Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 36 - Eagle County

Large blocks of private land in GMUs 35 and 36 provide refuge areas and can make hunting difficult.

GMU 36 - Eagle County

Scores


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
89
 
89
Success
11
 
11
Trophy Potential
37
 
37
Public Access
82
 
82
Ease of Terrain
55
 
55
Room to Breathe
1
 
1
Opportunity
39
 
39
Convenience
57
 
57
Ease of Effort
51
 
51
65
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Elk Creek to Piney Ridge, to Eagle

County

Eagle

Size

254 Square Miles (162,519 Acres)

Land Ownership

18% Private, 82% Public, 78% USFS, 4% BLM

Latitude/Longitude

39.7182, -106.4709

Amenities

There are 2 hospitals, 2 hotels, 2 campgrounds, and 0 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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Elk are scattered from about 7,000ft to above timberline. As hunting pressure increases, they seek the deeper canyons and dark timber areas way from roads. Concentrating on the large stands of dark timber and the larger wilderness areas will increase your chance of finding a big bull on public lands. Large blocks of private land in GMUs 35 and 36 provide refuge areas and can make hunting difficult.

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


Elevation climbs from 6,000ft with sage and piñon to over 14,000ft with alpine vegetation starting at 10,500ft. Vegetation types in this unit are largely determined by elevation and aspect. The mountain peaks above approximately 11,600 feet in the Gore Range contain mostly bare rock or alpine communities. Spruce-fir occurs mostly between the elevations of 8,000 and 11,600 ft.

Aspen and aspen-conifer mixes dominate the slopes from 7,000 to 8,500 feet. Mountain shrubs show up on lower slopes near 7,000 feet. In the western two-thirds of the unit, piñon-juniper covers the foothills, and sagebrush parks appear on the more level sites as elevation drops. Aspen, an early successional species, is found mostly on sites that have been burned or disturbed within the past 150 years.

Riparian vegetation parallels creeks and rivers. Elk prefer areas with a diversity of vegetation types in close proximity to each other. These areas occur because of disturbance and changes in slope, aspect and microclimates. The best habitat areas generally have a ratio of 40% cover to 60% open foraging habitat.

The vegetation in this unit can be categorized into five main groups: cropland, riparian, shrublands, forests, and alpine. Croplands are found in the valleys at the low elevations and are mostly hay grounds of timothy, orchard grass, wheatgrasses, and alfalfa.

Riparian vegetation is found along the major creeks and rivers. These communities support the greatest abundance and diversity of plant and animal species.

Cover types range from spruce-fir to blue spruce, Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, aspen, narrowleaf cottonwood, and willow as you go from high to low elevations.

Shrublands consist of sagebrush, mountain shrublands, and grassland communities. Sagebrush is the most common land cover at the lower elevations. Rabbitbrush, western and slender wheatgrass, and native broadleaf plants commonly grow with the sagebrush.

Mountain shrubs include serviceberry, snowberry, mountain mahogany, chokecherry, bitterbrush and a small amount of Gamblefts oak. The shrublandsft grasses and forbs provide forage for elk in the spring months. Grasslands occur on the more level sites in forested areas (large bunchgrasses such as Thurberfts fescue, wildrye, needlegrass, and brome) and in the alpine areas (Idaho and Thurberfts fescue, Sandberg bluegrass, blue bunch wheat grass mixed with forbs). Forests fall into 5 major groups: piñon-juniper, aspen and aspen-conifer mix, Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, and spruce-fir.

piñon-juniper woodlands occur in the lower elevation foothills. They provide good thermal and hiding cover but poor forage. Aspen and mixed aspenconifer woodlands occupy the middle elevations. The understory consists of emerging conifers (where aspen is not the climax specie), grasses and forbs, and some shrubs.

This community provides some of the most important calving habitat and summer cover and forage for elk. Douglas fir shares the middle elevation zone mostly on the moister sites usually on north facing aspects, but is less represented than the aspen woodlands. It is a long-lived species valued for wildlife habitat diversity, scenic value, and big game cover. Lodgepole pine grows in even aged stands and below the spruce-fir.

In mature stands, the dense overstory limits the growth of understory forage, but provides good cover. Spruce-fir (Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir) dominates the higher elevations up to tree line. This habitat provides excellent summer cover for elk. Alpine sites occur on high mountain peaks and basins.

Grasses, sedges, and numerous forbs are present. Short willows grow in moister areas. These sites provide important elk summer range.

Elk Over The Counter Hunts (2021)


There are 3 OTC hunts in this unit. Go Pro to view the details!

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Elk Drawing Stats (2021)


Total Quota
705
Licenses Drawn
655
Licenses Surplus
50
Resident Quota
558
Nonresident Quota
97
Landowner Quota
100
Youth Quota
100
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
EF036P5R
F
R
P5
LL
100%
0
EF036O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EF036O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
0
EF036O2R
F
R
O2
LL
100%
0
EE036O4R
E
R
O4
LL
100%
0
HuntScore Tip: Over-the-counter with caps licenses are licenses that are sold over-the-counter but limited in number and only available as first-come first-served. You snooze - you loose.

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Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
1,501
Total Harvest
195
Harvest Male
168
Harvest Female
25
13%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 495 58
58
0
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 1501 195
168
25
0
M
M
N/A 132 8
8
0
0
R
O1
N/A 114 23
12
11
0
R
O1
LL
E
77 16
12
4
0
R
O1
LL
F
35 7
0
7
0
R
O2
N/A 463 71
59
10
0
R
O2
LL
F
89 12
0
10
0
R
O3
N/A 249 25
21
4
0
R
O3
LL
F
49 4
0
4
0
R
O4
N/A 18 10
10
0
0
R
O4
LL
E
18 10
10
0
0
R
PLO
N/A 32 0
0
0
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 30 0
0
0
0
R
R
N/A 874 129
102
25
0
HuntScore Tip: Hunters who have GPS units are encouraged to mark the location of their harvest in the field. This is especially important for hunters who harvest a bear or moose. During mandatory inspections, hunters will be asked to give a location of their harvest. Having GPS coordinates makes reporting simple and precise.

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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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