Deer Hunting in Colorado GMU 561 - Chaffee and Saguache Counties

Look for deer in the lower elevations in the east part of unit, as this is their winter concentration. Look towards areas such as Cleveland Mountain and the Dry Lake area.

GMU 561 - Chaffee and Saguache Counties

Scores


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
44
 
44
Success
29
 
29
Trophy Potential
42
 
42
Public Access
90
 
90
Ease of Terrain
64
 
64
Room to Breathe
6
 
6
Opportunity
63
 
63
Convenience
0
 
N/A
Ease of Effort
80
 
80
61
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by US Highway 50; on E by US Highway 285; on S by the Arkansas River-Rio Grande drainage divide; on W by Continental Divide.

Access is good with 90 percent of the unit being public.

County

Chaffee, Saguache

Size

128 Square Miles (81,884 Acres)

Land Ownership

9% Private, 91% Public, 84% USFS, 6% BLM, 1% State

Latitude/Longitude

38.4564, -106.1958

Amenities

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

Deer Notes


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Look for deer in the lower elevations in the east part of unit, as this is their winter concentration. Look towards areas such as Cleveland Mountain and the Dry Lake area.

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


The elevation in this area ranges from 13,944 feet on Mount Ouray to 7,036 feet near Salida. The terrain is Steep to moderately steep 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
870
Licenses Drawn
870
Licenses Surplus
0
Resident Quota
670
Nonresident Quota
123
Landowner Quota
172
Youth Quota
2
44.1%
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
DM048O3R
M
R
O3
LL
46%
71 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 48, 56, 481, 561;
DM048O2R
M
R
O2
LL
41.8%
72 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 48, 56, 481, 561;
DM048O1M
M
M
O1
LL
57.5%
71 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 48, 56, 481, 561;
DM048O1A
M
A
O1
LL
61%
74 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 48, 56, 481, 561;
DM048E1R
M
R
E1
LL
13.7%
60 License Valid for Units: 48, 56, 481, 561; Those portions of GMUs 48, 56, 481, 561 above timberline
DF048O1M
F
M
O1
LL
25.6%
60 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 48, 56, 481, 561;
HuntScore Tip: Hunters born after 1948 must present a hunter education card when purchasing a license. License agents will accept cards issued by other states but they will not accept a previous year?s license or photocopies of hunter education cards.

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Deer Harvest Stats (2019)


Total Hunters
203
Total Harvest
70
Harvest Male
64
Harvest Female
6
34%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Deer Species Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
LL
N/A N/A 28 7
7
0
0
ALL
ALL
LL
N/A N/A 203 70
64
6
0
M
M
LL
N/A N/A 33 9
3
6
0
R
EL
LL
N/A N/A 3 0
0
0
0
R
HR
LL
N/A N/A 3 0
0
0
0
R
O2
LL
N/A N/A 40 17
17
0
0
R
O3
LL
N/A N/A 99 37
37
0
0
R
R
LL
N/A N/A 142 54
54
0
0
HuntScore Tip: Harvest statistics are only taken at the unit level and include all harvests of a particular species by a particular manner. However it doesn't go to season level detail. For example, all rifle hunts (Season 1, Season 2, etc) are combined to a single total.

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  • Harvest trends across multiple years
  • Harvest stats by hunt_code, manner, season, sex, type
  • Average harvest rates
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  • 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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