Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 53 - Delta and Gunnison Counties

If there is no snow, elk will likely be scattered throughout the high elevation landscape. Hunters will be most successful by walking along transition areas up high.

GMU 53 - Delta and Gunnison Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
79
 
79
Success
17
 
17
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
77
 
77
Ease of Terrain
68
 
68
Room to Breathe
2
 
2
Opportunity
23
 
23
Convenience
0
 
N/A
Ease of Effort
43
 
43
63
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by N Fork of Gunnison River, Gunnison County Road 12 (Kebler Pass Road) Kebler Pass and Ohio Pass; on E and S by Gunnison River - N Fork of Gunnison River divide and Curecanti Pass, Smith Fork-Curecanti Creek divide, Smith Fork-Dyer Creek divide, and Delta-Montrose County line; on W by County Highway 92.

GMU 53 contains rough terrain and access is on rugged 4WD roads and foot/horse trails. Hunters should be prepared to hunt in difficult terrain. Packing an animal out in this area is challenging. Do not count on moving a vehicle close to the kill site.

County

Delta, Gunnison

Size

361 Square Miles (230,979 Acres)

Land Ownership

23% Private, 77% Public, 68% USFS, 9% BLM

Latitude/Longitude

38.8069, -107.4209

Amenities

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

Elk Notes


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The elk population in these units is stable with a good number of bulls. To keep the herd stable, the number of cow licenses in these units is generous at 1,710, the same as in 2014. If there is no snow, elk will likely be scattered throughout the high elevation landscape. Hunters will be most successful by walking along transition areas up high.

By November, animals will start to move lower; hunters should be aware of private land and national park boundaries.

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

Other Species in Unit

Deer, Shiras Moose, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Turkey,

Photos and Terrain Notes


Winter weather is almost guaranteed during any season in this area which includes the high country of the West Elk Wilderness. Altitude ranges from 5,400 feet near Hotchkiss to more than 12,000 feet in the wilderness. The range in elevations and the topography create volatile weather at all times of year.

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
560
Licenses Drawn
487
Licenses Surplus
73
Resident Quota
324
Nonresident Quota
163
Landowner Quota
35
Youth Quota
35
66.8%
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
EM053O4R
M
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EM053O1R
M
R
O1
LL
54.1%
0
EM053O1M
M
M
O1
LL
100%
0
EF053P5R
F
R
P5
LL
89.5%
0
EF053O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EF053O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
0
EF053O2R
F
R
O2
LL
37%
0
EF053O1R
F
R
O1
LL
22.2%
0
EF053O1M
F
M
O1
LL
87%
0
EE053P4R
E
R
P4
LL
100%
0
EE053P1R
E
R
P1
LL
100%
0
HuntScore Tip: Over-the-counter unlimited licenses are licenses that are unlimited in number and available in a range of units and seasons.

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Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
2,152
Total Harvest
265
Harvest Male
179
Harvest Female
69
12%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 1130 90
55
32
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 2152 265
179
69
0
M
M
N/A 91 16
12
4
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 14 14
0
0
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 8 0
0
0
0
R
PLO
N/A 97 33
11
8
0
R
O4
LL
M
25 3
3
0
0
R
O4
LL
F
26 11
0
11
0
R
O4
N/A 81 17
3
14
0
R
O3
N/A 185 27
21
6
0
R
O3
LL
F
33 6
0
6
0
R
O2
LL
F
28 4
0
4
0
R
O2
N/A 508 63
59
4
0
R
O1
LL
M
67 18
18
0
0
R
O1
N/A 135 38
29
9
0
R
O1
LL
F
23 4
0
4
0
R
ALL
N/A 14 14
0
0
0
R
R
N/A 931 159
112
33
0
HuntScore Tip: Harvest statistics are only taken at the unit level and include all harvests of a particular species by a particular manner. However it doesn't go to season level detail. For example, all rifle hunts (Season 1, Season 2, etc) are combined to a single total.

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  • Harvest trends across multiple years
  • Harvest stats by hunt_code, manner, season, sex, type
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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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