Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 77 - Archuleta, Hinsdale, La Plata, and Mineral Counties

Hunters must be prepared to walk into remote and forested areas. Do not expect to see elk from roads or areas open to OHVs. In early seasons stick to cool areas on north-facing slopes in the spruce/fir and aspen forests.

GMU 77 - Archuleta, Hinsdale, La Plata, and Mineral Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
67
 
67
Success
0
N/A
Trophy Potential
25
 
25
Public Access
58
 
58
Ease of Terrain
55
 
55
Room to Breathe
81
 
81
Opportunity
51
 
51
Convenience
80
 
80
Ease of Effort
0
N/A
76
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Continental Divide and Piedra River-San Juan River divide; on E by Piedra River-San Juan River divide, Four Mile Creek and San Juan River; on S by US Highway 160; on W by Los Pinos River-Piedra River divide.

Public land and road access is good at mid to high elevations in these units which lie between Durango and Wolf Creek Pass. South of U.S. Highway 160 much of the land is privately owned or part of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. To access pockets of public land within the Southern Ute boundaries you MUST obtain a crossing permit ($25) from the tribe.

Call (970)563-0125 for information. Hunting is not allowed on tribal lands.

County

Archuleta, Hinsdale, La Plata, Mineral

Size

557 Square Miles (356,378 Acres)

Land Ownership

30% Private, 70% Public, 55% USFS, 2% BLM, 12% Indian

Latitude/Longitude

37.4226, -107.2237

Amenities

There are 1 hospitals, 20 hotels, 18 campgrounds, and 5 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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The objective is to increase the population. Even though cow licenses were cut the previous few years this herd is not growing. CPW is watching this population closely and working on management strategies. Hunters must be prepared to walk into remote and forested areas.

Do not expect to see elk from roads or areas open to OHVs. In early seasons stick to cool areas on north-facing slopes in the spruce/fir and aspen forests. Elk move to lower elevations when snow accumulation is significant. In late seasons, ponderosa pine forests and oak brush can be productive.

The wilderness area boundary north of Pagosa often holds elk when snow pushes them down. Areas south of Pagosa Springs and east of Highway 84 can provide good hunting as snow begins to accumulate. Access on Mill Creek Rd (FS 302), Rio Blanco Rd (FS 657) and Buckles Lake Rd (FS 663). Hunters who donftt mind working in rough country can be successful in the hills on either side of the Piedra River north of Highway 160.

The Missionary Ridge Road (FS Rd 682) and Beaver Meadows Rd (FS 135) provide access into good elk country in GMUs 75-751 as does the Mosca Road (FS 631) and FS Road 634 in GMU 77.

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

Other Species in Unit

Deer, Shiras Moose, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Turkey,

Photos and Terrain Notes


Elevations range from about 6,500 feet to more than 12,000 feet. Weather can change quickly and be severe.

Elk Drawing Stats (2019)


Total Quota
1,560
Licenses Drawn
1,543
Licenses Surplus
17
Resident Quota
693
Nonresident Quota
850
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
72
71%
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
EF077P5R
F
R
P5
EM077P1R
M
R
P1
EM077O4R
M
R
O4
EM077O1R
M
R
O1
EM077O1M
M
M
O1
EF077O1M
F
M
O1
EF077P4R
F
R
P4
EF077P1R
F
R
P1
EF077O4R
F
R
O4
EF077O3R
F
R
O3
EF077O2R
F
R
O2
EF077O1R
F
R
O1
EM077P4R
M
R
P4
HuntScore Tip: Colorado divides the state into distinct hunting areas called Game Management Units or GMUs (see map). To prevent over harvesting, a limited number of licenses by species are assigned to be sold in each GMU. The number of limited licenses available in each GMU is called the quota.

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  • Days per hunter
  • Drawing and harvest tips

Elk Harvest Stats (2018)


Total Hunters
548
Total Harvest
164
Harvest Male
48
Harvest Female
110
29.1%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
P0
67 24
R
O4
103 32
M
M
115 6
R
O4
51 12
R
O1
33 10
R
O2
84 39
R
O3
44 18
R
O4
34 20
R
EP
16 3
R
D
1 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.