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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2021: Colorado Sheep, Moose, and Mountain Goat

COLORADO'S 2021 BIGHORN SHEEP, MOOSE AND GOAT APPLICATION OVERVIEW

Jump to: NEW FOR 2021 State Information Draw System Rocky Bighorn Breakdown Desert Bighorn Breakdown Moose Breakdown Mountain Goat Breakdown

The application deadline for Colorado is April 6, 2021 at 8:00 MST. You can apply online here or via telephone at 1-800-244-5613. Paper applications are no longer available. 


New for 2021

New moose hunts

New Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep hunts

  • Nonresident archery hunt in S34
  • Nonresident archery hunt in S49 
  • Nonresident rifle hunt in S2
  • Nonresident rifle hunt in S22
  • Nonresident rifle hunt in S69
  • Nonresident rifle ewe hunt in S41
  • Nonresident rifle ewe hunt in S51
  • Nonresident rifle ewe hunt in S69

New Rocky Mountain goat hunt

  • Nonresident either sex rifle hunt in G16

Desert bighorn sheep

  • One nonresident desert bighorn sheep license in unit S62

State information

It is important to understand the way that the tags are drawn for Colorado bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat. The draw system is different than it is for deer, elk and antelope. Check out the “understanding the draw” section below for the method behind this calculation.

To view important information and an overview of Colorado’s rules/regulations, the draw system, tag and license fees, check out our State Profile. You can also view the Species Profiles to access historical and statistical data to help you identify trophy areas.

Colorado State Profile Rocky Bighorn Profile Desert Bighorn Profile Moose Profile Goat Profile Draw Odds Filtering 2.0 goHUNT MAPS

Important dates and information

  • The deadline to apply for all species in Colorado is 8:00 p.m. MST on April 7, 2021.
  • Apply online here or by calling 1-800-244-5613.
  • Draw results for moose will be available roughly May 24 to 28, 2021.
  • Successful moose applicants must pay for licenses prior to June 11.
  • Successful bighorn sheep and mountain goat applicants must pay for licenses prior to May 4. 
  • All applicants, including youth, must purchase a qualifying license before applying for the big game draw(s).
  • A qualifying license is one of the following:
    • Residents or nonresidents
    • 2021 annual resident or nonresident spring turkey
    • 2021 annual small game license
    • 2021 annual youth small game license
    • Residents only
    • 2021 annual resident combination small game/fishing license
    • Veteran's lifetime resident combination small game/fishing license
    • 2021 annual resident senior combo small game/fishing
    • 2021 disabled resident first responder lifetime combo small game/fishing
  • Applicants do not have to front the cost of the licenses that they are applying for.
  • Applicants born after Jan. 1, 1949 must have completed an approved hunter’s education course before applying and you must carry your hunter’s education card with you while you hunt.
  • Applicants can opt-in or opt-out for the preference/weighted point program for moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goat. The point fee will be $50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents per species (see draw details section for more information) There is no point fee for youth.
  • You cannot apply for both desert and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. There is no point system for desert bighorn sheep.
  • Colorado will allow you to return a drawn license, but it must be done 30 days prior to the opening day of the license. If you return a license, you may choose to receive a refund or have your preference points reinstated. If you have your preference points reinstated, you will not receive a point for that year’s application.

Cost to apply

Item Resident Nonresident
Application fee $7 $9
Qualifying license/annual
small game hunt license
$30.87 $84.96
Youth qualifying license/annual
small game hunt license
$1.29 $1.29
Habitat stamp $10.40 $10.40
Preference/weighted point fee
per species
$50.00 $100.00
*Moose $313.80 $2,300.51
*Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep $313.80 $2,300.51
*Desert bighorn sheep $313.80 $2,300.51
*Rocky Mountain goat $313.80 $2,300.51

*License cost will only be charged if you are successful in the draw.

The draw system

Understanding the draw

Bighorn sheep, mountain goat and moose licenses are allocated differently than deer, elk and antelope. Nonresidents are limited to 10% of the total number of moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat licenses. Applicants must purchase a qualifying hunting license to apply for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat. A qualifying license is one of the following: spring turkey, annual small game, annual resident combination small game/fishing or veteran's lifetime resident combination small game/fishing.

Point system

Desert bighorn sheep licenses are randomly drawn; there is no point system. Every applicant is on the same level playing field for those permit(s). For nonresidents, there is only one desert bighorn sheep license available in Unit S62. If you apply for desert bighorn sheep, you cannot also apply for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. You have to pick one or the other. 

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat and moose utilize a preference point/weighted point system to allocate licenses. Preference/weighted points are species specific. For these species, applicants can build up to three maximum preference points after which they will receive weighted bonus points for each year they apply for a hunt and purchase the weighted point. Applicants must build three preference points before they have the possibility to draw a license for bighorn sheep, mountain goat or bull moose. The drawing for licenses is random with the weighted points giving applicants statistically better odds of drawing, but any applicant with three preference points could, in theory, draw a license.

How do weighted points help you in the draw? Each application will have a random number generated for that application. That random number is then divided by the number of weighted points the applicant has plus one. Essentially, the more weighted points you have, the better your chances of getting a lower number. Those new application numbers are then sorted from lowest to highest and the low number applications are considered until all permits have been allocated.

Note: Applicants have the option to opt-in or opt-out for preference/weighted points. If you do not have three preference points, opting out is pointless because you have to have three points to be considered in the draw. If you obtain three preference points and then opt out of purchasing the weighted point to save the $100 per species, you will still be considered to draw a license. Review the odds to see if building weighted bonus points is worth it to you.

Let’s take a quick look at an example. The nonresident Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep archery license in Unit S9 has .34% odds with three points (first year considered in the draw) and the odds at 22 points was 6.5%. That is a difference of 6.16% at a dollar cost of $1,900. That is in the current situation, with the number of applicants in the system moving forward it’s likely those odds will be much less by the time you have acquired two decades plus worth of points. Is that gain in odds worth it? You’ll have to decide.

If you don’t have enough preference points to be considered in the draw or you do not want to be considered in the draw and want to build points only, you can use the point only codes listed below as your first choice.

Moose: M-P-999-99-P

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep: S-P-999-99-P

Mountain goat: G-P-999-99-P

Group applications

Group applications are not allowed for moose or desert bighorn sheep. Two applicants are allowed to apply as a group for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goat. Residents and nonresidents cannot apply together. The group leader must apply first. Group members must use the same person as the leader and apply for the same hunt choices in order to go through the draw as a group. Groups will go into the draw with the lowest number of points of any member of the group. If one applicant does not have enough preference points to be considered in the draw, the application will only gain a point and will not be in the actual draw. We do not advise applicants to apply as a group for these species.

Waiting periods

If you draw a desert bighorn sheep license and harvest one you cannot apply again in your lifetime. If you draw a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep license and harvest a ram of at least a half curl you cannot apply again for five years. If you draw and harvest a mountain goat you cannot apply again for five years. If you draw and harvest an antlered moose you cannot apply again for an antlered or either sex moose license again in your life. If you do not harvest, there is no waiting period to apply again for these species.


Colorado's 2021 rocky bighorn sheep breakdown

Bighorn sheep hunting can be tough due to the steep, rugged, and heavily timbered terrain that they inhabit. Many of the archery hunts are very hard and, historically, have low harvest rates. It’s worth doing some research before you apply to make sure a hunt is likely to meet your expectations. In order to determine the difficulty of a hunt, research historic harvest success. You can easily access this information in Filtering 2.0 using the sort function. We recommend that you explore the harvest success rate as well as each unit profile that you are considering to make sure that it meets your objectives and abilities.

2021 Colorado Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep license allocations

Season Resident
quota
Nonresident
quota
Total 2021
quota
Archery ram 54 6 60
Archery ewe 9 0 9
Rifle ram 143 26 159
Rifle ewe 70 8 78
Bighorn sheep access program
(resident only)
1 ram
2 ewes
NA 3
Chancellor Ranch
(resident only)
1 ewe NA 1
Total tags by residency 280 30 310

Current rocky bighorn sheep herd condition

The statewide population is up slightly in 2019, which is the most recently available estimate. The population for the state is approximately 6,315 with an additional 625 bighorn sheep occupying areas without a public hunting season. There were 12 herd units that showed an increase in population and 13 that were declining. The others were stable with no change from 2018.

COLORADO POST HUNT ROCKY BIGHORN SHEEP POPULATION ESTIMATE - Updated 2021

COLORADO STATEWIDE ROCKY BIGHORN SHEEP HARVEST ALL WEAPONS - Updated 2021

goHUNT’s hit list units for trophy Colorado rocky bighorn sheep in 2021

When considering top bighorn sheep units, harvest success and population should be considered as well trophy potential. As previously noted, trophy potential is average for the most part throughout the state.

Top hit list archery hunts to consider for 160" or better rocky bighorns
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
2021 resident
licenses
2021 nonresident
licenses
2019 harvest
success
Population
S6/S46 165”+ 1 ram 0 100% 165
S9 165”+ 8 ram 1 ram 44% 270
S12/S78 170”+ 7 ram 1 ram 11% 200
S26 170”+ 2 ram 0 50% 40
S32 170”+ 3 ram
4 ram
1 ram 50%
0%
325
S34 170”+ 2 ram
2 ram
1 ram 100%
100%
125
S69 160”+ 3 ram
2 ram
1 ram 100% 110

Colorado statewide rocky bighorn harvest archery - updated 2021

Top hit list rifle hunts to consider for 160" or better rocky bighorns
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
2021 resident
licenses
2021 nonresident
licenses
2019 harvest
success
Population
S44 175”+ 2 ram 0 100% 70
S50 175”+ 2 ram 0 100% 150
S1/S18 170”+ 1 ram 1 ram 100% 85
S12/S78 170”+ 5 ram 1 ram 71% 200
S21 170”+ 5 ram 1 ram 43% 210
S22 170”+ 5 ram 1 ram 100% 130
S32 170”+ 7 ram 1 ram 86% 325
S33 170”+ 5 ram
5 ram
1 ram
1 ram
75%
100%
140
S61 170”+ 4 ram 0 100% 500
S21 170”+ 5 ram 1 ram 43% 210
S9 165”+ 8 ram 1 ram 82% 270
S15 165”+ 2 ram
2 ram
1 ram 75% 180
S66 165”+ 5 ram 1 ram 67% 125

How to uncover hidden gem rocky bighorn sheep units

There are no hidden gems per say in any western state for bighorn sheep hunts. There are hunts that have better odds of drawing. The archery license hunts have better odds. The harvest success for those hunts is also typically much lower so keep that in mind. The ewe licenses are also relatively easy to draw, with one hunt being available with zero points and three more available with one point. Be aware that if you draw any license — even a ewe license — your points will be purged. Rifle hunts with historically lower trophy potential and harvest success also typically have better draw odds, although they are still abysmal in the grand scheme of things.

It is important to utilize Filtering 2.0 and focus on the harvest success trends as well as what the terrain and access for a given bighorn sheep unit is like. There are some bighorn sheep units that are easier to draw in Colorado, but if the terrain is too strenuous and the bighorn sheep numbers are too low, then the odds of finding success on the hunt can be tough. Use our INSIDER tools to find the best option.


The points system

The preference point race

2021 maximum weighted points for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep: 22

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep points going into the 2021 draw

Preference/Weighted points Resident Nonresident
0 to 3 preference points 10,469 8,417
1 1,522 622
2 1,127 480
3 1,067 272
4 817 247
5 833 223
6 683 214
7 611 217
8 525 232
9 535 223
10 433 213
11 386 183
12 331 161
13 343 155
14 284 114
15 221 109
16 175 104
17 177 82
18 149 102
19 142 116
20 163 148
21 0 0
22 0 1

Managing points and expectations

When reviewing the standalone odds within your INSIDER account of drawing a bighorn sheep license in Colorado, you should review your odds based upon the number of points you have. For example, if you have three preference points and nine weighted points, you would look at the odds at the 12-point level. We have taken the draw process into account and build those intricacies into our odds and display them in a simple, easy-to-review manner. 

I have 0 rocky bighorn sheep preference points. What can I expect?

Before jumping into the application process for bighorn sheep, you’ll need to decide if it’s worth the cost of applying. With no points, you will have to accrue three preference points to actually be considered in the draw for a ram license. The cost of those points is going to be $100 for nonresident adults, so you will need to spend three years and $300 before you’ll even have a chance to draw a ram license. After that, you have the option to pay for a weighted point if you are unsuccessful in the draw or you can choose to opt out of paying for the point. You would not build weighted points, but still have “some” chance. Review the draw odds to decide if it makes sense for you based on cost and odds over what is likely to be decades worth of applying. 

For youth, there is no point fee, so we highly recommend that you build the three preference/weighted points for your kids. Once they reach adulthood, you can then decide if you want to continue to build weighted points and apply them. 

If you apply for just bighorn sheep, the cost for resident adults is $98.27 to apply and obtain a preference point. For nonresidents, the cost is $204.26 to apply and obtain a preference point. If you have never applied, use the point code as your first choice and be sure to opt into the preference point. At this level, you have no chance of drawing a ram Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep tag in Colorado.

There was one ewe hunt in Unit S9 that was drawn with no preference points. It was actually available as a second choice in 2020!

What can I do with 3 rocky bighorn sheep preference points?

If you have acquired three preference points you are able to actually have some chance to draw a ram license. Applicants can adopt a couple of strategies. They can apply for the best hunts and hope to get extremely lucky or review the draw odds for each hunt in the standalone draw odds page and apply for the hunts with fewer applicants and better odds. The difference in odds is minimal, unfortunately. 

The archery only hunts have better odds, but they are also much more difficult hunts. Many areas where bighorn sheep roam are challenging to reach and the terrain can be brutal. Harvest success rates are often much lower as well. If you plan to apply and draw an archery ram license, be prepared for a challenging hunt and understand that you may not harvest. Use the Draw Odds, Filtering 2.0 and the Unit Profiles to find the hunt that meets your objectives. 

Once again, five of the six ewe hunts were drawn last year with two preference points. If you want to hunt some of the West’s most scenic terrain and have the experience of hunting bighorn sheep, you might consider the ewe hunts. 

Note: Once you have three preference points, you can apply for a hunt and have a chance to draw. You do not have to opt-in and pay for the weighted point if you do not want to. That would save you $100; however, you would not get a weighted point. It's worth looking at the odds to see if building weighted points is worth the cost.

Find your resident rocky bighorn draw odds with 3 points here

Find your nonresident rocky bighorn draw odds with 3 points here

What can I expect with 10 (3 preference, 7 weighted) or more rocky bighorn sheep weighted points?

Colorado’s weighted point system offers you statistically better odds with every point you gain. The odds are better as you move up, but not by a significant margin. The odds are still mostly in the .1% to 2% range from three to 22 points for nonresidents. If you want the best chance to harvest a ram, the rifle hunts have better harvest success rates. The archery hunts have better odds, but the hunt can be very challenging and the harvest rates reflect that.

Residents

The archery hunts at 10 points plus are relatively good for residents. Consider that Unit S9 had 16% odds, S35 had better than 23% odds, S49 had 25% odds and several others were in the teens. Unit S71 had 14% odds. Be aware, of those only S9 had any harvest success at 44%. The rest were all 0% harvest success in 2019. The best odds for rifle hunters were in Unit S20 and S17 with 14%. S15 and S68 had 12% odds. S19 is in the neighborhood of 12% to 13% and Unit S5/S60 (11%). S19 and S5/S60 both had 100% harvest success in 2019. 

Check the draw odds, harvest success rates, trophy potential and apply for a hunt that meets your objectives.

Nonresidents

Out of the units that have a nonresident archery license, Unit S44 had the best archery odds at 5.0%, but harvest success was 0% in 2019. Success rates are typically in the 20% range. Also, worth noting is that S34 and S49 both have new archery nonresident licenses. Harvest for residents that hunted in 2019 was 100% in S34 and 0% in S49, although harvest has been as high as 80% in previous years. 

Rifle hunter odds are poor; Unit S17 had 2.6% odds and S11 had 2.1% odds. Almost every other hunt available had odds of less than 1%. Use the trophy potential, harvest success and unit profiles to help you make the best selection.

Find your resident rocky bighorn draw odds with 10 points here

Find your nonresident rocky bighorn draw odds with 10 points here

What can I expect with 15 (3 preference, 12 weighted) or more rocky bighorn sheep

Residents

With 15 points, resident applicants have much better odds, especially for archery hunters. Unit S9, S12/S78, S20, S32, S35, S39, S49, S51 and S71 all had odds better than 20%. Of those, Unit S32 and S39 had the best harvest success at 50% and 165” to 170”+ potential. Unit S9 also had 44% harvest success. 

Rifle hunters should consider Unit S5/60, S15, S17, S19, S20, S41 and S68. Those had odds in the 17% to 21% range. Of those, S41 and S68 had the best combination of trophy potential and harvest success at 160”+ and 100%. 

Nonresidents

The best odds were for Unit S44 and S9 archery and the S11 rifle hunt. The S9 archery success was 44% and trophy potential is good at 165”+. The S11 rifle hunt has great trophy potential, but harvest success was 50%. Be prepared for a tough hunt if you go that route.

Applicants — both resident and nonresident — above 15 points should review the odds, harvest success rates and trophy potential and apply accordingly.

FIND YOUR RESIDENT ROCKY BIGHORN DRAW ODDS WITH 15 POINTS HERE

FIND YOUR NONRESIDENT ROCKY BIGHORN DRAW ODDS WITH 15 POINTS HERE


Colorado's 2021 desert bighorn sheep breakdown

Colorado has a great desert bighorn sheep population in the southwestern portion of the state. Populations are stable and increasing once again slightly in Unit S64, which is estimated at 110 sheep. The largest two populations occur in Unit S56 and S62 with populations of 200 and 165. Total statewide population is estimated at 550 sheep. There are four desert bighorn sheep units — one of which is available for nonresidents to apply for and hunt. There will be one nonresident license once again in Unit S62 in 2021. There are no archery seasons for desert bighorn sheep. All seasons are rifle only. Although desert bighorn sheep inhabit the lower river drainages of southwest Colorado, be prepared for a physically demanding hunt. Trophy potential is average when compared to other states, but a mature 155” to 165” class ram is realistic. Harvest success rates are typically 100%, although in 2019 harvest success slipped some in Unit S56 and S63 to 75% and 50%. 

Note: Applicants cannot apply for both desert and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the same year. If you apply for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, you have the option to build points; there is no point system for desert bighorn sheep. The draw for desert bighorn sheep is random; every applicant has an equal chance to draw.

Colorado post hunt desert bighorn sheep population estimate - updated 2021

2021 Colorado desert bighorn sheep license numbers and populations

Unit Resident licenses Nonresident licenses 2019 harvest success Trophy potential
S56 4 ram 0 75% 165”+
S62 4 ram 1 ram 100% 155”+
S63 2 ram 0 50% 160”+
S64 3 ram 0 100% 165”+

The points system

There is no point system in place for desert bighorn sheep. With only four units to choose from for residents, study the Unit Profiles and Draw Odds to find the best option. The odds for S63 were the best for residents at .85%. Note: Nonresidents can only apply for Unit S62 in 2021 and odds for that hunt were .006%.

Find your resident Desert bighorn draw odds here

Find your nonresident Desert bighorn draw odds here


Colorado's 2021 Shiras moose breakdown

The establishment of moose in Colorado is one the West’s most successful introductions ever. From early beginnings in the late 1970s, moose populations statewide have increased to almost 3,000 animals. The most recent population estimate is down somewhat from 2018, but it’s still stable at 2,910. Trophy potential is very good. If you want to hunt a trophy caliber Shiras bull, Colorado is a must apply state. 

In 2020 and continuing into 2021, the applicants lucky enough to draw a license for bull or either sex moose will have the opportunity to hunt all three seasons: archery, muzzleloader and rifle until they fill their permit. Cow moose seasons are season/weapon specific. If you apply for cow moose, you will need to apply for the hunt code/season of your choice and will only be allowed to hunt that if you draw. 

There are, as indicated in the “what’s new” section above, some new hunts added for 2021. Those are resident-only cow moose archery, muzzleloader and rifle hunt in Unit 25/26/231, 43 and 47/444/471. There are also new bull resident only hunts in Unit 25/26/231, 47/444/471 and 56/561.

Current moose herd condition

The bulk of the moose population inhabits the central portion of the state — from the Wyoming border to south-central Colorado. Moose are managed in 12 different Data Analysis Units (DAU). The table below displays the population by DAU and the units within each group.

Colorado post hunt moose population estimate - updated 2021

Colorado moose populations

Units Populations
6, 16, 17, 161, 171 520
7, 8, 19, 191 200
15, 18, 27, 28, 36, 37, 181, 361, 371 260
65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79,
80, 81, 681, 682, 711, 741, 751, 771, 791
460
41, 42, 43, 47, 52, 53, 54, 63, 64, 411, 421, 471, 521 840
12, 13, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34, 35, 131, 231 150
20, 29, 38 90
39, 46, 49, 60, 51, 391, 500, 501 150
4, 5, 14, 214, 441 90
1, 201 20
44, 45, 48, 444 20
55, 56, 481, 551, 561 110

goHUNT’s hit list units for trophy Colorado moose in 2021

Colorado is a great state to hunt and harvest a trophy class bull — if you are lucky enough to draw a license. Almost every unit can produce a 40”+ bull.

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 40" or better moose
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
2021 nonresident license(s)
49/500 45” 100% Yes
7/8/191 45” 75% (7) Yes
14 45” 90% Yes
15/27 45” 100% (27) Yes
18/181 45” 100% (181) Yes
44/45 45” - No
66 45” 100% No
39/46 45” 100% (46) No
76 45” - Yes
76/77/151 45” 100% Yes
20/29 45” 100% (29) No
39/46 45” 100% (46) No
43 40” 100% No
16 40” 86% No
17 40” 83% Yes
171 40” 86% Yes
55/551 40” 75% (55) No
12/23/24 40” 80% (24) No
37/371 40” 83% (37) Yes

Colorado statewide moose harvest all weapons - updated 2021


How to uncover hidden gem moose units

For bull or either sex moose, there are no real hidden gems in terms of draw odds. Draw odds for a bull moose license are rough — even the cow moose licenses are tough to draw. Utilize Filtering 2.0 to research unit by unit harvest success. Further exploration of each Unit Profile will allow you to find the best options for you. Consider factors like terrain, the percentage of public land and access. Review the standalone draw odds to explore the better options.


The points system

The preference point race

2021 maximum weighted/preference points for moose: 20

Shiras moose points going into the 2021 draw

Preference/weighted points Resident Nonresident
0 to 3 preference points 18,821 6,164
1 2,736 317
2 2,168 236
3 1,877 183
4 1,491 176
5 1,251 148
6 1,038 124
7 876 141
8 788 121
9 748 105
10 581 103
11 526 76
12 543 74
13 471 65
14 441 42
15 432 50
16 363 39
17 371 40
18 387 25
19 335 24
20 363 22

Managing points and expectations

When reviewing the standalone odds within your INSIDER account of drawing a moose license in Colorado, you should review your odds based upon the number of points you have. For example, if you have three preference points and nine weighted points, you would look at the odds at the 12-point level. We have taken the draw process into account and build those intricacies into our odds and display them in a simple, easy-to-review manner.

Find your draw odds

I have 0 moose preference points. What can I expect?

First, you should decide if it's worth the cost to apply. If you are applying for other species like deer, elk or antelope, then it’s easier to justify because you’ll get more value from the qualifying license you have to buy to apply for any species.

If you have never applied, use the point code as your first choice and be sure to opt into the preference point. You will need to apply for three consecutive years in order to earn the required three preference points to be eligible to draw. At this level, you have no chance of drawing a bull moose or either-sex license in Colorado. 

Resident applicants also had 0% odds for cow moose hunts in the zero to three preference point range. Nonresident applicants for cow moose had 100% for the archery, muzzleloader and rifle hunt in Unit 38 with no points. With one preference point, Unit 17 cow moose was also available. Moving to three preference points, cow moose in Unit 37/371 and 41/42/421 were drawn in 2020. 

What can I do with 3 moose preference points?

Three preference points gets you into the draw and, although your chances of drawing are slim, you do have some chance.

Review the draw odds and unit profiles prior to making your selection. Odds for nonresidents are all >1%. With three preference points, the resident odds for every hunt are >1%. Given the fact that every unit has very low odds, it may make sense to apply for the very best areas and hope for the luck of the draw.

Note: Once you’ve earned the three preference points, the draw is random and the weighted points just improve your chances. Check out your draw odds for residents and nonresidents here. With the opt-in or opt-out point option, applicants might review the odds to see if paying for points is worth it. Remember that after you have three preference points you can apply and are in the draw.

Find your resident moose draw odds with 3 points here

Find your nonresident moose draw odds with 3 points here

What can I expect with 10 or more weighted moose points?

Unfortunately, with 10+ weighted points, your draw odds get only slightly better. Drawing a moose license is tough and the licenses are in high demand.

Residents

Resident odds only hit double digits for one hunt with 10 points; Unit 53/44/63 with odds just better than 10%. Unit 37/371 had 10% odds with 16 points and 12/23/24 and 38 offered 10% odds with 19 points. Most hunt option draw odds fall between the 2% to 5% range through maximum points.

Cow moose odds are great within this range, but remember if you draw a cow moose license as a first choice you will lose your points. 

Nonresidents

For nonresidents with 10 points, odds were in the 12% to 15% range in Unit 361. Odds were 8.7% for Unit 41/42/52/411/421/521. Other options with somewhat better draw odds were in Unit 14 and 37/371. Overall, the odds of drawing a moose tag are poor, but remember that there is a random chance if you have the three preference points and are buying the qualifying license to apply for other species as well

With 10 points, nonresidents could have drawn up to 21 different cow moose licenses. Once again, if you draw a cow moose license as a first choice you will lose your points.

Find your resident moose draw odds with 10 points here

Find your nonresident moose draw odds with 10 points here


Colorado's 2021 Rocky Mountain goat breakdown

Statewide, mountain goat populations are stable with approximately 1,575 goats located in units with public hunting seasons. As is the case with mountain goat licenses anywhere in the Lower 48, they are tough to draw. Applicants will need the three preference points to even be considered in the draw, but after you have those, the draw is random with a weight point system and you have some chance.

The trophy potential is average, but harvest success rates are good and mountain goats occur in some of the most scenic terrain in the Lower 48. Colorado offers both archery and rifle mountain goat hunts although there is only one archery nonresident hunt in Unit G5 where there will be two licenses. Colorado also offers female only mountain goat licenses in many units. The draw odds for those is better for both residents and nonresidents.

Current mountain goat herd condition

Mountain goats continue to have solid numbers due to a very conservative management plan in place. Colorado has several herd management units; the table below displays the estimated populations for each.

Colorado post hunt mountain goat population estimate - updated 2021

Colorado mountain goat populations by unit group

Unit(s) Population
G1 30
G2 50
G3 240
G4 115
G5 150
G6 95
G7 160
G8 40
G10 90
G11 140
G12 270
G14 40
G15 20
G16 95
G17 40

Colorado statewide mountain goat harvest all weapons - updated 2021

goHUNT’s hit list units for Colorado mountain goat in 2021

As previously noted, Colorado does not produce many trophy quality billies. Top units are a combination of healthy populations, harvest success and some trophy potential consideration.

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 9" or better mountain goat
(not in order of quality)

Unit Harvest success 2021 resident licenses 2021 nonresident licenses
G11
East
50% Rifle: 7 Rifle: 1
G11
West
75% Rifle: 7 Rifle: 1
G10 100%
75% (Oct. 18 to 29)
Rifle: 13 (all seasons)
Rifle: 7 (nanny all seasons)
Rifle: 1
Rifle: 1 (nanny)
G12 83% (Sept. 7 to 20)
68% (Sept. 21 to Oct. 7)
Rifle: 44 (all seasons)
Rifle: 9 (nanny all seasons)
Rifle: 6 (all seasons)
Rifle: 1
G7 83% (Sept. 7 to 17)
83% (Sept. 20 to Oct. 1)
100% (Oct. 4 to 15)
80% (Oct. 18 to 29)
Rifle: 8 (all seasons)
Rifle: 4 (all seasons)
0
G4 100% Rifle: 7 (all seasons) Rifle: 1
G5 75%
100%
Archery: 16
Rifle: 2
Archery: 2

How to uncover hidden gem mountain goat units

There are very few — if any — hidden gems for either-sex mountain goats hunts. Odds are tough regardless of which season/unit or weapon you apply for. The female (nanny) licenses do offer better odds generally. There were four nanny only resident hunts that had odds in the 11% to 22% range with three preference points. 

Explore odds within the standalone draw odds page. There are female goat hunts for nonresidents in Unit G10 and G12. For residents, there are female goat hunts in G7, G10, G12, and G16. Utilize Filtering 2.0 to search by harvest success and read the Unit Profiles to better understand the opportunities within each unit.


The points system

The preference point race

2021 maximum weighted preference points for mountain goat: 20

Mountain goat points going into the 2021 draw

Preference/weighted points Resident Nonresident
0 to 3 preference points 8,957 4,623
1 1,037 263
2 831 216
3 802 196
4 658 181
5 620 141
6 529 129
7 465 149
8 419 131
9 345 102
10 281 104
11 234 91
12 197 89
13 194 59
14 167 46
15 96 32
16 66 41
17 53 18
18 47 24
19 26 22
20 21 17

Managing points and expectations

When reviewing the standalone odds within your INSIDER account of drawing a mountain goat license in Colorado you should review your odds based upon the number of points you have. For example, if you have three preference points and nine weighted points, you would look at the odds at the 12-point level. We have taken the draw process into account and build those intricacies into our odds and display them in a simple, easy-to-review manner.

Find your draw odds

I have 0 mountain goat preference points. What can I expect?

If you have never applied, use the point code as your first choice and be sure to opt into the preference point. Generally, you will need to apply for three consecutive years in order to earn the required three preference points to be eligible to draw.

What can I do with 3 mountain goat preference points?

With three preference points, you are eligible to draw a mountain goat license. The odds are long—whether you apply for the archery only or rifle licenses. The nanny hunts do have slightly better odds. Nonresident nanny only odds were 2.1% in Unit G12. Residents applying for nanny only licenses had 11%, 15%, 16% and 22% odds in Unit G15, G10, G7 and G12. If you are not hung up on killing a billy, the female is the better option to draw a license. 

If you are looking for a rifle hunt, study the unit profiles and apply for a rifle hunt choice that meets your physical abilities and limitations. The best resident odds for an either sex hunt were in G15 Oct. 18 to 29 at 3.4%. Eight other hunts had odds between 1% to 2%.

Find your resident mountain goat draw odds with 3 points here

Find your nonresident mountain goat draw odds with 3 points here

What can I expect with 10 (3 preference, 7 weighted points) or more weighted mountain goat points?

Statistically, the more weighted points you have, the better your odds, but you are never guaranteed to draw a license.

Residents

With 10 points, Unit G17, G15, G12 and G11 all had either-sex rifle hunts that were better than 10% odds; the highest being the G15 late hunt that had odds in the 20% to 23% range.

The female hunts had much better odds, likely ranging in the 50% range for many hunts for applicants with greater than 10 points. The G12 nanny September hunts have great odds. If you are willing to hunt a nanny, there are good options for residents with far fewer points.

Nonresidents

G12 and G17 had the best odds of any either-sex hunt. The G12 hunts also had odds at just over 12% with maximum points. All other either-sex hunts had odds of less than 8% with maximum points. The female only hunts had slightly better odds, ranging in the 7% plus range up through maximum points.

Find your resident mountain goat draw odds with 10 points here

Find your nonresident mountain goat draw odds with 10 points here

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