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


Ease of Drawing
100
 
100
Success
0
N/A
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
71
 
71
Ease of Terrain
65
 
65
Room to Breathe
75
 
75
Opportunity
100
 
100
Convenience
6
 
6
Ease of Effort
0
N/A
92
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

702 Square Miles (449,591 Acres)

Land Ownership

29% Private, 71% Public, 70% BLM, 1% State

Latitude/Longitude

39.4090, -108.3806

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 2 hotels, 0 campgrounds, and 1 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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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 (2019)


Total Quota
675
Licenses Drawn
326
Licenses Surplus
349
Resident Quota
262
Nonresident Quota
64
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
102
100%
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
EF031L1R
F
R
L1
EF031O2R
F
R
O2
HuntScore Tip: Preference points are earned when you apply for a limited license but are unsuccessful in drawing a license for your first-choice hunt or when you purchase a point through the application process. Many hunters collect points and also hunt each year. Researching the number of points required for the GMUs you want to hunt is useful before applying.

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  • Average success odds
  • Days per hunter
  • Drawing and harvest tips

Elk Harvest Stats (2018)


Total Hunters
884
Total Harvest
263
Harvest Male
202
Harvest Female
53
26.8%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
P0
36 18
R
O1
143 50
R
O4
142 69
M
M
37 0
R
O1
115 35
R
O4
76 54
R
O1
6 0
R
O2
147 10
R
O3
102 9
R
O4
66 15
R
EP
14 3
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.