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
11
 
11
Trophy Potential
39
 
39
Public Access
100
 
100
Ease of Terrain
72
 
72
Room to Breathe
1
 
1
Opportunity
46
 
46
Convenience
100
 
100
Ease of Effort
46
 
46
76
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

457 Square Miles (292,334 Acres)

Land Ownership

34% Private, 65% Public, 51% USFS, 10% BLM, 4% State, 51% Wilderness

Latitude/Longitude

40.1476, -106.7310

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 (2021)


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

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Elk Drawing Stats (2021)


Total Quota
6,175
Licenses Drawn
3,277
Licenses Surplus
2,898
Resident Quota
2,650
Nonresident Quota
627
Landowner Quota
762
Youth Quota
762
95.8%
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
EE015P3R
E
R
P3
LL
100%
0
EE015O1R
E
R
O1
LL
79.8%
0
EE015O4R
E
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EE015P1R
E
R
P1
LL
100%
0
EE015P2R
E
R
P2
LL
100%
0
EF015O2R
F
R
O2
LL
100%
0
EE015P4R
E
R
P4
LL
100%
0
EF015O1M
F
M
O1
LL
100%
0
EF015O1R
F
R
O1
LL
100%
0
EF015O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
0
EF015O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EF015P5R
F
R
P5
LL
100%
0
EE015O1M
E
M
O1
LL
94.6%
0
HuntScore Tip: While most Big Game licenses are allocated through the draw, over-the-counter bull elk licenses are available during 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons.

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Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
4,903
Total Harvest
499
Harvest Male
221
Harvest Female
258
10%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 1452 82
68
14
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 4903 499
221
258
0
M
M
N/A 258 12
5
7
0
R
O3
N/A 905 80
47
31
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 197 123
0
123
0
R
PLO
N/A 378 177
24
145
0
R
O4
LL
E
110 24
12
7
0
R
O4
N/A 221 41
15
21
0
R
O4
LL
F
59 3
0
3
0
R
O2
LL
F
629 41
0
36
0
R
O3
LL
F
342 31
0
29
0
R
ALL
N/A 197 123
0
123
0
R
O2
N/A 1406 107
53
41
0
R
O1
LL
E
257 21
15
6
0
R
O1
N/A 464 54
33
21
0
R
O1
LL
F
159 11
0
11
0
R
R
N/A 3193 405
148
237
0
HuntScore Tip: Also keep in mind that past performance doesn't necessarily guide future success. Warm weather during the previous year may have limited harvest. Cold and snowy weather may have sent hunters home early the previous year, limiting the harvest. You may have better conditions. Look at the 3-5 year trends and not a specific year.

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  • Harvest trends across multiple years
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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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