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View Full Version : Colorado, The Worst Trophy Elk State?



HuskyMusky
06-21-2012, 11:24 AM
True statement?

What do you say?

If you want a trophy elk, 6x6 300"+ is CO near the bottom of your elk states list?



Feel free to include some colorado elk sayings too.

"In colorado we don't have elk, we have elk hunters"

"The orange army"

BKC
06-21-2012, 11:48 AM
I agree and wouldn't even bother to apply for an elk tag in Colorado. The fires have pushed all the elk to WY, NM, and Utah. However, I think that Colorado may have better elk than Hawaii ( we are comparing all the states aren't we )!

Colorado Cowboy
06-21-2012, 01:11 PM
I agree and wouldn't even bother to apply for an elk tag in Colorado. The fires have pushed all the elk to WY, NM, and Utah. However, I think that Colorado may have better elk than Hawaii ( we are comparing all the states aren't we )!

No fires to speak of down here in the SW part of the state. Just got back from some hiking in the high country and saw lots of elk....guess they are still here!!! Guess out there in "The high plains of colorado" there aren't too many elk there in the flat lands!!!

Old Hunter
06-21-2012, 01:14 PM
Colorado has no elk. Don't bother coming here.

adbowhunter
06-21-2012, 03:15 PM
CC I think BKC was trying to get the NR's to not come and hunt in our state...Just a thought:) What about that fire out of Pagosa, how's that doing? If this fire keeps going in Ft Collins RMNP will be burning soon...

Where I hunt the elk are already at the top trying to avoid the bugs and find solitude. Like every year its gonna be a different than the last:)

Good luck this year!!!

Colorado Cowboy
06-21-2012, 04:40 PM
Both comments (mine for sure) are a little "tongue in cheek" and I am sure ment to be a little humerous. My hike was a disaster!!! Got ate up by "noseeums" and it was damn hot. I did see a few elk right a daylight and then some more late afternoon. Glad I wasn't hunting. Going back in a couple of weeks when it cools down some.

BKC
06-21-2012, 05:00 PM
CC I think BKC was trying to get the NR's to not come and hunt in our state...Just a thought:) What about that fire out of Pagosa, how's that doing? If this fire keeps going in Ft Collins RMNP will be burning soon...

Where I hunt the elk are already at the top trying to avoid the bugs and find solitude. Like every year its gonna be a different than the last:)

Good luck this year!!!

I'm just doing my job to help the energy crisis. I just don't want people to drive all the way here and burn all that gas and degrade the ozone layer anymore than it has to be. Then you get here find out it is overcrowded with hunters and undercrowded with elk. Maybe better to hunt high fenced elk or another state.

Old Hunter
06-21-2012, 06:26 PM
Both comments (mine for sure) are a little "tongue in cheek" and I am sure ment to be a little humerous. My hike was a disaster!!! Got ate up by "noseeums" and it was damn hot. I did see a few elk right a daylight and then some more late afternoon. Glad I wasn't hunting. Going back in a couple of weeks when it cools down some.

Cools down in July??

Colorado Cowboy
06-21-2012, 08:19 PM
Over here it has been really hotter than normal. Even up at 10K' it was 90. It is about 10 degrees above what I've experienced as normal.

Old Hunter
06-21-2012, 08:26 PM
Same here, but I don't see it letting up. It's going to be a miserable summer. I hate the heat.

BossBrott
06-21-2012, 08:39 PM
Not workin guys, Im still comin to your state!

Ya'll cant miss me, I'll be totin a trailer with my prius, loaded to the gills with solar panels. Stop by and say "hi", we can share a cappuccino or tea? You cant miss me, im the one with the windmill on the roof!

BTW, if your ever interested in killin a pig in the oak hills of central CA, killin "piles" of duck/geese, dont think about CA, were really not nonresident friendly:rolleyes:

Old Hunter
06-21-2012, 08:41 PM
Not workin guys, Im still comin to your state!

Ya'll cant miss me, I'll be totin a trailer with my prius, loaded to the gills with solar panels. Stop by and say "hi", we can share a cappuccino or tea? You cant miss me, im the one with the windmill on the roof!

BTW, if your ever interested in killin a pig in the oak hills of central CA, killin "piles" of duck/geese, dont think about CA, were really not nonresident friendly:rolleyes:

Solar panels won't work. We have no sun in Colorado.

bz_711
06-22-2012, 06:56 AM
Sorry guys...coming to CO anyway...can't beat the CO high country.

Same problem here in West Central IL...no such thing as big whitetails...not sure why all these NR drop $4000 for a 5 day hunt...it's just a pesty whitetail...

Elkoholic307
06-22-2012, 09:36 AM
Aren't the 'trophy' areas more in the SW part of the state?

I've never elk hunted CO but have been considering it.

Colorado Cowboy
06-22-2012, 10:46 AM
Real trophy area is NW part of state, but it takes mega points to draw....upwards of 20!!!!

bowhuntress
06-22-2012, 11:10 AM
I agree ... as far as trophy quality goes they are hard to come by. Every year there are a couple killed over 300 around here but there are LOTS more rag horn bulls that are killed. We have a good amount of elk here, but not many are true 300 inch trophies. Most of those big bulls stay on private property if they are around and there are usually over a dozen people waiting for it to make a mistake and go on public land. Not much fun!

Even trying to find a place to get away from hunters anymore is getting harder to do. There are still lots of elk but SO many hunters that are now going off the beaten path its hard to find those honey holes anymore.

And yes, NW Colorado has the big bulls but takes WAY TO MANY years to try and draw it. Its worth it to look somewhere else you might be able to draw.

nwwa huner
06-22-2012, 12:15 PM
I disagree about it being the worst trophy state. There are nice 300 bulls killed in many units every year and some bigger. Especially le and on private there are a lot bigger bulls than people give credit too. I don't call it the best and for trophy it's towards the bottom but there are good 6 pt bulls around.

fortgeorgetaxidermy
06-22-2012, 12:41 PM
I see multiple bulls taken by hunters every year over 350. had a 371 brought in last year was killed otc archery on public land. We do have the largest herd in the world. But are average bull is nothing compared to some places. And yes we have lots of good 6pts.

BKC
06-22-2012, 01:36 PM
http://www.outdoorlife.com/node/45327 Here is a link as to why colorado sucks for elk hunting. I hate to burst everyone's bubble but only rags and cows here!

Colorado Cowboy
06-22-2012, 04:01 PM
Don't really care about horns this year...going to fill my freezer with a ML cow tag.

Old Hunter
06-22-2012, 04:04 PM
I told you we have no elk here, and what little there is. I kill them.

Might as well stay home. I got it covered.

Elkoholic307
06-22-2012, 05:16 PM
Real trophy area is NW part of state, but it takes mega points to draw....upwards of 20!!!!

Can you buy a point after the draw like WY or can you only get points if you're unsuccessful in the draw?

fortgeorgetaxidermy
06-22-2012, 05:42 PM
unsuccessful.

Colorado Cowboy
06-22-2012, 06:53 PM
Too late to get a point now, but you can apply for one without trying to draw a tag. I will have to be next year now.:(

Earlier someone asked about fires....well we have one going down here in the 4 Corners area now. Near Mancos, lots of smoke and some wind. Hope to hell they can get it beat down before it gets too bad.

In God We Trust
06-22-2012, 07:34 PM
Colorado isn't the best by any stretch but you can find a 300-330" bull every now and then if you look. I would choose AZ, UT, or NM over Colorado for a trophy bull.

hvfd21walker
06-22-2012, 07:35 PM
I was hoping we would get dispatched down there to help you guys with the fires. We are packed and ready to help put them out. Any ways back to elk hunting. Colorado manages for hunter success dont they? Not trophy.

In God We Trust
06-22-2012, 07:44 PM
Yeah the majority of the units are manged that way. It is hotter than hell here this year and if the high country doesn't start getting some rain antler growth is going to be bad. I am thinking about turning in my unit 49 tag and drawing it next year. I have read articles that claim a drought year has the potential of stunting antler growth up to 40%.

PLP
07-01-2012, 03:55 PM
I hope to find out soon..lol

HuskyMusky
07-01-2012, 05:06 PM
Everyone is saying 300" elk...

I wonder when you compare 400" elk killed per year by state where CO ranks? Granted CO has the most elk, but is 1 400" CO elk killed every year? 390? 380?

I once heard a guy in elk camp say... "a guide in CO will have you convinced that a 300" elk is a monster"

HuskyMusky
07-01-2012, 05:25 PM
to each their own, but my 1st elk hunt in CO I passed on a 4x4 and a fellow hunter said any other elk hunter in CO would have shot that elk, you should have shot it, they don't get much bigger out here on public land...

you know if everyone passed 5x5 and sub 300" elk, then when everyone shot an elk it would be a 6x6 300"+

again to each their own, but I'd rather shoot a cow elk for meat than a immature elk 4x4 230" type bull.

and this "if I don't shoot it someone else will" attitude doesn't help at all IMO.

BKC
07-01-2012, 05:28 PM
to each their own, but my 1st elk hunt in CO I passed on a 4x4 and a fellow hunter said any other elk hunter in CO would have shot that elk, you should have shot it, they don't get much bigger out here on public land...

you know if everyone passed 5x5 and sub 300" elk, then when everyone shot an elk it would be a 6x6 300"+

again to each their own, but I'd rather shoot a cow elk for meat than a immature elk 4x4 230" type bull.

and this "if I don't shoot it someone else will" attitude doesn't help at all IMO. So you believe everything your told?

ivorytip
07-01-2012, 08:22 PM
ummmm good luck guys! i hear colo sucks bad:rolleyes: as with any place , scout...... and good luck on those fires, that is crazy shiz going on that way

Old Hunter
07-01-2012, 08:28 PM
ummmm good luck guys! i hear colo sucks bad:rolleyes: as with any place , scout...... and good luck on those fires, that is crazy shiz going on that way

I agree. Everybody should go to Idaho.

We have no elk.

trkytrack2
07-02-2012, 12:34 AM
Orange army indeed. Unbelievable hoards of hunters in Colorado. There are big bulls killed every year in Colorado but mostly raghorns, small 4x4's, 5x5's and small 6x6's. If a guy has the $$$ hire a good outfitter and hunt private lands. Public lands are over run with the orange army.

Old Hunter
07-02-2012, 05:08 AM
Let's not forget the bow hunters who don't wear orange.

BOHNTR
07-02-2012, 07:22 AM
I think Colorado is a great elk hunting state with prime habitat and plenty of them chase. However, it's no secret that if you want to take a trophy caliber bull elk (let's say 350"+), your odds are much better in several other states (AZ, NV, NM, MT, ID). One of the benefits of being on the records committee with P&Y and B&C is you get to review where critters are being taken and how often (by state, county, etc.) over the last decade or so. For trophy size bulls, CO ranks lower than the states listed above. However, good luck getting a tag in a few of those states. If a 300" bull is a trophy to you, then it's definitely doable in Colorado.

CrimsonArrow
07-02-2012, 09:19 AM
Aren't there enough states with trophy elk and hard-to-draw tags? I appreciate CO for what it is; a state full of opportunity. It's nice to be able to drive out, buy an archery tag, and hunt on abundant public land. The ratio of mature, trophy bulls might not be there, but numbers of elk and giant muleys make up for that.

ivorytip
07-02-2012, 03:41 PM
haha your waisting your time oldhunter, the last 5 elk seen in idaho were ran over by a potatoe truck last night head south of the border. i elk hunt in florida.

Old Hunter
07-02-2012, 04:33 PM
I hear Florida has some monsters.

Has to be better than Colorado, because we have no elk left.

Good rabbit hunting though. Except they have disease.

Fly fishing is good though. Oh wait! No runoff this year. Fish are all dead.

Fink
07-02-2012, 04:36 PM
I hear Florida has some monsters.

Has to be better than Colorado, because we have no elk left.

Good rabbit hunting though. Except they have disease.

Fly fishing is good though. Oh wait! No runoff this year. Fish are all dead.

You should consider moving to a more game-rich environment. I guess at least you have nice scenic views?

Old Hunter
07-02-2012, 04:46 PM
I just go for hikes now. Game and fish are all gone.

wapiti66
07-02-2012, 08:14 PM
I agree with CrimsonArrow. It's a great opportunity to go to Co and buy an OTC tag and give it a try, way better than sitting at home and reading everybody else's stories about hunting them. I've had plenty of expensive "hiking trips" to Co with bow and OTC tag in hand, but I keep going because sometimes it works out.

miktwalker
11-06-2012, 09:43 AM
I have tried hunting elk in CO since 1998. I am a resident and a native and have tried to connect with them "way up high", low and everywhere in between. I've still hunted the steep black north face of prime bedding areas, sat off of feeding areas, sat off of open space between cover breaks, been on fully guided archery and rifle hunts, drop camp hunts in wilderness areas and have hunted in units 75, 751, 851, 371, 18, 181 and 5 years now in 54. I am in exellent shape, use all kinds of scent clothing and scent spray, watch the wind and weather carefully. Do you know what I have to show for all my hard work and patience? A gigantic steaming pile of JACK SQUAT! So after wrapping my .06 around the nearest tree at the end of this years hunt, I'm completely done hunting elk in CO. However, I cant wait for the chance to run some over with my truck!

Old Hunter
11-06-2012, 11:00 AM
Your truck is not legal to kill elk in Colorado. You need a Jeep.

trkytrack2
11-06-2012, 02:52 PM
I have tried hunting elk in CO since 1998. I am a resident and a native and have tried to connect with them "way up high", low and everywhere in between. I've still hunted the steep black north face of prime bedding areas, sat off of feeding areas, sat off of open space between cover breaks, been on fully guided archery and rifle hunts, drop camp hunts in wilderness areas and have hunted in units 75, 751, 851, 371, 18, 181 and 5 years now in 54. I am in exellent shape, use all kinds of scent clothing and scent spray, watch the wind and weather carefully. Do you know what I have to show for all my hard work and patience? A gigantic steaming pile of JACK SQUAT! So after wrapping my .06 around the nearest tree at the end of this years hunt, I'm completely done hunting elk in CO. However, I cant wait for the chance to run some over with my truck!
I wouldn't waste any money on lotto tickets if I were you.

miktwalker
11-06-2012, 03:48 PM
I wouldn't waste any money on lotto tickets if I were you.

No $hit thats my point exactally. All this nonsense about all this planning, scouting, scent products, equipment, playing the wind (which naturally always seems to change direction 360 degrees and speed every 15 minutes) is all bull$hit. Elk hunting is 100% pure luck of being in the right place at the right time. I must have a 100% reverse Midas touch. Instead of turning to gold, everyting I touch or plan turns to $hit.

Colorado Cowboy
11-06-2012, 04:41 PM
As they say....Thats why its called hunting instead of killing. Just keep plugging away. You talk like you didn't have fun. Just being out with my hunting friends is reward enough.

miktwalker
11-06-2012, 05:03 PM
As they say....Thats why its called hunting instead of killing. Just keep plugging away. You talk like you didn't have fun. Just being out with my hunting friends is reward enough.

Yea I guess your right, I should think that strapping 50 + lbs of stuff on my back and blowing my nut sack off hiking all over hells half acre searching for an an elk for the last 14 years is called fun. I call it annual "take a rifle or bow, or better yet both, hiking for a week" week. There are far too may hunters for too little elk in this state. I am done with this BS.

Edelweiss
11-06-2012, 05:47 PM
I think the sentiment that will continue to be echoed across the nation, as we get to have a larger population of hunters and increasing population of home owners building in elk habitat.

BKC
11-06-2012, 06:27 PM
Yea I guess your right, I should think that strapping 50 + lbs of stuff on my back and blowing my nut sack off hiking all over hells half acre searching for an an elk for the last 14 years is called fun. I call it annual "take a rifle or bow, or better yet both, hiking for a week" week. There are far too may hunters for too little elk in this state. I am done with this BS.

Wow, I guess in 14 years of elk hunting you must have acquired some equipment, So what do you have for sale? pm me.

miktwalker
11-06-2012, 07:55 PM
Wow, I guess in 14 years of elk hunting you must have acquired some equipment, So what do you have for sale? pm me.

I dont know how to PM but, most of it is sitting next to my smashed rifle and scope in unit 54. But I do have a nice set of zeiss binoculars, a lazer range finder, unfired Traditions .50 cal muzzloader still new in the box, a 2008 BowTech 70 lb. compound bow (all assy. speced out by John Schaffer of Minneapolis MN). Tell me how to send you a pm.

BKC
11-06-2012, 08:21 PM
I dont know how to PM but, most of it is sitting next to my smashed rifle and scope in unit 54. But I do have a nice set of zeiss binoculars, a lazer range finder, unfired Traditions .50 cal muzzloader still new in the box, a 2008 BowTech 70 lb. compound bow (all assy. speced out by John Schaffer of Minneapolis MN). Tell me how to send you a pm. Click on my screen name and click on private message amd then just type at your leisure.

romo343
11-12-2012, 11:11 AM
I am a resident of Colordo and I have many complaints about elk hunting in the state. Especially in the souther part of the state. I could go on with this topic forever, but i'll try to keep it short. First off I love elk hunting, and its one of my favorite things to do. But the problem with CO is that the DOW and the sate is so money hungry its sad. The quality of elk in the units I hunt is pitiful. There is a bull to cow ratio of 12:100, and this is rediculous because it it prime elk habitat. The unit borders New Mexico units 4 and 52, and the quality of elk there is amazing compared to our units. Another problem with Colorado is the amount of hunting tags they give out each year. Unlimited archery, draw muzzleloader, Draw 1st season, OTC res and non res 2nd and 3rd season, draw 4th season, and a Dec. cow hunt. WOW!! to me that many seasons is rediculous, and it shows in Colorado the quality of elk because of it. The DOW estimateds 7800 elk in the units i'm referring too, and being someone who spends a great amount of time in the mountains year round, and especially in June-Nov. I just don't agree with this because I do not see many elk when I'm out and about. Plus they contraindicate themselves because one page says 7800 and another link says an average of 6500, to me 1300 is a big difference. The bottom line is Colorado elk hunting is doing down hill, and its sad because it should not be this way. I see other states who really care about there elk populations and as far as i'm concerned CO really doesn't care. I hate to be this way, I'd rather like to sit here and talk great about elk hunting here, but its just not the case.

Doe Nob
11-12-2012, 12:57 PM
I dont know how to PM but, most of it is sitting next to my smashed rifle and scope in unit 54. But I do have a nice set of zeiss binoculars, a lazer range finder, unfired Traditions .50 cal muzzloader still new in the box, a 2008 BowTech 70 lb. compound bow (all assy. speced out by John Schaffer of Minneapolis MN). Tell me how to send you a pm.

I'm glad you're alive, if I hunted 54 the last 5 years in a row, I might have driven off monarch pass on the way back east.

romo343
11-12-2012, 01:21 PM
why is that?

Natree81
11-14-2012, 08:39 PM
I must have got really lucky. hunted elk once in Co and got a bull. Sounds like I need to stop at that.

NDHunter
11-14-2012, 09:05 PM
From what I've looked at, aren't the success rates for a lot of the otc units in CO between 15-20%? Isn't that very consistent with other otc units in different states?

Also, what about the elk populations in some of the low, 1-3 point units? Romo, or anyone else for that matter, what do you think about the elk populations in those low draw units? And if you had to recommend one, any suggestions? My brother in law and I will have 2 points next year and have been researching units with a decent population of animals. Not necessarily big bulls but just good quantity. I have a few ideas but am always open to new suggestions.

Doe Nob
11-15-2012, 08:15 AM
why is that?

It is the only OTC unit in the state where the DOW has had to put a cap on the amount of OTC licenses sold.

Old Hunter
11-15-2012, 06:29 PM
I found the answer. After 61 years of hunting elk and muley's. I'm retired from hunting. I had a good run, and have a million memories.

I'll be living out the rest of my years fly fishing the creeks in the same mountains I hunted for so many years. I'll be doing it without all the hunters though, and that's a good thing. :)

BKC
11-15-2012, 07:42 PM
It is the only OTC unit in the state where the DOW has had to put a cap on the amount of OTC licenses sold. This does not make sense. I don't know any unit that has a cap on otc license, You either can hunt the unit with the tag or you cant. ???????

Old Hunter
11-15-2012, 08:13 PM
You can hunt any OTC unit with an OTC tag. How can they put a limit on any OTC unit?

BKC
11-15-2012, 08:21 PM
No, not any unit. Any unit the tag is good for. There are exclusions, such as trophy managed units but ther is no cap on otc tags for certain units.

Old Hunter
11-16-2012, 10:01 AM
This year was the first year I ever bought an OTC tag. I was forced into it, because i got hurt for my muzzleloader tag, and had to turn it in. When I bought the tag at the Salida DOW office I asked why it didn't say anything about the unit 55 i was buying it for. He told me it was good for any OTC unit for the season I got it for.

That hunt made me decide to retire. There must have been 2000 hunters there.

ivorytip
11-18-2012, 06:45 AM
sorry to hear that old hunter. saddly alot of states are getting more worried about the money they pull in than the quality of the heards. hopefully things will play out and you can get out and persue more elk.

Old Hunter
11-18-2012, 09:41 AM
No, I think i'm done. I had a good run of hunting for 61 years. I never missed a season. I'm going to just live out my years fly fishing now.

xtreme
11-18-2012, 10:06 AM
Well, I guess that leaves me and Colorado Cowboy, The woods won't seem the same knowing your not in there somewhere but I understand. My nine year wait was worth it and I still met deer hunters. Only 25 deer hunters it that unit but at my age it cant happen again and that was the first time I ever hunted for a trophy.
I my get the binos and camera. Good luck fly fishing Old Hunter, maybe I will see you on the Conejos.

ivorytip
11-18-2012, 10:58 AM
come on over and fly fish henry's. ill push some 14lb cutbows your way:) idaho is getting bad with alot of units too. still some solid ones though

Old Hunter
11-18-2012, 01:06 PM
I'll be on the Frying Pan for the green drake hatch in August. I live on the Arkansas River, so the caddis hatch is a natural for me. The rest of the time mostly on the Taylor. Lakes during runoff. Sometimes the So Platte, but it's always crowded, and you know how I love crowds. :)

Doe Nob
11-19-2012, 08:48 AM
This does not make sense. I don't know any unit that has a cap on otc license, You either can hunt the unit with the tag or you cant. ???????

For this unit specifically they have a cap, after the number of licenses sell out, you can't get one. Not the case in the rest of the units, you can go to the DOW and just buy one any time. In this unit they go on sale in June or July and there is no draw, but when they are gone, no more. Unit 54, check it out, 2nd season, only stripey unit on the map:

http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteCollectionDocuments/DOW/Maps/Hunting/BigGame/OTCRifleElk.pdf

BKC
11-19-2012, 05:12 PM
For this unit specifically they have a cap, after the number of licenses sell out, you can't get one. Not the case in the rest of the units, you can go to the DOW and just buy one any time. In this unit they go on sale in June or July and there is no draw, but when they are gone, no more. Unit 54, check it out, 2nd season, only stripey unit on the map:

http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteCollectionDocuments/DOW/Maps/Hunting/BigGame/OTCRifleElk.pdf

Well I'll be damned! You learn something new each day. So from I would guess, they would like as many cows shot as possible in 2nd season?

Doe Nob
11-20-2012, 08:01 AM
Well I'll be damned! You learn something new each day. So from I would guess, they would like as many cows shot as possible in 2nd season?

The success rate is terrible, its just a very accessible unit close to town so you can hotel hunt it (theoretically). Still plenty of private for the bulls to hide out in, that or the nastiest canyons I've seen. I might try it again some day (because I'm stupid and hard headed), I think I was figuring it out, but there's no shortage of competition there - the cap is still 500 tags for 2nd season.

7mmshot
11-20-2012, 04:09 PM
always a ton of hunters out here. The worste part is when they shoot at the same animal the saw you stalking on.
But Colorado allows these OTC archery, 2nd, 3rd, seasons. And alot of money comes into this place from that.

I don't think I ever see any of that money, but I do know some guys that guide and it helps them pay the bills.

elks
12-02-2012, 08:31 AM
True statement?

What do you say?

If you want a trophy elk, 6x6 300"+ is CO near the bottom of your elk states list?



Feel free to include some colorado elk sayings too.

"In colorado we don't have elk, we have elk hunters"

"The orange army"

Nope I can find at least one 300" bull every year in OTC units, just getting to close the opportunity gets hard. That being said it is hard finding mature bulls, but if you hunt hard and burn up some boot leather they are there... Sure were not pulling out bulls like other states, but I am also a resident who gets to hunt atleast sometimes 2 different elk tags a year and prettym uch where ever I feel like hunting. In other states it takes years to draw even some of the easiest tags. I would rather have the opportunity to hunt every year then once every ten. Atleast in this system I can see a 300" + bull every year, and everyone once and a while put it down.