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Alamosa's picture
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Location: Southern Colorado
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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

I'm thinking of spending my preference points on this unit. Never been there. Trying to find out all I can.
Thanks

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Location: Palisade, Colorado
Joined: 10/10/2005
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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

Alamosa,
I've hunted there a few times with limited success, I haven't found Mr. Big yet. Very demanding country, definitely not a walk in the park. I will be drawing there in a couple of years and plan on spending some time there in the next couple of years.
What season are you planning on applying for?
We can definitely keep in touch, be glad to work this with you.

Alamosa's picture
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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

Thanks for the reply.

Most of my hunting party is over the age of 60 and no longer able to hunt at the high altitudes. We have been hunting the Hermosa creek herd but it seems like with the recent warmer seasons we have had to go higher each year.

This unit looked good to me because of the good success statistics and because none of it is above 10,000 ft. We've all got ample preference points. I plan to take Presidents Day weekend and look at whatever unit we think might work. I was looking at 3rd season but also considering 4th.

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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

took this picture last year, this year he was way bigger. i wasnt presented a shot but i did collect a nice 5x6 with a 42" spread.

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Alamosa's picture
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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

We did good out there this year.

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Location: Palisade, Colorado
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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

Awesome Alamosa, those pictures would surely have a great story to go along with them! We sure would like to hear the story.

Alamosa's picture
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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

OK. Here is more details of the hunt.

After 25 years of elk hunting my brother and I decided to use some preference points this year. We settled on unit 61.

I felt really fortunate to be able to spend some time hunting this canyon.

Antler arch doorway in a nearby town.


Chris.
I was really pleased to have this first timer as part of our 2006 hunt. He is an accomplished mountain climber and brought much of the necessary skills and equipment to make a positive impact on the hunt right off the bat. You would never know that this was his rookie hunt.
It is tough for a young person to break into this type of hunting if they don’t learn it from family.


This is the smaller bull we shot. On the evening of opening day I had perfect conditions, wind in my face and light rain. I caught a movement from the corner of my eye through the scrub oak. I had killed a dozen elk prior to this but this is my very first bull. It seemed like the whole forest shook when he fell. At 60 yds I wanted the heart/lung shot. There was way too much scrub oak so I opted for a double lung shot instead. In a bizarre turn of events, the 7mm bullet deflected off a twig (I think) dove 10 inches and shot through the heart/lung.


The loadout
It seems like 3/4 of the hunt was the carryout. The dogs help by hauling meat in their dog packs.


The long carrys out gave me lots of time to reflect on many seasons when we froze for a week and saw nothing, all the long drives home looking at elk in the back of other guys pickups, the twisted knees, rolled ankles, stuck pickups, chewy coffee, unruly horses, and so on.
I think all of those tough times make you appreciate success more.

Earlier, on the 1st day my brother knocked his scope and had to zero it again using a paper plate. I told him I guess that leaves me the only one than can make long shots now. He replied that he was confident he could still make long shots. On the 2nd day he proved it.

Bull #2. Lasered my brother's shot distance at 180 yards.

The steepest, deepest, darkest, jungle in the area. Where else?


Pack animal - AKA my brother.

The temps were so warm here that Chris and I each brought 150 quart marine coolers to store the meat in. We would have probably had some spoilage if not for those.

We drew a crowd when we rolled into Montrose. The two elk racks were visible in the cargo areas of our convoy. Cars were pulling beside us taking photos with cell phones. Guys were stopping and asking us about the hunt.

To prepare for the hunt I shot hundreds of dollars worth of ammunition at the local range and I shot patterns with all of the rifles from my group. I used the stairmaster to train and was able to lose 10 lbs before the hunt. I studied maps and elk hunting articles at night. I made 4 scouting trips to the area over the summer.


You can’t tell from the picture, but the larger rack measured 49 inches across and the smaller one 35 inches.

This hunt was on public land, self guided, and during what is usually the poorest season for success (3rd).

In addition to some success on the bulls I was very happy that in general we did everything right. We made sure shots and quick kills, we took good care of the meat, the hunters showed up with the right food, clothing, and equipment and came ready to hunt.

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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

Thanks for sharing! Big smile

Sounds like you all had a super time and it all came together for you. How perfect! It was particularly nice to read about Chris. Hope he enjoyed the hunt as much as you did.

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Location: Palisade, Colorado
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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

Alamosa,
Wow! You really know how to get me going, I have six points working towards a second season unit 61 tag. 61 may not be the best limited draw unit, but it is close to home and I know the country. How many points did your tag take? I'm thinking I will be drawing there in '08. Looking forward to going back to 61 after seeing the success you had this year! Thanks for the pictures and the story.
peanut

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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

Good stuff Thumbs up
Thanks for posting the pics.

Alamosa's picture
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Location: Southern Colorado
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Uncompaghre Plateau. Colo Unit 61 - any experiences or info?

Peanut64. They took 7 points for our bull tags. One guy drew a unit 61 cow tag with 0.
What some people do is put in for 61 with 62 as their 2nd choice. Then they pitch camp on the Divide road and the draw determines which side of the road they hunt.

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