8 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: South Florida
Joined: 04/28/2009
Posts: 18
First Rifle Season CO GMUs 38, 28

Greetings to all:

I have applied for a first rifle season Elk draw for Colorado GMUs 38, and 28.

I will be attending a police conference in Denver which ends as the first rifle season begins. I choose these GMUs, after much discussion with the Department of Wildlife, because of their proximity to Denver, my lack of any preference points, and my likelihood of obtaining my requested permit.

I realize these are not the BEST areas to hunt. That being said, does anyone have some tips they can offer a Florida and Michigan avid deer hunter?

This will be a trip of a lifetime for me. I am travelling with another police officer and we have applied for a bull and a cow permit in each area.

Truly, I would be happy just to see an Elk. I am looking for some areas where I might likely see an elk. I am hoping for information on areas to hunt within those GMUs - particularly GPS coordinates so I can scan the area in advance with Google Earth.

Any assistance offered will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Mark

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
First Rifle Season CO GMUs 38, 28

I assume you aren't going to be able to scout, other than using Google Earth, which is a great tool. However, it helps to know what you are looking at. I suggest using the geocached photos to help you ground truth the aerial photos.
So when I'm looking for a place to hunt, the first things I'm looking for are flat areas with timber and open meadows, flat or not, that are at LEAST 1/2 mile, preferably 1 mile from the road. Water is rarely a limiting factor in this country, but it is still important to try to be within 1/2 to 1 mile during 1st season. So the next thing to figure out, is which of the three habitat factors are limiting. Food, water or cover? I try to hunt the most limiting factor.

There's a lot more to it, but nothing beats being in the right place at the right time. Determining when the right time to be in the right place isn't easy, but you'll want to envision what elk will do when pressured, where they would like to feed, where they would like to bed, and what the most convienent water source is. Figure that out, and there should be some nearby.

Offline
Location: South Florida
Joined: 04/28/2009
Posts: 18
First Rifle Season CO GMUs 38, 28

Great info thank you.

If you, or anyone else might suggest specific areas or GPS coordinates ( those that won't be hunting first season I I get that). I would be grateful.

Thanks

Mark

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
First Rifle Season CO GMUs 38, 28

If you end up with unit 38, there's really only two place to go with a significant amount of public land. Most of the area has numerous private inholdings that will make your time very difficult. The South Boulder Creek Area is probably your best bet. There are numerous high mountain lakes and small drainages you can hunt up out of the East Portal and Moffat Tunnel.
The only other place to go is the area around Breckenridge Peak, northwest of Empire.
If it were me, I'd hunt around Forest Lakes up the South Boulder Creek Trail.

In unit 28, if you're up for a hike, try the Middle Fork of the Williams Fork and the upper reaches of Darling Creek. Not as physically demanding would be Strawberry Bench, north of Junco Reservoir. And then Rollins Pass, just west of Forest Lakes in 38.

It's a pain in the butt to get you the coordinates, but a good tool to use is the Big Game Maps data set from huntdata.com

Offline
Location: South Florida
Joined: 04/28/2009
Posts: 18
First Rifle Season CO GMUs 38, 28

Wow!!!

Now THAT is a great response, thank you.

I will be turning 50 in September (Happy Birthday to me) but consider myself to be in great shape.

I am up for a hike and will have one or tow days to scout. I am not afraid to start hiking out in the dark at 4 am.

I know I will have to be at least a mile from any road.... And would like to be more like 2-3 miles. I will have a hand held GPS with topo maps to assist me.

Thanks for the great tips. Any other advice is appreciated as well.

Mark

Offline
Location: castle rock, co
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 27
First Rifle Season CO GMUs 38, 28

I have hunted 28, 1st season, last year, and have applied for the late 4th season hunt this year. I can tell you this elk hunting is much different than deer back in WI. I don't understand how you find em there is no pattering like the whitetails...
I can tell you where I hunted last year, but I saw nothing, so I guess it would be one area to stay away from, or they could be there this year??? The area I was in was up by Winter Park / Fraser. I also had tryed over by Ute pass, lots of hunters there.
I would like some one to explain how to use the google earth thing and how you find your hunt area with it. Thanks if you have that info. Big smile

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
First Rifle Season CO GMUs 38, 28

New2elk,
The most common and still useful way of using Google Earth is use it in conjunction with paper maps. First use the paper map the way you would prior to the common availability of aerial photos, looking for a specific terrain feature and if your map also showed vegetation cover, then you can narrow down your choices a little better. Then with Google Earth, you can usually the road or drainage that gets you near there, and it's guess and check time. Google Earth will give you a better idea of what the terrain actually looks like, but it doesn't replace ground truthing. However, it allows you to better select your potential hunting areas than going in totally blind. Don't forget, you can tilt and pan Google Earth for a 3-D view, not just the straight vertical view.
Now the product I have been touting for Colorado is from Huntdata.com, it's called the Big Game Maps, it also can be had at Gander Mountain. It allows you to overlay both the land ownership and elk movement maps that the DOW produces. You can then use a slider bar to fade that map in and out to check and see what the ground looks like. I love it.
Don't forget to utilize Google's geocached photos too. It allows you to what the actual vegetation looks like, not just an aerial photo, which won't tell you if you're looking at bitterbrush or sagebrush, or spruce vs. aspen (actually when you've looked at enough, you can ID aspen from conifers pretty well).

Offline
Location: castle rock, co
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 27
First Rifle Season CO GMUs 38, 28

exbiologist
Thank You so much for the help, I will have to get on goole earth one of these days and give that a try. The Huntdata thing even sounds better, what is the cost for something like that? And is there updates that you need to get every year?

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
First Rifle Season CO GMUs 38, 28

The whole set of DVDs fom huntdata costs $60. Best money I ever spent. I don't know of any updates, but the maps are current. You need Google Earth or ArcView to open the maps. Google Earth is free, ArcView is $1,000, take your pick.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like