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Joined: 05/31/2013
Posts: 71
First Rifle 551

Hi All,

Just signed up for the forum, been reading posts for several months and really enjoy the topics and insight I am finding here, thanks!

I got drawn for my first CO elk hunt this year (been living here for a little more than 2 yrs). Its a cow tag for 1st rifle in unit 551. The unit is several hours away and I'm hoping to get over there several times this summer to start getting a lay of the land. Went last weekend and drove up to Whitepine and then south of Sargents a little, but due to snow/road closures wasn't able to go as far as I wanted.

Would love to hear any pointers/advice from anyone who has hunted this area for elk before, especially during this time of year. I have a friend from the east coast who got drawn for the same tag for his first elk hunt as well. Looking to get into the areas we are most likely to see elk of course, but at the same time would really like to be in some areas without much hunting pressure.

Most info I've seen says areas like Black Sage Pass, Tomichi Dome, etc. Has anyone hunted the southern part of this unit, starting from Hwy 114 and working north? Seems like maybe this area would have less hunters overall, but maybe that is because there are less elk?! Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.

WishIWasHunting's picture
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Location: Brighton, CO
Joined: 01/31/2011
Posts: 673
Welcome to the forum! There

Welcome to the forum! There is a lot of good information on here. Unfortunately, I can't help you with your question because I have never hunted that area. Good luck with your hunt, and good luck with your quest for information!

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Joined: 05/31/2013
Posts: 71
Thanks for the reply! I am

Thanks for the reply! I am going to try to get over to 551 this weekend and just drive around some and get to know the area. I'm not expecting anyone familiar with the unit to give up any secrets, but it would be nice to at least get an idea of where to start as it is a pretty big area and one that is brand new to me! Does anyone know if you can drive from around the top part of the unit, starting near pitkin area, and make it across to hook up with CR 888 in a truck, or can you only go so far in a truck before having to turn around? I'm trying to do a loop drive to check out as much area as I can...thanks!

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
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I have never been there

I have never been there before but be prepared to run into some snow. I was up at 9500' south of Gypsum yesterday and there were still a lot of snow drifts covering the roads

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Joined: 05/31/2013
Posts: 71
Ok, good to know. I went up

Ok, good to know. I went up CR 888 about 3 weeks ago and it was a great drive until I got to the snow and couldn't go any further. Was hoping it would be gone by this weekend but probably wishful thinking.

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
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Like everybody else I've

Like everybody else I've never been in that are either. But it's not uncommon for many of the high country roads to be completely passable until mid July.

Good luck though with whatever you find. Hope you get em!!

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Joined: 05/23/2011
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Congrats!

Congrats on drawing the tag.

From what little I understand elk are largely weather driven.

By that I mean, when the snow isn't heavy they can often be found up high and when it is heavy they are pushed down low. Country that held elk one day won't hold nary a hair after a heavy snow.

It pays to know the migration routes but often that takes time to learn the patterns. Good luck and keep us posted as you progress.

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Joined: 05/31/2013
Posts: 71
Thanks for the tips and kind

Thanks for the tips and kind words! I know its kind of tough to be looking now for where elk 'might' be come mid Oct. I'm just trying to get a feel for the place now, see how the roads are, what the access is like, then start to narrow it down from there later. We plan on doing quite a bit of hiking, but I'd like to find some good jumping off points so to speak. Doesn't seem like too many here have hunted that area before.....or maybe they are just keeping quiet

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Joined: 07/03/2013
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First Rifle 551

I have been hunting the area since 1988. I can give you a little information. Feel free to call me at 979/229-6438.

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Joined: 05/31/2013
Posts: 71
sounds great, thanks! I'll

sounds great, thanks! I'll try to give you a call tomorrow (sunday) afternoon if that works? Who do I ask for?

I was actually there driving roads all day yesterday, didn't see your message until this morning or I would have called yesterday!

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