27 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/10/2010
Posts: 4
colorado unit 40

Looking for some info on unit 40 in colorado. I am looking at hunting unit 40 in 2011 for either muzzleloader or 1st rifle season for elk. . I am also looking at possibly hiring a good outfitter in unit 40. I am a resident in Northwest Colorado with 11 points and not familier with unit 40. Any info would be appreciated

exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
Great unit, tough landownership pattern

So if you're not willing or able to scout it to learn the boundaries, and cant read a map very well, you should stick to one of the units with more public land.

Joined: 10/10/2010
Posts: 4
colorado unit 40

Willing to scout and can read a map. Just not very familier to unit 40 or how the elk work down there. I have heard a lot of good things about the size of the bulls down there. Looking at the way the preference points are going out here in the northwest corner I could wait my whole life and never draw a tag. Just looking at the next best unit that has 350 plus bulls. If I am going to hunt unit 40 then it will definantly be next year hopefully before the RFW program takes its toll on the quality of bulls. I am just looking for info on where to start looking for elk in 40 so I can formulate a strategy for next fall. If I decide to go this route and cash in the 11 pp for 40 then I will be spending a lot of time down in that unit.It is definantly a tough unit to get any solid info on which makes it hard to decide on what the unit really has to offer. I

hawkeye270's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
It seems like that is a lot

It seems like that is a lot of points to spend on unit 40. With that many points you are a lot closer than most to the lesser of the north west units. If I had that many preference points I am not sure that I would be willing to use them in that game management unit. You are in the range of unit 61 and if you put in your time in that unit, you will come out with a whopper bull. I would just hate to see that many preference points get used needlessly. If I were in your shoes, I would wait a couple years for the north west corner or I would be cashing in on game management unit 61. Just my two cents.

Joined: 10/10/2010
Posts: 4
colorado unit 40

I appreciate the feedback and I have done alot of research on unit 61 and I have a buddy who lives in Junction who knows unit 61 very well. From what I have gathered it is a good unit for 300 to 320 bulls but not really the size of bulls that I am looking for. I must admit that 11 points is a lot to use on unit 40 but after looking at the preference point situation here in the northwest corner I could apply the rest of my life and never hunt there due to the amount of people that are in line ahead of me. It really makes me sick to think that my only chance to hunt in my own backyard is left up to a slim chance in the hybrid draw. I am kind of torn on to whether keep building up preference points and hope I get a hybrid tag someday or try and hunt unit 40 before the rfw program destroys the quality of bulls. I have considered hiring a outfitter in unit 40 but it looks a little to pricey. If i decide to hunt 40 it looks like a lot of time will be spent scouting and trying to get as much info as possible on the unit.

elkkill06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 2069
Unit 40 vs Unit 61


To start I have to agree that 11 points is a lot for unit 40. When RFW started back in the 90's on Galde Park the average bull taken was 360", but by the end of RFW a couple of years ago the average was 290". There has only been a couple of years since they restarted it this year. Now don't get me wrong there are still some monsters running around up there and typically there is at least one 380" giant taken every year with the occasional 400" showing up.

Many people have said the same thing about unit 61 that the bulls are 300" to 320". There are some "BIG" bulls in that country. Its just hunting in the right areas to find those bulls. If I had 11 PP's I would be hunting 1st rifle season (when it gets closer to the beginning of Oct) and it would be in unit 61.

Two years ago a couple of guys found a matched set of elk antlers in unit 61 that grossed 396", but the next year one of the big land owners in unit 40 killed that same bull in unit 40 and it ended up grossing just over 360" (the bull was on the down hill side). Those elk cross from  units 40, 61, and 62 all the time. I have seen elk in unit 61 get pushed and move 15 miles in one move and end up in unit 62 (tracked them in 8" of new snow on horse back).

I am more than happy to help with either unit. Send me a PM. Thumbs up


Festus's picture
Location: northern Colorado
Joined: 07/05/2009
Posts: 52
You never know till your done

You never know till your done weather its worth it or not. like Elkkill said 40 has some monsters I saw one bull cross from 40 into 62 at night when the headlights hit it in the ditch the only thing that came out of my mouth was "What the ----?" My brain did'nt process it as a real elk till he swung his huge rack around. I still have that image burned in my brain. Check out Steve Biggerstaff's web site the video clips will get you blood pumping I have talked to Steve a few times on the phone seems like a pretty goog guy were trying to buy a dog from him. Everybody that I talk to that knows him says he's a huntin SOB....

Centennial's picture
Location: Front Range, CO
Joined: 10/12/2006
Posts: 65
FWIW, I have hunted unit 40

FWIW, I have hunted unit 40 two years in a row.  Last year I had a bull license and this year I hunted with a cousin that had a bull license (at my suggestion); I had a bear license.  Honestly, if I had 11 points, I wouldn’t go to unit 40; with min points to draw, sure.  Both years, we came home empty handed and this was after full seasons of no kidding hard hunting.   Sure, we both had chances at bulls but not anything that you couldn’t shoot anywhere else in the state while muzzleloading. 

The biggest bull I had a chance to shoot last year was literally the first elk I saw and it was Tuesday and it was just short of 300 I would guess.  Nice bull no doubt but not what I was expecting or believed I could get out of 40.  Like everyone is saying, there really are some huge bulls in the unit but it’s not like you will have your pick of those or even the average bulls.  I am convinced that if you really want a big bull on public land in 40, you really need to know where to go and have it well scouted well in advance of the season ie, hunt a specific bull you have been watching.   OR, pay out the ying yang and hunt the private property.

It’s not typical elk country, not by a long shot.   It’s hot, dry, pinion/juniper, with scattered gamble oak, it’s full of ATVs roaring up and down the roads that you can her for literally miles, and mostly full of private property that provides perfect sanctuary from even the slightest pressure.   Again, I don’t want to mislead anyone, it’s a worthwhile hunt but you need to have realistic expectations.   The up side is it’s low altitude. 

As for the RFW, I completely agree with elkkill06 that the quality of the bulls will continue to decrease.  Last year on private land I saw several HUGE bulls and they were close enough to the public land that I thought there was at least a chance.  This year, I saw one really nice bull in the same area (on private) but nothing on public land that was even close to the 300ish bull I passed last year.  It's only a sample of two years but it sure fits the hypothesis.  If the big ones on the private property (best habitat) are getting whacked early with rifles, the medium sized ones step into the vacancy and the small ones move closer to the big herds.   My guess is that trend will only continue, it just makes sense. 

Okay, that was a little more than two cents worth but

Joined: 10/10/2010
Posts: 4
unit 40

 Wow can't beleive how helpful everyone has been on this site. I definantly think that after a little research and talking to everybody that I will not chance hunting 40. Sounds like a great unit but I dont like the fact that they let RFW back in the unit. I think I will hold out and save my points and start looking at unit 61.

Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 9
UNIT #40

Hi There, I'm new to this site, but have been reading some posts lately. Me and my buddy have 19 pts each and was also waiting for the N.W. corner but it's never going to happen. Were from Mich. and because were getting up there (age) we have decided to use our pts this year. I have been looking into area # 40. We don't have a ton of money so we are looking into something we could put together ourselves. I was wondering if some of you guys might have some suggestions, all would be appreciated.



buckykm1's picture
Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 366


just curious, what part of MI are you in ?, i live by Kalamazoo.


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