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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

New to the forum and resident in CO. Hunting different areas with not much luck. I am thinking of hunting walden-steamboat area and looking for advice on season and units?? Thanks

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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

Welcome,

Where have you hunted? And what did like or not like about those units?
I haven't hunted specifically in the North Park Units, but I have successfully hunted west of Steamboat in the Bear's Ears units and East of Walden along the Laramie River drainage..
And what made you decide you wanted to investigate these units?
You also didn't mention whether you were hunting deer or elk.
The deer hunting in North Park is "quality managed". There is a high buck:doe ratio and decent trophy potential. There are also some early season hunts available in September for rifle deer.
If you meant elk, there are a lot of strategies you can take to find a unit that suits you. But generally 1st season is your best bet for elk, while 3rd season is generally best for deer.
That said, look at whatever you units you settle on to help decide when the best time to hunt would be for that spot. Don't look at just one year. Colorado posts stats that go back for several years.
Also, some units do not have cow hunting during first season, so if you want fewer hunters in the woods with you that's also an option.
I have some specific concerns about the North Park units. The elk population doubled between the 2006 and 2007 post hunt surveys. There was a nasty winter that year, which probably drove additional Wyoming elk into North Park. Which brings up another point, late season might be better (don't know) due to the elk movements. However, almost all of the low ground is private, but there is a chance you could catch elk on some of the BLM.
Also the success rates aren't very good, which is an indication of low elk density during hunting season and poor access to the areas where you can hunt elk. The roads in the National Forest and Colorado State Forest State Park are somewhat limited. But there are also some logged areas. I have had good success hunting older logged areas.
If you're new to elk hunting, it's tough, and it takes most guys 3-4 years before they harvest their first elk if they don't have someone to show them the ropes. Hang in there you'll figure it out, but we're happy to help out.

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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

I like the area. I live on front range and do alot of ATV/snowmobiling in the area so i am getting to know the land. I've hunted #19 poudre canyon in 4th season for Elk and it was 57 degrees. So i would like to put more cards in my hand with something a little more consistent and be able to hunt, not hike with weapons. I bowhunted in gould for Elk and saw alot of guys in the hot spots. Spotted 9-10 bulls in the summer in a great area. Went back in season and someone had a camp there with horses. I have talked to guys who have had alot of success up in Walden and steamboat. I am not looking for a trophy and i am new at this but i have family come out and feel bad when the pay alot of money for trip and we see nothing but eachother. Had success for deer up by Estes Park but no luck drawing a tag for Elk and it's too hard with nonresidents getting a tag with me. So i figured over the counter was best. That is why i am interested in these areas. I have a friend who hunts out south of Grand Junction but gets in through private land, i am hoping to get hooked up there in the future. I don't mind exploring if i know there is a good area. Thanks for all your help, some people don't like to give up areas but there is lots of Land.....

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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

No problem, I'm not giving anything up, just sharing my thoughts. And I don't hunt there. And I know what you mean about getting frustrated by armed nature walks. Those of us who are self taught all had to go through that at some point. Of the North Park Units, I'd recommend unit 161 above the others. It receives the least amount of pressure when you divide the public area by the number of hunters. It's the furthest away, and human nature being what it is, is most likely to hunt the closest units. Plus it's got a good amount of wilderness.
Specifically, I'd recommend all the country on the Wyoming Border, but I wouldn't hunt it until during or after the Wyoming season on the chance that elk might seek refuge across the border.
All the areas around Buffalo Park to Hog Park and the Encampment River look huntable to me. Plus there are some good clear cuts. I'd want to investigate Independence Mountain too. Other small elk concentrations include Sheep Mountain next to John Lake, the Big Creek Lakes/Seven Lakes/Davis Mountain Area.
Don't just take my word for it, scout it.
When I moved to Colorado, I spent every nearly every weekend scouting during my first summer. I knew I was going to have hunt with an OTC or leftover tag that year and spent a lot of time learning the "local" areas. It was a lot of fun and very educational for me and the dog, but I didn't have any family commitments to worry about. It paid off by finding some of the biggest bulls I've ever seen in my life, yet I was in a really low elk density area. I shot the first bull I saw that year, but he was a good one.
I have yet to settle on "my" spot because I keep finding things I don't like about every area I have hunted. If 161 doesn't provide what you like, keep moving west. It borders units 5 and 14, north of steamboat, and if you are hunting in 2nd or 3rd season (3rd has a lot fewer people), you can hunt all of that country.
As far as elk country go, it's relatively easy to get around, has a good mix of natural and man-made meadows, some wilderness (esp. the Encampment River, I like that), not too many roads that people will be driving everywhere, and 3x better elk density than Poudre Canyon.

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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

I appreciate all the info. Some times it is nice to get direction from others that way i'm not beating myself up!!! I have heard about Buffalo Pass from someone who guides up there for archery and have alot of success. You said you see a some huntable areas?? Are you going off of a map or using some kind of software?? What kind of maps?? I have seen on elkcamp.com they sell info on certain areas for a hefty price, ever heard about it? Another reason for this area is we are looking for a place to stay nearby or may rent RV. I'll let you know how the scouting goes and hunt. Thanks

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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

I have the Colorado Outdoors Big Game CD Digital Hunting Maps. When used in conjunction with Google Earth, it's been my favorite remote scouting tool. You still have to do some "ground truthing" to understand what you are looking at sometimes. But I love it.
Good luck

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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

Is that the Big Game 7.0 from the CDOW website??

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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

Yeah, but be careful, make sure you get the one with the maps, not just the data. I love mine, I refer to it constantly.

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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

Sorry to be a pain...but check out this website....there are 2 versions, not sure if i need both or what the deal is??? Thanks
http://www.huntdata.com/products.asp?cat=1

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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

You want the Statewide Digital maps, not the hunt data. You can get all of the data off the DOW website for free. It's just packaged a little nicer, but you can create that yourself with an Excel Spreadsheet.

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Info on Walden-Steamboat Area??

While we're on it, any ideas for other areas?? Just looking to get into some good areas and find some game, would like to fill the freezer and have a little action?? I do alot of scouting but summer findings is hard to figure out best time to be in there. Thanks again.

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