Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 42 - Mesa and Garfield Counties

The elk herd is well distributed with good hunting success expected. Elk are scattered throughout the forest and on private lands. Most elk stay at higher elevations (8500- 10,000ft) in thick timber and oakbrush.

GMU 42 - Mesa and Garfield Counties
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Scores


Ease of Drawing
100
 
100
Success
17
 
17
Trophy Potential
46
 
46
Public Access
55
 
55
Ease of Terrain
75
 
75
Room to Breathe
23
 
23
Opportunity
55
 
55
Convenience
2
 
2
Ease of Effort
48
 
48
64
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Colorado River; on E by S Canyon Creek, the divide between Roaring Fork-Crystal River and Baldy Creek-Divide Creek drainages and common point of Mesa-Pitkin-Gunnison County lines; on S by Divide Creek-Muddy Creek divide, Divide Creek-Plateau Creek divide and Plateau Creek-Colorado River divide; and on W by Colorado River.

Hunters should be prepared to spend time on foot or horseback. Much of the area is public land. Overall, the hunting pressure is heavy.

County

Mesa, Garfield

Size

555 Square Miles (355,506 Acres)

Land Ownership

45% Private, 55% Public, 30% USFS, 22% BLM, 3% State

Latitude/Longitude

39.3988, -107.7396

Amenities

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

Elk Notes


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The elk herd is well distributed with good hunting success expected. Elk are scattered throughout the forest and on private lands. Most elk stay at higher elevations (8500- 10,000ft) in thick timber and oakbrush. There is no migration during the season, movement to the more remote areas is in response to hunting pressure.

They will seek classic cover - the heavily wooded, north-facing slopes near water. You will need to get away from the roads. There are lots of legal bulls as the area is managed for quantity of bulls rather than trophy status. Hence, trophy bulls are present but relatively rare.

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

Other Species in Unit

Deer, Shiras Moose, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Turkey,

Photos and Terrain Notes


Grand Mesa terrain ranges from high elevation (11,000ft) spruce/fir forests to low elevation (4,800ft) piñon-juniper woodlands.

Elk Drawing Stats (2020)


Total Quota
1,350
Licenses Drawn
848
Licenses Surplus
502
Resident Quota
684
Nonresident Quota
164
Landowner Quota
203
Youth Quota
203
100%
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
EF042P5R
F
R
P5
LL
100%
66
EF042O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
77
EF042O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
78
EF042O2R
F
R
O2
LL
100%
77
HuntScore Tip: Colorado divides the state into distinct hunting areas called Game Management Units or GMUs (see map). To prevent over harvesting, a limited number of licenses by species are assigned to be sold in each GMU. The number of limited licenses available in each GMU is called the quota.

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  • Drawing trends across multiple years
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Elk Harvest Stats (2019)


Total Hunters
3,507
Total Harvest
553
Harvest Male
208
Harvest Female
304
16%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A
N/A 907 84
51
30
0
ALL
ALL
N/A
N/A 3507 553
208
304
0
M
M
N/A
N/A 214 54
24
30
0
R
D
R
N/A 25 16
0
15
0
R
O1
LL
F
30 0
0
0
0
R
O1
LL
M
123 10
10
0
0
R
O1
N/A
N/A 217 51
31
20
0
R
O2
LL
F
424 55
0
52
0
R
O2
N/A
N/A 1008 92
37
52
0
R
O3
LL
F
443 133
0
115
0
R
O3
N/A
N/A 897 198
65
115
0
R
O4
LL
F
152 50
0
38
0
R
O4
LL
M
49 0
0
0
0
R
O4
N/A
N/A 239 58
0
42
0
R
P0
N/A
N/A 102 49
21
24
0
R
R
N/A
N/A 2386 415
133
244
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
  • 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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