The "White River" National Forrest is huge and encompasses a vast amount of land to hunt on.
Check with the Game commission and National forrest office as to private and public land. If you wonder onto private land you could have a problem.
Get maps of the area you intend to hunt and know them "WELL."
Deer tags must be applied for early in the year and are on a draw. That drawing is finished for this year, I believe.
Bull elk tags can be bought over the counter for all areas of the State and cost close to $500.00 for nonresidents.
The "Steamboat Springs" area is popular for elk especially. There are so many good areas in Colorado, it's hard to pin point one area as being better then another.
I'm sure there are others on here that can lead you in the right direction concerning Colorado hunting.
lrh - I have hunted the Holy Cross, Zirkel, Mt. Evans, Indian Peaks, Commanche Peak, Flat Tops, Neota, Rawah, Eagles Nest and Poudre River wilderness areas. Mt. Evans and Indian Peaks areas are the only ones I remember that are considered "quality areas", but don't quote me, as I don't have the regs with me here at work.
I like the Holy Cross because it is rugged and remote tough hunting, but it takes too many miles on foot to get to the best areas. We have seen the biggest bulls/bucks deep in there, horse's are a must!
I'm liking the western slope areas more and more each year. We see better animals and fewer hunters the farther from the front range that we hunt, although this is not a rule! Some monster bulls are being taken along the front range on public and private property every year. Just last week, I viewed a 7x7 bull elk mount that was taken outside of town during the late season.
All of these areas are good elk/deer producers, so knowing elk/deer behavior will go a long way towards being sucessful. Whenever we hunt these areas it is always on foot with a pack. It has been rewarding but difficult at times. We have had some long tough packouts with a few bulls on our backs.
I have friends who hunt in the San Juan areas and they tell me I should go down there as I would like it. I've seen some of the bulls Mike has taken down there and they are impressive. The only problem with the San Juans, is the distances are much much greater and the mountains are bigger. Tough hunting without horses.
We can only hunt once a year here in Colorado, so getting to all the good places is hard. Don't let anyone tell you that there are no good bulls here in Colorado. If you hunt hard and know elk, you can be sucessful.
Guy, thanks for the info. I also hunt out of a backpack (the guides love to see me walk up
). I like to hunt the wilderness areas to get away from all the road "hunters" with their quads and 4x4's. I have hunted Flat Tops with success and have been through the Holy Cross area. I looked around the San Juan some, but didn't know where to start. Ended up in an area that had lots of hunters with the Elk pushed deep into the black timber. Right now I'm just doing some research before I start scouting.
lrh - most all of the wilderness areas here in Colorado hold good populations of deer and elk and will provide good opprotunities for taking them. The best choices for hunting elk are the areas considered "quality units" by the DOW. You need to apply to hunt these units through the drawing every year. Applications needed to be into the DOW by April 2 of this year.
Hello...I'm new to this bulletin bored..But I was born and raised in Montrose CO and I still live here..I have hunted elk around here for the the last 25 yrs..Area 61 (South of Montrose) has some monsters but its a draw area..And the West Elk Wilderness (South East of Hotchkiss CO)is good too..
lrh, I have backpack hunted every national forest in the state and most wilderness areas before they were wilderness areas. Have taken many nice bucks and bulls there. Don't worry yourself to death over it. Throw a dart at the map and when it hits a west slope national forest hunt it hard and if you are a good hunter you should do well. In other words get a map and find a secluded area with food, water and cover and you will find elk on the west slope. Colorado is an easy no fret state because elk are thick and you don't have to worry yourself silly about looking for a monster bull because it ain't gonna happen unless you have a bunch of points and then only in a handfull of areas do you even have a legitimate chance for a monster. But then people have different definitions of what a monster bull is. There are some pretty fair colorado bulls in the weminuche wilderness.
I think I have 2 Elk points and 3 deer points so I guess it will be a while before I can get into the monster bulls areas. I have had good luck in the past filling my tag, but like you said monster bulls are to find. Maybe, they need to raise the ante from 4 point to 6 point.
Actually, I'm not totally concerned with monster bulls but it's nice to have the possiblity.
I hunt unit 82. Mt.Blanca right next to the Zapata Ranch has some really nice Bulls. I have hunted this area for 25 years and have killed some nice bulls. I have killed an Elk every year. The terriorty is rough but few people hunt this area. Also an excellent place for Mule Deer