View Full Version : Colorado Unit 74 for elk and muleys

Lone Ranger
07-01-2011, 01:59 PM
We will be hunting from a drop camp in Unit 74, north of Durango for elk and will have a mule deer tag as well. We are hunting the second rifle season. I have never hunted in this area before, so any information would be greatly appreciated. How are the elk and deer populations in this area as well. Thanks in advance.

Colorado Cowboy
07-01-2011, 07:42 PM
Depends on where you are going. I live about 50 miles SW of there. Is an outfitter doing the drop camp, if so who is it? A lot depends on weather and where the drop camp is. Tell me a little more.

Lone Ranger
07-03-2011, 08:42 AM
We will be hunting with the Mangus 5 Outfitters out of Ignacio, Colorado. They have had drop camps in this area for many years. We are in one of the fartherest ones back and it is near Big Lick Creek, East Cross Creek and Blind Canyon, which are about 25 miles north of Durango. I talked to all of their references and they all had very good things to say about them and their operation. Of course that is what references are suppose to do. Hopefully it will be a good area. Does this info help you to know where we will be?

07-03-2011, 11:14 AM
Used to hunt in 74 for elk about every year form 1990 to early 2000, lots of elk. Expect a lot of 4 - 5 pnts fw small 6's. Where this an OTC elk area bulls don't survive many years but there still a chance to kill a big one. I killed one of my biggest bull (6x8) out of there in 2000. Fun hunt for elk. As far as deer very few and far between where we were at but the ones you did see were big. Plan for snow.

Lone Ranger
07-04-2011, 12:34 AM
Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it.

Colorado Cowboy
07-04-2011, 02:04 PM
I know the area you will be in and have hunted it a couple of times. It is NW of Durango a little south of Purgatory Ski area. You probably will be using Lower Hermosa trail head on Forest Service rd 576. You will really be hunting the 3rd season (after archery/muzzleloading and 1st rifle either sex seasons) so the elk will probably be in the thick stuff and in the canyons in the timber. Possible snow as stated earlier, actually is better hunting with an inch or two (IMHO) because all the sign will be fresh and the animals easier to see. Not as many deer as elk. Don't be surprised to see other hunters as lots of hunters with their own private stock could be there too. Pretty popular area because its not too far from Durango.

I'm doing a Wyoming wilderness hunt this year, pref pts only for here in Colo. Next year I am hunting the Weminuche Wilderness are north of Pagosa. Good luck to you.

07-06-2011, 01:12 AM
Lone Ranger - I have hunted that area for the last 4 years now and will be back up there again this year for first rifle elk. I live north of DFW airport in Flower Mound so we should get together and discuss more if you'd like. The previous posts are all true. 2 years ago I shot my first elk there, a nice 6x6. Percentages for that area are listed around 28% and that is right on given my experience which is only now one step above novice. I haven't hunted out of the north end where you seem to be putting in only out of Hermosa about 3-5 miles up the trail between Little Elk Creek and Dutch Creek. The area is steep but has good isolated pockets. You will see hunters and guides and if the weather is sunny and warm you will even see hikers. Last year weather was warm and no one was having any luck. Year before weather was colder but not as cold as you would expect and we saw a ton of elk so weather does seem to play a significant role there, as in many other places I'm sure. I feel like I know the area pretty good after looking at maps for the last 3 years and hunting it quite a bit. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. I will say I agree with the earlier post - in all my years there I have seen very few mulies. But take that for what it's worth, I'm still learning myself.

07-30-2011, 03:10 PM
I took a 4x5 2 years ago close to that area. Very thick terrain. Leave the spotting scope at home, you wont get to look that far.