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R. Smith's picture
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Location: Greeley Co
Joined: 04/14/2010
Posts: 92
Unit 161 in Co?

My buddy i hunted Unit 161(outside of Walden) 2yrs ago and it looked like a ghost town. I know that at the time there was alot of tree mitigation due to beetle kill. Does anybody have any suggestions on this unit? Best area to hunt in unit 161? Our hunting trip is taking US back to this same area this year. It was and still is not my first choice, but I go where majority of camp wants to go. Any help would be great to convince my camp on another area or unit.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
161 isn't bad

Since you've been there before you shouldn't be starting from scratch.  There's a good mix of high altitude wilderness, low alititude wilderness and low altitude roaded areas.  But since it doesn't sound like you're sold on the area, scout it some more.  You've got plenty of time to find yourself some elk and get fired up about the place.  3rd season is a tough season to hunt, but I like it.  Make yourself a list of areas that you'd hit if it was warm and dry, then a few areas you'd like to hunt if it were cold and snowy, but investigate some of the country between those spots too. 

Yeah there's a lot of beetle kill, so more than likely you'll have to do a lot of still hunting.  Don't forget we have two weekends this year.  There ought to be snow for at least one of those weekends.  So don't bring a rifle that is too unwieldy for that kind of hunting.  By that I mean, no heavy super long range rigs.  I hunt with a 9 pound 27.5" barreled .264 most of the time, and I do just fine with it while still hunting, but I leave my scope on 4.5X.  But you've got to be prepared for quick shots if you're hunting the timber.  With all that beetle kill, the elk don't have to come out into the willow flats or meadows to feed.  There's enough forage amongst the trees now for them to survive.  It's a tough way to hunt, but you have to go where the elk are.

I think 161 is the best North Park unit, there's plenty of elk to be had, including some pretty good bulls.  Yes there are large refuges for them, but there's a ton of public land options around there.

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