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
94
 
94
Success
25
 
25
Trophy Potential
25
 
25
Public Access
90
 
90
Ease of Terrain
25
 
25
Room to Breathe
76
 
76
Opportunity
70
 
70
Convenience
58
 
58
Ease of Effort
62
 
62
84
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

396 Square Miles (253,707 Acres)

Land Ownership

10% Private, 90% Public, 90% USFS

Latitude/Longitude

38.8099, -107.4008

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 20 hotels, 8 campgrounds, and 8 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 Drawing Stats (2016)


Total Quota
1,305
Licenses Drawn
1,070
Licenses Surplus
235
Resident Quota
669
Nonresident Quota
401
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
125
91.9%
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
EE053P1R
E
R
P1
EE053P4R
E
R
P4
EF053O1M
F
M
O1
EF053O1R
F
R
O1
EF053O2R
F
R
O2
EF053O3R
F
R
O3
EF053O4R
F
R
O4
EF053P5R
F
R
P5
EM053O1M
M
M
O1
EM053O1R
M
R
O1
EM053O4R
M
R
O4
HuntScore Tip: You are able to receive a refund for your license as long as the season has not started. You would have to fill out the License Refund Application or Preference Point Restoration form and return the license and carcass tag with the application to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Preference Points will be restored to the pre-draw level, and you will not receive a preference point for that year.

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