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Anyone elk hunted CO GMUs 12,23,24?

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Anyone elk hunted CO GMUs 12,23,24?

Old 12-11-2009, 06:51 AM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Anyone elk hunted CO GMUs 12,23,24?

We're looking to plan a CO hunt for 2010 and these units look to have good densities. We're looking for bull tags but quantity is more important than finding a 300-inch bull for us. Any insights into these units are appreciated. I've looked at the interactive maps on the CO website, but I'm a little unclear where the elk will tend to be 1st or 2nd rifle season (summer vs winter range).
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:38 AM
  #2  
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We've hunted unit 12 the past 4 years and just have begun to figure out the pattern the elk use in 1st rifle. The White River herd is the largest in the state (44,000), but they are also scattered out over a large area. The real nice part of hunting that unit is the fact that you can get an either sex tag for 1st rifle. That tag is good for a bunch of surrounding units, so you have lots of ground to pick. We've seen elk every year during season and harvested 2 out of the 4 years. We've met guys that have hunted that particular area for 20 years getting their elk 95% of the time. I did notice this year that some of the harvest numbers were down. Not nearly as many elk in the camps as the past couple of years, but I think some of those guys are transient hunters (new faces) and don't really know the ground they are hunting yet and therefore are not as successful.
On a side note, those units are some of the most beautiful in the state, especially in June/July. Great time and place for family camping/scouting trips....Hint, hint
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:08 PM
  #3  
Typical Buck
 
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I would try Sable Mountain Outfitters. They pack camps in from Marvine campground. Or Budges Lodge that pack in from the White River valley. Both sites great areas. You will need to pick campsites on the flattops if there is no snow but the river valley is better if the mountains are snow covered.

PS: This is GMU24.
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:44 PM
  #4  
Fork Horn
 
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The flattops are a beautiful place, but expect a lot of snow, quite a bit is wilderness area ,so no wheels, have to pack in. There was a ton of hunters up there tho, Outfitters have a lot and I mean a lot of camps. We used to take our own horses up there and it was great. Now We are quite a bit older so packing in is not an option. First season . is now a draw so just maybe not quite as many hunters. WE usually got 1 or 2bulls between 4 of us. There are not a lot of big bulls up there tho.
I could help you out and mark up a map if you like. I believe I still have some old maps.
Redclub
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:28 PM
  #5  
Nontypical Buck
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Originally Posted by Redclub View Post
The flattops are a beautiful place, but expect a lot of snow, quite a bit is wilderness area ,so no wheels, have to pack in. There was a ton of hunters up there tho, Outfitters have a lot and I mean a lot of camps. We used to take our own horses up there and it was great. Now We are quite a bit older so packing in is not an option. First season . is now a draw so just maybe not quite as many hunters. WE usually got 1 or 2bulls between 4 of us. There are not a lot of big bulls up there tho.
I could help you out and mark up a map if you like. I believe I still have some old maps.
Redclub
Thank you, that is a very kind offer. I will PM you in a few days, I have a baby due any minute so I may not be on here for a little while.

We will of course apply for the 1st season draw and use the OTC 2nd season as a backup. How early does the snow come down up there? Is it usually hitting in mid-October?

In reading through the extensive online information and DAU planning documents, I take it that there are a lot of elk but as soon as the hunting pressure hits they leave the high country and head for the safety of private land in the White River Valley (GMU24) or northern GMU 23, western GMU 12. Any idea when this movement starts in earnest? Do some elk hold in 24 backcountry into 2nd season to hike in on them?

We will be pack hunting, not afraid to hike in a few miles. In Montana it was a rough 8.5 miles from the truck to where I shot my bull. DIY only, no outfitter.
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