and Boomers start aging out of in large #’s we’ll get a glimpse of how many are in it for the long haul and how many are just into the new fad with the cool clothes and gear.

Plan accordingly, no state owes you or me a single tag - though I do think it behooves states with significant amounts of federal land to offer some NR opportunities as I believe it plays a significant role in keeping interest in conservation measures (and $ ) alive in places that otherwise would be nearly entirely indifferent to public land/conservation issues. Up to each state what they think that % should be. I’ll keep buying points and drawing tags and having a hell of a good time when I can.
 

Turbodude

Active Member
Oct 17, 2017
179
150
Red side of Ca
I am at the point where I can’t disagree with what the residents would request even though I disagreed before. Even though I still have 14 NR pts for elk of which I still hope to use. I feel at this point in my life if you can’t beat them, then join them. Hopefully I can convince my wife to retire in Wyoming in a year or 2. Luckily I burned up my last deer & antelope points already on successful hunts already. Good luck everybody on the draw
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
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Gypsum, Co
I've seen way too many people waste their money on things that don't matter in life. While I think that hunting is a major thing to do you have to have your priorities correct in what you spend your money on.

People can forget chasing the point game hoping that they draw that coveted tag that takes years and a bit of money to draw. Just go find a state with a OTC tag and go hunt elk or mule deer and forget about that point game. Especially now where more states are requiring you to purchase a hunting license to be eligible to put in for the draw or to purchase a point, either a bonus point or a preference point.
 

ColoradoV

Very Active Member
Oct 4, 2011
741
667
I have points in other states but with how I hunt hard to justify even putting in.. Or with the time it takes me to find a deer to hunt in Colorado I just don’t have time to waste on other states or species. I am a anomaly tho as w no tag - I find the deer first then the license to hunt the deer second.. Adds a layer to the onion and can make it difficult or I got my license after the start of the season last year. I have never figured out how guys (other than paying spotters/outfitters or sacrificing on quality) can have the time to do multiple hunts justice.

Many reasons for hunting only one state = main one is quality as there are just not many if any opportunities outside of Colorado for a yearly high country deer hunt for 200” type bucks. For me I am not going to waste any time for any hunt where 170” or 180” bucks are norm as just I have no drive to hunt deer like that…. Another is scouting and it takes 20+ days over 10-15 units to find a big deer I just can’t travel to spend 20 days scouting G in wyo..

So another year “only” hunting w in 3 hours of my house here in Co 😂….
 

Bullcan

Member
Oct 6, 2016
75
24
The problem with moving out west just to hunt is you can ever only be the resident of one state no matter where you live. For me it would also take the magic out of going out west once a year. I think after a few months I would kind of get used to it. I moved away from Michigan for a few years, and when I moved back I saw Michigan with a fresh set of eyes. Huge tracks of forested public land, the Great Lakes, etc. It is all about perspective. I love hunting in MIchigan as much as I do Wyoming.
As far as tag availability, it is cyclical. Yes, demand is high right now, but it will subside. I remember 10 or so years ago, western states were having a hard time selling all of their tags.
 
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JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
6,538
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Gypsum, Co
I don't see the availability of tags changing anytime in the near or future. It seams like there are more and more hunters heading out west here to hunt and the end is not in the foreseeable future.

Hunting out west is very popular and it is getting more and more every year.
 

Shane13

Active Member
Aug 8, 2012
280
149
Abilene, Texas
Point creep, fewer tags available to NR, crowds at the trail head and on the mountain..... I actually prefer private land hunts with landowner tags or OTC tags, where available. Downsides are the fence that can keep you from following the herd into the next drainage and cost. But several years of applying for multiple tags, scouting trips to find the right area, backpack camping gear, and all of that stuff isn't free either. The cost difference isn't that much in reality. And I can hunt any year I want to hunt if I'm willing to buy the landowner tag or pay the trespass fee.

I realize some folks look down on that, but at 55 years of age, this seems to be the best route for me at this point. It doesn't matter how many points I have for the best tags. There are people that have more than I do, and by the time they either draw or quit hunting, I'll probably be too old to go too. :D More than likely, all those states will be lottery by then anyway, and points won't matter anymore.

I love what I do, and I have no desire to retire anytime in the foreseeable future. All my family is in Texas. We are expecting our first grandchild. There's no way I'd move to another state for hunting opportunities and leave my business and family behind. Since my kids are grown, my expenses and responsibilities are lower. I'm blessed to have more income than I had in my 20s. I don't mind spending a little more money if I have to in order to hunt now while I'm still young and healthy enough to do it. It gives me an added incentive to stay young and healthy and fit too. I'll be doing a MtnTough HP20 workout this afternoon after work. Lord willing, I'll still be hunting 25 years from now. That's my goal anyway. :)

My dad and his buddies used to hunt elk in Colorado every year in the 70s. All OTC tags. No crowds of other hunters. Those stories are really cool, but it's definitely a different world today. I hope and pray that my grandkids will have hunting opportunities throughout their lives as well, somehow. I don't know what the system will look like then, but I hope they can make it work.
 
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BuzzH

Very Active Member
Apr 15, 2015
841
738
I am at the point where I can’t disagree with what the residents would request even though I disagreed before. Even though I still have 14 NR pts for elk of which I still hope to use. I feel at this point in my life if you can’t beat them, then join them. Hopefully I can convince my wife to retire in Wyoming in a year or 2. Luckily I burned up my last deer & antelope points already on successful hunts already. Good luck everybody on the draw
I hear this a bunch about retiring and hunting.

Jack Atcheson Sr. signed my copy of his book he wrote ...that was a long time ago, and I paid attention:

"Hunt while you can. Many people wait until they retire, by then, its too late for all kinds of reasons".
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
I hear this a bunch about retiring and hunting.

Jack Atcheson Sr. signed my copy of his book he wrote ...that was a long time ago, and I paid attention:

"Hunt while you can. Many people wait until they retire, by then, its too late for all kinds of reasons".
I agree for sure. I have been retired 23 years and am 80 years old now. I have hunted almost all my life. Bagged my first deer when I was 12. I was born and raised in California and my wife and I knew we were leaving when I retired. We spent 20 years looking in the western states for our retirement home. Came down to Lander, Wy and Dolores, Co, both small towns. I would have been happy either place, but my wife won out in the end.

I have hunted Wyoming since 1980 and over the years have seen huge fluctuations in the game herds. It happens and I am sure it will continue to happen after I am long gone. I'll continue to hunt the western states as long as I can walk. (I have hunted Az, Ca, NM, Texas, Ut, Or Wy and Mont in addition to my home state ((now)) of Colo.).
 

dan maule

Very Active Member
Jan 3, 2015
879
1,002
Upper Michigan
I hear this a bunch about retiring and hunting.

Jack Atcheson Sr. signed my copy of his book he wrote ...that was a long time ago, and I paid attention:

"Hunt while you can. Many people wait until they retire, by then, its too late for all kinds of reasons".
My dad waited until he retired to plan a trip to Wyoming. He and a couple of my brothers were all set to go in October of 1990, he died in August of that year having never hunted the west. That had a big effect on my decision making.
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
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Gypsum, Co
Quite a few hunters have problems hunting out west just due to the fact that they want to go with someone and not by themselves. A retired person can pretty much plan out what he is going to do at a moments notice. I know that I planned a few of my hunting trips around others who were still in the workforce slaving away for 40 or more hours a week.

My hunting before I retired was limited to a few states, after I retired I have hunted two other countries plus a few more states, non of which I really could of done while I was still working.
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
Quite a few hunters have problems hunting out west just due to the fact that they want to go with someone and not by themselves. A retired person can pretty much plan out what he is going to do at a moments notice. I know that I planned a few of my hunting trips around others who were still in the workforce slaving away for 40 or more hours a week.

My hunting before I retired was limited to a few states, after I retired I have hunted two other countries plus a few more states, non of which I really could of done while I was still working.
I was lucky, when I was working I got 4 weeks paid vacation per year and some comp time because I didn't get much compensation for overtime.
 
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tim

Veteran member
Jun 4, 2011
2,274
851
north idaho
where i am wondering what to do is alaska. I have been lucky and have had succesful dall sheep, caribou and moose hunts. I want to go back hunting, but it is easier to go back doing other things. Case in point, last august went for a remote float trip, march did a remote snowmobile trip. This is a hunting page, but the mountains do have more than hunting in them. With that said, i will be going back for another snowmobile trip and am in the planning stage of another remote river run.

as far as waiting until retirment, my body hurts, sometimes alot, so i doubt i would be able to do some of the harder hunts when i retire. 9 procedues, mainly do to crashing and burning in my activities.
 

Muley bound

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
298
458
Wisconsin
As others have mentioned waiting til retirement…..nobody is guaranteed tomorrow! It sounds great, but a lot of us might not make it to retirement. My dad, lived his life hunting out west and Canada, lived everyday and every hunting season to the fullest. He always told me…..”you might not be around to do the things you love when you’re retired, so if you can afford it and fit it in to your family life, go for it!” Well…..my dad didn’t make it to retirement, passed away from cancer, but dam he lived a great life hunting and fishing. So, I’ll be damned if I wait til retirement to hunt, fish, or put off other things I want to do!
 

BuzzH

Very Active Member
Apr 15, 2015
841
738
I was lucky, when I was working I got 4 weeks paid vacation per year and some comp time because I didn't get much compensation for overtime.
Right there with you, any extra hours I work are comp time to add to the 208 hours of vacation I get each year.

Always carry over 240 hours of leave each year as well, in the event I get really lucky in multiple draws.
 

CrimsonArrow

Very Active Member
Feb 21, 2011
819
290
Minnesota
My fall back plan for future years if I don't draw a tag is to go on an alpine lakes hiking trip. I solo packed into a high mt. lake in Colorado the week before my mzl elk hunt in 2019, and surprised myself at just how much I enjoyed catching cut-throat and watching elk.......even without a gun in my hand.
Id be pretty content doing something similar, perhaps backcountry fishing/shed hunting trip. Doesn’t always have to be about killing something