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elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
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Area 40 or 76 Colorado Elk?

djmtwood the best way I know is to head up just past North Lobe Creek, there is a big finger that comes off of Pinion Mesa and you can see on the map where the BLM actually crosses the highway. There is a trail that takes you up the finger. There also use to be an access road that takes off from HWY 141 across from the Cactus Park turn in and it is stiil there, but I do not know for sure if you can get through the private once you get on top. But there is access around it if you walk from there.

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
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Area 40 or 76 Colorado Elk?

OK guys here are a couple guides to check out. http://www.huntdavies.com and http://www.conyonguide.com. Check them out. Good luck and good hunting!

Centennial's picture
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Location: Front Range, CO
Joined: 10/12/2006
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Area 40 or 76 Colorado Elk?

I have 8 pts for elk and am considering hunting in unit 40 as well. In fact, two weeks ago I drove to GJ and spent two days scouting the area. The area is dominated by private land and is not “typical” elk country. Access to the very small tract of USFS land is easy, the BLM land is another issue. The BLM land primarily looks like pinon/juniper and is bisected with canyons which creates navigation issues. There are roads in and out of the area but many of them cross private property and are clearly posted; even some of the publicly maintained roads are posted like 5.70rd (more on this later).

My impression was the public parcels of land are small for elk hunting (and smaller if you only look at quality habitat). My guess is that minimal pressure goes a long way to pushing elk the very short distances to private property and less pressure. Looking at the numbers of license issued for each season (approx 135 for early seasons and 30ish for rifle). I am also guessing the poor folk (public land hunters) will on occasion be tripping over each other in the early seasons. Elkkill06, would be interested in your thoughts about 135 hunters in this area during archery and muzzleloader seasons. Exbiologist has great stats and if I recall, lists a 30% success for this area. I would be really interested to see the success rates broken down into public and private land. I don’t think there is a way to do that but would be a very meaningful stat in an area that has so much private land. My guess is they are very skewed towards the private land hunters.

With regard to the publicly paid for, built, and maintained roads through private property. The BLM office in GJ flat out said the land owner can post and restrict travel on those roads that go through their land. The DOW said the opposite and the USFS didn’t know. I didn’t ask the sheriff office but his loyalties will lie with the people he serves; area residents. Remember, in CO the land owner is not required to post their property. It is the hunters responsibility to know where they are. Just because it’s on the map as public, doesn’t me that it still is. Maps can actually be wrong or outdated; even the ones you just bought.

Over the years, I have come to realize there is phenomenal elk hunting in CO for zero or one point. That means I could have been hunting bulls twice as much by not saving points for a “trophy” unit. Sure, the dynamics of herds change but every unit has tremendous bulls. If you are willing to work, learn a unit by scouting, and make a little extra effort to get off of the beaten path, you can put yourself onto trophy elk with monotonous regularity. There are huge bulls within sight of Golden and Denver on public land that don’t require a decade of points to hunt. So, I decided to quit saving and start doing. Unit 40 is a consideration purely for psychological reasons. I have 8 points, I cant bring myself to trade all of them in on a hunt that takes one. You guys may be in the same boat. BTW, I didn’t see one elk or elk track so they obviously winter well below the mesa.

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Location: WESTERN COLORADO
Joined: 03/18/2009
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Area 40 or 76 Colorado Elk?

Centennial you are right on the private vs public would tell quite a story. I know a few local guys who do very well on public land in 40 but they are young ,very strong , and scout many days every year for many years . The easy public land gets beat to death that leaves the south end along unaweep cayon where the elk really are. But that is a vertical climb of several thousand feet at about a 45%,very few trails and most of it you cant even get a horse into. To suceed in unit 40 you must be very tough and have a fork or go private and have a very fat wallet but the stories of monster bulls ARE true .You out of state guys don't even think about it with out a guide . Sorry to be blunt but thats the facts, I would hate to see any one blow their points and have a bad hunt. good luck good hunting!

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
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Area 40 or 76 Colorado Elk?

Hello rcryan and welcome fellow Grand Junctionnite! I think you do have a good point, but I also think you like others overlook alot when it comes to elk and elk country. I know a place in 40 I can drive to and see the same three bulls, all of them over 360 and you can see the area from DS Road and not on private property. I don't feel it is as hard as you are making it out to be.

Centennial a lot of the hunters during archery and muzzleloader are going to be in the NF, but only some of the areas are crowded like you would think. There are several areas that are overlooked that hold good elk. As for the low country you drove through it also holds good numbers of elk, and quite often is overlooked when it comes to elk hunters. They think these areas are for later seasons and it couldn't be more wrong. I could tell you to hunt East and West Spring Creek and rcryan and others would tell you it is heavily hunted and there are some that hunt it but they hunt the upper end close to private and there are a few elk there. But what I get from what you wrote about the extra effort, and I could tell you a little different direction and you and would find good numbers of elk and no hunters, and fairly easy terrain to hunt.

As for the roads, the only reason 5.70 Road was closed is the gate is locked for no winter access with 4-wheel drives if you are talking about the road that takes you up Beaser. Also did you try to go over to Granite Creek to look around? As far as county maintaned roads, most of the time, they are required to have access.

I myself like hunting elk and deer and don't like collecting points. I'd rather hunt units that take 0 or 1 point so I can hunt every year. I still enjoy helping family and friends to find and take elk in all units around Western Colorado. Good luck and good hunting!

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Joined: 02/23/2009
Posts: 41
Area 40 or 76 Colorado Elk?

You guys have been a tremendous help! I was about ready to give up on GMU 40 for lack of public access but now I am considering it again. Is the MS.00 and 5.70 road open to public access all the way or can it be closed where it goes across private property? The area up around Bieser Creek looks like it has quite a bit of BLM land.Is there a good population of elk in that area? Also , I can't find West Spring Creek on my map. Could you tell me where it is in relation to the National Forest land? Thanks for your help.

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
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Area 40 or 76 Colorado Elk?

Yes it goes all the way through. And yes there is quite a few elk around Bieser. West Spring Creek is what we call the west road up Spring Canyon, just off the Utah state line south of DS Road (we call them East and West Spring Creek). Good luck and good hunting!

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Joined: 02/23/2009
Posts: 41
Area 40 or 76 Colorado Elk?

Thanks for the help. Do the elk use this area earlier in the bow and muzzleloader season or more in the later rifle seasons. Also, is it easier to access this area from Fruita or from Grand Junction?

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
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Area 40 or 76 Colorado Elk?

The elk like the area in the early season as well as the late season, I have seen them in there year around depending on the snow. It takes a little longer going up from Fruita (about 15 minutes longer).

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