Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 361 - Eagle and Grand Counties

Elk are scattered from about 7,000ft to above timberline. As hunting pressure increases, they seek the deeper canyons and dark timber areas way from roads.

GMU 361 - Eagle and Grand Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
55
 
55
Success
0
N/A
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
75
 
75
Ease of Terrain
35
 
35
Room to Breathe
88
 
88
Opportunity
10
 
10
Convenience
69
 
69
Ease of Effort
0
N/A
72
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by the Colorado River from Elk Creek to Inspiration Point; on E by the Gore Range Divide; on S and W by Piney Ridge to Elk Creek, following Piney Ridge to the Eagle GMU 361 was created in 2010, splitting the former GMU 36 into the current GMUs 36 and 361, to separate out Sheephorn Creek and nearby drainages in the northeast portion of the DAU. This change was made primarily because of differing game damage and trespass issues between the two areas.

County

Eagle, Grand

Size

83 Square Miles (52,875 Acres)

Land Ownership

25% Private, 75% Public, 43% USFS, 25% BLM, 6% State

Latitude/Longitude

39.8991, -106.5242

Amenities

There are 2 hospitals, 20 hotels, 14 campgrounds, and 1 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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Elk are scattered from about 7,000ft to above timberline. As hunting pressure increases, they seek the deeper canyons and dark timber areas way from roads. Concentrating on the large stands of dark timber and the larger wilderness areas will increase your chance of finding a big bull on public lands.

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


Elevation climbs from 6,000ft with sage and piñon to over 14,000ft with alpine vegetation starting at 10,500ft. Vegetation types in this unit are largely determined by elevation and aspect. The mountain peaks above approximately 11,600 feet in the Gore Range contain mostly bare rock or alpine communities. Spruce-fir occurs mostly between the elevations of 8,000 and 11,600 ft.

Aspen and aspen-conifer mixes dominate the slopes from 7,000 to 8,500 feet. Mountain shrubs show up on lower slopes near 7,000 feet. In the western two-thirds of the unit, piñon-juniper covers the foothills, and sagebrush parks appear on the more level sites as elevation drops. Aspen, an early successional species, is found mostly on sites that have been burned or disturbed within the past 150 years.

Riparian vegetation parallels creeks and rivers. Elk prefer areas with a diversity of vegetation types in close proximity to each other. These areas occur because of disturbance and changes in slope, aspect and microclimates. The best habitat areas generally have a ratio of 40% cover to 60% open foraging habitat.

The vegetation in this unit can be categorized into five main groups: cropland, riparian, shrublands, forests, and alpine. Croplands are found in the valleys at the low elevations and are mostly hay grounds of timothy, orchard grass, wheatgrasses, and alfalfa.

Riparian vegetation is found along the major creeks and rivers. These communities support the greatest abundance and diversity of plant and animal species.

Cover types range from spruce-fir to blue spruce, Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, aspen, narrowleaf cottonwood, and willow as you go from high to low elevations.

Shrublands consist of sagebrush, mountain shrublands, and grassland communities. Sagebrush is the most common land cover at the lower elevations. Rabbitbrush, western and slender wheatgrass, and native broadleaf plants commonly grow with the sagebrush.

Mountain shrubs include serviceberry, snowberry, mountain mahogany, chokecherry, bitterbrush and a small amount of Gamblefts oak. The shrublandsft grasses and forbs provide forage for elk in the spring months. Grasslands occur on the more level sites in forested areas (large bunchgrasses such as Thurberfts fescue, wildrye, needlegrass, and brome) and in the alpine areas (Idaho and Thurberfts fescue, Sandberg bluegrass, blue bunch wheat grass mixed with forbs). Forests fall into 5 major groups: piñon-juniper, aspen and aspen-conifer mix, Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, and spruce-fir.

piñon-juniper woodlands occur in the lower elevation foothills. They provide good thermal and hiding cover but poor forage. Aspen and mixed aspenconifer woodlands occupy the middle elevations. The understory consists of emerging conifers (where aspen is not the climax specie), grasses and forbs, and some shrubs.

This community provides some of the most important calving habitat and summer cover and forage for elk. Douglas fir shares the middle elevation zone mostly on the moister sites usually on north facing aspects, but is less represented than the aspen woodlands. It is a long-lived species valued for wildlife habitat diversity, scenic value, and big game cover. Lodgepole pine grows in even aged stands and below the spruce-fir.

In mature stands, the dense overstory limits the growth of understory forage, but provides good cover. Spruce-fir (Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir) dominates the higher elevations up to tree line. This habitat provides excellent summer cover for elk. Alpine sites occur on high mountain peaks and basins.

Grasses, sedges, and numerous forbs are present. Short willows grow in moister areas. These sites provide important elk summer range.

Elk Drawing Stats (2019)


Total Quota
10
Licenses Drawn
10
Licenses Surplus
0
Resident Quota
10
Nonresident Quota
0
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
2
50%
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
EF361L1R
F
R
L1
HuntScore Tip: Over-the-counter with caps licenses are licenses that are sold over-the-counter but limited in number and only available as first-come first-served. You snooze - you loose.

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Elk Harvest Stats (2018)


Total Hunters
710
Total Harvest
76
Harvest Male
49
Harvest Female
27
12.5%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
R
209 23
R
L0
8 2
R
P0
18 7
R
O1
28 5
R
O2
91 3
R
O3
59 8
R
O4
8 0
A
A
161 13
M
M
46 5
R
O1
3 0
R
O2
16 0
R
O3
10 0
R
O1
22 3
R
O4
8 0
R
EP
15 5
R
L0
8 2
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.