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
79
 
79
Success
20
 
20
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
69
 
69
Ease of Terrain
77
 
77
Room to Breathe
5
 
5
Opportunity
23
 
23
Convenience
33
 
33
Ease of Effort
42
 
42
64
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

216 Square Miles (138,403 Acres)

Land Ownership

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

Latitude/Longitude

38.6301, -106.2087

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 3 hotels, 1 campgrounds, and 2 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 (2021)


Total Quota
450
Licenses Drawn
450
Licenses Surplus
0
Resident Quota
332
Nonresident Quota
86
Landowner Quota
117
Youth Quota
29
57%
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
EM056O4R
M
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EM056O3R
M
R
O3
LL
83.3%
0
EM056O2R
M
R
O2
LL
37.7%
0
EM056O1R
M
R
O1
LL
35.1%
0
EM056O1M
M
M
O1
LL
62.5%
0
EF056P5R
F
R
P5
LL
14.3%
0
EF056O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EF056O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
0
EF056O2R
F
R
O2
LL
56.8%
0
EF056O1M
F
M
O1
LL
100%
0
EE056O1A
E
A
O1
LL
96.2%
0
HuntScore Tip: You are able to receive a refund for your license as long as the season has not started. You would have to fill out the License Refund Application or Preference Point Restoration form and return the license and carcass tag with the application to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Preference Points will be restored to the pre-draw level, and you will not receive a preference point for that year.

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  • Drawing trends across multiple years
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  • Point creep plots

Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
447
Total Harvest
78
Harvest Male
30
Harvest Female
45
17%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 82 4
4
0
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 447 78
30
45
0
M
M
N/A 770 10
4
6
0
R
PLO
N/A 7 7
0
7
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 7 7
0
7
0
R
O4
LL
F
26 3
0
3
0
R
O4
LL
M
19 2
2
0
0
R
O4
N/A 45 5
2
3
0
R
O3
N/A 90 10
4
6
0
R
O3
LL
M
44 4
4
0
0
R
O3
LL
F
46 6
0
6
0
R
O2
N/A 88 21
12
6
0
R
O2
LL
M
40 12
12
0
0
R
O2
LL
F
48 9
0
6
0
R
O1
N/A 44 4
4
0
0
R
O1
LL
M
44 4
4
0
0
R
D
R
N/A 21 17
0
17
0
R
R
N/A 295 64
22
39
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
  • Average harvest rates
  • 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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