Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 56 - Chaffee County

Elk are found throughout the unit, and most will generally be found between 8,000 feet and 10,000 feet in elevation. This is a "high-country" unit with numerous 14ers in the area. The area around Shavano provides good elk habitat for early seasons.

GMU 56 - Chaffee County

Scores


Ease of Drawing
81
 
81
Success
0
N/A
Trophy Potential
25
 
25
Public Access
69
 
69
Ease of Terrain
10
 
10
Room to Breathe
81
 
81
Opportunity
38
 
38
Convenience
82
 
82
Ease of Effort
0
N/A
76
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Chalk Creek and Tincup Pass Road; on E by Arkansas River and County Highway 291; on S by US Highway 50; on W by Continental Divide.

The access for this unit is good to public lands.

County

Chaffee

Size

241 Square Miles (154,501 Acres)

Land Ownership

31% Private, 69% Public, 60% USFS, 6% BLM, 3% State

Latitude/Longitude

38.6215, -106.2182

Amenities

There are 4 hospitals, 20 hotels, 20 campgrounds, and 5 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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Elk are found throughout the unit, and most will generally be found between 8,000 feet and 10,000 feet in elevation. This is a "high-country" unit with numerous 14ers in the area. The area around Shavano provides good elk habitat for early seasons at ~10,000 feet.

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.

Photos and Terrain Notes


The elevation in this area ranges from From 14,269 feet on Mt. Antero to 7,054 feet near Salida. The terrain is. Steep to moderately steep mountains with some level areas at low elevations.

The vegetation consists of Grassy, brushy slopes in low areas to spruce/fir to alpine tundra. The western border of the area is alpine tundra (above 11,500ft) and is characterized by sedges, forbs and stunted willows. As the elevation drops, the next ecosystem is subalpine forest (9,000ft-11,500ft) dominated by subalpine fir, Engelmann spruce, aspen and bristlecone pine. The montane forest (5,600ft- 9,000), contains primarily ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, and aspen.

The semidesert shrubland areas (7,000ft-8,000ft), support sagebrush, rabbitbrush, mountain mahogany, grasses and numerous forbs. The piñonjuniper woodlands (6,800ft-8,000ft), contain primarily piñon pine, juniper, mountain mahogany, rabbitbrush, forbs and cactus. The riparian ecosystems extend along all of the drainages and include narrowleaf cottonwood, willow, cinquefoil, current and forbs and grasses. Agricultural cropland in the area consists mainly of native grass and alfalfa hay fields in the Arkansas River valley bottom and along tributaries

Elk Drawing Stats (2019)


Total Quota
510
Licenses Drawn
498
Licenses Surplus
0
Resident Quota
437
Nonresident Quota
64
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
36
81.6%
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
EM056O1M
M
M
O1
EM056O3R
M
R
O3
EM056O2R
M
R
O2
EM056O1R
M
R
O1
EE056O1A
E
A
O1
EF056P5R
F
R
P5
EF056O4R
F
R
O4
EF056O3R
F
R
O3
EF056O2R
F
R
O2
EF056O1M
F
M
O1
EM056O4R
M
R
O4
HuntScore Tip: Private land only licenses, also called PLO licenses, require the holder to hunt in a specific GMU and are valid only on private land. You must obtain permission from a landowner. It is recommended that you secure permission from a landowner before purchasing the license.

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Elk Harvest Stats (2018)


Total Hunters
739
Total Harvest
209
Harvest Male
102
Harvest Female
107
29.7%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
P0
36 7
R
O1
42 10
R
O2
90 20
R
O3
76 44
R
O4
48 14
A
A
75 4
M
M
63 8
R
O1
42 10
R
O2
45 13
R
O3
40 20
R
O4
24 4
R
O2
45 7
R
O3
36 24
R
O4
24 10
R
EP
36 7
R
D
17 7
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.