A buddy and I have been looking at Colorado GMU 40 for a 3rd season rifle mule deer hunt. Based on my conversations with folks on this site, as well as other research, it seems that the unit can be relatively difficult to hunt since there is a lot of private land for the deer to "escape" to. I noticed on a map of GMU 40 that the northwest corner has the McInnis National Conservation Area which appears to be full of canyons, draws, etc. In other words, places that mulie bucks like to hide. Since this is a wilderness area, it seems it may get less hunting pressure than the rest of the unit. What are everyone's thought on this theory? Has anyone ever hunted this part of unit?
3 replies [Last post]
Fri, 2016-01-22 11:35
Colorado GMU 40 3rd Rifle for Mule Deer
Fri, 2016-01-22 18:08#1
Many years ago I used to hunt
Many years ago I used to hunt the Utah side down to the Colorado River. The road that we drove down now is blocked off since it goes through the Wilderness and is the only access road into the spot that we hunted. The bucks would come down the hill out of Colorado down to the river to feed and drink just before dark and in the mornings. There were some nice bucks in there and with no real hunting happening there now I am sure that there are some monsters in there now. But it would be a lot of hiking into the Wilderness area.
Sun, 2016-01-24 19:01#2
NW Corner unit 40 Muledeer
As Critter mentioned, that used to be one of the all time best areas (Black Ridge Wilderness Area) for a big muley buck back in the day, up until the late 80's and early 90's.
As you mentioned it looks like it would hold some great deer (and it absolutely used too) but the buck numbers and deer numbers all together, have been on a downward trend for some time. I was glassing much of that country 3rd rifle season of 2015 hunting elk and did not see but 4 bucks on the edge of that country with the biggest being in the 150" range. Alot of it has to be due with the lack of access and not being able to kill predators back there like we used too.
You would be better off hunting the bottom along the river just outside of Fruita (where I live) for a big muley, but even during rifle season you would have to use a muzzleloader in that area.
They still kill some great bucks every year on all of the private just because of all the fields and stuff thats where the deer go now. I seen one buck on private last 3rd season over by where I killed my bull that was around a 180" buck, but he never left the private.
Just my .02 !
Fri, 2016-01-29 17:57#3
Thank you for the information. Forgive my ignorance, but why would one have to use a muzzleloader during the third rifle season in the area around Fruita you mentioned?
Fri, 2016-01-29 17:58#4
McInnis National Conservation Area
Thank you for the information. Forgive my ignorance, but why would one have to use a muzzle loader during the third rifle season in the area around Fruita you mentioned?
That McInniss Conservation Area is in an area with lots of hiking trails and homes so you can not use a high powered rifle in that area. You are only allowed ot use a bow, shotgun, or muzzleloader.
One year my taxidermist moved down to that area to hunt 3rd rifle season because he was not finding what he was looking for in the BLM and killed a 28" 160" inch muley with his muzzleloader due to info from his brother-in-law who worked down there for the CPW. That same year a big 180" type buck was killed in the same area my taxidermist killed his during 2nd rifle season by some locals that had been watching the buck for sometime.
Fri, 2016-01-29 18:30#6
Exbioligest is working for
Exbioligest is working for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife now I believe and I am sure that they frown on a employe posting on a hunting forum. The last post that I saw from him was just before he got his first assignment, and I believe that it was going to be down in the South West area of the state but I could be wrong.
Wed, 2016-03-16 16:57#7
Nmbiggamehunter, have you
Nmbiggamehunter, have you applied for unit 40? I'm hopeful heading over this fall for a rifle deer hunt and you might try contacting the DWM for 40 I spoke to him several years ago and he seemed like a helpful officer. I'm going to wait until I draw before I contact him. Good luck.
Tue, 2016-03-22 17:37#8
Unit 40 biologist
The biologist in unit 40 is a newby just learning the area. So be careful who you speak with. Ty hasn't been there for a couple years and this new one is just starting.