Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 24 - Rio Blanco and Garfield Counties

Generally, this unit is considered very good elk hunting. They are generally at higher elevations in the eastern portions the unit during early seasons, and move west to lower elevations (and private lands) as hunting pressure and snow depth increase. Try

GMU 24 - Rio Blanco and Garfield Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
0
 
N/A
Success
0
N/A
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
92
 
92
Ease of Terrain
35
 
35
Room to Breathe
0
 
N/A
Opportunity
0
 
N/A
Convenience
64
 
64
Ease of Effort
0
N/A
75
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Williams Fork River-White River divide; on E by White River-Yampa River divide and White River-Colorado River divide; on S by S Fork of White River-Colorado River divide; on W by US Forest Service Primary Forest Road 245 and Rio Blanco County Roads 17 (Buford-Newcastle Road), 8 and US Forest Service 250.

Expect mild weather with light snow in the 1st season, with roads becoming impassable in the upper half of the area by the 3rd season. The high country in GMU 24 is prone to heavy snowstorms in late seasons. Heavy snowstorms can strand hunters on Flattops after 1st season. While there is a great deal of public land, hunting pressure is heavy especially in northern half of GMUs 23 and 24.

4WD is necessary on all but the few main paved roads. Half of the area is roadless - which makes for very good hunting if you can walk or pack in. You may encounter heavy ATV traffic in GMUs 12, 23 and 33. Hunters in GMU 25 and 26 can gain access using Forest Service Road 610 (Stump Park Rd) or USFS Road 613 (Crescent Lake Rd).

County

Rio Blanco, Garfield

Size

439 Square Miles (280,973 Acres)

Land Ownership

8% Private, 92% Public, 91% USFS, 1% BLM

Latitude/Longitude

39.9426, -107.3999

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 20 hotels, 16 campgrounds, and 0 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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Generally, this unit is considered very good elk hunting. They are generally at higher elevations in the eastern portions the unit during early seasons, and move west to lower elevations (and private lands) as hunting pressure and snow depth increase. Try the abundant public lands in the eastern part of the unit early on. Because of access roads, hunting pressure is high on Sleepy Cat, Lost Park and Sand Peak.

The Flattops Wilderness Area offers good hunting, but travel is limited to walking or horseback and the potential for heavy snowfall means hunters must be prepared. Successful hunters avoid the main roads and hunt the dark timber and deeper canyons. Jensen State Wildlife Area is good during most seasons. Oak Ridge State Wildlife Area is good during 3rd and 4th rifle seasons.

Both properties are limited to foot or horseback travel.

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

Elk Management Plan

State Agency Website

Visit Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Photos and Terrain Notes


White River offers variety and extremes. Several peaks in the Flattop Wilderness are 12,200ft in elevation. Elevation drops to 5,300ft near Rifle. The lower elevation vegetation starts out with sage, progressing to oakbrush/mtn brush, aspen, evergreens and alpine tundra.

Elk Harvest Stats (2019)


Total Hunters
3,627
Total Harvest
490
Harvest Male
3,955
Harvest Female
123
14%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
M
M
97 32
R
EP
12 0
R
O4
187 0
R
O3
283 25
R
O2
432 45
R
O1
475 61
R
O4
82 8
R
O1
757 158
R
O3
574 55
A
A
464 77
R
O4
269 8
R
O2
967 95
R
O1
1232 219
R
P0
24 4
R
ALL
12 4
R
R
3066 381
ALL
ALL
3627 490
R
LP
12 4
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.