A New Approach to the Colorado Draw

A New Approach to the Colorado Draw

Posted In: The Draw

Posted By: Jordan Ongstad (March 31, 2017)

Last draw season, the Colorado Division of Wildlife "surprised" us with a new way of dealing with returned tags. Instead of the tags going unused, they decided to allow the tags to be picked up as leftovers. This means trophy tags, that normally take up to 20 years of diligent Preference Point collecting, were going to the first person to purchase it on Leftover Tag day. This lead to people camping outside of Licenses Selling Agents and a general state of frenzy across Colorado. Read the full article from last year 'Get Trophy Tags as Leftovers in Colorado'. This change is likely to change aspects of the draw that affect you.

What to Expect this Year

Last year, this was a complete surprise to everyone, and was generally met with outrage by those who didn't get in line in time to draw really good tags. One of the biggest complaints from people, is that they had already drawn a tag as a 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice, leaving them with a Type A License. This limited them from getting a good tag (another Type A License) as a Leftover. They had the option to exchange their tags, but this involved filling out forms and they couldn't purchase a leftover tag until everything was complete. With all the good tags being snatched up in the first handful of moments of the start of license sales, the tedium of the paper work left the hunter too late to draw any tags.

This year, there won't be any suprises, with the Division addressing it in Colorado Wildlife Regulation Chapter 16, Article​​ IV, #1670. Although tags requiring 5 or more preference points will be offered to the next 5 people in line and only sold as Leftover if all 5 decline the tag, there is still the possibilty of drawing great 1-4 point tags and a small chance of 5 and more point tags making it to leftovers. Even though you still have to compete with hordes of other hunters, there is likely to be a few trophy tags and a good chance of drawing limited entry tags without losing points. With people wanting to take the gamble in the Leftover Draw, there will be fewer hunters applying for 2nd, 3rd and 4th choices in the draw, which is likely to make non-first choice tags even easier to draw. To learn more about the new procedures for returned licenses Go to The Divisions Page Here.

For those of you not familiar with using the 2nd-4th choices of the Colorado Draw to get more hunts and be more successful in Colorado, here is a short video I put together about the topic.

Watch the Video:

How to Adjust your Strategy

So you have two options, you can be one of the people refraining from drawing a tag outside of your 1st choice and take the gamble on Leftover Tag Day, or you can take advantage of the "likely" better odds in the draw. Tags that previously had odds of a few percentages, could quite likely jump up to sure things. Focusing specifically on Mule Deer and 200" mule deer being found across the entire state, getting those harder to draw 2nd choice tags are likely to be worth the chance with increasing odds and having a great high country hunt this fall. 

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