Home Forums Campfire Forum CO elk units

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    • Allen Payne
      Post count: 6

      Headed for CO elk hunting with 3 other trad shooters. One lives in CO & is our scout for where to hunt. Anyone have experience in units 6,7,14,16,17,161 or 171? Seeking solid advice on areas to camp that have a water source nearby & good hunting areas in these units. We will have the ability to hunt out of spike camps as well as a base camp. Thanks.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Sorry, I have lived and hunted in CO for 30 years and don’t know any of those units. The Front Range (east side of Continental Divide) and the West Slope (where I live) might as well be two separate continents. I’d go west if I were you, due to the tremendous influx of hunters from the big Front Range cities, Denver etc., who hunt the east side for convenience. But like most Americans these days, I’m woefully xenophobic. In fact,CO has more elk than any other state, province or known planet in the universe. Do your homeword — increasingly, sad to say, to learn how to get away from the ATVs and lazy hordes they bring, than to find the elk. Best luck, dave

    • Allen Payne
      Post count: 6

      David Petersen wrote: Sorry, I have lived and hunted in CO for 30 years and don’t know any of those units. The Front Range (east side of Continental Divide) and the West Slope (where I live) might as well be two separate continents. I’d go west if I were you, due to the tremendous influx of hunters from the big Front Range cities, Denver etc., who hunt the east side for convenience. But like most Americans these days, I’m woefully xenophobic. In fact,CO has more elk than any other state, province or known planet in the universe. Do your homeword — increasingly, sad to say, to learn how to get away from the ATVs and lazy hordes they bring, than to find the elk. Best luck, dave

    • Allen Payne
      Post count: 6

      David thanks so much for your advice. Our scout has not mentioned any experience to the west but I will pass on the tip. Without giving away your favorite areas, could you recommend some areas I could mention to him? He lives near Loveland.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Allen (and anyone else interested) — The White River herd is the biggest elk herd in the world. White River NF is north of Rifle and just west of Glenwood Springs. While it sort of “on top” so far as east or west, it’s worth looking into. If you’re able to backpack in, the Flattops Wilderness can be awesome. Farther west I’d avoid the Uncomphagre NF, between Montrose and Delta, near Grand Junction, because it’s absolutely overrun with ATVs and getting worse all the time. Otherwise, good elk pops there (and deer, bear, turkey). San Juan NF, down in the SW, is huge with several wilderness areas. Although it’s among the most popular areas and has plenty of elk, I’d probably avoid the Hermosa Creek drainage for hunting from a road camp, due again to intense ATV traffic plus mjotorcycles and hunting’s new big enemy, mountain bicyclists. Down south of Pagosa Springs in the S. San Juans is a neglected area during bow season. Plenty to choose from! In my long experience here, if you want to enjoy an all-around fun and memorable trip and hear elk bugling, your first goal should be to find where ATVs are allowed (all forests now must publish Motor Vehicle Use Maps, or MVUMs, which are free and note all legally motorized trails) and go somewhere else. I’ve heard of folks backpacking into “wilderness” only to have ATVs go screaming by below them, just over the boundary. You don’t have to do wilderness to esape the motors. CO has 4 million acres of roadless areas that we (some of us) fight hard to keep that way. Perhaps these conditions and concerns will help you find a good spot in one of your original planned units. Like I say, I don’t know enough about any of them to say bad or good. dave

    • Allen Payne
      Post count: 6

      Dave, thanks again for being willing to share your time & knowledge with a complete stranger! Will do some more research on the areas mentioned & pass them along to our scout.
      Allen

    • Allen Payne
      Post count: 6

      Dave, do you know if a draw tag for GMU 7 would also be good in OTC units? Have been turned on to a good sounding place in a wilderness area but would like to be flexible enough to move around. Also, I was told that the deadline for archery draw units is April 6. Do you know if that is the correct date. Couldn’t find it in the brochure. May be there & I just missed it.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Allen — draw tags are good only for a specific GMU, or Game Management Unit, though sometimes cover a few contiguous GMUs, which should be indicated in the draw announcements. If you want to be able to move extensively, go with an o-c tag. For more info on GMU’s, deadlines etc. just google Colorado Division of Wildlife and from the main page navigate to big game draw info, elk, etc. You can apply right online and pay with a credit card if you like. If you apply and don’t draw, they will issues you a refund in a couple of months (or an o-c tag, your choice. I know nothing about any low-number GMU’s sorry. Good luck, dave

    • turtlebunting
      Post count: 103

      i would love to go elk hunting. and one day i will. just got to talk the wife in letting me go! heheheeheheh!

    • mittenm
      Member
      Post count: 54

      turtle- my wife always let me go, in fact she would ask where are you going this year? etc. You see- to her it was a gift to me and she took great joy in gifting me the time.

      CO is a great state for return hunting in an OTC unit while you wait for the draw units. Don’t be surprised as you a learn a spot from year to year, that you have more success there than a low point draw unit. Ha! Whether you run ito other hunters or loose track of the elk, its all better than staying home in my opinion. Go for it. Mike

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