Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 65 - Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, and Ouray Counties

Hunting prospects are generally very good. Because of the extent of wilderness area in these units, elk find plenty of lush meadows for summer grazing. The elk will stay high until hunting pressure or weather force them down.

GMU 65 - Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, and Ouray Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
100
 
100
Success
30
 
30
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
68
 
68
Ease of Terrain
50
 
50
Room to Breathe
62
 
62
Opportunity
100
 
100
Convenience
88
 
88
Ease of Effort
65
 
65
89
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by US Highway 50; on E by Big Blue Creek-Cimarron Creek divide; on S by Ouray-San Juan County line; on W by Ouray-San Miguel Countyline, County Highway 62 and County Highway 550.

Parts of GMU 65 are easily accessible by road, so hunting pressure near roads is significant. Hunters must be willing to walk well away from roads if they expect to be successful. The Uncompahgre and Mount Sneffels wilderness areas at the south end of GMU 65 offer challenging terrain but good hunting potential.

County

Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray

Size

672 Square Miles (430,004 Acres)

Land Ownership

31% Private, 69% Public, 25% USFS, 41% BLM, 2% State, 1% NPS

Latitude/Longitude

38.1905, -107.6573

Amenities

There are 4 hospitals, 20 hotels, 20 campgrounds, and 3 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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The population is slightly above objective and increasing. Hunting prospects are generally very good. Because of the extent of wilderness area in these units, elk find plenty of lush meadows for summer grazing. The elk will stay high until hunting pressure or weather force them down.

If you hunt in the wilderness areas, be aware that they are bordered by numerous private ranchesÑespecially near Ridgway and Dallas Divide. Elk will move to private land quickly, so know your location. Try the Cimarron and Billy Creek state wildlife areas in later seasons or after snow has pushed the elk down.

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.

Photos and Terrain Notes


These units include some of the most diverse terrain in Colorado, from 4,700 feet in the dry desert lands near Delta to 14,309-foot Uncompahgre Peak. Warm weather at the low elevations will cause meat to spoil very quickly, so be prepared to pack out fast. Weather is variable and unpredictable at the higher elevations.

Elk Drawing Stats (2017)


Total Quota
325
Licenses Drawn
239
Licenses Surplus
86
Resident Quota
197
Nonresident Quota
42
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
49
100%
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
EF065P5R
F
R
P5
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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  • Drawing and harvest trends across multiple years
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  • Harvest by sex and manner (and season where applicable)
  • Average success odds
  • Days per hunter
  • Drawing and harvest tips

Elk Harvest Stats (2017)


Total Hunters
6,193
Total Harvest
1,573
Harvest Male
689
Harvest Female
824
26.4%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
Any
2028 533
R
P0
376 202
R
O1
452 147
R
O2
632 91
R
O3
502 92
R
O4
156 58
A
O1
692 89
M
O1
158 18
R
O1
112 22
R
O2
209 24
R
O3
184 26
R
O4
54 21
R
O1
298 92
R
O4
54 13
R
EP
286 145
HuntScore Tip: In some smaller units you may not see any data reported for a season. There are instances where not enough hunters respond to the post-hunt survey inquiries and therefore it isn't possible to report any data.