Re: CO Hunt Units
I work predator control for a ranching association in Colorado GMU 10. I lived there for the last two years. I have to say that in working all over northwest Colorado West of Craig, mostly north of Highway 40, Unit 10 has got to be the top as far as gross potential for trophy bucks goes.
The reason you don't see more Governor Tag deer or every day joe hunters taking deer out of Unit 10 is purely a private land issue. The biggest bucks are on Blue Mountain, which is approximately 350,000 acres (not including the ground on Dinosaur National Monument) and of that, more than 2/3 is private ground, and a large part of that public ground is landlocked or inaccessible due to terrain. I don't know of a single one of those ranchers who provides access to hunt deer to anyone except the outfitter(s) who leases the hunting rights on the ranch. There is serious money to buy sole hunting priveleges of those ranches and that's what's keeping a lot of big deer from being seen out of Unit 10. Most of the clientele is out of California or back east, and few of the guys are submitting their hunts to MuleyCrazy for them to become public.
I know of 6 deer taken out of Unit 10 last year that scored over 200, the highest grossing 226 Boone & Crockett with a 34 1/2" outside spread. I don't really keep track of the deer under 200 B&C that are taken out of the unit.
The CWD issue is kind of moot as of yet. Yes Unit 10 is now officially a CWD unit, but it's not affecting the deer numbers, let alone trophy quality. At least not yet. With the intensive predator control the unit has seen the deer numbers are actually dramatically rising and in another couple years the increased deer numbers should put some serious age into the bucks as hunters have more bucks to sort through and not such a high percentage of real trophies are being shot each season.
The only thing keeping Unit 10 from producing extremely large numbers of tremendous bucks is the elk herd. With Unit 10's elk herd exceeding 8,000 and just over 2,000 mule deer, the deer are finding it hard to compete. The predator suppression is helping and the deer herd should continue to grow, but CDOW needs to issue more elk tags in the unit.
As far as trophy elk go, spending so much time in Utah, it's hard to consider any elk in Colorado to be impressive. Too many 380-400+ elk in Utah. I've seen two elk in Unit 10 that would break the elusive 380 mark, but both seemed to be bulls that wandered down out of Limited-Entry Utah elk units judging by their antler characteristics.
I would agree on Unit 201 probably being the best elk unit in the Colorado though. I have found a few big elk sheds while denning coyotes in that unit.