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


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
72
 
72
Success
32
 
32
Trophy Potential
71
 
71
Public Access
69
 
69
Ease of Terrain
80
 
80
Room to Breathe
5
 
5
Opportunity
26
 
26
Convenience
24
 
24
Ease of Effort
44
 
44
59
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

238 Square Miles (152,171 Acres)

Land Ownership

30% Private, 70% Public, 61% 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%
77
EM056O3R
M
R
O3
LL
83.3%
76
EM056O2R
M
R
O2
LL
37.7%
72
EM056O1R
M
R
O1
LL
35.1%
71
EM056O1M
M
M
O1
LL
62.5%
72
EF056P5R
F
R
P5
LL
14.3%
69 private land only
EF056O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
78
EF056O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
80
EF056O2R
F
R
O2
LL
56.8%
76
EF056O1M
F
M
O1
LL
100%
79
EE056O1A
E
A
O1
LL
96.2%
82
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 (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: With more than 300,000 hunting licenses sold in Colorado each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife thinks it's impossible to contact every hunter. So, harvest data is not actual. It's a statistical sample calculation based on license sales data and an estimate of hunter numbers and hunter success. Hunter activity and success is gathered through the hunter survey sent to all Colorado licensed hunters. Response is voluntary and therefore not complete.

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  • 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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