Western state tag applications

Thread starter #1
Started looking into it this year, seems like most states want you to buy a license and pay application fees as well. Some offer a refund of the license fee if draw is unsuccessful. Seems like you could tie up some interesting money just in applying. Anybody have any experience on this?
 

175rltw

Senior Member
#2
Pretty open ended. Yes. A man can tie up A lot of dough on future hunting trips. yes I have experienced it firsthand.

It sounds like you don't have any real game plan or. Or even what or where you want to hunt.


If you ever get to a point where you decide you are going to actually go do it, having the money spent 6 months before you actually hunt won't bother you. If you think you might not actually go- then yes, it seems like a lot of money to either tie up for 6 months for no reason only to get a partial refund or none at all.

If the money bothers you- don't go hunt out west. You'll burn gas, camping or hotels, a few meals plus tip in cafes, groceries, etc. you'll be 1500$ or so into it before you blink on a diy trip- and if all you know about hunting is that bucks don't come out to the food plot until dang near dark, it'll probably frustrate you not to kill one or maybe even find any after that kind of expense.


Tags are only getting pricier. But listen to me dude. If you got a lease- drop it, and put that money into 2 weeks out west every fall and in 4 years you'll be the envy of all your friends. Plus you won't mind hunting the WMA's here anymore and will still get it done- even as the internet runs at frantic pace cataloging everyone wha hasn't seen anything this year.
 
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PappyHoel

Senior Member
#3
$900 for buck/Elk tag in Montana out of state. That's not counting your hunting license, plane trip there, guide, room and board.

I can't identify with that sort of hunting.
 

175rltw

Senior Member
#4
To the OP...

Idaho and Colorado are cheaper than Montana and Wyoming and both offer plenty of OTC tags- and more importantly specifically to you Idaho has awesome bird hunting and Colorado has decent bird hunting. Montana has good bird hunting to.

Put your dog in the truck with the 20 gauge and go get the lay of the land next fall. Don't even mess with any big game tags. Just drive out there, camp hunt birds, ask questions and do some exploring. That'll get you further faster than anything else. It'll give you a good idea what units you want to go to and what infrastructure you'll have etc. and won't feel like the waste of money that tag soup might those first couple years.
 
#5
To the OP...

Idaho and Colorado are cheaper than Montana and Wyoming and both offer plenty of OTC tags- and more importantly specifically to you Idaho has awesome bird hunting and Colorado has decent bird hunting. Montana has good bird hunting to.

Put your dog in the truck with the 20 gauge and go get the lay of the land next fall. Don't even mess with any big game tags. Just drive out there, camp hunt birds, ask questions and do some exploring. That'll get you further faster than anything else. It'll give you a good idea what units you want to go to and what infrastructure you'll have etc. and won't feel like the waste of money that tag soup might those first couple years.

Awesome advice here!!

Western hunting is not for everyone...fortunately I have done this very thing and returned for a big game hunt and was successful.
 
Thread starter #7
Thanks for all of the advice guys! I don't mind investing into some trips like these, we have normally done it every year with some duck hunts but I'd love to give some big game public hunts a try.
 

jmoser

Senior Member
#8
Nonresident hunting is a huge moneymaker for the sparsely populated western states with quality elk / mule deer herds.

WY antelope is as cheap as it gets; still $300 to apply and draw one buck tag plus the mandatory 'conservation stamp.' No draw you get the tag $ back, lost app fee only $14 or so. Get a tag and try for another OTC leftover later.

Western hunting is a wonderful experience however for those of us on the wrong side of the Mississippi.

If you can drive with a friend a WY antelope public land hunt is pretty affordable, especially if you are camping / RV. WY is majority public lands; some areas have better access than others but there are plenty of options.

Have to try it once at least !!
 

TJay

Senior Member
#10
If I could go back in time I'd start applying to Utah for either a Henry Mountains permit or an Antelope Island permit for Mule Deer. An incredible opportunity in those places for a true giant, even if it might take half your life to draw!
 
#11
If I could go back in time I'd start applying to Utah for either a Henry Mountains permit or an Antelope Island permit for Mule Deer. An incredible opportunity in those places for a true giant, even if it might take half your life to draw!
Ha. Good luck with the Antelope Island. I am not even sure a nonresident can draw it. The auction tag goes for some serious money. Like 410k last year
 
#12
Hunting out west can be as complicated as you want it. Yes some of the states you have to fork out some good cheddar. The ones that you have to have a license for the tags tend to be cheaper. I can tell you it is awesome. I moved to Wyoming in 2015 and it is awesome
 

Rich M

Senior Member
#15
If you figure out where you want to go - start buying preference points. It takes a few years to get a decent tag in more than 1 state.
 
#16
Zirkel Wilderness, CO - Elk Hunting is already in my Bucket List. I Ski about 23 min tops from the entrance into / up the road. It's truely that MasterCard Commercial but ... Hunting Elk at 8500 ft plus - and actually seeing one would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am budgeting it already.
> Air Fare; no more than $350
> I have a buddy who can drive me up there so I fly to Denver rather than Hayden.
> Tag = $600
> Guide/Lodging/food = $2K
$3k gets it done I figure. Now , I may once more "Poney Up" that much to do it again in 5 years but for now -its 2019 or 2020. We'll see and I will post it all -
 
#17
Just got our 12th point for Elk out in Utah (Any Weapon) we could draw now for archery. If I'm going to spend about $600 in preference points, then $795 for the tag and then all the extra expenses I m going to be shooting my .300REM. We should be able to draw with 15-16 points. My best friends cousin lives there and says he could pretty much guarantee us a 350 bull or bigger if we draw. I have sat and watched them that big and bigger bulge their heads off when we were out there mule deer hunting. Maybe I'll get a tag before I get to old to physically do it. lol
 
#18
If you are interested in western hunting, check out Randy Newberg. He has a great podcast and hunting show where he talks about all things western hunting.
 
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