Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 551 - Gunnison and Saguache Counties

Elk will move to difficult terrain when hunting pressure starts; so be prepared to hunt canyons or thick timber. If the weather is warm, hunt at higher elevations and in heavy timber.

GMU 551 - Gunnison and Saguache Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
60
 
60
Success
0
N/A
Trophy Potential
25
 
25
Public Access
88
 
88
Ease of Terrain
40
 
40
Room to Breathe
84
 
84
Opportunity
55
 
55
Convenience
54
 
54
Ease of Effort
0
N/A
80
HuntScore

Access Notes


Go Pro and get:

  • Full screen maps
  • Toggle between terrain, satellite, and topographic views
  • Additional species-specific map layers

Bounded on N by US Highway 50, Quartz Creek Road, N Quartz Creek Road and Taylor River-Tomichi Creek divide; on E by Continental Divide; on S and W by County Highway 114.

Public land in the area is abundant. Motorized travel is limited to designated routes; please consult the current Motor Vehicle Use Maps available from the USFS and BLM.

County

Gunnison, Saguache

Size

546 Square Miles (349,268 Acres)

Land Ownership

12% Private, 88% Public, 75% USFS, 12% BLM, 1% State

Latitude/Longitude

38.4567, -106.5111

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 19 hotels, 9 campgrounds, and 1 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


Go Pro and get:

  • Full screen maps
  • Toggle between terrain, satellite, and topographic views
  • Additional species-specific map layers

Elk populations remain strong throughout the Gunnison Basin; but in the northern units -- 54, 55 and 551 -- big game managers continue to dial back the number of limited licenses available. Aggressive herd reduction during the 2012 and 2013 seasons was implemented to address agricultural damage issues. Subsequently, there has been a noticeable decline in the population which has resulted in a decrease in the number of licenses available to hunters for 2015. CPW managers continue to assess objectives in these units and are developing management plans to rebuild the population.

Hunters are advised to be in good shape and to hunt well away from roads. Elk will move to difficult terrain when hunting pressure starts; so be prepared to hunt canyons or thick timber. If the weather is warm, hunt at higher elevations and in heavy timber.

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

Photos and Terrain Notes


Terrain is variedĂ’from sage brush hills to alpine tundra. Be prepared for cold and snowy weather during all seasons. The dominant geographical features of this area are the mountains of the continental divide along the east and south side and the Sawatch Mountains on the north and the Ruby Range on the west. Taylor Park and Taylor Reservoir lie in the heart of the area.

Tomichi Creek, Taylor River, East River, Cochetopa Creek, and the Slate river are main drainages of the area and all are tributaries to the Gunnison River. Elevation ranges from over 14,000 feet along the continental divide to 7,700 feet in the city of Gunnison

Elk Drawing Stats (2019)


Total Quota
635
Licenses Drawn
635
Licenses Surplus
0
Resident Quota
448
Nonresident Quota
187
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
52
49.2%
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
EF551O4R
F
R
O4
EM551O1R
M
R
O1
EM551O1M
M
M
O1
EE551O1A
E
A
O1
EF551O3R
F
R
O3
EF551O2R
F
R
O2
EF551O1R
F
R
O1
EF551O1M
F
M
O1
EM551O4R
M
R
O4
HuntScore Tip: Nonresident allocations are determined by the average number of preference points a Colorado resident needs to draw a specific license during a 3-year period. For hunt codes that require six or more points for a Colorado resident to draw an elk or deer license, up to 20 percent of licenses may go to nonresidents. For elk and deer hunt codes that require fewer than six points for a Colorado resident to draw, up to 35 percent may go to nonresidents.

Go Pro and get:

  • Drawing and harvest trends across multiple years
  • Individual hunt quotas
  • 1st choice license applications and licenses drawn
  • Draw odds for resident and nonresident applicants
  • Harvest by sex and manner (and season where applicable)
  • Average success odds
  • Days per hunter
  • Drawing and harvest tips

Elk Harvest Stats (2018)


Total Hunters
749
Total Harvest
198
Harvest Male
66
Harvest Female
121
23.6%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
O1
165 41
R
O4
56 11
M
M
127 13
R
O1
69 28
R
O1
96 13
R
O3
180 81
R
O4
41 9
R
O4
15 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.