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Location: louisiana
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Colorado unit 41 elk

Have a few questions on unit 41 Grand Mesa NF. I normally hunt unit 62 but did not draw this years first rifle season and am not able to swap my vacation to the second season over the counter. Looking at wildlife and fisheries site , unit 41 has several cow and bull leftover tags. Also research shows that the elk population is up 29% in this general area. How is the access into the Grand mesa NF , terrain , camping sites etc. Also the number tags sold in this unit seems to be very high compared to national forest access. Can i expect to see more hunters on the mesa compared to the uncompahgre. Thanks in advance, any help is greatly appreciated.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
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Re: Colorado unit 41 elk

Access in and around Grand Mesa is great, especially if you have an ATV. There is no wilderness and ATVs are allowed on the trails. There are a lot more total hunters in 62 1st season, but the density is similar in each of of the Grand Mesa units compared to the Uncompahgre, at about 1 hunter per square mile of public land. During 2nd season, they both double in hunter density, so once again they are about equal in pressure.

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Location: Fruita Colorado
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Re: Colorado unit 41 elk

blazer18,

I know of some decent spots you have to work your butt off in (due to terrain and lack of roads and trails) and hike alot. Let me know how hard you are willing to work and send me a PM. Thumbs up

As far as the amount of hunters you are use to in unit 62, it will be a bit of a culture shock depending on where you hunt in unit 41. Typically not the same pumkin patch we are use to in unit 62.

Good luck and good hunting!

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Location: Midwest
Joined: 03/21/2009
Posts: 40
Re: Colorado unit 41 elk

GMU 41 is a part of Date Analysis Unit (DAU) E-14. DAU E-14 also contains GMUs 42, 411, 421, 52 and 521. (If you go to the Colorado Division of Wildlife web site under “hunting” and then “big game” you can find their data and plans for the unit in “herd management plans” – they were recently updated).

For the first and fourth rifle seasons tag draws the entire DAU is included. For the other rifle seasons draw tags are GMU specific. Five years ago the DOW changed the first and fourth season rifle hunting from applying for a bull tag or a cow tag, to either sex. This year it is changing back. Usually either sex seasons are done to reduce the population.

I am not sure about a 29% increase in population. A few years ago the DOW changed their population models for the DAU, and they substantially increased their population estimates. This may be where you are seeing an increased population estimate, even though there may actually be fewer animals. The DAU report shows a steadily declining population up to 2005 – and then a slight increase since then. At least that is what I am reading. But we may be looking at different areas.

I have friends that hunt in 41 and I have hunted on the east side of the DAU. Our personal observations are that the herd numbers are down in the areas that we hunt. We hunt only a very small part of that unit so that may not mean much and all things are subject to change over time.

Overall access and camping in these areas is moderate to good. Hunting pressure is somewhat heavy during the archery and muzzleloader seasons, heavy during second season and ok during the other seasons.

Regardless of population trends, there are lots of elk in 41, and in Colorado, and lots of places to chase after them.

Have a safe trip, and good luck with your hunt.

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Re: Colorado unit 41 elk

blazer18

Unit 41 is my stomping grounds!!! I have hunted this unit with my dad pretty much all of my life. As for access it is great and there is quiet a chunk of National Forest. But if you decide to hunt this unit you will have to work really hard,most of Gmu 41 is steep country but at the top of the mesa it is flat. Try to stay of the top of the mesa not very many animals will be there due to hunting pressure. I have never been able to kill an elk yet but last year we hunted over the counter either sex archery and I had many oppertunitys to get my elk,As for deer I have seen a few every single time I have been up there but I manily hunt elk up there and I hunt deer In a totally diffrent unit. And now I drew a first season cow tag up there so now I have already been scouting up there. If you are really interested to hunt this unit I would be happy to put you in the right direction by sending you a PM. Just keep in mind it is no easy country to hike threw and optics are a must when you hunt this unit!!! Big smile

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Joined: 06/16/2010
Posts: 7
Re: Colorado unit 41 elk

I was intersted to read about this area. It is probably going to be one of the areas that I apply for on the left over draw list. A big concern is the ATV access. My group hunts on foot and we like to try an avoid easy access areas. Would anyone have suggestions of areas to look/research?

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Re: Colorado unit 41 elk

You're going to be at a disadvantage throughout most of Grand Mesa, but there's plenty of country to hunt off the trails. There's also the Raggeds Wilderness in 521 which is included with the 41 tag. There's no motorized access, but most of it is too steep and rugged to be elk country, mostly just the foothills and drainages.

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Joined: 06/16/2010
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Re: Colorado unit 41 elk

Thanks for the information. I was looking at the left overs and it doesn't look like 521 is included? I guess we will really need to do some leg work to get a one up on the competition. Do you have a suggestion from the left over list on where to go and find Wilderness that holds some elk?

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