Originally Posted by directtim
Was thinking OTC but to be honest I really just started looking at this area. Is there a different time frame for draw hunts and OTC hunts? What units are good? It would be my first trip to that area. Thanks again for your time.
The SJ National Forest makes up parts of units 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 711, 751, and 771.
Seasons get a little confusing for non-residents of CO. The deadline for entering into the draw was April 3rd of this year, so the draw hunts are out of the question for you for this year.
Buck deer is 100% draw in this area, no matter what the weapon type.
For archery, you buy OTC either sex tags that are good for all the units above except 76.. For you situation of hunting the San Juans, the only unit around here you couldn't hunt is 76, because it is a draw-only unit.
Muzzleloader is 100% draw, no matter the unit
For Rifle season, we have 4 seasons. The 1st and 4th seasons are draw-only, so that eliminates those seasons for you for this year. 2nd and 3rd are the OTC rifle seasons. Like archery, these tags are good for all the units (except 76, again draw-only). However, unlike archery, the OTC rifle tags are not either sex, they are for bull only.
As far as what units are good, that is a bit of a hard question to answer. All the units hold elk and have great potential. I live and hunt in 74. 74 is known to be a bit rugged, as well as parts of 75 and 71. I haven't spent much time in the other units, so I can't offer a real explanation for those units. The best advice I can offer to be successful is to get away from the road systems. Many of the hunters will only venture a mile or two from the road. Your success rate will jump the further back you get. Don't forget though, the further away you get, the more work lies ahead for you if you are successful!