The first hunt I want you to consider is an elk hunt combined with another big game species, like deer or bear. This hunt requires extra planning in the license application portion of your overall plan.
You will need to look at the regulations and consider which units allow you to apply for both. Also consider which license options will give you the best opportunity to obtain both licenses. You can use either the limited draw application, the over the counter option or find a leftover license.
So let’s look at a scenario: You want to hunt elk as a primary choice, but you have never had the opportunity to harvest a black bear. Let’s build a scenario to explain how that can be done.
You like the terrain of the northern Colorado region in Unit 14. This unit is available as an Unlimited Rifle Unit for Elk during the second season (Oct 22 – 30) and an Over the Counter with CAPS bear license (BE004U2R). Unit 14 has an option to apply for a cow elk license (EF01402R) as a list B license during the draw.
You could apply for the cow license in the limited draw, plan to purchase an Unlimited Bull License (if you draw a cow tag or not) and plan to purchase the over the counter bear license. Think it through as you read this short story example:
I spoke to a hunter who was recounting his 2010 elk hunt. Armed with just his bull elk tag, he was in northern Colorado and hunting hard to find a bull. It was a tough hunt. Finding the cow elk was pretty easy, but the bulls were hard to find. As he crested a small hill, he finally spotted a good bull in the distance. He moved toward the bull in his stalk, and a few hundred yards into the game, he found a large chocolate colored black bear rummaging in the service berries, unaware of the hunter’s presence- about 200 yards away.
With no bear license, the chance to harvest a quality bear turned quickly to a watching wildlife experience. The hunter knew if he busted the bear, the bull elk would head over the hill as well. In the end, there was no harvest, but in its place, there was a commitment to invest in a black bear license so the opportunity would not be lost again.
Few states offer habitat that elk, bear and deer all occupy in the same general area. Consider the options and think about the big game combination option.