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Location: River Ridge, LA
Joined: 05/09/2009
Posts: 15
Colorado First Rifle Season

I was wondering were a good spot to hunting is for First Rifle Season? If I get the license I applied for if will be an either sex for units 11,12,13, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34, 131, 211, and 231. I moved to Colorado Mid March and have been trying to scout around but I have no idea which way to head, I have hunted in unit 33 for 2 years now and would like to find more elk and less people. Any help would be great.

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Location: WESTERN COLORADO
Joined: 03/18/2009
Posts: 78
Colorado First Rifle Season

Welcome to colorado and BGH ,all those units will have plenty of hunters and elk. but people need a little more info to help you out. How do you camp? Tent , camper , motorhome , back pack ? How far are you willing to hike / pack out a elk ? horses ? Do you hunt a 3 day week end or the whole week ? Looking for big elk or any elk ? Let us know I'm shure some one has some ideas. good luck have fun

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Location: River Ridge, LA
Joined: 05/09/2009
Posts: 15
Colorado First Rifle Season

I camp with a 16x20 wall tent so I don't pack it in. I do if I want to pack in somewhere I have a smaller popup tent to hike into places with. I am not picky on how far I hunt from a road or have to back an elk out. I have backed elk out 7-10 miles before and would do it again. I don't have horses at my disposal and I try and hunt the whole week, I come out a few days before season to get acclimated to the elevation and check things out. I am not picky on size of elk as long as it is a legal animal.

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Joined: 05/17/2009
Posts: 7
Colorado First Rifle Season

in unit 12 pagoda peak and close by isnt a bad area. in unit 24 (south of the white river) just about anywhere you might run into elk. marvine peaks and rat mountain are where a lot of outfitters outftit there, so that might tell you that isnt a bad area.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Colorado First Rifle Season

Those are amongst the most heavily hunted units in Colorado, and while there are a lot of elk, there are obviously a lot of hunters. I've had some success on the north end of the flat tops in Unit 12, but if you really start to tear apart the stats, your best bet to reduce hunting pressure is to hunt in units 25,26 or 34. Unit 12 is the worst with 11.5 hunters per square mile of public land(wish I had known that last year), 23 is next at "only" 4.9 hunters per sq mile of public, 24 right behind that at 4.2.
For comparison, unit 33 was running 2.5 hunters per square mile of public land. 25, 26 and 34 are all under 1.5. With 34 being the lowest at 1.04 hunters/sq mile of public land.
I couldn't tell you whether or not there are more elk in 34 than 12, as the DOW just gives us the whole DAU population size. But, that being said, if the elk were evenly distributed across the whole area, 34 would give you about 8.9 elk per hunter compared to 0.8 in 12 and 3.7 in 33. See the importance of hunter density?
Now the success rates are comparable at 24.4 in 33 vs. 21.4 (5 yr averages), but both units are trending upward. Also, it appears that a greater percentage of bulls are taken on public land in 34 compared to 33.
So, to put yourself in the best position to succeed amongst those units, I'd go to 34.

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Joined: 05/17/2009
Posts: 7
Colorado First Rifle Season

I have no exp. with 34 but the areas I gave you are no secret and you will not be alone in them. In 12 and 24 you will always be close to some one else even if you go in 8 miles there will be other camps, but there are a few areas that people overlook and push elk into in 24. you will no what I mean when you see a string of 80 horse in a single file line going up the same trail. that area has a ton of elk though and if you go to the right spot you will see at least 1 elk.

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