If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life can change in the blink of an eye and we are not guaranteed anything. I, for one, am glad to see last year behind us and I am hoping 2021 will be a bounce-back year like never before. We have all had to take a gut check about what is really important, regardless of your personal feelings of this so-called pandemic. As for me, I’m trying to do more of the things I enjoy with the people I love and care about. I’ve noticed I’m not alone in this way of thinking as calls from Huntin’ Fool members come rolling in wanting to get outdoors and away from all the craziness going on. If you are in the same boat but you’re not sure if you can draw a tag, there are a few alternative options.
Landowner tags are one of those options, and they are a great way to bypass the draw or fill an open spot in your hunting schedule. A handful of states out west allow landowners to sell their tags to the general public. By selling these tags, landowners are compensated for wildlife residing on private lands. This is a great program as it encourages many landowners to improve habitat on their land.
Colorado allows the purchase of landowner tags. If property owners have 160 or more consecutive acres, they are eligible for this program. Depending on the unit, landowners can apply for elk, deer, or antelope permits. The price/ value of these permits depends on the unit, weapon, species, and time of year the tag is good for. Early season elk tags and late season deer tags are always in hot demand, with prices sometimes exceeding $10k. However, most landowner tags are fairly affordable and a hunter can be on the mountain without breaking the bank.
By far, New Mexico issues the most landowner elk tags of any state. With multiple units, weapons, and season dates, New Mexico is definitely worth taking a look at. If you are looking for a trophy bull hunt or you just want to fill the freezer, there is a landowner tag for you. From September archery hunts to late rifle/muzzleloader hunts, New Mexico has very diverse seasons that should fit any hunter’s schedule. Just like Colorado, landowners in New Mexico are issued tags to compensate them for wildlife use on their property.
Nevada and Utah are two other states that have transferable landowner tags. Both of these states are known for having trophy quality units for deer and elk. The tag numbers in these units are limited and they are usually expensive, but if a hunter is wanting a real opportunity at a trophy animal, these tags are hard to beat. They also provide some solid opportunity hunts for hunters who need to fill their fall schedule.
If you are one of the applicants who has a run of bad luck this drawing season, you just want to keep building points for that one special unit, or you’re curious about exploring a unit you’re thinking of drawing, landowner tags are always a good option to get you out on the mountain and get some meat in the freezer.