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


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
55
 
55
Success
15
 
15
Trophy Potential
35
 
35
Public Access
82
 
82
Ease of Terrain
75
 
75
Room to Breathe
2
 
2
Opportunity
31
 
31
Convenience
40
 
40
Ease of Effort
48
 
48
62
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

498 Square Miles (318,952 Acres)

Land Ownership

17% Private, 82% Public, 82% USFS

Latitude/Longitude

37.4073, -107.2235

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 3 hotels, 12 campgrounds, and 1 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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  • Additional species-specific map layers

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 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
2,435
Licenses Drawn
2,288
Licenses Surplus
147
Resident Quota
748
Nonresident Quota
1,540
Landowner Quota
5
Youth Quota
5
82.2%
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
EM077P4R
M
R
P4
LL
92.6%
0
EM077P1R
M
R
P1
LL
88.2%
0
EM077O4R
M
R
O4
LL
51%
0
EM077O1R
M
R
O1
LL
85.6%
0
EM077O1M
M
M
O1
LL
61.7%
0
EM077O1A
M
A
O1
LL
100%
0
EF077P5R
F
R
P5
LL
100%
0
EF077P4R
F
R
P4
LL
38.5%
0
HuntScore Tip: If you have not held a big game, small game, annual fishing or combo license in the previous year when applying for a preference point, you will be charged a preference point fee of $30 or $40 based on species and residency.

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  • Drawing trends across multiple years
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  • Point creep plots

Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
3,546
Total Harvest
599
Harvest Male
547
Harvest Female
52
17%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 738 87
77
10
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 3546 599
547
52
0
M
M
N/A 131 16
16
0
0
R
O1
N/A 493 141
130
11
0
R
O1
LL
F
17 9
0
9
0
R
O1
LL
M
457 123
123
0
0
R
O2
N/A 1066 151
143
8
0
R
O2
LL
F
30 8
0
8
0
R
O3
N/A 1039 183
171
12
0
R
O3
LL
F
20 12
0
12
0
R
O4
N/A 773 18
10
8
0
R
O4
LL
F
10 5
0
5
0
R
O4
LL
M
46 8
8
0
0
R
PLO
N/A 79 29
19
10
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 6 3
0
3
0
R
R
N/A 2677 496
454
42
0
HuntScore Tip: In some smaller units you may not see any data reported for a season. There are instances where not enough hunters respond to the post-hunt survey inquiries and therefore it isn't possible to report any data.

Go Pro and get:

  • 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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  • Precip totals by month
  • Snow depth by month
  • Min/Max precip and snow depth
  • Average # of days between precip or snow event

Gear Recommendations for Elk Hunting From logo


Camping

Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SLX Sleeping Pad

Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SLX Sleeping Pad

Completely redesigned from the inside out and R-Value rated by a third party, the Q-Core SLX is lighter, tougher, easier to inflate/deflate, packs smaller and sleeps warmer with PrimaLoft(R) Silver Insulation. The Q-Core SLX ups the ante on quilted comfort in the backcountry with offset I-Beams that create incredible multi-directional support and stability. When it comes to superlight, three-season comfort, this pad stands alone. Save your breath for the miles ahead, and use the included upcycled pad inflation sack to inflate.FeaturesR-Value: 3.23.5" thick pad with 4.25" larger outer chambers keep you comfortably cradled in the middle of the padQuilted top provides a cushioned pillowy sleeping surfaceHigh volume valves with micro adjustments make for fast inflation/deflation and easy fine tuning to your preferred firmnessQuieter materials than other pads on the marketAntimicrobial treatment inside the pad prevents microorganism growthProtective storage sack, replacement valve seal and 3M repair patches includedIndividually inflated and tested at our factory ensuring 100% quality performancePad Inflation Sack made from upcycled excess pad material included. (Color will vary depending on excess material)3.25" thick pad with 3.50" larger outer chambers keep you comfortably cradled in the middle of the padHigh volume valves with micro adjustments make for fast inflation/deflation and easy fine tuning to your preferred firmnessAntimicrobial treatment inside the pad prevents microorganism growthProtective storage sack, replacement valve seal and 3M repair patches includedIndividually inflated and tested at our factory ensuring 100% quality performancePad Inflation Sack made from upcycled excess pad material included. (Color will vary depending on excess material)When sleeping on frozen ground or snow we recommend adding a closed cell foam pad Video - Big Agnes Insulated Q-Core SLX Sleeping Pad

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