Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 15 - Routt, Grand, and Eagle Counties

Large elk numbers occur on the Routt National Forest. The basic movement is from the higher to lower elevation in response to hunting pressure and weather. Hunt the timber and hunt the Routt National Forest early.

GMU 15 - Routt, Grand, and Eagle Counties

Scores


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
99
 
99
Success
27
 
27
Trophy Potential
86
 
86
Public Access
79
 
79
Ease of Terrain
76
 
76
Room to Breathe
1
 
1
Opportunity
42
 
42
Convenience
100
 
100
Ease of Effort
47
 
47
71
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by US Highway 40; on E by Muddy Creek-Yampa River divide (Gore Range Divide) and Canyon Creek; on S by Colorado River; on W by County Highway 131.

Most of the land outside of the national forest is private land. Hunting pressure is heavy. Hunters will have better success and enjoy more solitude by walking into remote areas. Sarvis Creek Wilderness Areas access is restricted to non-vehicle methods.

County

Routt, Grand, Eagle

Size

492 Square Miles (314,998 Acres)

Land Ownership

34% Private, 66% Public, 51% USFS, 10% BLM, 4% State, 14% Wilderness

Latitude/Longitude

40.1473, -106.7308

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 0 hotels, 92 campgrounds, and 0 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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Elk are plentiful throughout the Upper Yampa area. Licenses are also readily available, but hunters should not rely on leftover license availability as these herds approach population objective. CPW has been working to minimize crop damage and significantly reduce the number of elk in these units. There are good numbers of bull elk, however, do not expect to see many large adult males.

Large elk numbers occur on the Routt National Forest. The basic movement is from the higher to lower elevation in response to hunting pressure and weather. Hunt the timber and hunt the Routt National Forest early. Private lands access is primarily available on a fee hunting basis.

Domestic sheep grazing typically occurs on parts of the Routt National Forest through the months of August and September. Elk will typically avoid areas actively used by sheep but often are not far away. Hunters can use this knowledge to their advantage. To learn more about sheep management and actively grazed areas, archery and muzzleloader hunters are encouraged to contact the Hahns Peak-Bears Ranger District in Steamboat Springs

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


From a low of 6,300 to 12,000ft along the Continental Divide. The Routt National Forest dominates the eastern 2/3 of the Upper Yampa units with coniferous forests and aspen. Mountain shrub and rolling sage cover the low country. The Gore Range, north of the Colorado River, is a long ridge (10,000 feet elevation) that runs north to Rabbit Ears Pass.

The landscape north of Gore Pass Highway is heavily timbered, primarily with lodgepole pine, aspen, Engelmann spruce and sub-alpine fir. The terrain is not rugged by Colorado standards. South of Gore Pass the elevation drops rapidly into piñon and juniper habitat. There are several major geographical features besides the Gore Range in this area.

They are: Thorpe Mountain, Blacktail Mountain, Green Ridge, Black Mountain, Congor Mesa, and Yarmony Mountain. The main drainages in the Yampa River drainage are Harrison Creek, Green Creek, Sarvis Creek, Silver Creek, and Morrison Creek. The main drainages in the Colorado River drainage are Muddy Creek, Blacktail Creek, Rock Creek, and Egeria Creek. The highest elevation is Red Dirt Peak (10,811ft.) on Gore Divide and the lowest is the Colorado River at State Bridge (6,744 ft.)

Elk Over The Counter Hunts (2022)


There are 4 OTC hunts in this unit. Go Pro to view the details!

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Elk Drawing Stats (2022)


Total Quota
5,300
Licenses Drawn
2,473
Licenses Surplus
2,827
Resident Quota
2,029
Nonresident Quota
444
Landowner Quota
677
Youth Quota
677
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 Notes
EF015O1M
F
M
O1
LL
100%
79 "Permit Type B; License Valid for Units: 15
EE015O4R
E
R
O4
LL
100%
84
EE015P1R
E
R
P1
LL
100%
82 private land only
EE015P2R
E
R
P2
LL
100%
82 private land only
EF015O1M
F
M
O1
LL
100%
79 "Permit Type B; License Valid for Units: 15
EF015O2R
F
R
O2
LL
100%
87
EE015P4R
E
R
P4
LL
100%
82 private land only
EE015P3R
E
R
P3
LL
100%
82 private land only
EF015O1R
F
R
O1
LL
100%
85
EF015O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
87
EF015P5R
F
R
P5
LL
100%
86 private land only
EF015O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
87
EE015O1M
E
M
O1
LL
100%
83 "Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 15
HuntScore Tip: You are able to receive a refund for your license as long as the season has not started. You would have to fill out the License Refund Application or Preference Point Restoration form and return the license and carcass tag with the application to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Preference Points will be restored to the pre-draw level, and you will not receive a preference point for that year.

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Elk Harvest Stats (2021)


Total Hunters
4,715
Total Harvest
382
Harvest Male
198
Harvest Female
182
38%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
NA
N/A 1345 44
40
4
0
ALL
ALL
NA
N/A 4715 382
198
182
0
M
M
NA
N/A 263 32
23
9
0
R
O1
LL
E
258 35
20
15
0
R
O1
LL
F
136 13
0
13
0
R
O1
NA
N/A 455 90
53
37
0
R
O2
LL
F
6386 34
0
34
0
R
O2
NA
N/A 1389 101
55
46
0
R
O3
LL
F
428 11
0
9
0
R
O3
NA
N/A 885 35
22
11
0
R
O4
LL
E
131 5
5
0
0
R
O4
LL
F
63 0
0
0
0
R
O4
NA
N/A 205 5
5
0
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 314 142
44
98
0
R
R
NA
N/A 3107 306
135
169
0
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.

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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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