Deer Hunting in Colorado GMU 31 - Mesa, Garfield and Rio Blanco Counties

Concentrate on higher elevations in early seasons. If the weather is dry, you'll need to do a lot of walking and looking. Good snows will move the herds to lower elevations to the north and to the south.

GMU 31 - Mesa, Garfield and Rio Blanco Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
54
 
54
Success
56
 
56
Trophy Potential
55
 
55
Public Access
57
 
57
Ease of Terrain
56
 
56
Room to Breathe
12
 
12
Opportunity
22
 
22
Convenience
0
 
N/A
Ease of Effort
55
 
55
58
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Colorado-White River divide; on E by Roan Creek-Parachute Creek divide and Kelly Gulch; on S by Colorado River; and on W by Bookcliffs, Little Salt Wash-Roan Creek divide, Big Salt Wash-Roan Creek divide and East Salt Creek-Roan Creek divide.

Rains bring muddy roads. High elevation snows make roads impassible without chains. 75% of area is BLM land. There are remote hunting areas accessible by foot, horseback or ATV.

Get maps and study BLM access points.

County

Mesa, Garfield, Rio Blanco

Size

644 Square Miles (412,266 Acres)

Land Ownership

43% Private, 57% Public, 57% BLM

Latitude/Longitude

39.4355, -108.4034

Amenities

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

Deer Notes


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The hunting ranges from fair to good in the Bookcliffs and Piceance units. Deer are well-distributed in the northern portion from mid-October. Concentrate on higher elevations in early seasons. If the weather is dry, you'll need to do a lot of walking and looking.

Good snows will move the herds to lower elevations to the north and to the south. Hunt high early, low later. Cathedral Rim has some big bucks, but tough terrain. Little Hills and Dry Fork of Piceance is better late

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

Other Species in Unit

Elk, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Turkey, Pronghorn,

Photos and Terrain Notes


piñon-juniper, with pockets of sagebrush, cover most of area at lower elevations. Higher elevations are characterized by sagebrush interspersed with aspen stands and some dark timber. Terrain varies from rolling sagebrush to steep-sided canyons. Some areas are steep and rugged, especially in southern portion.

Deer Drawing Stats (2020)


Total Quota
760
Licenses Drawn
734
Licenses Surplus
26
Resident Quota
381
Nonresident Quota
203
Landowner Quota
171
Youth Quota
21
54.9%
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
DE031O1A
E
A
O1
LL
61.9%
71
DM031O1M
M
M
O1
LL
55.2%
68
DM031O2R
M
R
O2
LL
55%
70
DM031O3R
M
R
O3
LL
53.2%
69
DM031P2R
M
R
P2
LL
100%
72
DM031P3R
M
R
P3
LL
100%
75
HuntScore Tip: Ninety to ninety-five percent of Colorado's GMUs require no preference points - or just a single preference point - in order to draw a limited license in those units.

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Deer Harvest Stats (2019)


Total Hunters
470
Total Harvest
254
Harvest Male
254
Harvest Female
0
54%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Deer Species Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
LL
N/A N/A 79 32
32
0
0
ALL
ALL
LL
N/A N/A 470 254
254
0
0
M
M
LL
N/A N/A 42 25
25
0
0
R
O2
LL
N/A N/A 133 52
52
0
0
R
O3
LL
N/A N/A 216 145
145
0
0
R
R
LL
N/A N/A 349 197
197
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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  • Harvest trends across multiple years
  • Harvest stats by hunt_code, manner, season, sex, type
  • Average harvest rates
  • Average days per hunter
  • Overall harvest trends

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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  • Snow depth by month
  • Min/Max precip and snow depth
  • Average # of days between precip or snow event

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