Some talk of Boycotting Colorado. Might be a good thing.
This 2011 response was pulled from F&S Stream website. Lays it out I believe especially the numbers on harvest success. Factoring in Licenses Cost/Harvest Success/Quality of Elk out of state hunters might be better served going to another state.
"Last year 4 of my friends from Minnesota who are meat-hunters opted out of Colorado, as they were shocked that the already-expensive cow elk tag went from $250 to $364. No way to justify that.
Elk hunting success in Colorado is VERY LOW compared to the other western states, partially because there is an army of elk hunters tramping all over and riding their ATVs throughout the habitat. The elk get extremely wary, and most units have a success rate well under 20 percent. The unit I traditionally hunt had a success rate of 18 percent (bulls), 16 percent for cows in 2009.
The quality of Colorado elk are not nearly like those from the other western states, especially New Mexico, Arizona and Idaho. Not only are the bulls considerably larger, but the success rates are all above 50 percent. I love Colorado country, but there is much better elk hunting to be had elsewhere. Clearly, the elk hunters who educate themselves have decided what is the best deal for their hard-earned dollars and Colorado is not it. Especially for those who want to actually bag an elk.
Those are the facts. The success rates are available on Colorado's DOW website.
I'm an Arizona resident, who gets drawn for AZ bull elk only about once every 6 years. I used to spend the off years hunting cows in Colorado, but no longer. I skipped out last year too, because of the price increase. Instead, I convinced my spouse to put in for an Arizona cow tag, which are easily drawn by residents. We got our elk meat that way.
CO bull tags are still $564, and are unlimited. Of course, any Colorado unit that produced a good bull(s) one year will be overrun with hordes of hunters the next year. It's the Colorado way.
If Colorado was truly interested in attracting more hunters, they should not have raised the cow tag prices in the middle of the Great Recession".