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Joined: 09/30/2006
Posts: 6
Elk in Silver Cliff, or West Cliff Colo area.

Trying to get some information on Elk population around Silver Cliff or West Cliff, Colorado. There are a couple guys that want to go elk hunting, and we have access to a cabin south of West/Silver Cliff... - any info on elk around there? What season would be best? Is it draw only or can you buy over the counter tags?

Thanks in advance.

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Location: Southeast Colorado
Joined: 01/07/2007
Posts: 93
Elk in Silver Cliff, or West Cliff Colo area.

The most recent DOW survey numbers for elk in units 86&861 (Sangre de Cristo-west) and 84&69 (Wet Moutains-east) are about 3200-4000. I encountered a herd of several hundred at Christmas time on top of Hardscrabble Pass (highway 96). The bad news is almost all are on private land. The whole of Custer County is very heavily subdivided among the lower elevations and the elk and deer take refuge among the numerous 5 to 35 acre tracts. The developed areas are NOT hunter friendly. The few remaining ranches are mostly leased out. There is a LOT of public land but not nearly as many elk and deer are on it because it consists of the higher elevations where they summer, but after archery season starts it's back to the ranchettes. The better areas in the Sangres are more remote and will involve difficult access. The Wet Mountains are heavily impacted by a jigsaw puzzle of private inholdings. Get some good maps and a GPS so that you can prove you are allowed to be wherever it is you think you are.

You CAN find elk on the public land but it will just be because its your lucky day. Also, local law enforcement (Custer County Sheriff's Department) is ticket revenue-based so watch your speedometer...and due to their lack of knowledge of hunting laws they border on being harrassing. DOW staff excepted.

Check here for stats.

http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/Statistics/

Over the counter bull licenses are available for some seasons but most of the cow tags are draw only. The bull/cow ratios are very low.

If I was going to hunt there I think I would try for archery and go early and go high--as in near timberline in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness---and that's some tough real estate.

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Location: Lenexa, Kansas
Joined: 01/02/2007
Posts: 145
Elk in Silver Cliff, or West Cliff Colo area.

my friends family has a cabin in that valley(area is called cody park) that i was looking at to hunt in, any idea what minimum number of acreage is requires to hunt on that land?

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Location: Southeast Colorado
Joined: 01/07/2007
Posts: 93
Elk in Silver Cliff, or West Cliff Colo area.

I'm guessing your friend has a 35 acre tract...which most likely is about a quarter of a mile long and a quarter of a mile wide...or about 400 yards by 400 yards....but it might be a more irregular shape. Not a lot of room for error. Most subdivisons...but not all...have covenants prohibiting the discharge of weapons or hunting. They like to write tickets for trepass hunting in Custer County.....and often for good reason. I wouldn't count on hunting on your friends place unless it's a lot bigger than 35 acres...or if you're a bowhunter...and even then it might be sticky retrieving your quarry.

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