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Joined: 03/26/2012
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CO DIY Muzzleloader Elk Help - have 5 points, where to go?

I need to finish my application this week for this fall's draw and have 5 points.  Ideally I'd like to get an either sex tag, but will go for a bull only if it's a superior unit.  In my perfect world I'd wheel my pop-up (has lift kit) to the edge of one of the wilderness areas and then hike in each day hunting.  I'm in excellent shape and regularly hike 14ers, carry my son hiking, etc. and am open to also hiking in a ways and setting up a tent camp.  Of course, I'd love to be in an area where I could find elk closer to camp than farther all things being equal.

I've been studying prior year's points requirements and success reports, but would really appreciate any specific comments on particular units.  Thanks so much.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 863
Exbiologist will see this,

Exbiologist will see this, and give you some ideas. He really knows this state like nobody i've ever seen. He'll want to know what season you want to hunt? Are you a Colorado resident?

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Joined: 03/26/2012
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Yes, I'm a Colorado resident

Yes, I'm a Colorado resident and I'm going for muzzleloader 9/8 - 9/16.  Thanks for the reply.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
first....

Don't think about using those points in an OTC archery unit.  Seems like a little solitude is a priority for you.  You've got a lot of possibilities, something like unit 40, if you don't mind canyon country and patchy public land ownership, but really want a trophy bull.

Unit 76 if you can wait about two more years for a better blend of high elevation, decent trophies, lots of public land and plenty of solitude.

Unit 39 or 46 if you live on the Front Range and can make time to scout, plus want to hunt some high stuff with decent bulls.  Or unit 20 if you live on the northern front range.

Also like 501 for a good blend of wilderness, ok bulls, lots of public land, and not too many hunters, plus still not too far to scout regularlyl if you live on the Front Range.

 

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Joined: 03/26/2012
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Thanks so much...never even

Thanks so much...never even crossed my mind to avoid OTC archery, really appreciate it.  I do live in Denver and plan to camp/scout ahead of time regardless where I draw.  Going to put 76 in as my #1 but understand it's very unlikely I'll get it.

40 looks like a real good option but seems like there's a ton of private land - you think there's plenty of good public access?

20 makes me nervous because it seems like there's too much private/park land for them to stay on?

If you had to rank 39, 46 & 501 do you think one has a big difference over the other?

Any thoughts on 49?

Really appreciate your help exbiologist - thanks again.

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forgot about 49

Really good success, but almost no older bulls.  Other people here can talk about that unit.

40 isn't for everyone.  There's more than enough public land, but the pattern is kind of maddening.  Get a map and take a look at it, just a tiny amount of forest service on top of the mesa surrounded by private land, then the canyons are mostly BLM with a little private.  It can be a pain, but still worth considering.

20 has more than enough public, but it's just very patchy.  You'll find yourself hopping around a bit.

501 doesn't have as much truly high elevation timberline stuff as 39 or 46.  Those units also have some road access to the thigh stuff to make things a little easier for you.  However, 501, has a large wilderness area and lots of other public.  Very huntable stuff.

Also, just so  you know, it's not just unlikely, it's presently impossible to draw 76 muzzleloader with only 5 points.  If you're fine with not drawing this year, then hold out for another two for a better unit with less compromise.

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