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
92
 
92
Success
26
 
26
Trophy Potential
25
 
25
Public Access
90
 
90
Ease of Terrain
25
 
25
Room to Breathe
77
 
77
Opportunity
67
 
67
Convenience
58
 
58
Ease of Effort
64
 
64
83
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 (2018)


Total Quota
1,035
Licenses Drawn
941
Licenses Surplus
94
Resident Quota
563
Nonresident Quota
378
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
84
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
EF053O4R
F
R
O4
EM053O1R
M
R
O1
EM053O1M
M
M
O1
EF053P5R
F
R
P5
EE053P1R
E
R
P1
EF053O3R
F
R
O3
EF053O2R
F
R
O2
EF053O1R
F
R
O1
EF053O1M
F
M
O1
EE053P4R
E
R
P4
EM053O4R
M
R
O4
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 and harvest trends across multiple years
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  • Draw odds for resident and nonresident applicants
  • 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
4,293
Total Harvest
811
Harvest Male
466
Harvest Female
330
17.5%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
Any
1303 249
R
L0
69 0
R
P0
150 48
R
O1
358 117
R
O2
497 83
R
O3
291 32
R
O4
88 17
A
O1
771 94
M
O1
149 45
R
O1
180 43
R
O4
18 0
R
O1
123 40
R
O2
94 19
R
O3
89 21
R
O4
44 3
R
LP
69 0
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.