This unit is managed for quality bucks. There are good numbers of mature bucks, but they rarely reach trophy status found in lower elevation mountain shrub and mild winter areas.
Bounded on N and E by US Highway 40; on S by County Highway 9 and Colorado River; on W by Canyon Creek and Muddy Creek-Yampa River divide (Gore Range Divide).
This unit has a lot of private land.
44% Private, 55% Public, 34% USFS, 6% BLM, 15% State, 51% Wilderness
This unit has good numbers of deer. The buck-to-doe ratios continue to increase as a result of limited buck hunting and mild winters. This unit is managed for quality bucks. There are good numbers of mature bucks, but they rarely reach trophy status found in lower elevation mountain shrub and mild winter areas.
Concentrate on transition zones that have aspen, shrub and coniferous cover. Deer tend to move west and down in elevation over the seasons, snow will move them faster and farther.
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.
Deer Management Plan
The Continental Divide and the Gore Range Divide encircle Middle Park. Most of this terrain is steep to very steep. Sagebrush/shrubs are common on southern exposures at lower elevations. The past decadefts mountain pine beetle killed an estimated 80 percent of mature lodgepole pine trees in Grand County, creating numerous hazards along public roadways as these trees begin to fall.
The Gore Range, north of the Colorado River, is a long ridge (10,000 feet elevation) that runs
north to Rabbit Ears Pass. The landscape north of Gore Pass Highway is heavily timbered,
primarily with lodgepole pine, aspen, Engelmann spruce and sub-alpine fir. The terrain is not
rugged by Colorado standards. South of Gore Pass the elevation drops rapidly into piñon and juniper
There are several major geographical features besides the Gore Range in this
area. They are: Thorpe Mountain, Blacktail Mountain, Green Ridge, Black Mountain, Congor
Mesa, and Yarmony Mountain. The main drainages in the Yampa River drainage are Harrison
Creek, Green Creek, Sarvis Creek, Silver Creek, and Morrison Creek. The main drainages in the
Colorado River drainage are Muddy Creek, Blacktail Creek, Rock Creek, and Egeria Creek.
highest elevation is Red Dirt Peak (10,811ft.) on Gore Divide and the lowest is the Colorado River
at State Bridge (6,744 ft.)
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.
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.
This unit has good numbers of deer. This unit is managed for quality bucks. There are good numbers of mature bucks, but they rarely reach trophy status found in lower elevation mtn shrub and mild winter areas.
Hot spots are located north of Hayden. Some good trophy bucks are seen in the southern portion. This area is not managed for trophy bucks, but it does have a good number of adult males in the population.
Deer herds will be scattered from 6,500ft to timberline and will move down to the lower elevation piñon-juniper areas as heavy snow arrives. Over 18" of snow will move the deer. Try hunting the aspen, open parks and shrublands.