Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 82 - Alamosa and Saguache Counties

Elk hunting is good but requires hunters to pursue animals in challenging terrain. Overall, success rates for elk hunters in unlimited units in the San Luis Valley are generally lower than the statewide average. Weather is a dominant factor for hunters.

GMU 82 - Alamosa and Saguache Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
93
 
93
Success
23
 
23
Trophy Potential
51
 
51
Public Access
44
 
44
Ease of Terrain
89
 
89
Room to Breathe
5
 
5
Opportunity
13
 
13
Convenience
100
 
100
Ease of Effort
54
 
54
72
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Poncha Pass; on N and E by Rio Grande-Arkansas River divide; on S by Alamosa-Costilla County line and US Highway 160; on W by County Highway 17 and US Highway 285.

Hunting is prohibited in Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Baca National Wildlife Refuge which are located within this unit. National forest and national park preserve, where hunting is allowed, abuts the park and refuge so when hunting pressure starts deer and elk move down quickly to the safe havens. There is also private land 30 with residential development in the northern half of the unit. So, be sure to know whatfts behind your target.

Hunters are allowed to pass through the national park to hunting areas, but some restrictions apply. Call the National Park Service at 1-719-378- 6399, or go to the web site, www.nps.gov/grsa for information. Much of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range is U.S. Forest Service wilderness.

This range is extremely rugged and road access is limited. It is accessible mainly by foot or horseback. Hunters should be in shape if they plan to hunt here. Throughout the area, access varies from moderate to very difficult.

Hunting can be good for those willing to go into tough terrain. Hunting is also challenging because animals can move quickly to large areas of private land, and onto Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Baca National Wildlife Refuge where hunting is prohibited. You must have permission to hunt on private land. Trespassing is a significant issue in the valley.

County

Alamosa, Saguache

Size

982 Square Miles (628,541 Acres)

Land Ownership

36% Private, 44% Public, 31% USFS, 10% BLM, 3% State, 20% NPS

Latitude/Longitude

37.8739, -105.7301

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 3 hotels, 69 campgrounds, and 1 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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Elk hunting is good but requires hunters to pursue animals in challenging terrain. Overall, success rates for elk hunters in unlimited units in the San Luis Valley are generally lower than the statewide average. Weather is a dominant factor for hunters. Snow will cause herds to move down quickly from high elevation.

Success for elk hunters in the later seasons increases with winter weather. However, small amounts of snow can make travel difficult. Hunters are urged to check weather conditions as much as possible. Even though there are high-density concentrations of elk in portions of this area, once the seasons start the animals quickly move to places where hunting is prohibited--federal wildlife refuges and the national park.

When hunting in this area be sure to know the federal boundary locations. Access is good in the northern portion of the unit, but hunting can be poor because animals quickly move south when hunters arrive.

Elk occupy most of the unit at some portion of the year. Elk movement to the winter range is usually initiated by hunting pressure and to some degree snow cover. This movement generally begins in September and continues until December.

The movement is elevational as well as a movement out of the northern part of the unit to the south and from west of the unit southeasterly. Elk will winter on the south facing slopes in the lower portions of most of the drainages along the Sangre de Cristos. There are also some animals that will winter in or near agricultural fields north of County Road T. The majority of the population winters south of County Road T between Deadman Creek and Sand Creek.

Migration back to the summer range usually follows the melting snow prior to calving. The elk disperse throughout the unit in summer and fall from the flats at low elevation to above timberline, along the Sangre de Cristo range to the north, and to the northwest out of the unit. There are also a portion of animals that stay in the wintering area.

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, Pronghorn, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Turkey,

Photos and Terrain Notes


The San Luis Valley is a vast 8,000-square-mile area that provides a wide variety of terrain at elevations that range from 7,500 feet to 14,000 feet. The rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains define the valleyfts east side. The middle of the valley is flat farm land that is privately owned. The Rio Grande and the Conejos River provide long riparian areas that cut through high-elevation alpine forests to lower elevation cottonwood and willow stands.

The west is bordered by the Rio Grande National Forest and the San Juan mountain range.

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
945
Licenses Drawn
833
Licenses Surplus
112
Resident Quota
693
Nonresident Quota
140
Landowner Quota
75
Youth Quota
75
91.1%
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
EF082O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EF082O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
0
EF082O2R
F
R
O2
LL
100%
0
EF082O1R
F
R
O1
LL
78.1%
0
EF082O1M
F
M
O1
LL
100%
0
EE082O4R
E
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EE082O1R
E
R
O1
LL
100%
0
EE082O1M
E
M
O1
LL
70.8%
0
HuntScore Tip: If you have not held a big game, small game, annual fishing or combo license in the previous year when applying for a preference point, you will be charged a preference point fee of $30 or $40 based on species and residency.

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Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
2,553
Total Harvest
460
Harvest Male
296
Harvest Female
152
18%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 732 38
25
13
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 2553 460
296
152
0
M
M
N/A 94 15
9
4
0
R
O3
N/A 497 60
42
12
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 248 156
73
79
0
R
PLO
N/A 248 156
73
79
0
R
O4
LL
E
56 19
16
3
0
R
O4
LL
F
37 3
0
3
0
R
O4
N/A 93 22
16
6
0
R
O2
N/A 508 59
46
13
0
R
O3
LL
F
172 18
0
12
0
R
O2
LL
F
151 13
0
13
0
R
O1
N/A 296 53
28
25
0
R
O1
LL
F
25 3
0
3
0
R
O1
LL
E
271 50
28
22
0
R
D
R
N/A 85 57
57
0
0
R
R
N/A 1727 407
262
135
0
HuntScore Tip: Hunters who have GPS units are encouraged to mark the location of their harvest in the field. This is especially important for hunters who harvest a bear or moose. During mandatory inspections, hunters will be asked to give a location of their harvest. Having GPS coordinates makes reporting simple and precise.

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