Elk tagging application process

Gerbdog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
642
Location
CO Springs
Well this went off the rails in a hurry... darn it i still chop wood too.... but i think the advice given above about reading the regulations / proclamations for each state whether online or in the paper brochure is still the best advice given here.... If you cant find it there... as mentioned... give a call.

Fact is, each state does it different, and most guys here / anywhere arent hunting every single state (thats a ton of money). Generally we know a lot about a state or two.

Taking any advice you receive online should be viewed as dubious at best and i never rely on it... trust but verify. Or. I go straight to the source.

Case in point: i grew up in NM : never tried to return a tag so i have no clue if they give you money back, keep it, whatever.... and i promise you if i get a NM tag this year i sure as hell aint turning it back in ;)
 

LostArra

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
2,886
Location
Oklahoma
Decide where you want to hunt and just study that state's application website. It's not as overwhelming as it appears.

At least now it's difficult if not impossible to make a fatal application error since the computer system won't accept it. I can't imagine the degree of clustery that occurred when we were sending paper applications.
 

Laramie

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
2,078
Geez, some of you, don't you think your a little hard on us rookies? I'm from the northeast & not lazy, but, this application & zone stuff is a little daunting. I think we get overwhelmed & look for any sources to (hopefully) get us "on track". That's why I signed up with Rokslide; gain knowledge & get help.
You signed up to take knowledge instead of sharing it like forums were intended. That's the reason so many are hard on most rookies- they came here to gain knowledge and then they bail. That knowledge gained in turn lowers the draw odds for those people who have put in significant amounts of work learning the various systems, areas, etc... Drawing tags is getting more and more competitive. Don't expect people to spill the beans when it negatively impacts them.
 

OMB

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
246
Geez, some of you, don't you think your a little hard on us rookies? I'm from the northeast & not lazy, but, this application & zone stuff is a little daunting. I think we get overwhelmed & look for any sources to (hopefully) get us "on track". That's why I signed up with Rokslide; gain knowledge & get help.
Because the forum gets inundated this time of year with posts like "Newbie elk hunter, where should I apply in Wyoming?" when a simple use of the search function would have days worth of reading on the topic. Or somebody with a low post count asking for specific advice on a unit and then never posting again. It gets kind of old seeing people come on here expecting hand outs and hand holds when there's already so much information publicly available that isn't difficult to find at all.
 

wapitibob

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
4,432
Location
Bend Oregon
Case in point: i grew up in NM : never tried to return a tag so i have no clue if they give you money back, keep it, whatever.... and i promise you if i get a NM tag this year i sure as hell aint turning it back in ;)

Google will answer that question and most others if inquiring minds would simply use it.
And yea, not too many are turning back a NM tag.
 

Hang18

Newbie
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Messages
7
Ok. I'll take the "bashing". Btw, I share information when I have it & believe it will be helpful. I do understand this is a two way street.
I'm not expecting for "honey holes". Just some "mentoring" woud help. Any further post regarding my post is not necessary. I get the message.
 

Gerbdog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
642
Location
CO Springs
Ok. I'll take the "bashing". Btw, I share information when I have it & believe it will be helpful. I do understand this is a two way street.
I'm not expecting for "honey holes". Just some "mentoring" woud help. Any further post regarding my post is not necessary. I get the message.
Wouldnt take it personally, your not expected to be able to give advice if you have none to give... i get it and maybe in a few years you'll figure some stuff out about hunting out west and pass on your knowledge to another green hunter on here.

Most on here just wanna see some leg work on your part, maybe even just "hey i looked at the NM online brochure, and i cant seem to find a definitive answer to this quest: ????? I called them, but no one picked up and havent received a call back in 5 days, was curious if you guys could point out the correct answer in the brochure where it clarifies what happens to my money if i turn back in a tag or have ever ran into this problem?"

Same will go after you do your scouting trip this summer or after you hunt "Where are the elk at in unit XXX" will get a crap response.

"Hey, i spent a long weekend looking in "whatever terrain i thought would hold elk" and i found almost no sign. What sign i did find was old. I was thinking maybe the elk were moving over to "whatever terrain i hope will hold the elk" what do you guys think? This terrain has "Some water source" located "Wherever" and i think they are feeding up high"..... This will get you a better response, shows you put in some leg work and are still coming up short.

There's my advice for the day. Thank god i dont get yelled at for mansplaining on these forums.

Do wish you luck though an i do hope you draw a tag, only one way to learn to hunt out west and thats to get out here and do it
 

southLA

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
226
Most on here just wanna see some leg work on your part, maybe even just "hey i looked at the NM online brochure, and i cant seem to find a definitive answer to this quest: ????? I called them, but no one picked up and havent received a call back in 5 days, was curious if you guys could point out the correct answer in the brochure where it clarifies what happens to my money if i turn back in a tag or have ever ran into this problem?"

Same will go after you do your scouting trip this summer or after you hunt "Where are the elk at in unit XXX" will get a crap response.

"Hey, i spent a long weekend looking in "whatever terrain i thought would hold elk" and i found almost no sign. What sign i did find was old. I was thinking maybe the elk were moving over to "whatever terrain i hope will hold the elk" what do you guys think? This terrain has "Some water source" located "Wherever" and i think they are feeding up high"..... This will get you a better response, shows you put in some leg work and are still coming up short.
Can we please make a sticky out of this?
 

Hang18

Newbie
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Messages
7
Wouldnt take it personally, your not expected to be able to give advice if you have none to give... i get it and maybe in a few years you'll figure some stuff out about hunting out west and pass on your knowledge to another green hunter on here.

Most on here just wanna see some leg work on your part, maybe even just "hey i looked at the NM online brochure, and i cant seem to find a definitive answer to this quest: ????? I called them, but no one picked up and havent received a call back in 5 days, was curious if you guys could point out the correct answer in the brochure where it clarifies what happens to my money if i turn back in a tag or have ever ran into this problem?"

Same will go after you do your scouting trip this summer or after you hunt "Where are the elk at in unit XXX" will get a crap response.

"Hey, i spent a long weekend looking in "whatever terrain i thought would hold elk" and i found almost no sign. What sign i did find was old. I was thinking maybe the elk were moving over to "whatever terrain i hope will hold the elk" what do you guys think? This terrain has "Some water source" located "Wherever" and i think they are feeding up high"..... This will get you a better response, shows you put in some leg work and are still coming up short.

There's my advice for the day. Thank god i dont get yelled at for mansplaining on these forums.

Do wish you luck though an i do hope you draw a tag, only one way to learn to hunt out west and thats to get out here and do it
Thx, really appreciate the "advise".
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
89
Location
Overthasaddle, Idaho
Thx, really appreciate the "advise".

I read your quotes as sarcasm but Gerb's response is truly the best explanation of how to earn advice that I have read on this site. You will see over and over "not asking for honey holes but..." posts with zero replies. But if you follow what he laid out you can get some very good advice. I know it's hard when you're new and far from the area you want to hunt, but there is still effort and research you can put in upfront to make your requests more reasonable and people more willing to help. I've encountered it myself.
 

Hang18

Newbie
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Messages
7
I read your quotes as sarcasm but Gerb's response is truly the best explanation of how to earn advice that I have read on this site. You will see over and over "not asking for honey holes but..." posts with zero replies. But if you follow what he laid out you can get some very good advice. I know it's hard when you're new and far from the area you want to hunt, but there is still effort and research you can put in upfront to make your requests more reasonable and people more willing to help. I've encountered it myself.

My error. Meant to drop the " ", before posting. I do appreciate Gerb's post. And I apologize.
 

Hang18

Newbie
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Messages
7
Wouldnt take it personally, your not expected to be able to give advice if you have none to give... i get it and maybe in a few years you'll figure some stuff out about hunting out west and pass on your knowledge to another green hunter on here.

Most on here just wanna see some leg work on your part, maybe even just "hey i looked at the NM online brochure, and i cant seem to find a definitive answer to this quest: ????? I called them, but no one picked up and havent received a call back in 5 days, was curious if you guys could point out the correct answer in the brochure where it clarifies what happens to my money if i turn back in a tag or have ever ran into this problem?"

Same will go after you do your scouting trip this summer or after you hunt "Where are the elk at in unit XXX" will get a crap response.

"Hey, i spent a long weekend looking in "whatever terrain i thought would hold elk" and i found almost no sign. What sign i did find was old. I was thinking maybe the elk were moving over to "whatever terrain i hope will hold the elk" what do you guys think? This terrain has "Some water source" located "Wherever" and i think they are feeding up high"..... This will get you a better response, shows you put in some leg work and are still coming up short.

There's my advice for the day. Thank god i dont get yelled at for mansplaining on these forums.

Do wish you luck though an i do hope you draw a tag, only one way to learn to hunt out west and thats to get out here and do it

Sir, warriorpoet took my reply to you as sarcasm. It was not meant to be & I apologize. I DO appreciate your advise. And thank you.
 

Btaylor

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
2,307
Location
Arkansas
The other option is to not worry about multiple states. Pick a state you can expect to hunt at least every other year or so if not every year. Within that state pick a unit where you want to hunt. Dissect every bit of information you can google about that unit. Get on the online mapping app or apps of your choice and dissect the unit and pick 3-4 areas in reasonable proximity to start your hunt. When you get a tag, start covering country. Learn everything you can about every inch of the unit you can cover. Make notes. When you find really fresh sign and or elk, slow don and hunt as smart as you can. Worry less about making noise and more about where the wind is moving. The more ground you cover the more knowledge you gain from either finding where they are or where they were. Either way, the next trip you have spots to check that you didnt know about before. I am still a newb at this having made 5 hunts now but taking this approach has allowed me to have bow range encounters every trip. And I hunt a unit that has a horrible reputation for pressure and lousy elk numbers. Just remeber if the state sell elk tags in a unit, there some elk there. It's up to you to do the work to find and kill them.
 
OP
J

Junibravo

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2021
Messages
35
Thank you all for some great advice on western hunting. I apologize if my post came across as someone who is being lazy and not putting in their own time and effort. And reading my original post i can see why it would come across that way.
I have been trying to do my own homework, but it is like learning a new language and there is a lot to learn which is always hard without mentorship.
I had a buddy mentor me into whitetail hunting which was mostly get me into a stand, make sure i knew where to buy a tag and keep it in my pocket, and where to shoot a deer if one showed up. I have been able to build on that experience by watching youtube and getting out into the woods as much as possible.
But western hunting is a different beast and getting started without a mentor is a big hurdle. That is the big reason i have been using outfitters, to serve as faux mentors.

I think what i was really trying to tease out from people more experienced than myself is how you guys approach applying in multiple states. I want to maximize my odds of drawing a tag, but also dont have an unlimited supply of money or time.
I can figure out the draw processes in the states i am applying to and i can figure out the refund process (although that gohunt link was super helpful). But what i cant figure out is a nuanced strategy maximizing my draw odds while minimizing my odds of drawing multiple states and being unable to use those tags.

I am not sure if what i am trying to get at makes any more sense or not.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Gerbdog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
642
Location
CO Springs
I think that "nuanced strategy maximizing my draw odds while minimizing my odds of drawings multiple states" is a bit of a secret people will hold tight.

Not as secret as their favorite fishing hole or hunting spot, but, if everyone knew everyone elses tag strategy then their odds of having their strategy play out like they want decrease
 
OP
J

Junibravo

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2021
Messages
35
I am sorry if i asked something that is disrespectful or i am out of place.
Etiquette of what is ok to ask and what is not in the hunting world is a learned skill. As a noob i am still learning a lot of these basics but i am happy to learn as people point out when i overstep my bounds.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Gerbdog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
642
Location
CO Springs
I am sorry if i asked something that is disrespectful or i am out of place.
Etiquette of what is ok to ask and what is not in the hunting world is a learned skill. As a noob i am still learning a lot of these basics but i am happy to learn as people point out when i overstep my bounds.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Well hey at-least you came back for more, that's a good step and that's how you learn. I would see what you can find online for strategies for multiple state tag hunting.

It really comes down to where your at in life. If you managed to retire with lots of money to play with some dudes set it up to hunt archery in a state or two - head over to another state to hunt something with a rifle - etc. etc.

If your trying to raise kids in your late 20's and can manage only 1 hunt per year then you should manage your time and money accordingly. Sorry aint trying to sound like your dad here haha. The strategy for this looks something like building points in a staggering pattern. So your first year you would try and hunt OTC somewhere - put in for points in other states (and the state that has OTC) - and start a system where you can expect to draw a different state every year with your staggered points - can always (well maybe... for now) fall back on OTC units to fill gaps.

I cant / wont give you details on what units you should apply for with 2 points in whatever state you have 2 points in, or 3 points, or 1 point, or any of that. That's the learning and boots on the ground part that can be rewarding when you figure it out. Frankly i hunt like 2 states because i cant / wont afford with time or money more then that.

States that are completely random draws, no point systems, you just gotta put in for every year, cross your fingers and pray, and if you draw it your probably gonna put aside your other hunting plans because drawing those random, no point system, states is difficult to do as a non-res, usually with a higher potential for a trophy. The completely random states arent a plan though, it's a potential outcome with low odds of happening.

Sorry if this was more explanation then you were looking for with a complete lack of details but it's the basics. The rest is up to you to figure out units, look over statistics, draw odds, figure out how many points you need in a state to realistically hunt that unit every 3 years, what you can do to fill in the years between if you want to, etc. People run spreadsheets on this stuff.

-Gerb
 
OP
J

Junibravo

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2021
Messages
35
Well hey at-least you came back for more, that's a good step and that's how you learn. I would see what you can find online for strategies for multiple state tag hunting.

It really comes down to where your at in life. If you managed to retire with lots of money to play with some dudes set it up to hunt archery in a state or two - head over to another state to hunt something with a rifle - etc. etc.

If your trying to raise kids in your late 20's and can manage only 1 hunt per year then you should manage your time and money accordingly. Sorry aint trying to sound like your dad here haha. The strategy for this looks something like building points in a staggering pattern. So your first year you would try and hunt OTC somewhere - put in for points in other states (and the state that has OTC) - and start a system where you can expect to draw a different state every year with your staggered points - can always (well maybe... for now) fall back on OTC units to fill gaps.

I cant / wont give you details on what units you should apply for with 2 points in whatever state you have 2 points in, or 3 points, or 1 point, or any of that. That's the learning and boots on the ground part that can be rewarding when you figure it out. Frankly i hunt like 2 states because i cant / wont afford with time or money more then that.

States that are completely random draws, no point systems, you just gotta put in for every year, cross your fingers and pray, and if you draw it your probably gonna put aside your other hunting plans because drawing those random, no point system, states is difficult to do as a non-res, usually with a higher potential for a trophy. The completely random states arent a plan though, it's a potential outcome with low odds of happening.

Sorry if this was more explanation then you were looking for with a complete lack of details but it's the basics. The rest is up to you to figure out units, look over statistics, draw odds, figure out how many points you need in a state to realistically hunt that unit every 3 years, what you can do to fill in the years between if you want to, etc. People run spreadsheets on this stuff.

-Gerb
Thank you! That was very helpful and more along the lines of what i was looking for.
I can definitely do my own homework on the draw odds based on point systems and other statistical facts, but reading ur post gives me a frame of reference on how to think about building a strategy for the application season.
Thank you so much for explaining how you approach the process.
 

6x6CoElk

Newbie
Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
2
I live in IL and am pretty new to western hunting and am planning to apply for elk tags this year.
I am looking at WY, CO, NM and UT and possible a couple more states.
I can only take one week off for elk hunting. My question is if i get lucky and draw tags in more than one state, how does that play out? I know from last year that NM charges the whole price up front and wont refund the money if u forfeit a tag u have drawn. Are other states the same?
Also are there improved drawing odds if using an outfitter in any states other than NM? I will be using an outfitter since i am pretty clueless about western hunts, might as well as use that to my advantage for draw odds if possible.
As a non resident hunting only Co, I can say that in some aspects of the draw you get 90+ percent of your money back if not applying for points. But can still get a tag over the counter if wanted or not even apply and still get a tag over the counter.
 

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