Elk have survived by knowing how to avoid hunters. Concentrate on rugged terrain away from other hunters. Weather often dictates the success rate in this area.
Bounded on N by US Highway 160; on E by Animas River; on S by New Mexico; on W by Montezuma-La Plata County line.
Most of the land in GMU 741 is private or part of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Only members of the tribe can hunt on the reservation. The Bureau of Reclamation owns the property around Nighthorse Reservoir near Durangp and currently hunting is not allowed. Hunting is allowed on the 3,000 acres owned by CPW in the adjacent Bodo State Wildlife Area.
54% Private, 8% Public, 4% BLM, 4% State, 38% Indian
The elk herd is below objective but the population is stable and increasing slightly. CPW is working to increase the population and has reduced cow harvest in this unit over the past several years. This has been done by decreasing cow and either-sex licenses. They have survived by knowing how to avoid hunters.
Concentrate on rugged terrain away from other hunters. Weather often dictates the success rate in this area.
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.
Elk Management Plan
Elevations range from about 6,000 feet near the New Mexico border to more than 12,000 feet near Silverton. An abundance of vegetation provides good summer range, but winter range is declining because of development. This area is in the Colorado Plateau Ecoregion, which consists of shrublands and forests. Vegetation types include:
alpine over 12,000 feet elevation; spruce/fir stands down to 10,000 feet; Gambel oak, serviceberry, and ponderosa
pine above 6,500 feet; and piñon/juniper/sagebrush and agricultural fields below 6,500 feet.
There are 2 OTC hunts in this unit. Go Pro to view the details!
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.
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The elk population is holding steady and herds are at objective levels. Animals are distributed widely throughout the eastern portion of these units. Elk will move quickly into thick aspen, evergreens and rugged terrain with hunting pressure.
The wilderness area boundary north of Pagosa often holds elk when snow pushes them down. Areas south of Pagosa Springs and east of Highway 84 can provide good hunting as snow begins to accumulate.