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redfletch's picture
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Experience in CO GMU 78

Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum, looking forward to meeting some new people on here! Hello

Anyway, I'm looking for some suggestions and/or recommendations for CO GMU 78 (Archuleta County) for an archery hunt.  My dad and I have hunted GMU 161 (Routt) for the past 10 years or so, we've taken a couple of elk and deer, however, we've noticed a significant decline in game.  Specifically, either seeing them, hearing them or encountering them in hunt situations.  For example, last Sept. 2009, we heard 3 elk bugles (1 was at 3:00am, the others answered 1 time and disappeared) and we never even saw an animal.  I don't thnk the timing last year was steller on our part either, we ended up going the week after muzzle loader season, all the elk had probably vacated the area by then, but we did hunt to the top of Red Elephant and nothing.

One of our hunting partners has some experience with GMU 78, but the last time hu archery hunted there it was back in 1996.  I feel really comfortable getting to the location, parking at the end of the foreszt road, but I don't feel comfortable with anything else.  One thing that really worried me was a post I saw yesterday, a gentlement mentioned there was private land up on Fish Creek (I know there are a crap load of Fish Creeks, but it sounded like the one near Fish Lake).  Is this true?

I also heard Opal Lake was a decent area as well, but can't find last years harvest results on the CO DNR website.  My dad and I plan on going 09/02 ~ 09/10.  It's a trip we look forward to every year, a big change from KY!  Any information would be appreciated, thanks.

exbiologist's picture
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Welcome to BGH.  It sounds

Welcome to BGH.  It sounds like you guys need some good maps if you don't know where the private land is in your proposed hunt area.  Also here's the stats page:  http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/Statistics/

I'm away from home and my references right now, and Fish Lake doesn't even ring a bell.  I don't have the maps I need to let you know if it's public or private.

For maps, I like the National Geographic series, and it looks like they cover your area pretty well.

redfletch's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2010
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Hey, thanks for your

Hey, thanks for your follow-up.

I took your advice and purchased a national geographic series map, wow, those are sweet.  I've since purchased two more for the surrounding areas.

Take care!

Joined: 08/08/2010
Posts: 6
78

I hunt 78 and the group i go with has hunted 78 for years but you can actually get maps of the net for the area your hunting that show you where your going to find them most action and where the migration route and everything is dont remember the site but google big game hunting maps im sure you can find them or colorado hunting maps. but anyway i know a guy that archery hunts 78 every year and is successful so good luck

redfletch's picture
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Thanks for the follow-up and

Thanks for the follow-up and comments, I feel a little better about 78 now, can't be any worse than 161. 

That area has really been hard on us the last couple of years, hunted last year for 6 days straight and heard 1 bull bugle about 3:30am.  Anyway, not really sure where we're going yet, we plan on doing some driving around the first day we get there and hit the access roads (326, 660, 663).  It's going to be a complete shot in the dark, but I'm optimistic.

We're packing everything in on our backs, so maybe we'll try and get off the beaten path.  I'm still worried about the comments from others about the private land near Fish Creek, my new fancy map isn't showing that, only west of 660 (Blanco Basin Road).

If anyone reading this has any comments and/or suggestions, I would really appreciate it.  We're leaving next Wednesday, 09/01...can't wait.

Joined: 08/08/2010
Posts: 6
Maps

Did you find the maps that i was telling you about? the maps are forrestry maps that these guys write on them and show you migration routes and best places they hold up in and it also shows private and public land on it. My friend told me about it when he moved from oklahoma to vernal utah and he used these maps to help him get familiar with the areas

Joined: 08/08/2010
Posts: 6
(326, 660, 663).

Im only about 80% on this but im pretty sure that that is south of pagosa be prepared to see a camp about every 100 yards and a ton of hunters we went to hunt south of pagosa but north of hwy 84 there were hunters everywhere but it looks to me like there is alot more roads than when we were there

redfletch's picture
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GMU 78

I haven't found them yet, I've searched the BLM website as well, I think I'm going to call the local CODW tomorrow and just ask them. I'm not real concerned about that right now, my biggest worry is hunting pressure...your comments took all the air out of me...Cry baby I've never had to worry about hunting pressure in the past, if that's in fact what we run into, we'll just pack out and leave.  Maybe we won't encounter that packing in so far, I could understand hunting out of the truck, but who knows?!?

We're going SE of Pagosa Springs, 326...660 to Fish Creek at the moment anyway Wink I heard it was about a 10 ~ 12 mile hike to Fish Lake on the trail, maybe we'll avoid some pressure packing in that far.  My neighbor hunted 78 about 5 year ago, he saw 2 boys from TX and that was it.

When are you heading out, gun season?

redfletch's picture
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Well, I talked to a guy at

Well, I talked to a guy at the Pueblo CDOW, I'm straight now on the public land.  It was on my map, but so large, I refused to believe it was private...wow...

I think the hunting pressure is about like anywhere else, go another mile or so and you won't have anything to worry about.  I also got a couple trailhead receommendations in the Weminuche just case going that extra mile or so doesn't steer me clear of the pressure.

It's getting close, a couple more days, then we get to enjoy the 23 hour drive out!

Joined: 08/08/2010
Posts: 6
Hunting maps

I dont know if they will allow this post or not but go to www.biggamehuntingmaps.com they are really useful maps shows you the migration routes areas where there is lesser pressure and quality of elk check out the site usually i get the maps in about a week when i order them

ecubackpacker's picture
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How was your trip? Any luck?

How was your trip? Any luck?

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