OTC and General Elk Tags 5 Western States 2022

8 western states with otc elk tags

This is how you can go on a DIY elk hunt without drawing a tag through lottery system.

But each state has different regulations, terminology and hunting seasons, as well as different wildlife management histories and hunting cultures.

Table 1. General Elk Tags for Non-Residents in Five Western States for 2022 Elk Hunting Season

State Archery ML Rifle (ALW) Note Total Non-Res. Costs
Colorado AS, A AB $688 + $10.40 =$ 699
Idaho AB,  S, AS, A BT, 3P AB,  S, AS, A $185 + $652 + $10= $847
Oregon AB,  BT, S, AS AB,  BT, S, AS $167 + $571 = $738
Utah AB or A, S or A AB, S AB, S Multi-season tag allows 3 season hunt $72 + $593 = $665 ($872 Multi)
Washington AB,  BT, S, AS, A AB,  BT, S, AS, A AB,  BT, S, AS, A $497

AS = Any Sex Elk; AB = Any Bull Elk; S= Spike Only Bull; A = Antlerless cow/calf; 3P = 3 Point Minimum Bull; BT = Brow-Tined Bull Only

Colorado tags are called OTC (Over-the-Counter). In Idaho, Utah, Oregon and Washington they are called General Season Tags/Permits/Licenses.

All can be bought over the counter as long as the limit has not sold out. Some tags are unlimited, so they will never sell out.

Some of the OTC tags are not limited except in certain units, while other tags may be limited state-wide. In that case, it is first come, first serve, so you might guess the best units will sell out fast, but many of these tags do not sell out until the hunt starts. In some states (like Idaho) if tags don’t sell by a certain date, anyone can buy them as a second tag.

I suggest getting a couple of buddies together and start planning a hunting trip. I’ve even done the budget for you (read here).

Like everyone else, I am building points trying to draw one of those coveted limited entry bull elk tag here in my backyard.

But we still hunt every year with General Elk tags. We put meat in the freezer and we get to spend time in beautiful country and have a great time. We usually see lots of game and few other hunters. So why do OTC tags still seem like a big secret?

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