Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 31 - Mesa, Garfield and Rio Blanco Counties

Good cow hunting opportunities. The best hunting is in remote areas, mostly at high elevations, where the elk tend to hold up in pockets of green timber and aspen. Check out the Texas Mountain area and Rat Hole Ridge.

GMU 31 - Mesa, Garfield and Rio Blanco Counties
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Scores


Ease of Drawing
100
 
100
Success
22
 
22
Trophy Potential
46
 
46
Public Access
57
 
57
Ease of Terrain
56
 
56
Room to Breathe
40
 
40
Opportunity
43
 
43
Convenience
0
 
N/A
Ease of Effort
48
 
48
63
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Colorado-White River divide; on E by Roan Creek-Parachute Creek divide and Kelly Gulch; on S by Colorado River; and on W by Bookcliffs, Little Salt Wash-Roan Creek divide, Big Salt Wash-Roan Creek divide and East Salt Creek-Roan Creek divide.

Rains bring muddy roads. High elevation snows make roads impassible without chains. 75% of area is BLM land. There are remote hunting areas accessible by foot, horseback or ATV.

Get maps and study BLM access points.

County

Mesa, Garfield, Rio Blanco

Size

644 Square Miles (412,266 Acres)

Land Ownership

43% Private, 57% Public, 57% BLM

Latitude/Longitude

39.4355, -108.4034

Amenities

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

Elk Notes


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  • Additional species-specific map layers

Good cow hunting opportunities. The best hunting is in remote areas, mostly at high elevations, where the elk tend to hold up in pockets of green timber and aspen. Check out the Texas Mountain area and Rat Hole Ridge. Hunting pressure will push some bulls into the large expanses of piñon-juniper.

If snow and hunting pressure are sufficient, some elk will move into the Little Hills and Dry Fork area of Piceance later in the seasons

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, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Turkey, Pronghorn,

Photos and Terrain Notes


piñon-juniper, with pockets of sagebrush, cover most of area at lower elevations. Higher elevations are characterized by sagebrush interspersed with aspen stands and some dark timber. Terrain varies from rolling sagebrush to steep-sided canyons. Some areas are steep and rugged, especially in southern portion.

Elk Drawing Stats (2020)


Total Quota
1,425
Licenses Drawn
592
Licenses Surplus
833
Resident Quota
443
Nonresident Quota
149
Landowner Quota
216
Youth Quota
216
100%
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
EF031O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
75
EF031O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
75
EF031O2R
F
R
O2
LL
100%
75
EF031L1R
F
R
L1
LL
100%
74
HuntScore Tip: For bear, elk, deer and pronghorn, you will accumulate preference points until you are successful in drawing a first-choice license. If you draw your first choice, your preference points drop to zero. There is no ?banking? of preference points.

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  • Drawing trends across multiple years
  • Individual hunt quotas
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  • Draw odds for resident and nonresident applicants
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  • Point creep plots

Elk Harvest Stats (2019)


Total Hunters
1,663
Total Harvest
409
Harvest Male
221
Harvest Female
178
25%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A
N/A 263 43
37
6
0
ALL
ALL
N/A
N/A 1663 409
221
178
0
M
M
N/A
N/A 43 17
13
4
0
R
O3
N/A
N/A 421 75
45
23
0
R
P0
N/A
N/A 79 42
9
33
0
R
O4
LL
M
52 4
4
0
0
R
O4
LL
F
56 18
0
18
0
R
O4
N/A
N/A 108 22
4
18
0
R
O3
LL
F
122 30
0
23
0
R
O1
N/A
N/A 236 88
74
14
0
R
O2
LL
F
129 20
0
17
0
R
O1
LL
M
186 65
65
0
0
R
O1
LL
F
24 5
0
5
0
R
L0
N/A
N/A 224 72
0
72
0
R
EP
PLO
N/A 53 24
0
24
0
R
ALL
N/A
N/A 224 72
0
72
0
R
R
N/A
N/A 1357 349
171
168
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.

Gear Recommendations for Elk Hunting From logo


Camping

Garmin inReach Explorer+

Garmin inReach Explorer+

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