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bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Good units in colorado for Elk

I noticed about this unit, though, is that it's all but surrounded by the CWD units. Will that be a problem?

Not really. Save the head and have it tested, this will give you pass/fail before consuming. Even in known CWD units the prevelance is low, the DOW seems to move swiftly on hot spots (higher prevelance).

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Location: Denver, Colorado
Joined: 03/07/2004
Posts: 57
Good units in colorado for Elk

I have decided to draw for unit 4, has any one had any success there? I got the big game CD and it seemed, that 4 had the best ratio of public land vs. bulls killed, also i put in for the either sex hunt, i figure that way I have a better chance of not coming home empty handed on my first elk hunt. Any suggestions on where to camp in this area?

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 04/04/2004
Posts: 7
Good units in colorado for Elk

I hunted area 4 just last fall for late season Cow. It was early November (first weekend) and about 7-10 days prior, they had a big snow. Dumped over a foot, maybe 18 inches. Well, the elk left the Routt and I mean LEFT. Not a track to be seen, but the deer stayed as they are browsers. We saw several bucks.

All the elk headed to private land... and I mean 1000s of them. I saw over 2000 head in one day including one herd that had to be pushing 1000 just itself on a cut wheat field just milling around... all day. The hill looked like it was all mud as they had totally destroyed it.

I ended up paying a trespass fee ($100) to get a cow. When I shot, I could have picked from 3-400 head (cows). Only saw one 6x6 bull and lots of raghorns as the herd left the area.

And I'm not exaggerating any of these numbers. Hand on the Bible even!

So my advice would be to make sure you are there BEFORE the big snow hits or during. You will have a much better chance unless you are willing to pay $$$$.

The Routt herd is suppose to be the 2nd or 3rd largest herd in CO. Not sure if area 4 encompasses the "California Basin" area or not on its eastern edge, but I have heard this is a good area to hunt out of. Additionally, you can come into the forest from the NW or SW pretty easily as there are decent gravel/dirt roads. Most are OK if dry, but when wet, make sure you have 4wd. The soil has lots of slick clay in it and gets slippery.

The southern (especially SW) area of area 4 is mostly private ranches. Drive north of Craig and you choose CR18 (gravel) just north of Craig as a SW entrance and follow it into the national forest (you'll pass a lot of private ranches until you get to the forest) or continue up the highway and enter from the NW via CR38. Additionally, there is a VERY large SWA (state wildlife area) past CR38

Up 38 you will pass lots of private homes, but if you have a good map, you'll be able to determine how to access the national forest at several locations.

As far as camping is concerned, we camped just off of CR38 (only about 3/4 mile east of the highway) last fall on a small strip of BLM with no problems. I don't believe there is much area to camp off CR18 until you enter the national forest boundary, than there is TONS!! Last year this is where everyone was camped. LOTS of people... too many for me actually. If you drive in further, you can probably find lots of pull-offs to camp. CR18 goes all the way thru the Routt NF and can give you lots of jumping off points.

Just get in a couple miles and away from people. That will be your best bet as the elk are definitely there.

Good luck. The terrain is not the steepest or deepest in CO.

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Good units in colorado for Elk

COHunter's is right on the money. This is an area that has a very high elk population, but as soon as the snow hits they move lower, which is of course down to the private ranches.

What season are you planning on hunting? Its of course impossible to predict what the weather will do.

Lots of public land in unit 4 and lots of good camping spots, and as was mentioned above, if its muddy you defintely need 4-wheel drive. This unit is heavily hunted, so getting away as far as possible from the edges of the forest land is a very good idea.

Do make sure you know the boundaries of the public/private land. Lots of ranches & their boundaries aren't always clearly marked & during hunting season that can become a very touchy problem since most ranchers charge fees.

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Location: Denver, Colorado
Joined: 03/07/2004
Posts: 57
Good units in colorado for Elk

We plan on hunting the first season, october 9-13th i believe. I do have 4x4. For those places to camp, did you just pull of the road and throw down stakes, or were there established campgrounds that you used?

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Good units in colorado for Elk

On National Forest and BLM land, unless it is otherwise posted, you can camp anywhere. Just pull off the road and set up your tent. On the other hand, as you drive down the roads it is very common to see places where others have obviously camped before you, and the preferred etiquette is to use one of these spots rather than creating a new spot on otherwise-virgin ground. Besides, most of the really good places to camp (level, trees but not too many, etc.) are places that others have camped before anyway.

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