Planning first elk hunt

Dirtmtrsports

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Dec 2, 2020
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PA
Hello all. I'm looking into planning my first elk hunt and I am looking at colorado. Specifically gmu 5 1st season draw or 2nd season rifle otc. Looking into hunting the blm land in the NW corner of the unit. Anyone here ever hunt this unit? Is a tag for unit 5 good for any other units? Did any of the fires affect this unit this year? Just trying to get my head wrapped around everything and I'm thinking this unit is where I want to try first. Any input at all would be appreciated thanks
 

rs3579

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Dec 31, 2020
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pittsburgh
Get OnX. It’ll tell you recent burned areas. It’ll give you a good lay of the land. If you don’t live near the unit you should give yourself a couple days to get boots on the ground. Good luck.
 

Muddyboots

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Feb 7, 2013
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The Colorado on line Atlas is also really nice tool to use for migration, all sorts of information available. Drawn tags are GMU Specific to that drawn tag and cannot be used in other GMU's. You want to be really careful about that.

Since this is a first time hunt, this doesn't get talked about enough but can bite you really bad. If successful there are some legally required steps you have to take or else subject to fines. CPW is adamant on these requirements and rarely any slack is given:
  • Sign your tag when you buy it but they will show you where when you buy OTC. If in mail, sign it immediately upon receipt.
  • Do not detach your fishing license from the tag at all. Otherwise the fishing license is no longer valid.
  • Sign kill tag upon kill with dates etc filled out.
  • You are required to bring the meat out FIRST plus evidence of sex of the animal must be with the meat.
  • Head etc. must come out LAST. This is something they will not tolerate if you bring the head out first or no evidence of sex.
One of the guys in a camp next to us last year brought out the Bull rack first and yep, got a citation. I do not know how much but it was not a warning! I write these down and attach to my tags just as reminder for myself and hunters in my camp. It can really ruin your hunting experience that would have been a lifetime memory.

LINK: CO Atlas
 

Muddyboots

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Hello all. I'm looking into planning my first elk hunt and I am looking at colorado. Specifically gmu 5 1st season draw or 2nd season rifle otc. Looking into hunting the blm land in the NW corner of the unit. Anyone here ever hunt this unit? Is a tag for unit 5 good for any other units? Did any of the fires affect this unit this year? Just trying to get my head wrapped around everything and I'm thinking this unit is where I want to try first. Any input at all would be appreciated thanks
The CO Atlas will allow you to look at elk patterns or other game animals. Here is a pdf I created for GMU-5 NW corner that shows all season elk patterns. This was right off their website, nothing I did except use their tools.
 

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Muddyboots

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Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,274
Location
Michigan
Hello all. I'm looking into planning my first elk hunt and I am looking at colorado. Specifically gmu 5 1st season draw or 2nd season rifle otc. Looking into hunting the blm land in the NW corner of the unit. Anyone here ever hunt this unit? Is a tag for unit 5 good for any other units? Did any of the fires affect this unit this year? Just trying to get my head wrapped around everything and I'm thinking this unit is where I want to try first. Any input at all would be appreciated thanks

Forgot one more very important CO requirement that can and will get you a citation. Hunter safety card has to be carried with you at all times unless you have it validated by a CPW office in person and recorded in their system. I carried mine the first year I had it validated to be sure in case it didn't show up in the CO search of the database. This can be confusing since you purchased the license online and entered the Hunter Safety info BUT it does not eliminate the need to carry the card until it is actually validated in person at a CPW office. This law is a real PITA and causes a lot of grief to hunters ASSUMING the wrong interpretation of this requirement.
 
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