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  1. #1
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    Selecting an elk unit in Colorado

    I've been looking into some units that have leftovers and also some of the OTC units. 3rd season dates seem to work best with my schedule for this year. I'm a newbie to backpack hunting and I plan to base out of a truck camp with maybe a 1-2 night spike out if I get into some elk. It seems the units in NW corner and North central have good elk numbers but also a lot of pressure from hunters. So basically I've been researching the South central and SW units.

    Every time I think I have my mind made up on an area, I find a little more info about another area. Most of the units that have leftovers are just a 1st or 4th season tag for OTC 2nd and 3rd season units. The other leftovers are for LE units but success rates are generally awful. I can't find much info on GMU 79 but there aren't any leftovers for 3rd season this year anyway. I've considered GMUs 82 and 74 but it seems to be more early season terrain at high elevation. I'm not comfortable with idea of doing a deep backcountry hunt (solo) on my first elk hunt. That seems to knock those off the list. GMUs 62, 65, 70, 71 and 711 seem to have gentler terrain but tons of hunters. I'm still looking hard at a couple of these units. GMU 60 seems to have a little less pressure but seems to be a weather dependent migration unit that could be a bust without snow.

    The main thing that I am looking for is a quality hunt with a chance to see some elk and not be overrun with other hunters. I would like decent success rates but that's not a top priority. Just a good overall experience with a chance at a respectable bull. Anybody want to shed some light or have any tips on making my final decision? Or am I just overthinking it?

  2. #2
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    I can give you a little insight to the SW area because this is where I live and have hunted a lot. You are spot on about hunter pressure, the 2 OTC seasons attract a ton of hunters, lots from out of state like you. The elk have been hunted for a couple of months and a lot are already on private land and there is quite a bit too. Weather can a blessing. A little snow makes a lot of difference. There are several wilderness areas in this area that do not get a lot of pressure because of their difficult access that lots of hunters will not attempt. The problem with 3rd season is that they are really high altitude and get lots of snow. Again a little snow down low means lots up high and most of the elk are usually on their way out of there by then.

    Unit 70 can be good IF we get snow. 71 & 711 really get lots of hunters, so be prepared to deal with the "orange army". If you decide on 70, 71 or 711, PM me and we can discuss these areas more. I used to hunt 74 , but not much anymore. There is another unit you might consider, PM again.

    Good Luck.
    Colorado Cowboy
    Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA
    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
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  3. #3
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    I do not know much about the areas you are looking at but I would stick with 3rd or 4th season. 2nd season is a zoo because it is the first combined season and every out of state guy that can does come out that season. 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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    FYI... Gmu 65 is very rough county...

  5. #5
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    Could always do LE unit that you have a slight chance of drawing with 0pts. I've noticed in the unit I frequent the elk hunters like to stay up high, but I always seem to see (from the truck) pockets of elk down in the sage/quakie country that are vocal with bulls still trying to cover cows .

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by In God We Trust View Post
    I do not know much about the areas you are looking at but I would stick with 3rd or 4th season. 2nd season is a zoo because it is the first combined season and every out of state guy that can does come out that season. Good luck bro!
    Thanks man. I'm definitely doing 3rd season. Turned in the vacation yesterday.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandrroofing View Post
    FYI... Gmu 65 is very rough county...
    That's right. I had a lot of gmus bouncing around in my head lol.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by packmule View Post
    Could always do LE unit that you have a slight chance of drawing with 0pts. I've noticed in the unit I frequent the elk hunters like to stay up high, but I always seem to see (from the truck) pockets of elk down in the sage/quakie country that are vocal with bulls still trying to cover cows .
    It's gonna be hard to draw when it's already over lol. I'm building points for a unit that will take 3 for a chance and 4 to guarantee. It wasn't hard for me to decide on a LE but this otc and leftovers have my head spinning.

  9. #9
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    If the one you want only takes 3-4pts then get a voucher for it and hunt it before using your points on it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by packmule View Post
    If the one you want only takes 3-4pts then get a voucher for it and hunt it before using your points on it.
    Hmmmm.....I wonder what one of those would cost me? That's exactly the # of points the unit I was saving for takes. 3 for a chance and 4 to guarantee. Thanks mule. I'll check it out.

 

 

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