Premium Content

Become an Insider member to gain access to this article,
plus all of GOHUNT's research and mapping tools.

Learn more about Insider

Application strategy 2022: Colorado elk and antelope

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Colorado's 2022 elk and antelope application overview

Jump to: NEW FOR 2022 State Information Draw System Elk Breakdown Antelope Breakdown

Colorado boasts the largest population in the world and remains the best opportunity to either draw a license or purchase one over-the-counter (OTC). The state offers a variety of seasons, including archery and muzzleloader along with up to six rifle seasons. Colorado offers bull elk as well as antlerless elk opportunities for folks looking to fill the freezer or get a new hunter into the field. The trophy potential is average in almost every unit across the state; however, for the points required to hunt, it’s actually quite good. Every hunter interested in elk hunting should have Colorado as part of their application strategy every year. 

Colorado is not among the top tier trophy antelope states, but it is one of the more underrated opportunities for pronghorn in the West. There are very few hunts that can be drawn with zero preference points and with just one or a few preference points there are many hunts available. Populations are generally healthy for the amount of antelope habitat in Colorado. As long as applicants are buying the hunting license to apply for other species, we would highly recommend they also apply and build preference points for antelope, too.

Note: The application deadline for all Colorado species is 8:00 p.m. MDT on April 5, 2022. You can apply online here.


New for 2022

  • Applicants who draw a license will now have a brief period of time after the draw to surrender their license if they no longer want it. Successful applicants will have until June 6 at 11:59 p.m. MDT to surrender the license. Preference points will be reinstated to pre-draw level.
  • There is no longer a maximum let off percentage for hand held bows.
  • License fee exchange fee will now be only $5. Previously, it was 50% of the cost of the license, not to exceed $25.
  • New changes for Colorado elk
    • Archery elk licenses for Units 80 and 81 are now limited and allocated through the draw. Those were removed from the OTC archery unit options.
    • Archery antlerless elk licenses for Units 14 and 214 are now limited and allocated through the draw. Those were removed from the cow OTC archery unit options.
  • New changes for Colorado antelope
    • Unit grouping 49/50/57/58/500/501/581 has been divided into two groupings for archery and muzzleloader seasons. Groupings will now be 49/50/500/501 and 57/58/581.

Your GOHUNT INSIDER account also has the NEW Point Tracker feature. This allows you to enter the number of points you have for each state and species and, as you research through Filtering 2.0 and Draw Odds, your point total will automatically be highlighted.


State Information

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

Colorado is a fairly easy state to apply in. You will have to create an online account if you have not previously done so. Or you can call 1-800-244-5613 for help getting an account.

Colorado State Profile Elk Profile Antelope Profile GOHUNT Maps Draw Odds Filtering 2.0

Important dates and information

  • The deadline to apply for all species in Colorado is 8:00 p.m. MDT on April 5, 2022.
  • You can apply online here or by calling 1-800-244-5613.
  • Draw results will be available May 31 to June 3, 2022.
  • 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:
    • Nonresidents
      • 2022 spring turkey
      • 2022 annual small game license
    • Residents only
      • 2022 spring or fall turkey license
      • 2022 annual small game license
      • 2022 annual small game/fishing combo license
  • 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.
  • Hunters over the age of 50 or military personnel who have not completed hunter’s education can take a one-time online test to test out. The cost is $24.50 and you must pass with 90%.
  • Colorado is a true preference point state for elk and antelope. The applicants with the most points that apply for any given hunt will draw the permit.
  • If you draw a permit and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is unable to charge the credit card on file, you must pay for the license online or by phone or at a CPW office by June 11. If you do not, your license is surrendered and you lose both the license and any preference points you used to draw it
  • If you draw a license you would like to return, starting in 2022 you will have a window of time when you can decline the license if you do not want it. If you choose to keep it, payment will be charged to the card used to apply.
  • You can also return a license you drew for a refund or preference point restoration. You must relinquish your license and carcass tag at least 30 days before the opening day of the season for which the license is valid.

Cost to apply

Item Resident Nonresident
Application fee
(per species)
$7.13 $9.17
Qualifying license/
annual small game hunting license
$31.41 $86.50
Youth qualifying license/
annual small game hunting license
$1.31 $1.31
Habitat stamp $10.59 $10.59
*Elk bull license (adult) $57.90 $700.98
*Elk either sex license (adult) $57.90 $700.98
*Elk cow license (adult) $57.90 $526.17
*Elk license (youth) $16.32 $107.43
*Antelope license (adult) $42.01 $420.23
*Antelope license (youth) $16.32 $107.43

*Elk and antelope license cost will only be charged if you are successful in the draw.

Total cost for an adult nonresident to apply will be $97.09 plus $9.17 per species. You only need to buy one qualifying license and one habitat stamp. Any species applications on top of that will be an additional $9.17 for deer, elk and antelope.

Colorado elk 2022 season dates

Season Dates
Archery Sept. 2 to 30
Muzzleloader Sept. 10 to 18
Rifle (1st season) Oct. 15 to 19
Rifle (2nd season) Oct. 29 to Nov. 6
Rifle (3rd season) Nov. 12 to 18
Rifle (4th season) Nov. 23 to 27

*Unless otherwise noted in the brochure tables

Colorado antelope 2022 season dates

Season Dates
Archery Aug. 15 to Sept. 20
Muzzleloader Sept. 21 to 29
Rifle (1st season) Oct. 1 to 9

*Unless otherwise noted in the brochure tables


The Colorado Draw System

Understanding the draw

For elk hunts that require six or more points for a Colorado resident to draw, up to 20% of the licenses can be allocated to nonresidents. Hunts that require fewer than six points for a Colorado resident to draw will have up to 35% of the licenses allocated to nonresidents. 

There is no quota split for resident and nonresident applicants for antelope in Colorado. Antelope licenses are still allocated through the preference point system, but there is no split in how many can be offered to residents and nonresidents. 

Point system

Colorado utilizes a true preference point system to allocate elk and antelope licenses. This means that the applicants with the most preference points who apply for any given hunt will draw the licenses. There is no random draw for licenses. 

Applicants gain one preference point for every year they apply for a hunt and are unsuccessful in drawing their first choice. If applicants want to build preference points only, they can use the preference point only code as their first choice. Applicants can draw a hunt as a second, third or fourth choice and still build a preference point for that year. You cannot build more than one preference point per year. If you draw your first hunt choice, your preference points will be purged. If you fail to apply for a species or have not purchased a license for 10 consecutive years, then all accumulated preference points for that species will be purged.

Elk preference point only code: E-P-999-99-P

Antelope preference point only code: A-P-999-99-P

Hunt choices

Colorado allows applicants to select up to four hunt choices for elk and antelope. Colorado considers every applicant's first choice before moving to subsequent choices. In essence, in order to draw a license as a second choice, there must be a surplus of permits after every applicant's first choice is considered and so on and so forth throughout the other choices. As previously stated, you may be able to draw some hunts as a second choice while using the preference point code as your first choice. This would allow you to build a point for future years and also draw the second choice hunt. 

You can explore the odds of drawing as a second choice within your INSIDER account. Simply change the “choice” filter from first to second and you can see all hunt odds of drawing as a second choice.

Group applications

Group applications of any number are accepted for elk and antelope. Residents and nonresidents can apply together. For elk, when a resident and nonresident apply together on a group application, the nonresident license comes out of the nonresident quota for that hunt. For antelope, there is no resident/nonresident quota split. 

One person must be the group leader and all applications in that group are linked together with that group leader’s CID number. Group members must apply for the same species, hunt code, unit, season and method of take for each choice.

The group application will go into the draw with the lowest number of preference points of any single member of the group. This means that if a group of three apply and they have one, seven and twelve points, the application will go into the draw with one point. CPW will not over-allocate licenses to cover a group application if there are not enough licenses left. For example, if there were two licenses left and an application for a group of three was selected, they would reject that application and move to the next applicant.

Second drawing

Licenses remaining after the primary drawing will be available in a secondary drawing. The secondary drawing is open to anyone — whether they applied in the primary drawing or not. Applicants must have purchased a qualifying license to apply for the secondary draw. The secondary draw does not use preference points and you cannot apply for preference points. The secondary drawing is a random draw.

The timeframe to apply in the second drawing is June 21 to July 5 at 8 p.m. MDT. Youth ages 12 to 17 do receive priority for all licenses that make it to the second draw.

Returned, leftover and reissued licenses

Colorado allows applicants who have drawn a license to return it if they do not want it. In 2022, there will be a timeframe after the draw where applicants can refuse the license and have their points restored to the pre-draw level. Applicants can also choose to pay for the license and return it at a later date as long as it’s done at least 30 days prior to the hunt. In this case, they can choose to receive a refund for the cost of the license or have their preference points reinstated. If you have your points reinstated, you will not receive a point for that year's application.

Any returned or leftover licenses after the secondary draw will be reissued via a first come, first served process starting on Aug. 2 at 9 a.m. MDT. The leftover list will be made available in late July.  Beyond Aug. 2, every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m., all reissued licenses will be placed on a list and published on the CPW website for customers to review. The following day, Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., those licenses will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Reissued licenses can be purchased online or in-person at CPW offices or other license agents.

OTC licenses

There are OTC elk licenses in Colorado. There are also OTC archery antelope licenses available for over 100 units. Many of those are located on the eastern plains. The units with OTC archery antelope opportunities on the western slope generally have low populations.

For elk, the OTC licenses are available for archery, second and third rifle seasons. Hunters who purchase the OTC licenses can hunt any or all of the OTC units. They are not unit specific. You do not have to apply for OTC licenses. Those go on sale on Aug. 2, 2022. OTC licenses can be purchased by phone, online or in person at a license sales agent in Colorado.


Snowpack and drought in Colorado

2022

Colorado snow water equivalent update as of March 14, 2022. Source: National Resources Conservation Service
 

2022 Colorado drought monitor status as of March 8. Source: United States Drought Monitor

2021

Colorado snow water equivalent from March 5, 2021. Source: National Resources Conservation Service

2021 Colorado drought monitor status from March 2. Source: United States Drought Monitor


Colorado's 2022 elk breakdown

The current Colorado elk population was up slightly again in the most recent survey (2020) with a total of 293,590 elk statewide. Colorado manages their herds in different Data Analysis Units (DAU) with the various units placed in unit groups. The following tables will give you the estimated populations and bull:cow ratios for the top DAUs and the units within each group.

 
 

Hit list units for Colorado elk in 2022

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 340" or better bulls
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
Resident points
to draw
Nonresident points
to draw
201 370"+ Archery: 80%
Muzzleloader: 40%
Early rifle: 84%
25% with 24
100% with 25
52% with 26
50% with 29
50% with 30
44% with 30
851* 370"+ Archery: 14%
Muzzleloader: 0%
1st rifle: 0%
2nd rifle: 36%
3rd rifle: 22%
4th rifle: 25%
50% with 11
100% with 4
18% with 18
100% with 15
26% with 20
100% with 19
100% with 13
100% with 13
100% with 25
100% with 22
100% with 26
50% with 26
2 360"+ Archery: 40%
Muzzleloader: 60%
Early rifle: 91%
19% with 22
15% with 23
15% with 24
100% with 28
100% with 29
33% with 29
40 360"+ Archery: 66%
Muzzleloader: 34%
1st rifle: 66%
2nd rifle: 72%
3rd rifle: 46%
4th rifle: 59%
71% with 8
100% with 9
33% with 11
22% with 9
63% with 9
92% with 9
50% with 14
100% with 22
43% with 25
100% with 19
50% with 16
25% with 16
61 350"+ Archery: 42%
Muzzleloader: 52%
Early rifle: 77%
1st rifle: 71%
2nd rifle: 52%
3rd rifle: 89%
4th rifle: 100%
77% with 15
40% with 16
38% with 20
50% with 12
39% with 9
39% with 9
39% with 9
68% with 24
71% with 25
57% with 27
67% with 23
22% with 22
22% with 22
22% with 22
10 350"+ Archery: 80%
Muzzleloader: 100%
Early rifle: 89%
21% with 21
100% with 23
31% with 23
33% with 27
33% with 28
56% with 29
1 350"+ Archery: 50%
Muzzleloader: 75%
Early rifle: 40%
100% with 16
67% with 12
51% with 19
No licenses
No licenses
100% with 28
76 350"+ Archery: 46%
Muzzleloader: 36%
Early rifle: 90%
1st rifle: 60%
2nd rifle: 80%
3rd rifle: 57%
39% with 8
93% with 10
5.3% with 18
48% with 7
100% with 6
40% with 5
100% with 16
19% with 22
20% with 25
19% with 16
13% with 13
100% with 10
49 340"+ Archery: 2%
Muzzleloader: 23%
1st rifle: 50%
2nd rifle: 50%
3rd rifle: 41%
4th rifle: 0%
89% with 6
71% with 7
72% with 9
85% with 5
85% with 5
85% with 5
46% with 6
23% with 13
4.2% with 13
81% with 5
81% with 5
81% with 5
20 330"+ Archery: 23%
Archery: 23%
Muzzleloader: 44%
1st rifle: 39%
2nd rifle: 0%
3rd rifle: 45%
4th rifle: 43%
Late rifle: 43%
Late rifle: 43%
29% with 2
25% with 3
60% with 3
38% with 4
27% with 4
33% with 4
43% with 4
67% with 5
34% with 6
90% with 3
100% with 6
100% with 11
100% with 6
100% with 12
100% with 6
50% with 6
50% with 7
100% with 10
69/84 330"+ Archery: 38%
Muzzleloader: 50%
1st rifle: 44%
2nd rifle: 53%
3rd rifle: 38%
4th rifle: 75%
80% with 3
91% with 4
100% with 5
82% with 3
95% with 3
78% with 2
58% with 3
32% with 5
20% with 5
80% with 3
100% with 3
100% with 2
66 320"+ Archery: 36%
Muzzleloader: 57%
1st rifle: 37%
2nd rifle: 50%
3rd rifle: 58%
4th rifle: 42%
86% with 3
68% with 5
59% with 1
29% with 0
32% with 0
19% with 0
65% with 8
20% with 15
100% with 4
14% with 1
41% with 1
54% with 2

*Unit 851 Bosque Del Oso WA only is a 30,000-acre state wildlife area (SWA). Annually, elk move off of the adjacent private lands and winter on the SWA. The third and fourth rifle seasons here offer very good low pressure hunts for great bulls. There are other hunts, too, but the better hunts are later in the season.

How to uncover hidden gem elk units

The number of elk hunts available to explore in Colorado is extensive. The hunts/units listed above represent the better options for a bigger bull, but throughout the state there are many more hunts that can still offer great hunts. The bulk of the hunts in Colorado can be drawn within the zero to eight point range and, for applicants who are new to applying in Colorado or are within that range, we strongly recommend that you draw a license and go hunting in 2022. 

When researching specific areas and hunts there are a few other factors we believe are worth considering when looking for a hidden gem. Colorado has many large, remote wilderness areas or areas that are just remote and roadless. Access can be tough, but for those willing to use packstock, a packer or backpack hunt can avoid most hunting pressure and offer a chance at an older age class of bull. In addition, Colorado has had a few years of heavy wildfire and, although those were disruptive then, the early succession habitat beginning to emerge is very good for elk and elk hunting. Many of the areas that have had large wildfires already had good elk populations and bull:cow ratios. Those, coupled with vegetative regrowth should mean great things for elk hunters in 2022. 

By using the standalone Draw Odds page, it’s easy to assess what hunts may best fit your needs. You can filter by seasons, draw odds at your point level and, even, explore odds at first and second choice. By utilizing our Filtering 2.0 feature, INSIDERs can filter by trophy potential, harvest success, bull:cow ratios, public land and draw odds to narrow down the best hidden gem options. Visit the unit profiles, which offer terrain and other information like bull:cow ratios, that can help you determine what unit is right for you. A quick search and we can see that there are 127 bull elk hunts available on the western slope and 95 of those could have been drawn with no points. There are many more available in the one- to eight-point range. No matter where you land with the number of points you have, you can find a hunt in Colorado. We will explore some of the best options in the table below.

Good hunts in the 0 to 8 preference point range

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
Bull:cow
ratio
Resident
points to draw
Nonresident points
to draw
49 340"+ Archery-2%
2nd rifle-50%
3rd rifle-41%
4th rifle-0%
32:100 89% with 6
85% with 5
85% with 5
85% with 5
46% with 6
81% with 5
81% with 5
81% with 5
20 330"+ Archery-23%
Archery-23%
1st rifle-39%
3rd rifle-45%
4th rifle-43%
Late rifle-43%
43:100 29% with 2
25% with 3
38% with 4
33% with 4
43% with 4
67% with 5
90% with 3
100% with 6
100% with 6
100% with 6
50% with 6
50% with 7
69/84 330"+ Archery-38%
Muzzleloader-50%
1st rifle-44%
2nd rifle-53%
3rd rifle-38%
4th rifle-75%
36:100 80% with 3
91% with 4
100% with 5
82% with 3
95% with 3
78% with 2
58% with 3
32% with 5
20% with 5
80% with 3
100% with 3
100% with 2
66 320"+ Archery-36%
1st rifle-37%
2nd rifle-50%
3rd rifle-58%
4th rifle-42%
22:100 86% with 3
59% with 1
29% with 0
32% with 0
19% with 0
65% with 8
100% with 4
14% with 1
41% with 1
54% with 2
67 320"+ Archery-27%
Muzzleloader-16%
1st rifle-26%
2nd rifle-23%
3rd rifle-41%
4th rifle-11%
22:100 88% with 2
57% with 3
43% with 0
42% with 0
80% with 1
12% with 0
55% with 5
50% with 11
34% with 1
15% with 0
87% with 1
80% with 1
501 330"+ Archery-9%
Muzzleloader-44%
1st rifle-9%
2nd rifle-10%
3rd rifle-38%
4th rifle-21%
35:100 12% with 3
91% with 4
50% with 5
13% with 2
13% with 2
13% with 2
22% with 3
14% with 7
31% with 5
9.5% with 2
9.5% with 2
9.5% with 2
500 300"+ Archery-27%
Muzzleloader-26%
1st rifle-58%
2nd rifle-28%
3rd rifle-22%
4th rifle-0%
35:100 63% with 2
56% with 2
68% with 2
5.8% with 0
5.8% with 0
5.8% with 0
56% with 2
73% with 5
75% with 2
16% with 0
16% with 0
16% with 0
57/58 310"+ Archery-21% (58)
Muzzleloader-34% (58)
1st rifle-57% (58)
2nd rifle-57% (58)
3rd rifle-44% (58)
4th rifle-61% (58)
32:100 32% with 1
12% with 1
80% with 3
70% with 3
66% with 2
26% with 1
23% with 1
50% with 3
100% with 4
56% with 3
50% with 2
100% with 2
48 310"+ Archery-14%
Muzzleloader-19%
1st rifle-55%
2nd rifle-37%
3rd rifle-33%
22:100 46% with 1
79% with 2
79% with 3
11% with 1
11% with 1
39% with 1
100% with 8
90% with 5
50% with 2
50% with 2
4/5/441 300"+ Archery-32% (441)
Muzzleloader-37% (5)
24:100 10% with 0
32% with 1
10% with 2
67% with 6
29 300"+ Archery-28%
Muzzleloader-37%
2nd rifle-100%
31:100 38% with 2
15% with 0
62% with 2
100% with 3
50% with 0
50% with 2
50 300"+ 2nd rifle-45%
3rd rifle-54%
4th rifle-30%
35:100 48% with 1
48% with 1
48% with 1
22% with 1
22% with 1
22% with 1
54 310"+ Archery-16%
Muzzleloader-23%
1st rifle-34%
4th rifle-52%
18:100 91% with 0
4.8% with 0
91% with 0
100% with 0
50% with 1
33% with 3
19% with 0
100% with 0
80/81 300"+ Archery- NA
Muzzleloader-36% (80)
1st rifle-31% (80)
4th rifle-50%
17:100 New draw
53% with 1
16% with 0
49% with 0
New draw
44% with 4
75% with 1
17% with 0
551 300"+ 4th rifle-75% 20:100 14% with 1 50% with 2
12/23/24 280"+ Archery-25% (12)
Muzzleloader-30% (12)
26:100 46% with 0
71% with 2
35% with 2
42% with 6

Something to consider is that Colorado’s draw system is such that applicants can draw hunts as a second choice and still retain and build a point for that year. In this scenario, applicants could go hunting and still keep and build a preference point for the following year. One factor that makes these types of hunts attractive over some of the OTC hunts is that there is a limited number of licenses and, thus, generally less hunting pressure. In the table below, we have selected hunts that were good options as a second choice.

Good hunts as a second choice

Unit Resident second
choice to draw
Nonresident second
choice to draw
Harvest
success
77/78/771 (archery) 100% 100% 16% (78)
71/72/73/711 (archery) 100% 100% 20% (711)
70 (archery) 100% 100% 17%
11/12/13/23/24/25/26/33/34/131/211/231
(first rifle)
100% 100% 30% (211)
21/22/30/31/32
(first rifle)
100% 100% 25% (21)
7/8 (second rifle) 58% 59% 40% (7)
3/301 (fourth rifle) 100% 100% 23% (3)
54 (fourth rifle) 100% 100% 52%
4/441 (fourth rifle) 100% 100% 37% (4)
12/13/23/24 (fourth rifle) 100% 100% 28% (12)
41/42/52/411/421/521 (fourth rifle) 100% 100% 27% (52)
18/181 (fourth rifle) 100% 100% 27% (181)
47 (fourth rifle) 100% 100% 26%
21 (fourth rifle) 100% 100% 25%
63 (fourth rifle) 100% 100% 25%

Colorado still has excellent OTC hunting opportunities for archery, second and third rifle seasons. Below we outline what we consider some of the best OTC hunts.

Good OTC hunts to consider

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
Bull:cow ratio
63 280"+ Archery: 15% 18:100
64 280"+ Archery: 16% 22:100
11 300"+ Archery: 14% 26:100
21 300"+ Archery: 13% 24:100
31 320"+ Archery: 14% 24:100
471 290"+ 3rd rifle: 41% 28:100
60 320"+ Archery: 16%
3rd rifle: 37%
49:100
47 300"+ 3rd rifle: 30% 18:100
361 300"+ 2nd rifle: 20%
3rd rifle: 27%
21:100
751 290"+ 2nd rifle: 26%
3rd rifle: 17%
13:100
43 300"+ 3rd rifle: 24% 28:100
78 300"+ 2nd rifle: 23%
3rd rifle: 22%
13:100
5 300"+ 2nd rifle: 22%
3rd rifle: 17%
24:100
31 300"+ 2nd rifle: 21%
3rd rifle: 22%
24:100
54 310"+ 2nd rifle: 19%
3rd rifle: 22%
18:100
70 300"+ 2nd rifle: 21%
3rd rifle: 20%
17:100

There are many more OTC hunt options for archery, second and third rifle seasons that are not included above. Many of those areas have healthy populations and can offer good hunts. The hunts recommended above are based on harvest success, bull to cow ratios, and trophy potential. Use your INSIDER research platform, specifically the trophy potential, public land percentage, harvest success filters and the unit profiles in Filtering 2.0 to explore and find the best option for you.

The points system

2022 maximum preference points for elk: 36

 
 
 

Managing points and expectations

I HAVE 0 TO 8 ELK PREFERENCE POINTS. WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

When reviewing the draw odds, it makes sense to draw a permit every few years and go hunting because there are very few good options in the eight to 15 point range. With point creep factored in, it may take decades of building points to draw a 10 point hunt if you are just starting out. Review the table above entitled, “Good hunts in the 0 to 8 preference point range.” Cross-reference those with the population and bull:cow ratios to narrow your search down to the best options. There are also many more hunts that can be explored by using the trophy potential, harvest success, public land percentage filters in Filtering 2.0 and the standalone Draw Odds. There are so many options regardless of what weapon you want to hunt with or how many points you have.

I HAVE 9 TO 12 ELK PREFERENCE POINTS. WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

As previously stated, there are not many good hunts that can be drawn if you fall within this range. The best hunts are going to require several more points and, if you continue to chase those, you will want to visit the detailed Draw Odds pages of the hunts you are considering to gauge how long it might take. It could take a decade or more. In some cases, for example Units 10, 2 and 201, you are unlikely to catch those in your lifetime if the system remains the same. If you would like to draw a permit within this range, some of the better hunts are listed below.

Nonresidents 

  • Archery: 49 (six points), 66 (eight points), 
  • Muzzleloader: 4/5/441 (six points), 12/23/24 (six points), 20 (11 points), 48 (eight points), 67 (11 points) 501 (seven points) 
  • First rifle: 20 (six points), 69/84 (six points), 501 (six points)
  • Second rifle: 20 (12 points)
  • Third rifle: 76 (10 points), 20 (six points), 
  • Fourth rifle: 20 (six points)
  • Late rifle: 20 (seven points), 20 (10 points)

Residents

  • Archery: 40 (eight points), 76 (eight points), 49 (six points), 851 (11 points)
  • Muzzleloader: 1 (12 points), 40 (nine points), 49 (seven points), 76 (10 points) 
  • First rifle: 40 (11 points), 61 (12 points), 49 (nine points), 76 (seven points)
  • Second rifle: 40 (nine points), 61 (nine points), 76 (six points)
  • Third rifle: 40 (nine points), 61 (nine points)
  • Fourth rifle: 40 (nine points), 61 (nine points)
  • Late rifle: 20 (six points)

I HAVE 13 TO 20 ELK PREFERENCE POINTS. WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

There are not many quality hunts representative of the number of points it takes to draw them. Research the point creep on the top-tier hunts to see if banking points are worth it.

If you would like to draw a permit within this range, some of the better hunts are listed below.

Nonresidents

  • Archery: 851 (13 points), 40 (14 points), 76 (16 points) 
  • Muzzleloader: 851 (13 points), 49 (13 points), 66 (15 points)
  • First rifle: 76 (16 points), 49 (13 points)
  • Second rifle: 40 (19 points), 76 (13 points), 20 (12 points)
  • Third rifle: 40 (16 points)
  • Fourth rifle: 40 (16 points)

Residents

  • Archery: 61 (15 points), 1 (16 points)
  • Muzzleloader: 61 (16 points), 1 (12 points)
  • Early rifle: 61 (20 points), 76 (18 points)
  • First rifle: 851 (18 points), 61 (12 points)
  • Second rifle: 851 (15 points) 
  • Third rifle: 851 (20 points) 
  • Fourth rifle: 851 (19 points)

HAVE 20+ ELK PREFERENCE POINTS. WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

Many applicants in this range may be looking at top-tier units like Units 2, 10, 201, 61, 40, 85 and 76. If you are a nonresident in the 20 point range, some of the hunts within a few of these are obtainable. The top-tier Units 2, 10 and 201 could still take a couple of decades to draw so be aware of that and check the detailed Draw Odds page to see how long the wait could be.

Find your draw odds


Colorado's 2022 antelope breakdown

Statewide, the population of antelope has decreased slightly, but still boasts one of the highest estimates in the past 20 years. The most recent population estimate is approximately 77,400, which is down from 82,170. Colorado is not considered a trophy state for antelope, although there are a handful of true trophy bucks taken every year. Applicants who are looking for a trophy buck might consider focusing on other states like New Mexico or Wyoming, but the draw odds for antelope in Colorado are relatively good and the cost to apply is cheap if you are applying for other species, too. 

The draw system for antelope is similar to elk and deer; the applicants with the most preference points who apply for each hunt will draw the licenses. The antelope draw is slightly different in that there is no license quota split between residents and nonresidents. Both residents and nonresidents are on an equal playing field for permits; it all boils down to who has the most points. A number of hunts are available to draw with just a few preference points. 

The biggest limited factor to hunting antelope in Colorado is finding public land with good access to hunt. The eastern plains have healthier populations, but the amount of public land is very limited. The western portion of the state has much better access to public land generally; however, the populations are lower and more susceptible to harsh winters. Applicants can still find success on public lands and harvest success is typically very good across all weapons/hunts.

Colorado offers limited quota hunts for archery, muzzleloader and rifle antelope. There are also some units where you can still buy an OTC archery license. However, within those areas, it’s difficult to find public land to hunt.

 
 

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 75" or better antelope
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
Preference points
to draw
2/201 80"+ Archery: 100% (2)
Rifle: 80% (201)
67% with 20
1/2/201 80"+ Muzzleloader: 88% (201) 100% with 19
3/301 80"+ Archery: 64% (3)
Muzzleloader: 77% (3)
Rifle: 80% (3)
21% with 4
30% with 5
73% with 9
6/16/17/161/171 80"+ Archery: 51% (161)
Muzzleloader: 100% (171)
13% with 2
31% with 6
6 80"+ Rifle: 86% 75% with 17
161 80"+ Rifle: 92% 64% with 16
11 80"+ Archery: 70%
Muzzleloader: 70%
Rifle: 100%
100% with 10
75% with 8
21% with 15
67 80"+ Archery: 0%
Muzzleloader: 33%
Rifle: 100%
17% with 6
67% with 9
100% with 19
80 80"+ Archery: 100%
Rifle: 79%
100% with 3
81 80"+ Archery: 70%
Rifle: 93%
67% with 6
27% with 14
87 80"+ Archery: 31%
Rifle: 73%
29% with 0
46% with 4
87/88/89/90/95/951 80"+ Muzzleloader: 100% (951) 24% with 1
68/681/682 80"+ Rifle: 100% (68 & 682) 20% with 18
49/50/500/501 75"+ Archery: 27% (49)
Rifle: 67% (500)
16% with 3
20% with 10
57/58/581 75"+ Archery: 39% (581)
Rifle: 73% (57)
57% with 3
85% with 10
88 75"+ Archery: 14%
Rifle: 69%
83% with 0
43% with 4
79/791 75"+ Archery: 60% (79)
Rifle: 77% (79)
43% with 3
100% with 18
68/79/80/81/82/83/681/
682/791
75"+ Muzzleloader: 100% (68, 79, 82) 17% with 10

For the limited quota archery, muzzleloader, and OTC archery permits, use Filtering 2.0 to search by Draw Odds and season. Then, filter down by harvest success and trophy potential to find those units that offer the best option.

Beyond that, some map and GPS work will allow you to whittle those units down to specific areas to hunt.

The points system

MANAGING POINTS AND EXPECTATIONS

2022 maximum preference points for antelope: 34

 
 
 

There are many more antelope hunts available in Colorado, but, as previously stated, the limiting factor is public land and access. Keeping that in mind, INSIDERS can utilize goHUNT Maps with the land ownership layer, draw odds, harvest success filter, trophy potential filter and the unit profiles to make the selection that best meets your objectives. Good luck in the Colorado 2022 elk and antelope draw.

Find your draw odds

Comments

One Day Only - Get 30% Off Insider or Explorer
Last Chance for Up to 50% Off for Cyber Monday
Shop gifts curated for any kind of hunter