Elk Hunting in Colorado GMU 421 - Mesa and Garfield Counties

You will need to get away from the roads. There are lots of legal bulls as the area is managed for quantity of bulls rather than trophy status. Hence, trophy bulls are present but relatively rare.

GMU 421 - Mesa and Garfield Counties

Scores


Ease of Drawing
100
 
100
Success
0
N/A
Trophy Potential
0
 
N/A
Public Access
63
 
63
Ease of Terrain
50
 
50
Room to Breathe
19
 
19
Opportunity
100
 
100
Convenience
75
 
75
Ease of Effort
0
N/A
86
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by Colorado River-Plateau Creek divide; on E by Divide Creek-Buzzard Creek divide; on S by Mesa-Delta County line; on W by County Highway 65.

Hunters should be prepared to spend time on foot or horseback. Much of the area is public land. Overall, the hunting pressure is heavy.

County

Mesa, Garfield

Size

541 Square Miles (346,261 Acres)

Land Ownership

37% Private, 63% Public, 43% USFS, 19% BLM

Latitude/Longitude

39.2042, -107.8999

Amenities

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

Elk Notes


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The elk herd is well distributed with good hunting success expected. Elk are scattered throughout the forest and on private lands. Most elk stay at higher elevations (8500- 10,000ft) in thick timber and oakbrush. There is no migration during the season, movement to the more remote areas is in response to hunting pressure.

They will seek classic cover - the heavily wooded, north-facing slopes near water. You will need to get away from the roads. There are lots of legal bulls as the area is managed for quantity of bulls rather than trophy status. Hence, trophy bulls are present but relatively rare.

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


Grand Mesa terrain ranges from high elevation (11,000ft) spruce/fir forests to low elevation (4,800ft) piñon-juniper woodlands.

Elk Drawing Stats (2019)


Total Quota
1,000
Licenses Drawn
870
Licenses Surplus
130
Resident Quota
714
Nonresident Quota
156
Landowner Quota
0
Youth Quota
151
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
EF421O2R
F
R
O2
EF421P5R
F
R
P5
HuntScore Tip: You are able to receive a refund for your license as long as the season has not started. You would have to fill out the License Refund Application or Preference Point Restoration form and return the license and carcass tag with the application to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Preference Points will be restored to the pre-draw level, and you will not receive a preference point for that year.

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Elk Harvest Stats (2018)


Total Hunters
790
Total Harvest
116
Harvest Male
77
Harvest Female
39
11%
Average Success
Manner Season Hunters Harvest
R
O4
95 15
M
M
191 32
R
O1
190 37
R
O4
44 0
R
O1
104 16
R
O3
135 13
R
O4
27 3
R
D
4 0
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.