The ONE Tag you gotta have?

Messages
18
Hi all,

Love Monster Muleys and the community here. Quick question, I am 30 years old and am thinking long term down the road. I am a Non-Resident basically everywhere, so planning is essential of course. .Being 30, and willing to wait, what is the one tag r state I suppose I should think about saving up big points for? Even if it takes 20+ years. It would be a rifle tag as well.

Thanks!
 

BrianID

Very Active Member
Messages
1,730
Granted, as a nonresident, these may be more like 30-40+ years if not more with point creep the way it is.
I agree. You are looking at 30+ years for those tags as a nonresident. I think we will see 40+ years for the strip in a few years. One thing to consider is that 20 years from now, there could be new areas that become much better if managed differently.
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Messages
26,786
If It takes Forty F'N Years To Draw the First Tag?

How Many Years Will it Take To Draw Another Tag of the Same Kind?
 

Jerry

Active Member
Messages
326
AZ - The Strip or the Kaibab Late
UT - Henry Mountain or Paunsaugunt,
CO - Unit 44 4th or maybe a Gunnison Basin 4th season
WY - 101, 128
These are great picks ! Also, go for Alberta plus Sonora Mexico for great bucks ! Save & pay 💰 the $$$ NOW to go Alberta & Sonora Mexico. Do it while you’re young & strong 💪 & healthy. That clock ⏰ never stops for any of us. But one day it will. Except for Tom Brady ! 😁 JERRY Gold in Windsor, Colorado 🍀🍀🍀
 

Easy_green

Active Member
Messages
117
There’s two and I’ve had them both. An AZ 13B strip tag and a Henry Mountain Any weapons tag. It’s a shame that so few will be able to experience these two hunts, they truly are as good as advertised.
JD
Between those two hunts, which one was your favorite?
 

Tackdriver

Member
Messages
96
Apply in as many states as you can and keep your fingers crossed. Somebody has to draw the good tags. I'm applying in 9 states this year, and going to Alberta. Don't wait and hoard points hoping one day you'll have enough to hunt. Colorado is the only western state i don't apply in, just for that reason. I'm not saving 20 points to get a decent hunt, in 20 years it will be 40 points. And really good landowner vouchers can be had reasonably anyways. Good luck and start getting apps in!
 

Jdan9

Active Member
Messages
321
I liked the Strip hunt (2006). We didn’t encounter any other hunters while in the field. On the Henry (2014) there were people running around all over on ATV’s.

I had max points when I drew both.

JD
 

tkjwonta

Member
Messages
90
If your goal is just to mule deer hunt, I agree with the advice above to hunt more often and not save points for the future. You'd probably be better off hunting general tags in Idaho/MT every year rather than waiting 10 years to snag a "good" Colorado tag. Much of the "value" for me having mule deer points in several states is that I am already putting in for elk and OIL species and the marginal cost of adding a deer point is very low. If my focus was solely mule deer, I don't know if I'd play any of the point games. In between general/OTC opportunities, you can always snag a landowner tag that will cost less than building 5 years of points across several states.
 

stilltrying

Member
Messages
88
Looking forward 20 years - things will change, great units will get over hunted with outfitters who will kill the top genes in the unit and over time can have a negative impact on that unit. (Henrys has already started down that path). I think you have to be flexible and continue to research each unit as time goes on.
 

LIK2HNT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,099
Take out a loan and hunt now!😊
Wish I would of done that and moved around when young, instead of starting a career and family. Though I would not trade my family for all the best tags on the world now. Would of been fun moving to Alaska a few years, then jump to another state, etc. Easy to get construction jobs to live off of.

With the way things are going I don’t know if I would wait if I was young. Opportunities are becoming less and less and costs are going up faster (percentage wise) than most peoples paychecks.

Whatever you do I wish you luck.
 
Messages
18
Yea I mean, I'm not waiting for 1 tag to go hunting. I still plan on going every year, or every other year in some capacity. My question was more around what is one tag/state/area that is worth waiting and saving for in addition to going to other places. For example, I was thinking for AZ, just plan on never going there until I have enough for a Strip or the Kaibab and hunt other states in the meantime. With that said, a lot of really good information from you guys so thank you very much.

I'm still ramping up from a education perspective. Learning and taking in as much as possible.
 

tkjwonta

Member
Messages
90
I think that's a good perspective to have, but you also need to realize that there's a good chance you never catch up to those best tags. For instance, it took 22 points to draw a Kaibab rifle tag last year. But three years ago it took 19, so you aren't really gaining anything by saving points for the last three years.

You can potentially catch these types of tags if you save points for decades and decades and outlive the people in front of you in line, but it is an uphill climb. This point creep situation is particularly bad for the premier mule deer tags, as their population has been on a downward trajectory across the west.
 

DBLung

Active Member
Messages
248
Lets say you buy hunting stamps/licenses to earn points in each state as a non resident for 20 years. Do the math!! Save your money and go buy a private guided hunt in Canada or wherever and save yourself loads of money. The draw system is a lottery that doesn't pay out at all when considering a premium hunt.
 

BrowningRage

Long Time Member
Messages
3,359
I would say take a look at what it will cost you to start putting in for these areas every year...

I imagine that to put in for just the 4 states listed (hunting licenses, and points purchases) you're probably looking at $800, maybe $1000. If you put in for 6 or 7 states, $1500.

As some have said, put that money in a savings account. In 3-5 years you can pay to hunt most ranches out west. In the 40 years you COULD be waiting on a "premium unit", you could hunt 7-15 different states/areas out here. This is an unfortunate reality that many are faced with. And while some can straight up afford it, there are many of us that look at that account and think, "maybe that money can be better spent elsewhere." Then the wife wants a new bathroom. LOL
 

bodhi

Active Member
Messages
133
AZ - The Strip or the Kaibab Late
UT - Henry Mountain or Paunsaugunt,
CO - Unit 44 4th or maybe a Gunnison Basin 4th season
WY - 101, 128
all great choices Ruger. I completely agree. But Muskie, recognize you may live to 100 and never draw these tags even starting at your age. My advice is to apply for everything you can afford to apply for (even these "once in a lifetime" types of tags.). However, I think having boots on the ground year after year with a tag in your pocket puts you in a much better position to kill a big deer than someone waiting for 30 plus years for a bucket list tag.
 

marley

Very Active Member
Messages
2,109
AE0354BD-2711-40AB-A6EC-7368A4197B25.jpeg


Or you can pick up a left over type B tag in CO and kill a 227” buck 😆
 

nocwalker

Active Member
Messages
336
Well Muskie, “IF”. Your just starting out on your western adventure and are asking about Muledeer only. These guys that posted already know what they’re talking about. The Pauns , Henry’s and the Strip of course etc. but if your asking about all species make sure you gather points for sheep, goat and moose even if you don’t have interest now, You Will. Montana sheep - Missouri breaks unit or any sheep tag for that manner. Nevada desert sheep. Etc. not sure of the best goat tags but any would be good to me, there is a cool Co archery goat tag where you can take the train to hunt the Chicago basin goats G5 ( lots of hikers though). Moose maybe others will chime in
Your a young man, I think you’ll do well in 20 or 25 yrs pulling tags when a lot of us are out of the game or dead
 

Katoom

Active Member
Messages
280
Starting at 30 and putting in over the years I’d expect you can draw a few random medium-higher end tags just by pure luck
if you play a number of states. On points, however, theres almost no chance you will draw a top tier tag anywhere if you just started now, there are too many people who started younger than you and many of them won’t draw a top tag in their life at the rate things are going. So hunt wherever you can now in the “lesser” units requiring few to no points and put in for raffles and random tags everywhere you are interested in and you can probably hunt most years somewhere and hang tags on a few decent bucks along the way if you know
or learn the ropes.
 

hawkbill

Very Active Member
Messages
1,515
Go after the hunts that are desirable to you, like said above if you don’t have the points go after the hunts that are attainable. Pick a few states and go after OIL tags that have no points down the road you could draw. It’s a lot tougher to draw now then it was 5 years ago and it’s going to get tougher with the great human migration to the west.
 

littlebull209338

Active Member
Messages
633
I was very fortunate in life. I was born as poor as poor can get but I was blessed with a very financially rewarding career. I got my first elk when I was 14 and my first deer when I was 13. I like so many dreamed of far off places. When a hunting show ( Gordon Eastman, Jim bond , etc) came to Grand Junction I was there ..dreaming about future hunts that I could not afford. Well we went to Alaska the first time when I was 29 and I have not missed any adventure/hunt that I wanted to go on since. The only hunt I wish I had done was a Stone Sheep hunt..was busy with Africa, BC, Alaska, and trophy elk...just did not take the time. Take care of your family but don't let your dreams pass by. My older brother did. He always dreamed and never did....he died with a net worth of about $3 MIL. GO FOR YOUR dreams while your health lets you.
 

LIK2HNT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,099
Apply for as many Hail Mary hunts you can afford to as you build points. As your point build apply for some easy to draw or OTC hunts to annually hunt. Once to have accumulated points research other hunts you can draw and apply for them. Go hunt and have fun.
Most people will never draw the top hunts even if they have been in the game for awhile. Colorado’s top elk units are taking high 20’s points to draw. That’s a long wait and going to get longer. I am at 21 and still in no mans land.
 

Blank

Long Time Member
Messages
3,430
I guess you could say my "golden ticket" hunt is Pauns deer, as I have 24 pts there. I've been lucky enough to have good health and some extra money in my 50 years of hunting, and have done most everything I have ever wanted in some shape, form, or fashion. Playing the points games in many states has paid off for me also, but you can never count on them. Just gets to be more people every year, and point creep is killing us. Luck helps a lot too!!

Like they say "Man plans, and God laughs!!"
 

marley

Very Active Member
Messages
2,109
The

The Utah buck did come off the Henries though didn’t it?
Yes it did. I drew the Henry’s with 1 point several years ago. The point of my post was that you never know when you’ll draw a top tag. I’ve drawn several tags over the years that had less than 1% odds. My advice is pick a few top tier tags that you really want and go to the grave applying for them but also apply for tags you can get every year or every other. CO is one of those states that I feel is pointless to accrue points for years on years. Great bucks can be shot in every unit of the state. To leave out CO in your application portfolio is nuts IMO. I will apply for the Henry’s and the strip til I die but I still hunt big Mulies every year. Same with elk.
 

Aceman

Active Member
Messages
109
I only hunt in Colorado but have hunted several units over the years - there are still some pretty good bucks in areas that don't get all the attention - one of the largest non typical was killed a couple of years ago on the Grand Mesa - believe it scored somewhere close to 300 - take a unit like 53 - there is plenty of public land and if my research is right a NR only needs to spend 3 points to draw. Just depends on what you are looking for but there are still some sleeper units that have a 4th season. I have always found that the game wardens in the area are willing to give some good advise. Just my thoughts
 

Jerry

Active Member
Messages
326
Be a toss up for me between a Colorado gov tag, Utah Henries or a Az strip.
Great picks there ! You know your huge bucks & their areas! I hope to get a 13-B tag before I croak 🐸- got 18 points now going on 19, 20 plus seems to be an important marker. Who knows ? Keep plugging. Jerry Gold- Windsor, Co 🍀🍀🍀
 

scopenstalk

Active Member
Messages
286
I mean there’s nothing wrong with swinging for the fences on tags. However based on almost every successful non wealthy deer hunter I know your biggest deer will come from general season/low point hunts more than likely. Even if you do end up drawing one of those coveted tags. Plenty of guys go hunt those hunts and shoot a frustration buck or eat their tag. Not everyone comes home with a 200 incher from the Henry’s and the paunsaugunt.
 

wildfin

Active Member
Messages
312
good eye vernon but the more points you get golfing the more you get to hit the ball. I am not going to try and not score points, but have been back and forth from henrys to pauns and went for pts this year , but will go in with 25 next year if we get a wetter year. I am not going to miss out on hunting just not utah this year unless a tag comes through on the other game for me or my wife she could get a sj elk tag with 20 point.
 

GilaJeff

Active Member
Messages
301
AZ - The Strip or the Kaibab Late
UT - Henry Mountain or Paunsaugunt,
CO - Unit 44 4th or maybe a Gunnison Basin 4th season
WY - 101, 128
I like your list, except I am not too fond of hunting in Utah. I have 16 points in AZ, and put in for the Strip every year....I may go with the Kaibab soon. I drew unit 44 3rd season in Colorado back in 2002 with three points! Have not drawn it since of course. I've never been drawn in WY. Maybe I would swap the UT tag for a Jicarilla tag!
 

CFMuley

Active Member
Messages
224
Being 24 and doing a ton of research on point systems since I’ve been old enough to hunt, I plan on mostly hunting general tags and buying a hunt here and there through landowner tags or Mexico. I went on a management hunt in Mexico in January and had a great time. I’ll probably be in Colorado in third season with an affordable landowner tag. There’s opportunities out there if you know where to look and have a little scratch to spend.

ECF95CCC-24BC-4F72-BA9D-E32FD1CA2485.jpeg
 

marley

Very Active Member
Messages
2,109
Killed many animals on public, private, high fence, no fence, solo, guided, with friends, with family, back country, near a road, with a rifle, muzzy, bow, night vision.......all hunts, all great memories. Point is there are a lot of opportunities out there for anyone to enjoy it the way they want. You don’t have to save points for decades. You can even hunt the way you like to hunt and I won’t even make a comment about it. See how that works?
 

marley

Very Active Member
Messages
2,109
On private land, after your buddy calls you and tells you to come kill him?
Yeah, dream hunt...
All type B buck tags are private land only! So had I shot that buck on public it would be considered poaching. So given the opportunity, you would’ve told your buddy no thanks huh? Never said it was a dream hunt, just an opportunity.
 
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oljc

Member
Messages
73
Henry's no doubt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sure there are Giants in any unit or state but if you wanna crack at a true Giant then the Henry's are your place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was lucky enough to hunt it twice and there's nothing like it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

Very Active Member
Messages
1,758
I just want another general season rifle elk tag. Gotta keep the 18 year streak going. Can’t imagine a year without elk meat in the freezer.

But with last year’s “Hang tight! You’re almost there!” BS.....it’s all up in the air this year.
 

JBunn

Member
Messages
24
Early Colorado high country mule deer tag is great fun. The biggest part of the hunt is the scouting/glassing trips. You may get a velvet buck or hard horned.
 

buckhorn

Very Active Member
Messages
2,252
Oak creek buck tag.
If I don’t draw it this year and this drought continues I don’t know what I will do it next year.
That’s a tough mountain and I’m not getting any younger.
I guess if I get physically unable to handle the oak creeks I could wait until after a few wet years and apply for the Pauns and go road hunting LOL.
 

CEG

Member
Messages
46
Hi all,

Love Monster Muleys and the community here. Quick question, I am 30 years old and am thinking long term down the road. I am a Non-Resident basically everywhere, so planning is essential of course. .Being 30, and willing to wait, what is the one tag r state I suppose I should think about saving up big points for? Even if it takes 20+ years. It would be a rifle tag as well.

Thanks!
128 wyo
strip Az
wyo big horn sheep tag
 

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