Colorado Big Game Draw is Live, Danger of not Building Points

Its that time of year, everyone is analysing and attempting to determine how to build their points, or how to spend them. For the guys that have been doing this for awhile, it’s nothing new, but for those that are new to the draw system essentially Colorado awards one point per species for every year you have an unsuccessful draw.

2022 Unit 14 High Country Mule Deer

At Colorado Outfitters we have both over-the-counter(OTC) and draw hunts, and most of these draw hunts, but not all, take points to draw them, for example 3 points has gotten non-resident hunters to draw an early season, high country, mule deer hunt in our Unit 14 area. We highly recommend that if you haven’t already you should look into doing this hunt with us as we have great success going after large and even trophy mule deer in that season.

However, many OTC hunters opt to overlook the point system despite coming to Colorado regularly to hunt, because they can just walk up to their authorized license sales location whether that be Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) offices, a sporting goods store, or Walmart and grab their tag. Also, for some reason many OTC hunters don’t realize that they can build points and grab an OTC tag in the same year. In order to do this in the Draw, open from March 1st to April 4th, 2023, you simply use the following codes: for Elk E-P-999-99-P, Deer D-P-999-99-P, Moose M-P-999-99-P, or Pronghorn A-P-999-99-P and then when the OTC tags open on August 1st you buy your OTC tag.

Unit 201 Early Rifle Bull

Hunters that do not apply for points in the draw system are missing out on potentially more successful hunts and may find themselves in trouble in the near future.

Let’s talk about the first reason, more successful hunts. Many draw units or seasons can be acquired with one or two points, of course you have the coveted Unit 2 and 201 elk tags ,that as of recently, have been up around 30 points, but you can find hunts like our Unit 14 early rifle for 2 points as a resident or 3 points as a non resident or you can look at something like our Muzzleloader Elk at the peak of the rut for just 1 point. In general, hunting in a limited license unit or season leads to less pressured elk with less hunters in the field, typically, this makes animals move more naturally and be more vocal, especially in the rut. So why not, go after these better seasons and units that don’t take many points? and in the meantime continue to hunt OTC units and seasons to gain experience so when you do draw you have some much needed field experience.

Next, if you are not putting in for points now you might find yourself in trouble. For those that don’t know the tags are sold based on 5 year plan implemented by CPW. These 5 year plans determine which units will be OTC units and seasons based on population assessments and goals. With the reintroduction of wolves possible on the horizon, a bad winter, which talking to a CPW official, they anticipate heavy winter kill, and the general public pushing for more draw units, the next 5 year plan, set for the end of 2026, could do away with all or at least significantly reduce the number of OTC units and seasons available. Hunters absolutely should anticipate these changes and prepare by building points.

If you ever have questions about the draw or points we highly recommend using CPW’s resource, CPW Hunt Planners, for personalized planning assistance, they are available 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (MT) Monday–Friday, (303) 291-PLAN (7526) or (303) 297-1192.

If you have any questions about our hunts or looking to book a trip with us feel free to call us at (970)319-4866 or email us at See the video below to see how are 2022 seasons went:

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