Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 54 - Gunnison County

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.

GMU 54 - Gunnison County

Scores


Ease of Drawing
77
 
77
Success
17
 
17
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
77
 
77
Ease of Terrain
71
 
71
Room to Breathe
2
 
2
Opportunity
21
 
21
Convenience
34
 
34
Ease of Effort
49
 
49
65
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Gunnison River-N Fork of Gunnison River divide and County Road 12 (Kebler Pass Road); on E by County Highway 135; on S by U.S.50, Blue Mesa Reservoir and Gunnison River; on W by Curecanti Creek.

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

Size

531 Square Miles (340,016 Acres)

Land Ownership

23% Private, 77% Public, 60% USFS, 13% BLM, 4% State

Latitude/Longitude

38.6469, -107.1199

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 2 hotels, 3 campgrounds, and 2 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Elk Notes


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Elk populations remain strong throughout the Gunnison Basin, but 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.

Photos and Terrain Notes


Terrain is varied from sage brush hills to alpine tundra. Be prepared for cold and snowy weather during all seasons. The dominant geographical features of this unit are Flattop Red Mountains on the east edge, several peaks over 13,000 feet on the north and Ohio Creek which drains the eastern portion of the unit to the south into the Gunnison River. The West Elk Wilderness area is located in the northern portion and is dissected by West Elk Creek and Soap Creek, both of which drai into Blue Mesa Reservoir.

The climate of this area is characteristic of mountainous areas of Colorado. Summers are short in the upper reaches and milder temperatures prevail for 4-5 months a year. The lower elevations have 5-6 months of summer and slightly warmer seasonal temperature. High elevations receive substantial amounts of precipitation, roughly 40 to 50 inches per year, at 14,000 feet while the lower elevations receive only 8 to 10 inches.

Vegetation in the Sapinero DAU can be categorized into five broad types  cropland, wetland/riparian, rangeland, forested lands, and alpine. The variety of vegetation creates a highly desirable mosaic that is very beneficial to wildlife such as mule deer and elk. However, plant communities at lower elevations have been extensively modified by agriculture and are increasingly being disturbed by intensive human use.

Elk Over The Counter Hunts (2021)


There are 2 OTC hunts in this unit. Go Pro to view the details!

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Elk Drawing Stats (2021)


Total Quota
840
Licenses Drawn
838
Licenses Surplus
2
Resident Quota
580
Nonresident Quota
258
Landowner Quota
41
Youth Quota
41
48.3%
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
EM054O4R
M
R
O4
LL
100%
0
EM054O1R
M
R
O1
LL
55.7%
0
EM054O1M
M
M
O1
LL
36.8%
0
EF054P5R
F
R
P5
LL
100%
0
EF054O4R
F
R
O4
LL
93.8%
0
EF054O3R
F
R
O3
LL
32.4%
0
EF054O2R
F
R
O2
LL
34%
0
EF054O1R
F
R
O1
LL
38.1%
0
EF054O1M
F
M
O1
LL
71.4%
0
EE054O1A
E
A
O1
LL
43.3%
0
HuntScore Tip: If you have not held a big game, small game, annual fishing or combo license in the previous year when applying for a preference point, you will be charged a preference point fee of $30 or $40 based on species and residency.

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Elk Harvest Stats (2020)


Total Hunters
2,047
Total Harvest
493
Harvest Male
424
Harvest Female
67
24%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 188 31
24
5
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 2047 493
424
67
0
M
M
N/A 77 12
12
0
0
R
O3
N/A 538 125
112
13
0
R
PLO
PLO
N/A 62 25
0
25
0
R
PLO
N/A 62 25
0
25
0
R
O4
LL
F
26 4
0
4
0
R
O4
LL
M
119 62
62
0
0
R
O4
N/A 145 66
62
4
0
R
O2
N/A 804 159
148
11
0
R
O3
LL
F
28 13
0
13
0
R
O2
LL
F
42 11
0
11
0
R
O1
N/A 226 73
66
7
0
R
O1
LL
M
192 66
66
0
0
R
O1
LL
F
34 7
0
7
0
R
D
R
N/A 7 2
0
2
0
R
R
N/A 1782 450
388
62
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 stats by hunt_code, manner, season, sex, type
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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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