Help with preference points?

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by TheFitHunter, May 22, 2019.

  1. TheFitHunter

    TheFitHunter Weekend Warrior

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    Hey guys,
    I am an easterner and have been wanting to head out west for some time, however being a full time college student makes this near impossible. I figured that I could spend the next 2-4 years buying preference points to be able to obtain a quality elk tag somewhere either in 2021 -2022. Does anybody have any advice about where to go to do more research, states/units with historically large bulls, how the preference system works without actually applying for the hunt, only buying the points, etc. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. trial153

    trial153 Grizzled Veteran

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    Not to burst your bubble however In that time frame the only two states that points will have any meaningful difference would be WY and Montana. Meaning that you would draw a tag. Forget about top shelf units in that short period of time, it's not happening unless you beat all the odds and draw a tag in a random pool.
     
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  3. TheFitHunter

    TheFitHunter Weekend Warrior

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    Not bursting my bubble at all, I know I have a lot to learn. Also, I would like to clarify that my definition of "large bulls" is a lot smaller than most peoples haha, I am just looking for a crack at a respectable elk. The experience is worth much more to me than the kill.
     
  4. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

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    If you’re considering an outfitter it’s very possible you could pull a tag and get a great hunt in a unit that requires less points. Many times outfitters have access to private land in units where the general population doesn’t and can consistently produce really good bulls with less preference points.
     
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  5. TheFitHunter

    TheFitHunter Weekend Warrior

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    I would certainly be considering using an outfitter on a hunt like this, especially my first western hunt.
     
  6. cantexian

    cantexian Die Hard Bowhunter

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    July through October is the time frame to buy preference points for Wyoming if you are only wanting to build points right now. I will be buying points for Antelope and Elk. The month of January is when you actually apply for a tag if you are wanting to hunt the coming fall. The nice thing about Wyoming is that if you apply, and do not draw, you earn an extra point in addition to whatever you have bought in July-October of the previous year. However, if you apply in January and get a point instead of a tag, you cannot buy an additional point that summer. You can only get 1 point per year. Antelope tags can often be drawn on just one or two points unless you are wanting a really premium unit. Elk tags typically take 3 or more. That is much better than other states.

    Not sure about Montana.
     
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  7. wl704

    wl704 Grizzled Veteran

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    Apart from an outfitter, or states you could start buying pts this year... some states have OTC tags which could allow you to learn, albeit this is the OTJ route. CO and ID are two options.

    You can find info on the state pages (for the above and others) or from sources like Randy Newberg, ELk101, gohunt or other podcasts/YouTube/forums.

    If you have deeper pockets, you can go the outfitter route and shave time off the learning curve.
     
  8. Cannon06

    Cannon06 Weekend Warrior

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    The last few years I have bought preference points for CO. Fairly simple process, although you need to buy a small game license in order to then buy preference points. It is approximately $100 for small game, then $9/pref. point after that for each game species. Check state game websites for deadlines, each state is different.
     
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  9. Oldcarp

    Oldcarp Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Like Cantexian said. Wyoming probably be your best bet. I never tried for Montana. In my home state I have only drawn a Big Bull Tag three times in 35 years. We have a couple open any bull Units but they get hit pretty hard. We also have OTC spike and cow elk tags for archery. I have a son that moved up to Idaho a couple years ago so this year I'm trying my hand in Idaho for elk and deer.
    Be careful archery elk hunting elk can be addictive. :bow:
     
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  10. John T.

    John T. Weekend Warrior

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    Son? Idaho? Does he know that I'm up for adoption? I don't eat a lot and I am potty trained.:lol:
    Oldcarp, good luck with the elk hunt. My son got some elk steaks from a friend. Delicious!
     
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  11. Oldcarp

    Oldcarp Die Hard Bowhunter

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    He will make you do chores :whip:
     
  12. cantexian

    cantexian Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Last night I bought points for Antelope and Elk in Wyoming. $85.08 for one point of each species.
     

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  13. Cannon06

    Cannon06 Weekend Warrior

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    Me as well. Probably the easiest process I've applied for is Wyoming. Took me 2 minutes. For Deer and Elk preference points it was about $95 total for both. Pricey but pretty standard.
     
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  14. SheddingLightTravis

    SheddingLightTravis Weekend Warrior

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    Corey Jacobson has a podcast called Elk Talk. Back during the elk application periods he did a walk through on each state. I highly recommend listening to those.

    Right now you can get a free 30 day trial of Go Hunt Insider. That will give you full access to all kinds of hunting stats and data. Get a pen and paper and go to town over the next month. You can see draw odds, success rates, kill counts, and a ton of other useful info on there. If you got the dough you can keep it year round. I’ve known where I was going for the past 3 years so I just do the month trial and then cancel.

    I agree with the other guys on here though...if you’re going to do preference points...get them for Colorado and Wyoming.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Ron Stevens

    Ron Stevens Newb

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    you might check unit 76 in Colorado. Used to be able to get an archery tag with 4 points and there are some great bulls. Plus there are some great bulls in that unit. Mostly right at timber line or above during archery season.
     

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