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
83
 
83
Success
36
 
36
Trophy Potential
39
 
39
Public Access
57
 
57
Ease of Terrain
63
 
63
Room to Breathe
4
 
4
Opportunity
45
 
45
Convenience
0
 
N/A
Ease of Effort
50
 
50
58
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 (449,001 Acres)

Land Ownership

44% Private, 56% Public, 56% BLM, 6% Wilderness

Latitude/Longitude

39.4353, -108.4032

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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    • Residency Requirements
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    • Season Dates

Elk Drawing Stats (2021)


Total Quota
3,585
Licenses Drawn
2,436
Licenses Surplus
1,149
Resident Quota
1,511
Nonresident Quota
925
Landowner Quota
307
Youth Quota
307
78%
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
EM021O1R
M
R
O1
LL
100%
76 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 21, 22, 30, 31, 32;
EE021P1R
E
R
P1
LL
100%
70 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 21, 22, 30, 31, 32;
EF021O1M
F
M
O1
LL
100%
71 Permit Type B; License Valid for Units: 21, 22, 30, 31, 32;
EF021O1R
F
R
O1
LL
41.2%
60 Permit Type B; License Valid for Units: 21, 22, 30, 31, 32;
EF031O2R
F
R
O2
LL
100%
76
EM021O4R
M
R
O4
LL
100%
73 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 21, 22, 30, 31, 32;
EF022P5R
F
R
P5
LL
100%
73 Permit Type B; License Valid for Units: 22, 31, 32;
EF031L1R
F
R
L1
LL
100%
75
EF031O3R
F
R
O3
LL
100%
76
EF031O4R
F
R
O4
LL
100%
76
EE021O1M
E
M
O1
LL
51.5%
63 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 21, 22, 30, 31, 32;
HuntScore Tip: Hunters born after 1948 must present a hunter education card when purchasing a license. License agents will accept cards issued by other states but they will not accept a previous year?s license or photocopies of hunter education cards.

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  • Point creep plots

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: Also keep in mind that past performance doesn't necessarily guide future success. Warm weather during the previous year may have limited harvest. Cold and snowy weather may have sent hunters home early the previous year, limiting the harvest. You may have better conditions. Look at the 3-5 year trends and not a specific year.

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  • 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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  • Snow depth by month
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