Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 791 - Alamosa, Rio Grande, and Saguache Counties

This area is not traditional elk habitat. Although elk have been able to exploit the irrigated meadows, croplands and river bottom, CPW would like to discourage this use from continuing due to the inherent problems and liabilities.

GMU 791 - Alamosa, Rio Grande, and Saguache Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
0
 
N/A
Success
0
N/A
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
69
 
69
Ease of Terrain
50
 
50
Room to Breathe
0
 
N/A
Opportunity
0
 
N/A
Convenience
100
 
100
Ease of Effort
0
N/A
71
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by County Road G; on E by County Highway 17; on S by US Highway 160; on W by US Highway 285.

You must have permission to hunt on private land. Trespassing is a significant issue in the valley. Hunters have expressed concern about landowners denying access to the general public and profiting from trespass fees, at a time when the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) is saying that these animals have the potential to cause large damage claims and that the herd needs to be reduced. At the same time, landowners are reluctant to open their properties up to elk hunting to give access to strangers.

Others question why CDOW would want to eliminate elk from an area since people enjoy seeing concentrations of bulls out on the floor of the valley, and some landowners appreciate the opportunity to hunt elk on their property

County

Alamosa, Rio Grande, Saguache

Size

327 Square Miles (209,554 Acres)

Land Ownership

31% Private, 69% Public, 51% USFS, 12% BLM, 5% State

Latitude/Longitude

37.6524, -106.0034

Amenities

There are 6 hospitals, 20 hotels, 1 campgrounds, and 20 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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  • Toggle between terrain, satellite, and topographic views
  • Additional species-specific map layers

This area is not traditional elk habitat. Although elk have been able to exploit the irrigated meadows, croplands and river bottom, CPW would like to discourage this use from continuing due to the inherent problems and liabilities. The potential for damage claims in the area could exhaust CPW's entire game damage budget in any year. Also, handling landowner complaints about elk and dealing with poaching in this area can consume a significant amount of employee time

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, Pronghorn, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Turkey,

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.

Elk Harvest Stats (2018)


Total Hunters
283
Total Harvest
118
Harvest Male
73
Harvest Female
45
33.5%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
R
93 40
R
P0
81 35
A
A
10 3
M
M
6 0
R
EP
81 35
R
D
12 5
HuntScore Tip: With more than 300,000 hunting licenses sold in Colorado each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife thinks it's impossible to contact every hunter. So, harvest data is not actual. It's a statistical sample calculation based on license sales data and an estimate of hunter numbers and hunter success. Hunter activity and success is gathered through the hunter survey sent to all Colorado licensed hunters. Response is voluntary and therefore not complete.