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February 2019
Author: Logan Hedges

They say that time flies when you’re having fun. That may be true, but I think time just flies in general. With 2018 behind us and the excitement of a new year in full swing, I can’t help but reflect on the past fall. It seems like just a few weeks ago I was in Alaska chasing moose and caribou with my good friend, John, but that was in August. Maybe it is the fact that I just turned 40 or that my youngest son is going to middle school next year. Either way, I’m starting to realize more and more how precious time is and what a short period we have to do the things we love with the people we care about.

Recently, I went over my application strategy for 2019 and decided to be a little more aggressive in applying. This strategy will work in several states where I can draw a tag nearly every year. There are also a handful of states where I will need to build multiple points to draw even an average unit, so I will work on those for future hunts. Regardless of my luck this year with the draws, one thing I know for sure is that I’m going hunting somewhere.

There are several states that have overt-he- counter hunts or even landowner tags available to purchase. Where over-the- counter tags are a great option, I buy one or two of them every year. I really like landowner tags. These tags can get you into areas and seasons that may take several years to draw otherwise. Landowner tags are a great way to bypass the draw or to hunt an area that you are thinking about drawing a tag for in the future.

Colorado is by far the most popular state for landowner tags out west. With deer, elk, and antelope to choose from and multiple seasons, there are thousands of landowner tags issued every year. The system for these tags is a little different in Colorado compared to other states as there is no third party brokering. In order to comply with this rule, Huntin’ Fool has made their website available to all Colorado landowners to list their tags and contact information so members can see what tags are available. Always be aware that Colorado issues two types of landowner tags – unit wide and private land only. Both types of tags can be good, but make sure that with the private land only tags the landowner has significant acreage and wildlife to hunt on the property.

Another state that has great landowner tag opportunity is New Mexico. If you desire elk or antelope, you will want to give New Mexico a closer look. Similar to Colorado, there are two types of elk landowner tags available – unit wide or ranch only. However, antelope is ranch specific. The unit wide tags are good for the entire unit, while the ranch only tags are good for the specific ranch they are issued for. When you are buying elk tags, there are three different types – mature bull, either-sex archery, or antlerless. After obtaining a landowner tag, you will need to choose an available date and redeem your voucher ID numbers with the New Mexico Game and Fish Department.

Nevada and Utah offer landowner tags that can be purchased from landowners. Deer landowner tags are unique in Nevada as you get to hunt all of the seasons instead of having to choose one. This can be great for the number of days to hunt, but it can also drive the price of tags up. Nevada elk tags are similar to other states where you must choose your season and weapon to hunt. Do not overlook Nevada if you are trying to kill that once-ina- lifetime bull or buck as the state has produced some great trophies.

Utah can also produce some great animals and has a couple different landowner tag options. The Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit (CWMU) has become quite popular for landowners in Utah. This program gives landowners multiple tags and liberal seasons for helping state officials manage wildlife habitat in the area. Landowners must let a small number of resident draw hunters have access to their land. The Utah Division of Wildlife issues several regular landowner tags that can be bought and used in that unit but are species and hunt specific.

There are several states that donate or auction off commissioner or governor type tags yearly, usually to raise money for habitat projects. These tags often allow the hunter statewide access or the choice of a top unit. The high price is definitely the downside to these tags, but they can be a great hunt. If you don’t have enough points to draw that tag or lady luck does not shine on you in the random draws, rest assured that there are other options out there. Keep an eye on the landowner tag page as we will list all available tags there, and download the Huntin’ Fool app to receive notifications. If you are looking for a specific tag or you just have questions about landowner tags, give us a call and we will do our best to assist you with a hunt for this fall.