Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 74 - La Plata and San Juan Counties

Finding bulls is tough. They have survived by knowing how to avoid hunters. Concentrate on rugged terrain away from other hunters. Weather often dictates the success rate in this area.

GMU 74 - La Plata and San Juan Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
70
 
70
Success
0
N/A
Trophy Potential
25
 
25
Public Access
51
 
51
Ease of Terrain
30
 
30
Room to Breathe
90
 
90
Opportunity
35
 
35
Convenience
67
 
67
Ease of Effort
0
N/A
70
HuntScore

Access Notes


Go Pro and get:

  • Full screen maps
  • Toggle between terrain, satellite, and topographic views
  • Additional species-specific map layers

Bounded on N by Ouray-San Juan County line; on E by San Juan-Hinsdale County line and Animas River; on S by US Highway 160; on W by Montezuma-La Plata County line, Dolores-San Juan County line, San Miguel-San Juan County line and Ouray-San Juan County line.

Public land is abundant in GMU 74 with much of it quite remote. Where road access is good expect hunting pressure.

County

La Plata, San Juan

Size

595 Square Miles (380,966 Acres)

Land Ownership

32% Private, 68% Public, 42% USFS, 5% BLM, 17% Indian

Latitude/Longitude

37.6145, -107.8814

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 20 hotels, 15 campgrounds, and 2 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


Go Pro and get:

  • Full screen maps
  • Toggle between terrain, satellite, and topographic views
  • Additional species-specific map layers

The elk herd is below objective but the population is stable and increasing slightly. CPW is working to increase the population and has reduced cow harvest in this unit over the past several years. This has been done by decreasing cow and either-sex licenses. Most elk in the unit are at higher elevation areas until snow accumulation pushes them down.

Hunters willing to go into rugged terrain could be rewarded. Consider hunting near Engineer Mountain, in the Hermosa Creek drainage west of the Purgatory ski resort. and up Junction Creek just northwest of Durango. Finding bulls is tough.

They have survived by knowing how to avoid hunters. Concentrate on rugged terrain away from other hunters. Weather often dictates the success rate in this 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

Photos and Terrain Notes


Elevations range from about 6,000 feet near the New Mexico border to more than 12,000 feet near Silverton. An abundance of vegetation provides good summer range, but winter range is declining because of development. This area is in the Colorado Plateau Ecoregion, which consists of shrublands and forests. Vegetation types include: alpine over 12,000 feet elevation; spruce/fir stands down to 10,000 feet; Gambel oak, serviceberry, and ponderosa pine above 6,500 feet; and piñon/juniper/sagebrush and agricultural fields below 6,500 feet.

Elk Drawing Stats (2019)


Total Quota
725
Licenses Drawn
666
Licenses Surplus
59
Resident Quota
406
Nonresident Quota
260
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
33
70.8%
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
EM074O1M
M
M
O1
EM074P1R
M
R
P1
EM074O4R
M
R
O4
EM074O1R
M
R
O1
EF074O1M
F
M
O1
EF074P5R
F
R
P5
EF074P4R
F
R
P4
EF074P1R
F
R
P1
EF074O2R
F
R
O2
EF074O1R
F
R
O1
EM074P4R
M
R
P4
HuntScore Tip: Hunters born after 1948 must present a hunter education card when purchasing a license. License agents will accept cards issued by other states but they will not accept a previous year?s license or photocopies of hunter education cards.

Go Pro and get:

  • Drawing and harvest trends across multiple years
  • Individual hunt quotas
  • 1st choice license applications and licenses drawn
  • 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 (2019)


Total Hunters
2,997
Total Harvest
413
Harvest Male
347
Harvest Female
64
22.1%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
R
1048 158
R
O2
479 48
A
A
1007 102
M
M
167 32
R
O1
238 57
R
O4
25 3
R
O2
11 6
R
EP
22 7
HuntScore Tip: In some smaller units you may not see any data reported for a season. There are instances where not enough hunters respond to the post-hunt survey inquiries and therefore it isn't possible to report any data.