Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 521 - Gunnison and Delta Counties

The herd is growing, well distributed and hunting is rated as good. Most elk will be at higher elevations during the early seasons above 8,500 feet in thick timber and oak brush. Distribution changes in relation to weather and hunting pressure.

GMU 521 - Gunnison and Delta Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
88
 
88
Success
33
 
33
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
63
 
63
Ease of Terrain
30
 
30
Room to Breathe
51
 
51
Opportunity
95
 
95
Convenience
56
 
56
Ease of Effort
63
 
63
77
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Delta-Mesa County line and Gunnison-Mesa County line; on E by Gunnison-Pitkin County line, White River-Gunnison National Forest boundary and Ruby Range Summit; on S by Gunnison County Road 12 (Kebler Pass Road), N Fork of Gunnison River; on W by Jay Creek, West Reservoir No. 1, Overland Ditch and Grand Mesa-Gunnison National Forest boundary.

Motorized access is good but roads can become muddy. Hunters should obtain maps to avoid trespassing or unintentionally crossing private land. Respect motorized closures on public lands. The lower elevations are mainly private.

County

Gunnison, Delta

Size

508 Square Miles (325,035 Acres)

Land Ownership

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

Latitude/Longitude

39.0379, -107.4178

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 20 hotels, 8 campgrounds, and 2 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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The herd is growing, well distributed and hunting is rated as good. Most elk will be at higher elevations during the early seasons above 8,500 feet in thick timber and oak brush. Distribution changes in relation to weather and hunting pressure. So, hunters should be prepared to adapt to conditions.

Elk will generally move into more remote areas in response to pressure. Successful hunters generally stay well away from motorized access areas. These units are managed for hunting opportunity, so most bulls are young. Hunting pressure is lowest during the limited first season.

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


The Grand Mesa is heavily forested and offers a wide variety of terrain: from the spruce, fir and aspen forests up to 11,000 feet, to the piñonjuniper woodlands at about 4,800 feet.

Elk Drawing Stats (2018)


Total Quota
300
Licenses Drawn
300
Licenses Surplus
0
Resident Quota
196
Nonresident Quota
104
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
46
55.3%
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
EF521O2R
F
R
O2
EF521S2R
F
R
S2
HuntScore Tip: Private land only licenses, also called PLO licenses, require the holder to hunt in a specific GMU and are valid only on private land. You must obtain permission from a landowner. It is recommended that you secure permission from a landowner before purchasing the license.

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  • Days per hunter
  • Drawing and harvest tips

Elk Harvest Stats (2017)


Total Hunters
7,401
Total Harvest
1,146
Harvest Male
473
Harvest Female
596
17.1%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
Any
2333 347
R
O1
195 51
R
LP
14 0
R
S4
38 4
R
O4
50 7
R
S3
109 29
R
O3
79 14
R
S2
161 30
R
O2
218 48
R
O4
44 0
R
L0
14 0
R
O1
381 40
M
O1
281 55
A
O1
1067 148
R
O4
180 11
R
O3
500 70
R
O2
1021 145
R
O1
612 117
R
P0
98 26
RR
D
6 4
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.