Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 26 - Garfield, Eagle, and Routt Counties

Successful hunters avoid the main roads and hunt the dark timber and deeper canyons.

GMU 26 - Garfield, Eagle, and Routt Counties

Scores


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
74
 
74
Success
0
 
N/A
Trophy Potential
39
 
39
Public Access
50
 
50
Ease of Terrain
75
 
75
Room to Breathe
1
 
1
Opportunity
30
 
30
Convenience
0
 
N/A
Ease of Effort
0
 
N/A
65
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by the Bear River; on E by County Highway 131; on S by the Colorado River; and on W by Derby Creek, the Middle Fork of Derby Creek and US Forest Service Trail 1802.

Expect mild weather with light snow in the 1st season, with roads becoming impassable in the upper half of the area by the 3rd season. The high country in GMU 24 is prone to heavy snowstorms in late seasons. Heavy snowstorms can strand hunters on Flattops after 1st season. While there is a great deal of public land, hunting pressure is heavy especially in northern half of GMUs 23 and 24.

4WD is necessary on all but the few main paved roads. Half of the area is roadless - which makes for very good hunting if you can walk or pack in. You may encounter heavy ATV traffic in GMUs 12, 23 and 33. Hunters in GMU 25 and 26 can gain access using Forest Service Road 610 (Stump Park Rd) or USFS Road 613 (Crescent Lake Rd).

County

Garfield, Eagle, Routt

Size

222 Square Miles (142,397 Acres)

Land Ownership

51% Private, 50% Public, 30% USFS, 19% BLM, 1% State

Latitude/Longitude

39.9865, -106.9398

Amenities

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

Elk Notes


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  • Additional species-specific map layers

Successful hunters avoid the main roads and hunt the dark timber and deeper canyons.

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


White River offers variety and extremes. Several peaks in the Flattop Wilderness are 12,200ft in elevation. Elevation drops to 5,300ft near Rifle. The lower elevation vegetation starts out with sage, progressing to oakbrush/mtn brush, aspen, evergreens and alpine tundra.

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
140
Licenses Drawn
55
Licenses Surplus
85
Resident Quota
44
Nonresident Quota
11
Landowner Quota
6
Youth Quota
6
73.8%
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
EM026O4R
M
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EF026L1R
F
R
L1
LL
71.4%
0
HuntScore Tip: Ninety to ninety-five percent of Colorado's GMUs require no preference points - or just a single preference point - in order to draw a limited license in those units.

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  • Drawing trends across multiple years
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  • Point creep plots

Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
1,257
Total Harvest
164
Harvest Male
106
Harvest Female
51
13%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 444 28
21
7
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 1257 164
106
51
0
M
M
N/A 56 17
0
12
0
R
O3
N/A 181 33
33
0
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 42 19
0
19
0
R
PLO
N/A 64 19
0
19
0
R
O4
LL
F
6 0
0
0
0
R
O4
LL
M
44 9
9
0
0
R
O4
N/A 50 9
9
0
0
R
O3
LL
F
9 0
0
0
0
R
O2
N/A 286 35
33
2
0
R
O2
LL
F
46 2
0
2
0
R
ALL
N/A 37 0
0
0
0
R
O1
LL
M
99 10
10
0
0
R
O1
N/A 154 20
10
8
0
R
O1
LL
F
33 10
0
8
0
R
L0
N/A 37 0
0
0
0
R
D
R
N/A 7 3
0
3
0
R
R
N/A 757 119
85
32
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
  • Harvest stats by hunt_code, manner, season, sex, type
  • Average harvest rates
  • Average days per hunter
  • Overall harvest trends

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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