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


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
61
 
61
Success
13
 
13
Trophy Potential
37
 
37
Public Access
86
 
86
Ease of Terrain
51
 
51
Room to Breathe
2
 
2
Opportunity
19
 
19
Convenience
56
 
56
Ease of Effort
44
 
44
65
HuntScore

Access Notes


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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

533 Square Miles (341,323 Acres)

Land Ownership

14% Private, 86% Public, 76% USFS, 7% BLM, 3% State

Latitude/Longitude

37.5824, -107.8599

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 19 hotels, 11 campgrounds, and 0 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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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 Over The Counter Hunts (2021)


There are 2 OTC hunts in this unit. Go Pro to view the details!

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Elk Drawing Stats (2021)


Total Quota
1,165
Licenses Drawn
1,154
Licenses Surplus
11
Resident Quota
521
Nonresident Quota
633
Landowner Quota
16
Youth Quota
16
63%
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
EF074P1R
F
R
P1
LL
100%
0
EF074O2R
F
R
O2
LL
13.7%
0
EF074O3R
F
R
O3
LL
13.7%
0
EF074O4R
F
R
O4
LL
13.7%
0
EF074P4R
F
R
P4
LL
100%
0
EM074O4R
M
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EM074O1A
M
A
O1
LL
100%
0
EM074O1M
M
M
O1
LL
77.9%
0
EM074O1R
M
R
O1
LL
96.5%
0
EM074P4R
M
R
P4
LL
100%
0
EM074P1R
M
R
P1
LL
100%
0
EF074O1R
F
R
O1
LL
18.1%
0
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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Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
1,675
Total Harvest
268
Harvest Male
243
Harvest Female
19
16%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 601 70
66
4
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 1675 268
243
19
0
M
M
N/A 173 45
45
0
0
R
O1
N/A 266 60
57
3
0
R
O1
LL
F
15 3
0
3
0
R
O2
N/A 370 59
54
5
0
R
O2
LL
F
8 5
0
5
0
R
O3
N/A 214 24
21
0
0
R
O3
LL
F
7 3
0
0
0
R
O4
N/A 39 1
0
1
0
R
O4
LL
M
33 0
0
0
0
R
PLO
N/A 37 18
8
7
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 12 9
0
6
0
R
R
N/A 901 153
132
15
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.

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