CO OTC tag vs WY no tag (and just tag along....)

gostovp

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Mar 18, 2022
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Ok, wanting some quick feedback...

Here's the scenario...my son and I were planning on doing CO OTC this year as our first elk hunt, but one of my good friends is a WY resident and obviously has a tag this year. Since my son and I decided to go out west this year we have been planning for and procuring gear for that CO OTC experience (truck camping, possible spike camp, highly mobile, etc etc you know the drill...)

But, being that we are both newbies, do you think it would be better to forego the CO OTC kill tag and just go out and tag along with my buddy in WY for 2022 ... My son and I would be the primary callers (my buddy is also an inexperienced elk hunter as he just moved to WY two years ago) and we would also help with game care and packing meat out if he got one.
Our plan is to hunt MT in 2023 (we will have enough pts to draw) and then we should be able to draw WY the year after.

And yeah I'm prepared for 'oh you should totally go to WY' responses as the reason to have two less OTC hunters in CO, lol...but I'm being serious...which experience would be better for me to become a better elk hunter in the long run? On one had I would have a tag and the possibility to harvest an animal, but on the other hand I could be following along and calling for elk in an area which obviously isn't the OTC zoo that CO is....

PS: there is one other possibility...my son and I were planning on leaving for our CO trip from WI the evening of Sept 10th to arrive in CO on Sept 11th and we have two weeks off and return Sept 24th or 25th....we COULD meet my buddy for a 5-6 day hunt in WY and then arrive in CO on say the 17th or 18th and hunt that week after CO muzzloader....
 

Titan_Bow

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If your friend was a seasoned and experienced elk hunter then I would obviously steer you in that direction. However if he’s inexperienced as well, I think you would get more out of just going to Colorado and giving it a try. Subconsciously, I think you’ll get more out of it when there is the slim chance of actually filling the tag! Either way, get out there and start learning, you certainly can’t do it from home!


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DooleyVT

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I'm in a similar boat but it wasn't with my son just with a good friend whose young enough to be my son. We have opted to be a pack mules with other friends. It's so much more about the experience for me than the kill as I get older. I'll have plenty to deal with myself, the altitude and living out of a pack for a week. I'm hoping will be able to learn not only about the animals but about myself in the process. The only problem is that as I do get older I worry about putting anything at all off until next year. Should be a blast either way.
 

SuperDUECE22

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Go do your own thing and figure it out. No reason to follow around another inexperienced hunter & possibly learn bad habits. The CO OTC Zoo that you speak off isn't as bad as most people describe, don't let that nonsense discourage you.
 

displacedtexan

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Which area do you think is prettier or more interesting?

For me western hunting is more about the adventure. A trip with a good friend in a "better" place would almost always win out over actually having a tag.
 

Jbxl20

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I would probably hunt Colorado if I were you.
The only benefit I could see is getting a feel for the area in Wyoming if your going to hunt it in the near future. If you hunt Colorado this year when’s the next time you would be back to hunt that area?
 

PA Archer

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Unless the unit in Wyoming would be a high point draw unit and would be an awesome hunting experience I would rather just take my chances in Colorado and have fun with it.
 

PA Archer

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I will add this:

A General unit in Wyoming is like a 5 PP unit in Colorado.

I’ve done both.

If you choose Colorado OTC for your first time, good chance you won’t go back.
This is also very true. Never hunted anything but OTC units in Colorado but a General tag in Wyoming is much better than OTC in Colorado.
 

Hnthrdr

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You can go ahead and donate 1400 to the state of Co or you could save your money and get a ton of experience all without pulling the trigger. I call for buddies a bunch when I’ve punched my tag most years and I’ve honestly get just as much satisfaction if not more when I call a bull in for them and I’m still learning and hunting. Pulling a trigger or loosing an arrow is just about the least significant part of hunting out there
 

ez_willie

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I would go to CO and actually hunt so you can at least start learning an area, since CO is about the last place you can get an OTC tag now a days. I'd be pissed if my dad got me pumped up and geared up to hunt out west then took me to a place I can only hunt once in a blue moon just to be a pack mule.
Also, how do you know you have enough pts for MT next year? Did you apply with 1 PP this year knowing you wouldn't draw then assume you will draw this next year going in with 2 PP?
 

ScottR_EHJ

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Go get the experience, personally I would use the guy's two years of knowledge to lessen your own curve.
 
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gostovp

gostovp

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I would go to CO and actually hunt so you can at least start learning an area, since CO is about the last place you can get an OTC tag now a days. I'd be pissed if my dad got me pumped up and geared up to hunt out west then took me to a place I can only hunt once in a blue moon just to be a pack mule.
Also, how do you know you have enough pts for MT next year? Did you apply with 1 PP this year knowing you wouldn't draw then assume you will draw this next year going in with 2 PP?
Yes will be going into MT draw next year with 2 PP and a group app.
 
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gostovp

gostovp

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So how bad is CO OTC… I read everything from it isn’t as bad as people say to go once and you will never go back… lol

I come from WI so I’m no stranger to pressure … from the orange army on the annual gun deer opener, to newly acquired ‘ultalight stand and saddle run and gun’ public land whitetail bow hunters during the first week of November, to 40+ boats at the launch during the walleye run or a big mallard migration…

Anyone from the Midwest able to make a comparison?
 

CoStick

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So how bad is CO OTC… I read everything from it isn’t as bad as people say to go once and you will never go back… lol

I come from WI so I’m no stranger to pressure … from the orange army on the annual gun deer opener, to newly acquired ‘ultalight stand and saddle run and gun’ public land whitetail bow hunters during the first week of November, to 40+ boats at the launch during the walleye run or a big mallard migration…

Anyone from the Midwest able to make a comparison?
Depends where you go. My guess is deer get killed and walleye get caught in WI. I would not rely on previous years stats for draws either. You really don’t know what the next year will look like.
 

displacedtexan

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So how bad is CO OTC… I read everything from it isn’t as bad as people say to go once and you will never go back… lol

I come from WI so I’m no stranger to pressure … from the orange army on the annual gun deer opener, to newly acquired ‘ultalight stand and saddle run and gun’ public land whitetail bow hunters during the first week of November, to 40+ boats at the launch during the walleye run or a big mallard migration…

Anyone from the Midwest able to make a comparison?
In my admittedly limited experience...

Fewer people on bigger pieces of land.

But people love to complain.
 

Hnthrdr

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Eh it all depends, yes the landscape is bigger but generally they style of hunting and animal population is less dense. more than a couple guys in a drainage can get really crowded. I’ve been spots that I will never go back to, but I also have spots that are decent. Just don’t expect to be alone back there. Last year bumped into a group where I had never seen anyone else for the past 4 years
 

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