Unit 74 Early Rifle

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
Just noticed that this hunt begins on September 4th. Those are pretty good dates! Very tempting.
I had been thinking they all opened on the 11th, but not.
 

Bluehair

Very Active Member
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2,567
I haven’t looked, is that an above timberline hunt? I think tx58 has done that one Or at least helped. I did years ago. Cool place.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
It is above timberline. I looked and didn’t find the exact definition of above timberline means..??
It’s tempting though. It’d be some fun exploring.
 

Bluehair

Very Active Member
Messages
2,567
It is above timberline. I looked and didn’t find the exact definition of above timberline means..??
It’s tempting though. It’d be some fun exploring.
Yup, Timberline gets a little hard to define in a avalanche chute. I have seen some pretty liberal interpretations. There used to be something about 11,000 or something but I may have imagined that.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
Some unit do state "above 11,000 feet". Others are wilderness. Unit 74 just says above timberline. I'm not sure what that meaning would be exactly....????
 

nripepi

Very Active Member
Messages
1,562
It is above timberline. I looked and didn’t find the exact definition of above timberline means..??
It’s tempting though. It’d be some fun exploring.
You'll know it when you see it!

They really should define it or put an elevation like they do in some units depending on the unit. it looks like there is one unit that states "above 11,000 feet" and a bunch "within a wilderness boundary", but then a bunch others "above timberline". They should call it 11,000 feet or 10,500...or whatever number you want to use for that specific unit. I am guessing the reason is so you don't hunt close to the trailheads, so just give it an elevation that is well above all of the trailheads and close to timberline. I don't think they want to allow an escape route for the bucks into the timber do they? I doubt that. Do they want to try and seperate out rifle hunters from archers and muzzleloaders? Doubt that either or they would have separate seasons.

No answer here, just the same discussion.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
Me and my buddy and his 2 brothers are also looking at this hunt! How many points do you have Founder?
I believe I have 18. My only issue is that "I think" I'll land a Wyoming tag again. Might be tricky to really scout both well.
 

ORIONTHEHUNTER

Active Member
Messages
815
That tag isn't worth 18 points. You could roll the dice tags for that hunt have been on the reissue list the last three years multiple times
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
What are the odds with the new reissue process of grabbing that one? There’d for sure be some blazing fingers chasing that one!
So if 74 isn’t worth 18 points, what hunt is in your opinion?
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
Not to piss on the parade but there isn’t a unit/hunt that’s even remotely worth 18 points in this state.

Coloradoboy
That’s why I had ask what hunt would be worth 18 points.

So what would a hunt need to offer for YOU to think it’s worth 18 points? Slam dunk 200 incher? The visual of a handful of 170 bucks? What would you expect in exchange for your 18 points?

If I found a 220 inch buck in a 1 point unit, it would instantly be worth 18 points.
 

buckhorn

Very Active Member
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1,863
That’s why I had ask what hunt would be worth 18 points.

So what would a hunt need to offer for YOU to think it’s worth 18 points? Slam dunk 200 incher? The visual of a handful of 170 bucks? What would you expect in exchange for your 18 points?

If I found a 220 inch buck in a 1 point unit, it would instantly be worth 18 points.
Good point Founder I agree with you 100% there.
We really can’t put a worth on points. It’s not the same as it was 10 years ago or even five years ago. Things have changed it’s like inflation. It is what it is now.
If you decide to invest your 18 points in a hunt that normally takes nine points that’s your decision those points aren’t wasted there just like insurance. No one should fault you for making that choice.
For example my son and I had been accumulating points for a lot of years in Colorado. When we decided it was time for us to hunt we each drew separate hunts that took a few less points to draw than the points than we had. To us it was WORTH it because we each had great hunts and enjoyed the time together.
 
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txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,145
I have not personally done that hunt but know several that have. Have elk hunted the unit during muzzleloading and saw a 185-190 buck. But that was about 10 years ago. So, Is it a quality hunt: yes. Is it a trophy hunt: possibly, but you would have to get lucky.

You can draw the same area the week later with a muzzleloader with 0 points. It certainly is a lot better being a week earlier and you don't have to contend with the Muzzy hunters, but is it worth 18 more points??

And it is some of the steepest county you can hunt! Many good areas where you don’t have to hike that far, but lots of elevation change

It’s that time of year again: decisions, decisions!
 
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jims

Very Active Member
Messages
2,338
Above "timberline" is a screwy deal! Most "timberline" bucks tend to hang out in the trees when they bed, in avalanche chutes to feed, etc. It may be next to impossible to catch them above "timberline" once they shed their velvet.

Back in the "glory days" as Buckhorn mentions, people would likely say that the Gunnison Basin's units 54, 55, 66, and 67....Eagle County's 44 were worth every 18 to 24 pt. Things have definitely changed and may never be like they were again.

Even with mature buck numbers in the dumps there are still a few 190+ bucks harvested in Colo each year. With later rifle dates into the rut plus more tags likely available there likely will be fewer and fewer B&C listings from Colo in the years to come.

With that said, your best bet for 190+ from this year onward by far is the Eastern Plains. It is almost entirely all private land, hardly ever sees winterkill, and there are whopper bucks available every year. Unfortunately for those that prefer to do it on your own this is nearly impossible.

Another option is to hit the early high country hard. Deer numbers are super low and it will be a chore. On a positive note you'll have first dibs at mature bucks before this year's slaughter of bucks during the rifle seasons. As mentioned above archery or possibly muzzy seasons are an option but it isn't easy....especially once bucks loose their velvets. You better have a lot of time to devote to these hunts.

Lastly, there are a gob of lessor known units that don't tend to get as much publicity but may produce B&C bucks if you take time to scout and figure out. Many are in OTC elk units that are a pain in the rear to deal with the sea of orange.

As mentioned above, score isn't everything. Hunting muley bucks in gorgeous alpine country in itself is breath-taking if you stop and look around!
 

ORIONTHEHUNTER

Active Member
Messages
815
That was my point why blow 18 points on a unit you can archery or muzzleloader hunt for zero points? Does having a rifle constitute that? The resident tag only takes 5-6 points. I would be looking at a third of fourth rifle with the dates we have this year
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
That was my point why blow 18 points on a unit you can archery or muzzleloader hunt for zero points? Does having a rifle constitute that? The resident tag only takes 5-6 points. I would be looking at a third of fourth rifle with the dates we have this year
So your opinion is based on comparing points needed to that of residents, or archery or muzz. Fair enough.
I was just curious how you come to that opinion. Whether it’s based on hunting or scouting the unit the last couple years or what some of the consulting services say, or what.
What had me looking close at this hunt was the fact that it opens a week prior to muzzleloader, and yes, I’d have a rifle instead of a bow in hand. And of course, scouting would be worth a premium for a hunt that early.
I’d still be curious to hear what hunts are worth 18 points in your opinion. And why. Is the opinion based on hearsay, first hand experience, etc. Just for curiosities sake.
I feel pretty confident I’ll have Wyoming this year, so I probably won’t burn points in CO. I’ll probably save them for when my WY opportunity dries up and I can invest that 15+ days scouting.
 

The_Coloradoboy

Active Member
Messages
498
That’s why I had ask what hunt would be worth 18 points.

So what would a hunt need to offer for YOU to think it’s worth 18 points? Slam dunk 200 incher? The visual of a handful of 170 bucks? What would you expect in exchange for your 18 points?

If I found a 220 inch buck in a 1 point unit, it would instantly be worth 18 points.
Personally if I was sitting on 18 points with the lateeeeeee season dates coming at us I’d be looking at 3rd season hunt.

Coloradoboy
 

ORIONTHEHUNTER

Active Member
Messages
815
I've hunted that unit alot same with the one across the river I live in Durango I know the unit like the back of my hand. I've posted numerous bucks on here that I've killed in there. Non residents can hunt that unit archery and muzzleloader with no points also. A lot of years the rifle tag was the same time as muzzy. That is why I was saying why spend 18 points when you can hunt the same bucks for zero points? They are your points spend them as you see fit. Didn't you hunt 74 fourth once or twice?
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
Personally if I was sitting on 18 points with the lateeeeeee season dates coming at us I’d be looking at 3rd season hunt.

Coloradoboy
3rd season huh? Geeesh, I've always thought I'd use the points on a hunt that I can scout for. The 3rd is just a wildcard with elk hunters, weather, etc.
I guess I just feel like my best shot at killing a super buck is by finding him pre-season and then getting after him before heavy hunting pressure and weather.
With the 3rd season it's just not likely I could do that and with so much elk hunter activity in most deer units, who knows what could get messed up.
I haven't really even looked at what units I'd really have a shot at with 18 points. Maybe I'll have to take a peek.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
I've hunted that unit alot same with the one across the river I live in Durango I know the unit like the back of my hand. I've posted numerous bucks on here that I've killed in there. Non residents can hunt that unit archery and muzzleloader with no points also. A lot of years the rifle tag was the same time as muzzy. That is why I was saying why spend 18 points when you can hunt the same bucks for zero points? They are your points spend them as you see fit. Didn't you hunt 74 fourth once or twice?
I took my son down there a few years back on the 4th. It sucked.
Yes, I know how easy tags are to get for archery and muzz. I get where you're coming from too. I kind of thought that somewhere in that high country there'd be a whopper just about every year. (Maybe I'm wrong.)
So I thought if I could put in 15+ days of scouting, and found him, I'd have a decent chance at getting him in comparison to doing a late 3rd or 4th season hunt after they've already been hunted hard and just hoping I get lucky.
I have no clue what a top end buck would be in 74 each year. Is it 180, 190. Are there 200 inchers up there every year. You know?
Where I go in Wyoming, I know there's going to be a few 200 inchers in that country every year. I also know what a top 1% caliber of buck is and that I will likely find....190ish. No idea in 74, just guessing it would be in that same boat.

Plus I've been gathering points while hunting with LO tag or reissue tag and always thought I'd burn points on something I can't buy a LO tag for. Probably dumb logic.
 

nripepi

Very Active Member
Messages
1,562
3rd season huh? Geeesh, I've always thought I'd use the points on a hunt that I can scout for. The 3rd is just a wildcard with elk hunters, weather, etc.
I guess I just feel like my best shot at killing a super buck is by finding him pre-season and then getting after him before heavy hunting pressure and weather.
With the 3rd season it's just not likely I could do that and with so much elk hunter activity in most deer units, who knows what could get messed up.
I haven't really even looked at what units I'd really have a shot at with 18 points. Maybe I'll have to take a peek.
With your ability to scout for 15 days and find multiple big bucks and then be there on the rifle opener, that would seem to be your best chance at a slammer. For normal hunters, it is the exact opposite, where 3rd season gives them a better chance because scouting is not as key and being in shape to backpack into alpine basins.

Also, really important, with the new hunt dates, archery opens only 2 days prior to the gun opener in 74 versus a week how it used to be. Really stinks for the archery hunters, but really good for someone with a rifle tag that opens that early. I am guessing you would be sitting on your buck and making sure he doesn't get blown out by archery hunters.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
With your ability to scout for 15 days and find multiple big bucks and then be there on the rifle opener, that would seem to be your best chance at a slammer. For normal hunters, it is the exact opposite, where 3rd season gives them a better chance because scouting is not as key and being in shape to backpack into alpine basins.

Also, really important, with the new hunt dates, archery opens only 2 days prior to the gun opener in 74 versus a week how it used to be. Really stinks for the archery hunters, but really good for someone with a rifle tag that opens that early. I am guessing you would be sitting on your buck and making sure he doesn't get blown out by archery hunters.
For sure! If I knew there was a giant somewhere in the high country of 74 (or probably any unit) where I could hunt, that's all it would take to make it well worth 18 points. Then I can test my skill and determination on finding him AND getting a crack. That sounds more fun than a later hunt where I'd be dealing with a bunch of elk hunters running around and I'm just hoping there's a buck in the unit that I'd be interested in, but also that I'll find him with all those other hunters out there.

I've been thinking about all this for about 18 years. Might be another 18. :ROFLMAO:
 

AZGuy

Active Member
Messages
229
74 can and does produce a hammer every year! Let’s face it though, if we get early moisture this year, like last year, it’s going to be slim slim pickings for a while. I’d cash those points in, in a heartbeat. Two options 74 early or battle the elk hunters, pray for a miracle, and hunt 67 3rd rifle.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,104
I'd probably be far more serious if I didn't already make a commitment with my WY hunting buddy to go bowhunting on Sept 1st. But seeing those dates definitely had me thinking hard!
Plus I need to scouting WY and 15+ days up there AND 15+ days in Colorado would be very difficult to swing in 2 months time.
I hope all the big ones aren't cleaned out of Colorado this year!!!!
 

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