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Drawing a Tag #7610226 09/19/19 01:47 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 398
bow5 Offline OP
Bird Dog
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Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 398
I would like to start trying to enter into some drawing for tags. I want to do some DIY hunts on public land. I am more in it for experiences and seeing new areas, but of course want to have a good hunt. Mule deer is top of the list, but really up for anything, I just want to get out of Texas and do some hunting on my own. Any suggestions? Recommended hunts? Easy hunts? Hard hunts? Etc...

Last edited by bow5; 09/19/19 01:49 AM.

Gig 'Em
Re: Drawing a Tag [Re: bow5] #7610745 09/19/19 07:57 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 318
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Fitzwho Offline
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The easier the hunt is to draw, usually means the harder, at least some part of the hunt will be. In some places that will mean the animals are highly pressured due to high tag numbers or the public land in the unit is hard to access.

What you can do right now:
Buy points for deer in South Dakota (by 9/30)
Buy points for deer, elk, antelope in Wyoming (until 10/31)
Buy points for deer, elk, antelope in Montana (until 10/31)

There are OTC mule deer tags in Nebraska. There are OTC archery deer tags in Arizona that are good for seasons in January, August, and December.

Colorado has units that you could be hunting in another year or two with draws, or you can watch the leftover list and pick up tags that way without having to apply.

Utah has general mule deer tags that can be drawn with 0-1 points. Utah also has very good antlerless opportunities for doe pronghorn, cow elk, and doe mule deer, with very reasonable tag prices.

New Mexico has pretty good draw odds on mule deer in a lot of units. Not going to find many giants running around, but good opportunity.

I apply in 14 states. Thinking about starting my own hunting consulatancy.

Re: Drawing a Tag [Re: bow5] #7610859 09/19/19 09:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 159
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AZ_Hunter_2000 Offline
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I'd choose 1-2 states and go from there. Make sure that 1) you are able to get the most value for your money spent on the hunting license and 2) plenty of OTC or easy draws for non-residents. If you go the DIY route, do have some realistic expectations.

I'll use AZ as an example. One license fee and various tag fees, and you can hunt a chunk of the state. Have realistic expectations. Also, buy a mountain lion tag.

1) Put in for spring javelina for any other southern units.
2) Hunt OTC spring bear in some of the southern units.
3) Hunt OTC fall bear in the mid/northern units.
4) Put in for cow elk.
5) Put in for mule deer. Easier to get drawn in southern units. If not drawn, go the OTC route.

Re: Drawing a Tag [Re: bow5] #7611114 09/20/19 01:10 AM
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DWB Montana Offline
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"Buy points for deer, elk, antelope in Montana (until 10/31)" You do not need points to draw elk combo in a large area of Montana, and if you are talking public you have a lot of choices.....but you will have company.

Re: Drawing a Tag [Re: bow5] #7611189 09/20/19 02:14 AM
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jnd59 Online Content
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Buy points in the states you want to hunt. Meantime, hunt otc archery deer in Arizona, hunt otc elk in Colorado. Within a couple years you'll have some deer opportunities. New Mexico draw is 100% random so your odds starting out are as good as any other non resident.

I use gohunt to research the draws in various states. Unless your very young don't bank points. I've got 10 pronghorn points in Wyoming and I plan on spending them next year. If you look at the true odds on the most sought after units for elk and deer, you would need 40-70 years to draw.

Don't wait to hunt. Too many people never go until they have the points for a good unit. When they do draw, they have no experience, and no idea of what a western hunt takes. Hunt otc as much as you can, even for animals not on your primary list. When you do luck out and draw that unit of a lifetime, you'll be ready. Good luck!


No matter how high a duck flies a hammer still breaks a window.
Re: Drawing a Tag [Re: bow5] #7611415 09/20/19 01:35 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
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I will most likely hunt mule deer in 4 states this year, only one is a draw tag and it’s 100% draw(they are all tough hunts w/low success rates)

Before you pick a state, pick a weapon(s) then you can establish degrees of opportunity and start planning.

I look at all draws as a 1, 4, and 8 year plan. Lots of states with OTC or 100% draw(NM, AZ, CO, etc), what I call fall back tags(1 year plan)

In Colorado for instance you could pick up an Archery tag as your second choice(100% draw or Leftover), while gaining a PP. Idaho you can hunt Mule deer OTC( Rifle and archery) after putting in and not drawing a limited quota unit. AZ has both OTC(archery rut tag) and hybrid draws(PP based and random tags allocation). NM has a few units left that are a sept AND January tag, but most units have split the season to individual seasons.

My point is a lot of states you can hunt while building PP’s. Thus the 1, 4 and 8 year plan. Very few states I would not cash in 8PP in especially CO, but say if you do get to 8 and draw a high end Utah or AZ tag AND CO, two of those states have tag turn back ability, so you can turn tag back in and not lose points.

Easy mule deer tags are also gateways to other animals, like elk or vise versa. CO is a quality mule deer state, but opportunity elk state, you can hunt Elk in a unit and learn how to mule deer hunt it. NM is an opportunity mule deer but quality elk. So you can hunt mule deer in a unit and learn how to elk hunt it.

Epic outdoors is a great resource, outside the podcast(great info) they have a member service to help you with short and long term planning.


My biggest advice, you cant hunt anything setting at home waiting on an elite unit tag, nothing wrong with building points to eventually hunt one, but PP in multiple states will be expensive so its more cost effective to have a plan that allows you to hunt AND build.



Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

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