Deer Hunting in Colorado GMU 681 - Saguache County

Deer hunting in the San Luis Valley has been improving recently due to the limit on buck licenses. Success rates are high for hunters who draw a buck tag. Due to overall low deer population, doe hunting is allowed only on private land in specific areas to

GMU 681 - Saguache County

Scores


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
29
 
29
Success
51
 
51
Trophy Potential
8
 
8
Public Access
88
 
88
Ease of Terrain
74
 
74
Room to Breathe
13
 
13
Opportunity
39
 
39
Convenience
3
 
3
Ease of Effort
50
 
50
59
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Continental Divide and Arkansas River Divide between North Pass and Poncha Pass; on E by US Highway 285; on S by US Highway 285 and County Highway 114; on W by County Highway 114.

The area is dominated by public lands and hunting access is excellent in most areas. Throughout the area, access varies from moderate to very difficult. Hunting can be good for those willing to go into tough terrain. Hunting is also challenging because animals can move quickly to large areas of private land, and onto Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Baca National Wildlife Refuge where hunting is prohibited.

You must have permission to hunt on private land. Trespassing is a significant issue in the valley.

County

Saguache

Size

444 Square Miles (284,293 Acres)

Land Ownership

12% Private, 88% Public, 50% USFS, 37% BLM, 1% State

Latitude/Longitude

38.2319, -106.2152

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 1 hotels, 1 campgrounds, and 0 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Deer Notes


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Deer hunting in the San Luis Valley has been improving recently due to the limit on buck licenses. Success rates are high for hunters who draw a buck tag. Due to overall low deer population, doe hunting is allowed only on private land in specific areas to address game damage issues. The buck-to-doe ratio is high for this area, so older age-class quality bucks can be found.

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


Vegetation types range from heavy timber to vast areas of grass and low shrubs. The San Luis Valley is a vast 8,000-square-mile area that provides a wide variety of terrain at elevations that range from 7,500 feet to 14,000 feet. The rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains define the valleyfts east side. The middle of the valley is flat farm land that is privately owned.

The Rio Grande and the Conejos River provide long riparian areas that cut through high-elevation alpine forests to lower elevation cottonwood and willow stands. The west is bordered by the Rio Grande National Forest and the San Juan mountain range.

Deer Drawing Stats (2021)


Total Quota
785
Licenses Drawn
785
Licenses Surplus
0
Resident Quota
484
Nonresident Quota
207
Landowner Quota
154
Youth Quota
0
29.5%
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
DM068O4R
M
R
O4
LL
5.7%
56 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 68, 681, 682;
DM068O3R
M
R
O3
LL
24.7%
66 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 68, 681, 682;
DM068O2R
M
R
O2
LL
30.4%
68 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 68, 681, 682;
DM068O1M
M
M
O1
LL
66.5%
71 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 68, 681, 682;
DM068O1A
M
A
O1
LL
71.4%
72 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 68, 681, 682;
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
391
Total Harvest
166
Harvest Male
158
Harvest Female
8
42%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Deer Species Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
LL
N/A N/A 52 7
7
0
0
ALL
ALL
LL
N/A N/A 391 166
158
8
0
Any
D
LL
N/A N/A 8 8
0
8
0
M
M
LL
N/A N/A 82 31
31
0
0
R
O2
LL
N/A N/A 113 38
38
0
0
R
O3
LL
N/A N/A 123 72
72
0
0
R
O4
LL
N/A N/A 13 10
10
0
0
R
R
LL
N/A N/A 257 128
120
8
0
HuntScore Tip: Ever hunt a unit with a 100% success rate and not see any deer? If you're nodding your head to any of these scenarios then you're one of the people who knows that statistics are a good guide, but they aren't a guarantee.

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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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