Colorado 1st Rifle draw odds vs. OTC 2nd rifle

flatlanderhuffandpuff

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Hi everyone, my question is regarding draw odds for 1st rifle in Colorado.

Four of us will be making a trip to Colorado for Elk in 2017. Only 3 of us are looking to draw or get an OTC tag, the 4th is just along for the ride. We wanted first rifle for the same reasons everyone else does, slightly less pressure, better weather, bugling bulls maybe, and either sex tags.

Stupidly, I had been using Toprut incorrectly (Toprut reached out to me and showed me where I was going wrong) , and just recently started looking at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Draw Recap. It is still looking a little confusing for me to wrap my head around it all but the gist is we won't have very good odds since none of us have any preference points. As far as I can tell not all the hunt codes are even recorded there.

I don't have any particular area in mind other than more mountainous than not so wading through the 916 pages of the draw report doesn't seem like the best place to start.

This is likely the only time this group will hunt Colorado together so I want to make sure all three of us at least have a tag in our pockets. Is it possible to apply as a group so we either all draw together or none of us do? What would you suggest my game plan should be? Try and draw three tags in a less desirable unit or buy OTC tags for a better one?
 
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LongWayAround

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If you look in the 2016 draw recap for hunt codes ending in O1R, it shows a number of tags that can be drawn by non-residents with no points. I believe the leftover list may have had a few first rifle choices as well. Also, in the big game brochure is a table of all the different hunt codes, those with an * in the 'sex column's had leftovers last year.

It is possible to apply as a group.
 

elkduds

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Also, in the big game brochure is a table of all the different hunt codes, those with an * in the 'sex column's had leftovers last year.

Proceed w caution when viewing * codes in the CPW brochure. Until this year * meant this code had leftovers after the 1st draw. This year it means that OR @ least one tag w that code was returned after the drawing and reissued. If you assume you will automatically draw any code w a * you have a good chance of getting a point instead of drawing your first choice. Some codes w a * this year took more than 10 points last year, and they will this year as well.

Better to read and understand the Reissue section in the brochure before applying. Many applicants are going to be plenty p!$$ed off when they see their draw results, because they are unaware of this important change in the CO draw process. Good luck!
 

standard_lengthy

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Try to find a unit with an OTC second season. They will usually have a 0-1 pt draw for first season. Not all the time but a few come to mind. The reissues and leftovers are a good draw too.

Sent from Droid NeuroImplant
 
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flatlanderhuffandpuff

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I had been reading the Toprut information incorrectly. I should have been looking under list view instead of map view.
 

BGLEMIN

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Your best bet is 2nd season OTC. Lots of mountains and elk in the SW corner of the state. Units 70,71,73,74,75,751,77,78.
 
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flatlanderhuffandpuff

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Thanks for the input fellas ;)

I'm interested in trying for unit 43 for 1st with the flat tops as a back up.

Will I have trouble getting away from other hunters with the mountains being so big? It seems like everyone will be heading in the same valleys to avoid going straight over the peaks. I would imagine thats not a prime time for hikers and backpackers to be heading for the hills.

I know the Flat Tops get hunted HARD based on the number of tags and easier terrain. It was my understanding that the wilderness area doesn't allow any vehicle traffic of any kind, but on google earth it looks like there are a fair amount of roads and even houses. Am I missing something?
 

justinspicher

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If you're coming to Colorado, so is everyone else. Everyone wants to go further and stay longer and hunt harder. There will be backpackers, hikers, and tourists everywhere. It's part of hunting in Colorado, but it's Colorado and everyone is here for the same reason.

You're out here to hunt elk, so focus on hunting elk, there's hundreds of guys and gals that won't be able to hunt elk this year.
 

tyeager2964

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Feb 11, 2016
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I hunted the Flat Tops last year 1st season. There were a lot of people around but the pressure was much less than I expected. While actually hunting I only ran into about 4 other guys.

We went 5 miles in. On the main trails there were plenty of people. We camped on a decent size lake that had 3 other hunters camped on the other side.

It is what you make it. Enjoy the scenery hunt hard and have some back up plans ready.

The only way you can have a bad time is with a bad attitude. I think the only way to guarantee solitude now is to pay for private ranches or have enough points for an extremely limited tag.
 
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