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

Scores


Scores
User 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
4
 
4
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 Over The Counter Hunts (2021)


There are 4 OTC hunts in this unit. Go Pro to view the details!

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Elk Drawing Stats (2021)


Total Quota
1,425
Licenses Drawn
654
Licenses Surplus
771
Resident Quota
511
Nonresident Quota
143
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 Notes
EF031O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EF031O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
0
EF031O2R
F
R
O2
LL
100%
0
EF031L1R
F
R
L1
LL
100%
0
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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  • Drawing trends across multiple years
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Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
1,532
Total Harvest
382
Harvest Male
169
Harvest Female
202
25%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 284 41
30
11
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 1532 382
169
202
0
M
M
N/A 36 15
15
0
0
R
O3
N/A 277 56
45
11
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 772 31
0
31
0
R
PLO
N/A 90 46
11
35
0
R
O4
LL
F
53 15
0
11
0
R
O4
N/A 79 15
0
11
0
R
O4
LL
M
26 0
0
0
0
R
O2
LL
F
165 48
0
48
0
R
O3
LL
F
74 11
0
11
0
R
ALL
N/A 257 93
0
86
0
R
O2
N/A 379 94
46
48
0
R
O1
LL
F
3 0
0
0
0
R
O1
N/A 148 37
33
4
0
R
O1
LL
M
127 22
22
0
0
R
L0
N/A 257 93
0
86
0
R
R
N/A 1212 326
124
191
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.

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  • Harvest trends across multiple years
  • Harvest stats by hunt_code, manner, season, sex, type
  • Average harvest rates
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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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