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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Colorado information around Durango?

I was looking over the Colorado elk info on the blog, and I started poking around.  This page specifically shows the OTC permits available for 2nd and 3rd season.

http://wildlife.state.co.us/NR/rdonlyres/B7D620EA-2323-40DE-A7D1-783AD945A920/0/OTCRifleElk1.pdf

I was wondering, does anyone have any info on herd size, success, etc., in the Durango area?  Best I can tell, it's units 74, 75, 77, and 751 (??).  The northern half of those units appear to all be national forest too (Which N.F.?).

And, am I assuming that on July 12, or whatever the release date is, you can literally send in a check or credit card, with all required documentation, and buy one of these tags?  Are they truly "over the counter".

Thanks for any info you have.

WishIWasHunting's picture
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I don't have any firsthand

I don't have any firsthand info about that herd, but you can find success info under the "Statistics" link under "Big Game" (http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/Statistics/). 

The herd numbers can be fund under Herd Management.  I think you would want to read about E-30 and E-31 DAU (http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/HerdManagementDAUPlans/)

Also, you might want to check out the Big Game Hunting Guide for the Southwest Region (http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/HuntingGuide/). 

Finally, yes, the OTC tags are truly "over the counter."  You can go anywhere CO hunting licenses are sold and pick one up and hunt any of the areas highlighted on the map you already found. 

Alamosa's picture
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unit 74

Over the past 20 years I've hunted Unit 74 about 16 seasons.

The Hermosa herd is listed at 4500.  That is the dominant herd in the unit.

The success rate in 74 fluctuates from about 18% to about 25%.  I guess I could describe it best by saying that you probably won't bag an elk there unless you know what you are doing.  It is an attractive area because there are tags available.  The terrain there is such that the elk really don't need to come near roads or trails so you usually need to hike pretty far in to have a chance.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Okay, good to know.  Just

Okay, good to know.  Just curious, if you are not picky about what you shoot, are the odds pretty decent?  In other words, are the success rates brought down for those guys that keep passing up on the 280 bulls trying for a 320 bull????

I am a meat hunter, so I could also look into cow tags.  Is there a better area, hopefully still in the Southwest part of the state, that you would suggest looking?

exbiologist's picture
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very small number of people who pass up legal bulls

I highly doubt that trophy hunters are deflating the success rates.  Those are pretty normal numbers for all of Colorado.  Success has more to do with access to game in my opinion than density (the top elk density unit the state has poor success rates).  Wilderness areas, roads, terrain, vegetative cover and other things have an effect, and 74 is pretty normal for a mountainous unit.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Thanks.  Was it you or

Thanks.  Was it you or someone else in another thread that mentioned that they hunt the area in zone 11, which is OTC.  However, it borders zone 10, which is a draw unit, and has some great bulls.  Whoever it was said that they always find bulls roaming off of 10 and into 11.

I think that's just north of Meeker.

exbiologist's picture
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not me

11 is a productive unit, but it's not really a mountainous unit and not exactly what most nonresidents picture when they want to come out to Colorado.  Decent access and high success there though.  

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Thanks.  Maybe I'll talk to

Thanks.  Maybe I'll talk to you a little more later about where it is good for a first time non-resident to hunt.  Not asking much, just for great elk numbers, trophy bulls, low hunter numbers, flat land with road access to drive up to my elk after he's down, and those sort of things.  You know, the basic typs of Rocky Mtn. elk hunt.... Wink

 

 

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