Pronghorn Draw

Yell Co AR Hunter

Active Member
Dec 10, 2015
412
64
Yell County Arkansas
I have tried to understand and study the Pronghorn draw stats for Colorado. After several attempts I think I may have figured out how to find a hunt unit and place it on the map. This helps to know if land is public so I could hunt. Not sure but it looks like all the ranches are open to resident hunters only.
I am still trying to understand the point system and how it relates.
I notice a lot of BLM in the NW corner of the State. I can not find a season or hunt code for any of this area other than A-M-201-01-R. is there no antelope in this area? Any tips on where I could get a PHD to apply for a tag?
 

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
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Eastern Nebraska
Colorado pays Hunt Planners to help- give them a call. 303-291-7526. I have only done it once but the person I spoke to was very knowledgeable and helpful.
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
3,872
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Gypsum, Co
I have tried to understand and study the Pronghorn draw stats for Colorado. After several attempts I think I may have figured out how to find a hunt unit and place it on the map. This helps to know if land is public so I could hunt. Not sure but it looks like all the ranches are open to resident hunters only.
I am still trying to understand the point system and how it relates.
I notice a lot of BLM in the NW corner of the State. I can not find a season or hunt code for any of this area other than A-M-201-01-R. is there no antelope in this area? Any tips on where I could get a PHD to apply for a tag?
I guess I could of also answered a couple of your questions.

Colorado uses a preference point system. One system for each species. If the statistics page shows that you need 10 points to draw a tag you need at least 10 points to draw that tag. How many points do you have?

The hunt code that you listed is for units 201 and 2. There are also hunt codes for all the rest of the units across the northern boundary of the state along with having archery and muzzle loader seasons. For now you might download the 2019 Colorado Big Game guide book until the 2020 one comes out in a few weeks.
 

Yell Co AR Hunter

Active Member
Dec 10, 2015
412
64
Yell County Arkansas
Thanks for the information. Looks like several points will be needed to hunt any public land in Colorado. I considered Muzzleloader until I saw sabot is not allowed. I could drop the scope but not willing to lose the sabot.
Are there any tags that go to non preference point draw?
 

taskswap

Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
254
110
Colorado
Colorado yearly publishes a Draw Results report. The Pronghorn one is here: https://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/Statistics-Pronghorn.aspx

You might start by downloading the Draw Recap report. You should also download the Big Game Hunting Guide, which tells you you how to decode the hunt codes. For instance, AF001O1M would be Antelope (A), Female (F), GMU 001, Public Land Season 1 (O1) Muzzleloader (M). This can help you immediately rule out hunt codes you aren't interested in, such as Archery (AF003O1A for example) or private-land only (AF003P5R).

Once you know your criteria you can ignore most of the pages of the Draw Recap report and just focus on units and codes that would work for you. Next, in the Recap report, go through each page (it's long but since you can skip most, it doesn't take that long) and for any hunt codes that "might work" for you, take note of the Quota and the % Drawn Out At. The quota changes year to year, but usually it won't go from 500 to 10, and it never goes from 5 to 500. So if there are only 5 tags for a zone (AF001O1M) that's going to be a hard draw without points. That same page says 4 tags went to those who had 1 point and 1 tag went to somebody with 3 points. If you have no points that's going to be a hard zone to draw.

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In the screen shot above you can see 100% of the tags drawn required at least 1 residential preference point to draw that tag.

Make a short list of zones with reasonable quotas that show in 2019, at least, people were drawing either with 0 points (you have a chance) or that went via the "leftover list" (no points were required for anybody - the draw went by with quota left over unused). For instance AF013O1A (Antelope, Female, GMU 013, Season 1 Archery) had a quota of 10 which sounds tight but there was only ONE applicant, so 9 tags were left over and you could have gotten one:

29297

Now prepare to be discouraged. Because what you'll find is that unlike doing this same process with deer or elk, you're going to have a VERY short list here. And then you go to the Colorado Interactive Hunting Atlas (https://ndismaps.nrel.colostate.edu/index.html?app=HuntingAtlas) or better still, Basemap or OnX, and overlay three critical layers: pronghorn species data, the GMU boundaries, and the land ownership to find public land. What you'll probably find is there's very little overlap between public land, tags available for the GMUs that contain them, and actual pronghorn existence.

It can be discouraging but there are a few things that make it "not quite as bad" (if not actually great):
1. Don't forget that the hunt code has a GMU number but often applies to more than one actual GMU. The Big Game Hunting Guide will tell you for example that if you hold AF001O1M you can hunt both GMU 1 AND 201. And if you hold AM001O1M you can hunt 1, 201, and 2. Make sure you look at all the zones a tag actually applies to when you do your research. There isn't always much rhyme or reason to it, some tags are just for a single zone or maybe two, and some cover half a dozen. It's tedious, but you have to look up each one.

2. You can and might get lucky. I read the recap reports every year and often see zones with tags available that never get fully drawn out. And they aren't the same ones every year. Sometimes people just don't apply. You could get lucky. If you don't draw your first choice, you automatically get a preference point. You don't need 20 points to hunt Colorado, unless you're literally after the biggest/best/most fantastic creature still running around. Lots more more zones become available with just a single preference point, or maybe two. Unless you're a trophy hunter (in which case I don't think I'd go to Colorado, for pronghorn anyway) you actually have a VERY good chance of hunting every other year if you pick realistic zones, and especially if you alternate good/"at least I got out of the house" targets every other year. You can force this by listing A-P-999-99-P as your first choice. This makes sure you get a preference point, while still letting you participate in the draw at a lower chance of success in your second->fourth choice slots. If you choose high percentage-chance tags for those slots, you have a good chance of hunting every year while drawing a "good zone" every other.

3. Make sure to pay attention to the "weird" tags, especially Ranching for Wildlife which is confusing for a lot of people. RFW tags let you hunt private land and there's more of it registered every year. These take a lot of research (and driving around) but might be an option for a second-choice tag if you just want to get out of the house.
 

Yell Co AR Hunter

Active Member
Dec 10, 2015
412
64
Yell County Arkansas
Thanks Taskswap that helps clear a few things up. it appears you have your PHD in this subject. I have figured out Wyoming's draw as well as New Mexico. Just would love to hunt and see other parts of the country. I plan to take the family to Colorado this summer and that is always a scouting trip for areas to hunt.
 

taskswap

Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
254
110
Colorado
Yeah, my post was a little generic for residents/non-residents at the same time, but as JimP noted there are "always ways to work it." It all depends on your goals (and always, $$$).

Some TOTALLY personal opinion here, I know there are a lot of resident pronghorn hunters in Colorado, but I really don't understand why anybody would work all that hard to hunt them here if you're a non-resident. If you're a resident it makes sense. It's a pretty cheap tag and gives you something to do that season without driving to another state. But for a non-resident why wouldn't you look at a state more known for its pronghorn populations? Colorado is a long haul for a DIY public-land pronghorn hunt, at least in my opinion.

Somebody educate me why you'd bother?
 
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JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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Gypsum, Co
You also have to look at a NR now having to purchase a license to apply for the tags or even preference points. This right here is enough to make a NR forget about it, that is unless they are already hunting here and have a valid license, then all it cost extra is the application fee.

Also for pronghorn Wyoming is the state to go to. Forget about Colorado.
 
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Colorado Cowboy

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However a NR can contact the operator of the ranch and find out who the outfitter is for the ranch and then hire the outfitter as a guide and tag for the hunt
NR cannot apply for a RFW tag and they cannot hunt in the RFW season (which is different than the normal seasons). If they buy a tag from the operator of the ranch, it would have to be a land owner tag.
 

JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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Gypsum, Co
That is what it is, a landowner tag but they will also have to hire the outfitter that is associated with the ranch from what I have seen.
 

taskswap

Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
254
110
Colorado
I guess one of the important consensus points about NR pronghorn hunting in Colorado is "yeah... there ARE some here... but..."

If I wasn't a resident, CO would honestly be my last choice as a destination for antelope. Heck I live here and only bother with it when I'm bored. It would be like a public-land hog hunt in NM. Just because you CAN doesn't make it a good idea. :ROFLMAO:
 

Colorado Cowboy

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Dolores, Colorado
I have hunted antelope here in Colorado once in the 20 years I have been a resident. Took 15 points to draw the unit I wanted and I had 18. Great unit, but only 25 tags available. I have a neighbor who hunts public land here about every 3 or 4 years. Good public land draws are pretty tough. (Forgot to say...neighbor won't share unit he hunts)
 
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