Starting draws

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Polar Kraft

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I've got an OTC or 1st season rifle (If drawn with 0pts) elk hunt planed in colorado this coming October.

If I wanted to get into the mid-long term tag game. What states and species would y'all suggest?

Love the idea of mule deer and moose but info is hard to come by on how the tags out west work

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hunter0925

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Some states have lotto moose tags so points don't matter as much there. You can hunt elk, mule deer and pronghorn every year with no points but it sure would be nice to draw some of those primo units. After my next hunt I will be applying yearly in 4 states just for points. After I hunt one and make my way through the others my points will be built back up. That's my plan anyways.
 
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wjohnson1983

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I just really got into the point game this past year. I have been buying points for WY for a while now, but that was it.

WY - I believe 20% of tags are allocated to random draw and then the other 80% go to the folks with the most preference points. It's tiered and you can look at draw odds on the WY game & fish website. Leftover tags moved to a second draw last year. Any left overs after that are available for purchase first come first served.

NM - Completely random; No points

AZ - Random with points squared. More points you have, the more times your name is in the hat. I believe UT and NV are the same.

MT - Haven't gotten into the game for MT.

CO - Has points with a draw system and also over the counter tags.

I'm sure I got something wrong since I just really started last year to build points. If you want some of what is considered the primo units, you could have a 20 year wait with building points every year. Don't let that discourage you though. I killed an antelope 2 years ago on a second choice tag and had opportunity on a second choice mule deer tag this past fall. Just didn't do my part.

I would go out to the fish and game website for each state and look. AZ is open to non res now for elk and antelope. Even if you don't want to hunt it this year, I would go buy the point if its a state you are considering down the road. You have to buy a license to enter the draw and buy the points. I think a license is $165 and the points are $15 each for those species. WY elk is open now for non-res, but if you don't plan on hunting this year, you can buy a point all the way up to September.
 
AT Hiker

AT Hiker

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Johnson did a great job explaining.
As for MT, it has two separate deer draws. One is the elk/deer tag (very pricey) and allows you to hunt in the General units. Then there is the deer only combo (cheaper) that allows you to hunt in the general units. Then you have the limited draw deer tags, that allows you to hunt in a limited entry trophy unit. These are harder to draw and can cost you some serious coin to play that game.
Then combo tag was 100% draw up until this last year, I bought a preference point for that and should draw it this year. First time I bought it but I wanted to be guaranteed a tag for planning purposes.
The limited entry units require the bonus point game and I honesty stay away from it.
MT allows rut hunting for mule deer and with enough cyber scouting you could find a place to hunt in public land.
I also play in SD, just points for now and it’s a long term game for the mule deer. I should draw the Black Hills whitetail tag with another member in here in the next couple years.
KS has Muleys but it’s a private land place, for the most part, and drawing the tag is a shot in the dark. Plus, you have to draw the whitetail tag first.
NE has some but few and far between.
If your a bow hunter I’d consider CO, as you can draw a high country tag with a few points and have some good country to hunt. But it’s very physical.


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PickettSFHunter

PickettSFHunter

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There are southern states to play also if your interested in that. The Georgia islands for Blackbeard Island subspecies whitetail. The Sambar(some sort of stag looking critter)island hunt in Florida, and of course a lot of normal whitetail draw hunts.


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P

Polar Kraft

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Thanks guys, wrapping my head around the western draws has given me a few headaches

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G

Grnwing

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If you are looking at any moose you may want to take a look at Idaho, very reasonable and very attainable and VERY overlooked. Nebraska also has a late season muzzleloader hunt for mule deer and with some preparations you could score.
 
Buzzard Breath

Buzzard Breath

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My only recommendation is to go into the draws with a specific plan and don't just start buying points because that is what you understand to be necessary.

For some species, it's required, but due diligence should be done before you start throwing money at it. Since you mentioned moose, I'll use it as an example. I'm 46, if I was just entering the points game and wanted to draw a WY moose tag, I'm probably going to be too late. It's going to take more years to draw the tag than I'm going to be alive. I might as well just go to Alaska and buy an OTC moose tag.

I like to bow hunt. If I wanted to, I can bow hunt mule deer in CO, AZ, SD, ID, CA, and more, every year without points. Elk and antelope can be hunted OTC in several states and some others only take a couple points to draw. I do recommend that everyone start buying antelope points in WY; them little buggers are plentiful and fun to hunt there.

Do a little research and see what's available before jumping in with both feet.
 
TX300mag

TX300mag

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Buzzard Breath":1f6jl9j0 said:
My only recommendation is to go into the draws with a specific plan and don't just start buying points because that is what you understand to be necessary.

For some species, it's required, but due diligence should be done before you start throwing money at it.

Do a little research and see what's available before jumping in with both feet.

Unless somebody can point out a compelling reason I shouldn't, I think I'm going to bypass AZ elk draw this year. I've got money tied up in WY that won't be returned to me until after AZ drawing. It's going to be hard to buy the NR license this year, especially knowing I likely won't hunt AZ.

My hunting buddy from Texas gave up hunting OH for this (lease price went up quite a bit for '18), but I'm not ready to yet.


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AT Hiker

AT Hiker

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I’m assuming you haven’t applied to AZ in the past, correct?
If so, then you will be ok. Sorta. But, once you start don’t stop because after 5 years you earn loyalty points and I’m not sure how many times you cannot apply and then loose all points.



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TX300mag

TX300mag

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No, this would be the first time. I don't want Arizona to be my first hunt since I'm new at this. I don't mind applying just to build preference points where practical, but this one will be a challenge financially.

My plan is most likely an OTC elk hunt in Colorado this fall with a couple of experienced hunters, unless for some reason I luck out and draw Wyoming.

If you had to choose another state coming up to begin putting in for elk, which would it be? Maybe rank in order? AZ, UT, MT?
 
Buzzard Breath

Buzzard Breath

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If I was a new western hunter getting into the draws, I'd buy a point in CO for elk and mule deer, points in WY for elk, mule deer and antelope, and buy a leftover combo tag in MT. Until you've been a few times and know what you're looking for; solitude, quantity, quality, 9,000 ft elevation, 12,000 ft elevation, high country desert, dark timber, etc. it'd hard to answer your question. At first, never let yourself get more than 4 points in anything unless you have a specific hunt in mind. IMO, AZ and UT are specific type hunts for the money it takes to draw them. Although, I know you're the type of person that appreciates a good tasting animal, and coues deer has been the finest tasting creature I've ever eaten (I bet AT agrees with me). Even my wife keeps asking me when I'm going back to kill another. She really thinks it's that easy.

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W

wjohnson1983

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TX300mag":1okawm9f said:
No, this would be the first time. I don't want Arizona to be my first hunt since I'm new at this. I don't mind applying just to build preference points where practical, but this one will be a challenge financially.

My plan is most likely an OTC elk hunt in Colorado this fall with a couple of experienced hunters, unless for some reason I luck out and draw Wyoming.

If you had to choose another state coming up to begin putting in for elk, which would it be? Maybe rank in order? AZ, UT, MT?

You can always choose to buy just preference points instead of applying for a hunt. I applied for antelope in AZ, but only bought a point for elk. There is a random chance, but if you're looking at the premium units, you may have a 20 year wait. If I draw AZ, I personally want to hire a guide to make the most of that opportunity after waiting so long or trophy potential.

I may change my mind along the way as I gain more experience western hunting.

This isn't a hard rule, but from what I've heard generally speaking, use CO, WY, and MT for opportunity and UT, NV, AZ, and NM for the long wait trophies. Keep in mind that NM is completely random as of right now.
 
TX300mag

TX300mag

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wjohnson1983":3qtiiv9h said:
TX300mag":3qtiiv9h said:
No, this would be the first time. I don't want Arizona to be my first hunt since I'm new at this. I don't mind applying just to build preference points where practical, but this one will be a challenge financially.

My plan is most likely an OTC elk hunt in Colorado this fall with a couple of experienced hunters, unless for some reason I luck out and draw Wyoming.

If you had to choose another state coming up to begin putting in for elk, which would it be? Maybe rank in order? AZ, UT, MT?

You can always choose to buy just preference points instead of applying for a hunt. I applied for antelope in AZ, but only bought a point for elk. There is a random chance, but if you're looking at the premium units, you may have a 20 year wait. If I draw AZ, I personally want to hire a guide to make the most of that opportunity after waiting so long or trophy potential.

I may change my mind along the way as I gain more experience western hunting.

This isn't a hard rule, but from what I've heard generally speaking, use CO, WY, and MT for opportunity and UT, NV, AZ, and NM for the long wait trophies. Keep in mind that NM is completely random as of right now.

Can I buy preference point without license? I didn't think so but may have misread.


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wjohnson1983

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You have to buy the license to purchase points in AZ, NV, and UT. Since I've paid the money for the license already, I buy points or apply for most species in those states.
 
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wjohnson1983

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Just made my 2nd annual donation to Utah. Keep building those points.
 

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