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

Scores


Ease of Drawing
100
 
100
Success
0
N/A
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
63
 
63
Ease of Terrain
50
 
50
Room to Breathe
58
 
58
Opportunity
100
 
100
Convenience
89
 
89
Ease of Effort
0
N/A
94
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

606 Square Miles (387,581 Acres)

Land Ownership

37% Private, 63% Public, 43% USFS, 19% BLM

Latitude/Longitude

39.3793, -107.8300

Amenities

There are 5 hospitals, 20 hotels, 8 campgrounds, and 11 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 (2019)


Total Quota
1,175
Licenses Drawn
504
Licenses Surplus
671
Resident Quota
384
Nonresident Quota
120
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
177
100%
Average 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
EF042O2R
F
R
O2
EF042O3R
F
R
O3
HuntScore Tip: Over-the-counter unlimited licenses are licenses that are unlimited in number and available in a range of units and seasons.

Go Pro and get:

  • Drawing and harvest trends across multiple years
  • Individual hunt quotas
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  • Draw odds for resident and nonresident applicants
  • Harvest by sex and manner (and season where applicable)
  • Average success odds
  • Days per hunter
  • Drawing and harvest tips

Elk Harvest Stats (2018)


Total Hunters
1,053
Total Harvest
278
Harvest Male
134
Harvest Female
106
33.5%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
P0
78 33
R
O1
240 83
R
O4
273 45
R
O1
165 47
R
O4
55 0
R
O1
41 20
R
O4
174 28
R
D
27 22
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.