Colorado 2025-2029 Big Game Season Structure

TheCougar

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No no it is not…. It is a huge loss for most high country mulie guys.

In any unit that has an early start the rest of the archery deer tags will basically be worthless. After 2 weeks of pressure mile hunting up high is not even close to the same.. By muzzy the pressure will have moved almost every single buck from the high country.

Either all the deer tags need to start on Aug 15 or none of them. Making a few early will make it impossible to draw and by the late season archery the bucks will have moved. This only helps high point holders and outfitters while screwing the rest of us over.

Short sited and a terrible idea by guess who = the cba that may gain a few political points but will hurt most deer hunters while only favoring a few select hunters w high points. Terrible idea that was not thought through.
Playing the devils advocate here, but I think most “high point holders” aren’t going to be crawling around with a bow in the high alpine. FWIW, I agree with you to start all the tags at the same time.
 

Hnthrdr

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I must admit, I was not familiar with your level of game.

I don't bear hunt, but this is low-key the best hack I've heard for creating a "late-spring/Summer" Bear Season. The type of thing that you could sneak by anti-hunters and most wouldn't notice. Might even be a workaround for other states.
The amendment to the state constitution outlawed bear hunting until Sept 1 I believe, so don’t have a way to move the season…. Bear season should 100% start in august if it could
 

Rich M

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No no it is not…. It is a huge loss for most high country mulie guys.

The early season would allow for some good bucks to be taken while in velvet. I'm not sure if the general archery season allowed for that.

This seems to follow the narrative of killing off the mature bucks.
 

Rich M

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It only takes so much whining to change regulations. All the OTC archery elk complaints have been heard and reacted to.

Now, you just gotta see what limits they put on those tags - might not be any better than OTC in the long haul.
 

Hnthrdr

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Here's the old 2015-2019 season structure that was recommended. Mule deer dates aren't a win, but the elk, first, and second rifle dates are in that season structure:

1st Season – 5-day season, followed by a 2-day break – separate limited elk, opening on the first Saturday after October 9.
Mule deer going back are a big win. You cannot have any type of age class and continue to hunt the rut with rifles. Making 4th rifle the only “rut” hunt is the right answer. I’m guessing you haven’t been hunting Co for very long? 10 years ago there was a good chance to have a giant buck appear in about any unit in the state. After the last 4 years the age structure has been decimated… it will take a while to bring that age structure back
 

ElkTycoon

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It only takes so much whining to change regulations. All the OTC archery elk complaints have been heard and reacted to.

Now, you just gotta see what limits they put on those tags - might not be any better than OTC in the long haul.


I know the CPW’s goal, at least for elk tags, is to make people choose between getting a preference point or getting a tag. Go look at tag allocations in several of the units that were OTC and changed to draw units, and compare the 1st draw year to where they are now. They started very high and then over a few years were reduced to where you can only draw them at 1st choice with a very low chance to draw them at 2nd choice. That’s a positive change.

There are a lot of really good CPW field officers that are trying to manage their units properly… they are just hamstrung by Polis and his anti-hunting commission.

I’m not trying to say the CPW is doing everything right, they obviously are not… I’ve seen hunting decline over the past 20 years. But with both my boys just now reaching hunting age I’m not just gonna give up.
 

LA Hunter

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Mule deer going back are a big win. You cannot have any type of age class and continue to hunt the rut with rifles. Making 4th rifle the only “rut” hunt is the right answer. I’m guessing you haven’t been hunting Co for very long? 10 years ago there was a good chance to have a giant buck appear in about any unit in the state. After the last 4 years the age structure has been decimated… it will take a while to bring that age structure back
Good point. After you add in the bad winter and wolf intro, this change might not be enough.
 

ElkTycoon

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Mule deer going back are a big win. You cannot have any type of age class and continue to hunt the rut with rifles. Making 4th rifle the only “rut” hunt is the right answer. I’m guessing you haven’t been hunting Co for very long? 10 years ago there was a good chance to have a giant buck appear in about any unit in the state. After the last 4 years the age structure has been decimated… it will take a while to bring that age structure back
Agree… last year I burned 15 points on a 3rd season buck tag in a great unit, hunted hard for 7 days, and only saw a handful of bucks, most were dinkers with a few young 4x4’s. I didn’t see anything even close to a 160 let alone 180+.
 

Jethro

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Averaging PPs in Wyo doesn’t increase creep

Please just stop. You spread enough misinformation about Colorado. No need to spread misinformation about basic math.
Technically he's correct. Avg points doesn't increase creep, nor does it alleviate it. Just can shift where the creep occurs. For every person that may lose out on a tag at the groups averaged point pool, there is a higher and a lower point holder that gets a tag because the group members were not in as individuals.
 

Hnthrdr

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Good point. After you add in the bad winter and wolf intro, this change might not be enough.
I get it, I had fun the first couple years chasing big bucks in 3rd. killed my biggest buck 3rd year in, then this last year, saw almost exclusively 2&3 year old forkies and 3x3’s… it is a ton of fun having that rut tag, but if we want to have big bucks on the landscape we can’t have both, I’d opt for less rut rifle tags but better age structure in our deer
 
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Damage is done, though.
I’m more optimistic. There are tons of 3 year old 150 type bucks running around getting killed on these late hunts that just to survive another year or two. Plenty of deer on the landscape, I can imagine a few years into the new plan colorado producing big deer again.
 

Hnthrdr

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I’m more optimistic. There are tons of 3 year old 150 type bucks running around getting killed on these late hunts that just to survive another year or two. Plenty of deer on the landscape, I can imagine a few years into the new plan colorado producing big deer again.
I do that that 3-4 years into the new dates we will have some age class back
 

Hnthrdr

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I guess the high tag numbers will probably temper that a bit but I prefer to be optimistic. Seems like a lot of the state populations are doing well…just need some reduced harvest IMO
Yep the late Oct 2nd season and early Nov 3rd season should do that some… I’m a believer that bucks especially older age class bucks are far harder to hunt then, even with more tags they tend to not be as vulnerable and in the timber
 
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