Deer Hunting in Colorado GMU 481 - Chaffee County

Deer can be found throughout the unit, but better deer hunting is found at the lower elevations. In later seasons, deer will move down toward the town of Buena Vista and along Hwy 24.

GMU 481 - Chaffee County

Scores


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
92
 
92
Success
39
 
39
Trophy Potential
41
 
41
Public Access
80
 
80
Ease of Terrain
75
 
75
Room to Breathe
7
 
7
Opportunity
16
 
16
Convenience
15
 
15
Ease of Effort
57
 
57
73
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by South Fork of Clear Creek and Clear Creek; on E by Arkansas River; on S by Chalk Creek and Tincup Pass Road from St. Elmo; on W by Continental Divide.

The access for this unit is fair. Public roads, trails provide limited access to public lands. Considerable wilderness with trails that are foot or horseback only.

County

Chaffee

Size

258 Square Miles (165,400 Acres)

Land Ownership

20% Private, 80% Public, 75% USFS, 1% BLM, 4% State

Latitude/Longitude

38.8488, -106.2788

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 4 hotels, 4 campgrounds, and 0 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Deer Notes


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Deer can be found throughout the unit, but better deer hunting is found at the lower elevations. In later seasons, deer will move down toward the town of Buena Vista and along Hwy 24. Most whitetail activity is down along the Arkansas drainage on the east side of these GMUs. Whitetails have been reported in the area on occasion, however they are few and far between.

Primary landownership within this area is private so permission to hunt would be necessary

HuntScore Tip

Public land and private land percentages can sometime be misleading. A unit may have 80% public land, but a particluar species may only occupy 20% on the entire area. And that 20% species distribution may lie 100% within private lands. Does that sound confusing? Just remember that there are always exceptions to the rule, and land ownership is just one piece of the puzzle.

Management Plan

Deer Management Plan

State Agency Website

Visit Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Photos and Terrain Notes


14,419 on Mt. Harvard to 7,710 near Nathrop; Broad, level valley bottom, changing rapidly to steep, rough mountains. The western border of the area is alpine tundra (above 11,500ft) and is characterized by sedges, forbs and stunted willows. As the elevation drops, the next ecosystem is subalpine forest (9,000ft-11,500ft) dominated by subalpine fir, Engelmann spruce, aspen and bristlecone pine.

The montane forest (5,600ft- 9,000), contains primarily ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, and aspen. The semidesert shrubland areas (7,000ft-8,000ft), support sagebrush, rabbitbrush, mountain mahogany, grasses and numerous forbs. The piñonjuniper woodlands (6,800ft-8,000ft), contain primarily piñon pine, juniper, mountain mahogany, rabbitbrush, forbs and cactus. The riparian ecosystems extend along all of the drainages and include narrowleaf cottonwood, willow, cinquefoil, current and forbs and grasses.

Agricultural cropland in the area consists mainly of native grass and alfalfa hay fields in the Arkansas River valley bottom and along tributaries

Deer Over The Counter Hunts (2021)


There are 1 OTC hunts in this unit. Go Pro to view the details!

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Deer Drawing Stats (2021)


Total Quota
70
Licenses Drawn
70
Licenses Surplus
0
Resident Quota
66
Nonresident Quota
3
Landowner Quota
23
Youth Quota
11
100%
Overall Unit
1st Choice Draw Odds
Choose a hunt below to take a deeper dive into quotas, drawing odds, drawing trends, and harvest data.
Stats Apply For Sex Manner Season Type Draw Odds HuntScore Notes
DF481P5R
F
R
P5
LL
100%
0
DF481P3R
F
R
P3
LL
100%
0
DF481P2R
F
R
P2
LL
100%
0
HuntScore Tip: Preference points are earned when you apply for a limited license but are unsuccessful in drawing a license for your first-choice hunt or when you purchase a point through the application process. Many hunters collect points and also hunt each year. Researching the number of points required for the GMUs you want to hunt is useful before applying.

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Deer Harvest Stats (2019)


Total Hunters
362
Total Harvest
165
Harvest Male
104
Harvest Female
61
46%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Deer Species Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
LL
N/A N/A 66 22
12
10
0
ALL
ALL
LL
N/A N/A 362 165
104
61
0
Any
EX
LL
N/A N/A 25 15
0
15
0
Any
WTO
LL
N/A
WD
5 2
2
0
0
M
M
LL
N/A N/A 32 2
2
0
0
R
EL
LL
N/A N/A 7 0
0
0
0
R
HR
LL
N/A N/A 7 0
0
0
0
R
O2
LL
N/A N/A 144 62
47
15
0
R
O3
LL
N/A N/A 83 62
41
21
0
R
R
LL
N/A N/A 264 141
90
51
0
R
WTO
LL
N/A
WD
5 2
2
0
0
HuntScore Tip: Also keep in mind that past performance doesn't necessarily guide future success. Warm weather during the previous year may have limited harvest. Cold and snowy weather may have sent hunters home early the previous year, limiting the harvest. You may have better conditions. Look at the 3-5 year trends and not a specific year.

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Weather Insights


Weather can vary by elevation. See how weather varies by elevation within a unit by selecting an elevation range. Elevation ranges are based on weather stations in or near the unit. Not all weather elements are available within the unit.

Average Temps

Use temperature ranges to plan and prepare for your hunt. Large swings indicate a good layering system should be used. Be sure to make note of the extreme temperatures as these often pose the greatest risk to hunters. If you plan on hunting in higher elevation, as a rule of thumb, expect the tempture to decrease roughly 5° for every 1000' in elevation gain.

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