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DIY Rifle hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by txcookie, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. txcookie

    txcookie Well-Known Member

    I want to hunt mulies or elk. I have no idea how to get started on this or what it might cost. I am strictly a meat hunter but would prfer some kind of horns.
  2. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    Pick which state you want to hunt in.

    Buy a tag.

    Go give it a try.
  3. Wylie1

    Wylie1 Well-Known Member

    I'm confused between your signature line and your question.
  4. bailer

    bailer Well-Known Member

    Doesn't look confusing, a guy from the south wants help getting started with Western hunting.

    Colorado Elk is good for opportunity for out of state hunters. There are a lot of units with over the counter bull tags. You could also draw a cow tag for a better unit. First rifle season either sex tags are cool, the unit I like takes 1 point.
  5. T.R.

    T.R. Well-Known Member

    My Dad and I have had very good luck hunting mulies in both western Nebraska and Black Hills of South Dakota. Abundant public lands to hunt within National Forests.

  6. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    Colorado seems to make it easier for out of state hunters, especially for elk. Lots of public land. In most of the state it is possible to buy over the counter elk tags during the 2nd and 3rd seasons. If you want to bowhunt for elk the possibilities are almost limitless.

    There is a drawing for deer tags and you need to apply before April 1. At least I think that is right. You need to apply for one of the better, more popular areas as your first choice, and a much less popular area as a 2nd choice. You will most likely get rejected for your 1st choice with no preference points, but selected for your 2nd choice. But you will build up a point. You need to build up at least 3 points to have a chance at a good area, but at least you will get to hunt. You can also just apply for a point, I think it costs $25. I have a BIL that hunts there every 3-4 years, but applies for a point every year. He only hunts when he builds up enough points to guarantee he'll be picked for a good area.

    They also use a point system for elk to get into the prime areas, but it is much easier to just show up in about 2/3's of the state and buy an elk tag with no points. That is almost impossibe anywhere for rifle deer. Archery, yes.

    The last time I hunted there was 2010 and deer tags were around $325 and elk $525 IIRC. The group I hunted with all applied for deer tags exept for 1 guy who decided to go at the last minute. When we got there they were sold out of over the counter deer tags in the area we hunted so it was an elk tag for him.

    Check here for specifics, a few things could have changed in the last 2 years. http://wildlife.state.co.us/HUNTING/Pages/Hunting.aspx

    I had planned to go back this past Fall for elk, but was unable to find a partner to share the costs of the trip. It is a 3500 mile round trip from my home and a 28 hour drive to the area I planned to hunt. Too much driving and expense solo. When I went in 2010 I teamed up with a BIL and we drove it straight through sleeping and driving in shifts and split all expenses getting there. We met 4 other guys in camp who also helped share equipment and supplies. It is not too expensive that way. We spent around $700-$800 each for the whole trip including tags. Going solo I estimated my gas costs alone at roughly $800. Of course gas is also a bit more expensive than in 2010.
  7. txcookie

    txcookie Well-Known Member

    so Mulies are pretty easy to draw for a hunt in CO. For a guy who just wants to go out camp in for a 3-4 days and hike around with a 270 in tow, would there be a good chance of getting a shot at a legal buck?
  8. Heeman

    Heeman New Member

    Yup, your luck is as good as anybody else's.
    I hunted for 4 days and only saw does until we started driving out on our last day. A good sized buck ran across the road a couple hundred yards in front of us. We could not get off a shot.
    Doesn't that sound so familiar? Lol
    We were in northwestern Colorado. My second time hunting there.
    No luck but had a good time. It's pretty easy to set up. Just do a lot of planning
    and research. Of I can do it, you can. On top of that, I came all the way from Hawaii.
    Colorado has some beautiful country. I'm going back for a third time someday.
  9. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Well-Known Member

    " I have no idea how to get started.........." Trying to hunt big game by committee is not the way to get where you want to be. There is a lot more than to it than," I`m a meat hunter but would prefer some kind of horns." Still thinking about that.
    As you didn`t list your experience,if you have any, It`s like you walk into a store and say,dress me like a hunter,there fore I am one. Hope it works out for you though.
  10. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    Not really, at least not in a good area. You have a pretty fair chance of being drawn for a tag in a less productive area with no preference points. To get drawn in a good area you will probably need to build up at least 3 points. Over the counter deer tags are not likely in most of Colorado.

    You have to learn how to play their game. You can just apply for points and only hunt ever 3-4 years and get into a good area. OR, you can apply for tags in one of the best areas of the state where you have zero chance of being drawn, then put in for a less productive area as you 2nd choice. You will get 1 preference point because you were not drawn for for your 1st choice. You will still "probably" be drawn for a lower quality area and still get to hunt.

    Same rules apply for elk. except most of the state offers plenty of OTC tags. But just like deer, to get into some of the best areas requires several preferene points.
  11. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator


    Stay positive and don't let the half empty types here get you down. They're just frustrated don't take it personal.

    So In Colorado there are multiple over the counter elk hunting opportunities for bull elk. There are also plenty of either sex opportunities that are a guaranteed draw but you'll need to put in for the draw prior to April 2013. And there are almost always multiple left over either sex and female only tags every year that open for sale about the middle of august.

    Mule deer is a bit more problematic. There are no over the counter rifle mule deer tags in Colorado. But there are many very easy to draw units for mule deer. If you are not looking for whopper just a shooter you can just about pick any western unit in Colorado and have pretty good success shooting a legal buck deer. East of I-25 is mostly private land BUT there are multiple State Wildlife Areas that offer public hunting of variable quality. As a newby I'd stick to western Colorado. When you think mule deer in Colorado think plains and open areas less than high country. There are great deer in the high country but if your time is limited they are tough to get to and tough to pack out.

    If you'd like to PM me I'd be glad to suggest some great units for first time hunters to the state of CO who are looking for a great experience and not a world record trophy. I understand where you are coming from brother, you just want to get out and hunt and trophy size isn't a matter of importance to you at this stage. I was and still am in the same frame of mind in many circumstances. So come on out west and have yourself a great experience hunting the wide open spaces under the vast blue sky in beautiful country.

    Here is good place to get started. A bit confusing if you're new to it but it'll give you the jest of the regulations and the game available.. the hunting link is on the far right.



    jmr posted his response while I was typing my response above. He is right on the money and has much of the same information.he obviously knows the game here in CO.
  12. avs11054

    avs11054 Well-Known Member

    Don't come to AZ unless you are looking for a trophy. It takes most out of staters years to get drawn because only 10% of the licenses go to people who live out of state

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