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Need advice....Colorado Unit 54 and 55

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Old 02-26-2015, 06:26 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Need advice....Colorado Unit 54 and 55

We have a group of guys (7 total) that will be going out to Colorado for 2015 second season rifle. We're planning on Unit 54, but we're considering Unit 55 as a backup plan. (We're staying in Almont, so it just depends on which side of the road we go.) Three of us were out in 2009, the other four have never been out.

Most of us, particularly the new guys, only have 1-2 points built-up for elk and muley.

Our draw options for Unit 54 is mule buck and cow elk. Everybody is wanting a chance at a bull elk (obviously), but we weren't aware that the OTC either-sex elk tags, that go on sale in July, now have a cap on them in Unit 54. CPW said that this cap is 500 and last year they sold out in 2 hours.

So.....we're trying to decide what our best options are.

I know some guys (maybe all) won't be happy with a cow tag. To spend that kind of money and drive that far (PA), we want to have a chance at a bull.

If we don't apply for the cow tags, that means we're relying on getting one of those OTC either-sex tags in July. I'd say our chances are pretty good, but even if one guys fails to get it, we're out of luck, and our backup plan is to head over to Unit 55 and grab the unlimited OTC bull tags.

Perhaps maybe we all try for the cow tag in the draw and also try for the OTC either-sex tag in July. Hopefully everybody would have some type of elk tag, although it's not ideal for those who don't get the either-sex tag.

We're not familiar with Unit 55 at all, and I've heard that it can get a bit crowded. Plus, we already somewhat know the layout of Unit 54 from our previous trip, so we'd like to stay there.

Looking for some help.....

Last edited by asines; 02-26-2015 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:36 AM
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Not sure what help you're looking for? You have a plan. Take a chance on the draw, or go for the sure thing in 55.

55 in 2nd rifle is beyond crowded. It's a zoo.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:18 AM
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That bad huh? I work with a fellow that heads out to Unit 55 during second season.....he says it's hit or miss. Sometimes it's nuts, sometimes it's not so bad. Seems like it's a roll of the dice.

Unit 54 on the other hand, is pretty scarce.....we like that.

Has anyone tried buying the OTC either-sex tag for Unit 54? If so, how did it go? Here's my thought - if all of us are sitting in front of our computer at 9am July 21 with all of our information ready to go, I can't see it being THAT difficult to get through. I could be wrong.....
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:03 AM
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55 will be bad the first weekend, but lighten up after that. It's a big unit, and you should be able to find some solitude if you don't mind hiking.

Looking at last year for 55.

Bulls...117..Cows....38...For 1037 hunters.


Unit 54

Bulls...90...cows...72...for 578 hunters.


I'm not sure that includes OTC hunters? I don't see how it could? There's no way to know what units an OTC hunter will hunt.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Muley Hunter View Post
55 will be bad the first weekend, but lighten up after that. It's a big unit, and you should be able to find some solitude if you don't mind hiking.

Looking at last year for 55.

Bulls...117..Cows....38...For 1037 hunters.


Unit 54

Bulls...90...cows...72...for 578 hunters.


I'm not sure that includes OTC hunters? I don't see how it could? There's no way to know what units an OTC hunter will hunt.
Not sure I follow your last comment.......aren't OTC licenses unit-specific?
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:27 AM
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No, you can hunt in any OTC unit, except those with limited OTC tags. Like 54.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Muley Hunter View Post
No, you can hunt in any OTC unit, except those with limited OTC tags. Like 54.
Oh.....didn't know that. It doesn't really help us out in our situation, but it's nice to know.

Let me ask you this - what's the reasoning behind the limited OTC tags for 54? Herd numbers? I mean, if the herd numbers are down, maybe it's better to head to Unit 55 anyway?
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:57 AM
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Many reasons. Herd numbers can be one of them. It doesn't mean the hunting is bad, because they're controlling the hunter numbers.

When I have a choice, and I do. I always hunt where there's less hunter numbers. Even if it means less game.
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:58 PM
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OTC tags are bull only unless that's changed in the last few weeks. One tag covers about half the units in the state of Colo. A pretty good deal for a one price tag. 54 is harder hunting than 55, but prob has more elk. On some days. Good luck on your endeavor.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:05 AM
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"Perhaps maybe we all try for the cow tag in the draw and also try for the OTC either-sex tag in July. Hopefully everybody would have some type of elk tag, although it's not ideal for those who don't get the either-sex tag."

Not sure how that would work. For those that get a cow tag, you will already have an elk tag and therefore can not buy the OTC bull tag in July. You would have to turn the cow tag back in before you could buy the bull tag. Not sure that is logistically possible.

And if they sold out in 2 hours, not sure you could get all your guys a tag. Computer glitches and delays will frustrate the heck out of you sometimes.
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