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    Unit 501 first rifle season Elk

    My brother and myself are planning a Elk hunt for this coming fall. After spending some time reviewing the MRS section and doing some other research we are leaning to first season rifle in unit 501. We have three preference points which looks to be enough to draw. We have never hunted Elk but have a few Mule Deer hunts under our belts. Just looking for some overall info and opinions on the Unit. Would bringing an ATV be to our benefit? What is a "good" Bull in the Unit? We will be calling some biologist and game wardens as well to get some info. Thanks! -Nick

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    Front range unit, heavily treed. Burned on the far east side from the hayman fire. Has some wilderness area. Not a unit I would typically see a lot if any out of state hunters. Not exactly a super desirable unit. Not a trophy unit. ATV probably wouldn't be any benefit. A "good" bull in the unit is ANY legal bull. Hope this helps!

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    Thanks for the info CoHiCntry. That makes me think we need to be looking at other units. I wonder why 501 takes three points to draw if it doesn't have a lot to offer? Do you know of any units that three points would draw that are a little more desirable? We are not afraid to put work into our hunts and get off the beaten path, nor are we expecting to shoot 300' Bulls. Not to be greedy but I'm not sure it is worth using the points we have for a unit that doesn't offer a decent chance at scoring a branch antler bull. Thanks again!

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    I can't tell you why it takes 3 points for a non-res? This unit is within an hour drive of Colorado Springs and I'm sure it gets a fair amount of consideration from residents who live close and want to hunt a unit close to home. Have you looked at the success rate for that unit and season on bulls? That might help with your decision as well. I would personally look further west. At least you can get into more "elk country" type terrain. If you haven't hunted elk before I would look at a cow tag in a desirable limited unit. You will get to see a lot of elk this way and will have somewhere around a 50% chance for success. That's high as far as elk huntings concerned. Here's my disclaimer though... I haven't hunted unit 501 for elk, so take it with a grain of salt! I have been in the unit a little bit deer hunting but not a lot. There's obviously elk there and bulls killed every year too. I just don't think I'd be happy driving across the country to hunt it. If you were hunting with a local... that's a different story.

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    I had some time so I went ahead and checked for you. Much to my surprise, the success rate on bulls during the 1st rifle season in unit 501 was was 52% in 2012! The unit might be better than I'm giving it credit for? At least as far as success goes. I still don't see it much as a trophy unit. If you decide to try and draw this unit and get a tag, I'd like to stay in touch with you. I live really close to the unit and have thought about hunting it every other year or so instead of saving up points for units far away when I can hunt closer to home. PM me if you want sometime. I can probably answer more specific questions as they arise.

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    Thanks for all the info! We had researched the success rates of 501 as well as other units we could possibly draw. 501 on paper seems to be the best choice, great success rate and fair sized unit for the amount of tags given, also appears to have good public access. 500 and 48 are the other two units on our radar for a first season hunt with 57 looking like a good option as a third season hunt. Second season is not an option for us this year due to obligations back home.
    As far as trophy bull potential. We realize the chances of us stumbling into a huge bull are more than very slim.. I am certain when I say that any bull will bring a huge smile to our faces! On the other hand I have a hard time wrapping my head around using three points on a unit where chances at a branch antler bull are slim. I guess like anyone or anything we want the most bang for the buck! haha.
    We are not afraid to get off the road and out of the crowd. That said we have been spoiled in previous hunting adventures by having very good ATV access to retrieve our game. Being that we will not be using the aid of horses, we would prefer to break ourselves in with the use of a frame pack on as forgiving of slopes as possible. To say the least we have much to prepare for!
    Thank you again! All info is good info! I will keep you posted on what we decide to go with. -Nick

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    For the most part here in Colorado if you can legally get an ATV there then the hunting will suck! My brother was over there riding his mountain bike last year during the rut and saw quite a few elk and noticed a lot of rutting activity going on. They only give out 41 bull tags between residents and illegal aliens (non residents) . I thought about putting in for it after my brothers report on it but don't have 3 points. The hunting pressure is low so it may be worth it. Call the Colorado Springs Game and Fish office and talk to a game warden, see what he recommends. Good luck bro.
    A bad day in the woods is better than a good day at work.
    Shoot the best, Shoot PSE!

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    I don't think that IGWT is giving 501 quite enough credit. I have hunted the unit with friends during the muzzle season and I can assure you that there are some real nice bulls in there. Granted the unit isn't over run with them but they are there. I really don't understand why the unit doesn't require more points than it does but IMO the unit is a real sleeper. As far as using an ATV goes, it would be beneficial to have one if you hunted the east side of the unit but we be a waste of time on the west side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Granby guy View Post
    I don't think that IGWT is giving 501 quite enough credit. I have hunted the unit with friends during the muzzle season and I can assure you that there are some real nice bulls in there. Granted the unit isn't over run with them but they are there. I really don't understand why the unit doesn't require more points than it does but IMO the unit is a real sleeper. As far as using an ATV goes, it would be beneficial to have one if you hunted the east side of the unit but we be a waste of time on the west side.
    Granby guy... which part of the unit have you hunted? Did you spend any time in the wilderness area? I'm not as familiar with other parts of the unit. I know the far eastern edge the most. I might draw a mule deer tag there this year. Looking at a 3rd or 4th season tag in either 501, 51 or 511. Need to check which unit I stand the greatest % chance of drawing with 1 point.

    It's probably more me than IGWT not giving 501 enough credit. Living close to the unit I would think I'd hear more about it if it was any good. Maybe your right and it's a sleeper. The low amount of tags undoubtedly has something to do with the lack of popularity too I assume.
    Last edited by CoHiCntry; 02-07-2014 at 08:39 AM.

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    Well, I haven't seen a post by Old Hunter in a long time. How and where is he?

 

 

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