Pronghorn Hunting in Colorado GMU 501 - Park and Jefferson Counties

The South Park pronghorn herd has the distinction as being the highest elevation herd within the state of Colorado. This herd is likely at the extent of the pronghorn habitat range, occupying a high elevation (9,000-10,000 feet) grassland steppe ecosystem

GMU 501 - Park and Jefferson Counties

Scores


Scores
User Scores
Ease of Drawing
9
 
9
Success
8
 
8
Trophy Potential
52
 
52
Public Access
89
 
89
Ease of Terrain
72
 
72
Room to Breathe
100
 
100
Opportunity
17
 
17
Convenience
7
 
7
Ease of Effort
69
 
69
60
HuntScore

Access Notes


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Bounded on N by US Highway 285 and North Fork of South Platte River; on E by South Platte River; on S by US Highway 24; on W by Park County Road 77.

A portion of GMU 501 was heavily burned during the Hayman fire. Valid buck tags available for 50, 500, 501; doe tags only in 501. The open forest has produced heavy pressure by hunters along the Forest Service roads. Many roads are not accessible by ATV --get off the pavement and get out on foot for good opportunities! GMU 461 is almost all private propertyÑif you don't know somewhere to hunt, don't apply.

County

Park, Jefferson

Size

502 Square Miles (321,076 Acres)

Land Ownership

9% Private, 91% Public, 89% USFS, 36% Wilderness, 2% Other

Latitude/Longitude

39.2931, -105.4640

Amenities

There are 0 hospitals, 1 hotels, 4 campgrounds, and 0 grocery stores within a 20 mile radius.

Pronghorn Notes


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The South Park pronghorn herd has the distinction as being the highest elevation herd within the state of Colorado. This herd is likely at the extent of the pronghorn habitat range, occupying a high elevation (9,000-10,000 feet) grassland steppe ecosystem. It is a relatively small herd that has maintained around 1,000 animals in recent years, but has seen numbers as low as 300 in the early 1970s. This herd experiences periodic low recruitment rates and it is not uncommon to see pre-hunt fawn:doe ratios fall below 20:100.

Game damage issues in the past kept harvest high and the overall population well below 1,000 in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Extended periods of drought and severe winters appear to be limiting factors for this herd more recently. Game damage has been a concern historically, but there have been few complaints in recent years. Based on public input gathered through meetings and a survey, the public is generally satisfied with current management although there is a desire for a slight increase in population and a buck to doe ratio above 25:100.

Recent years have seen an increase in archery hunter numbers and the proportion of buck harvest going to archery hunters. In 2009 and 2010, 35% and 37% of the buck harvest was attributed to archery hunters. Archery hunting licenses in South Park units have been unlimited and could be purchased over-the-counter; however it has required 6-8 preference points to draw limited rifle buck licenses.

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

Pronghorn Management Plan

State Agency Website

Visit Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Other Species in Unit

Deer, Elk, Shiras Moose, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Turkey,

Photos and Terrain Notes


The area comprises the center and northern half of South Park, as well as the mountains making up the northern and eastern boundaries of the park. GMU 50 includes the flats of South Park east and south of Highway 285 to Highway 24. It also includes the Puma Hills which rise to make up the eastern boundary of the park itself. Unit 500 includes a small part of the flats of South Park north of Highway 285 and rises rapidly to the top of the Park Range of mountains which make up the northern boundary of the park.

Unit 501 includes the Tarryall and Kenosha Mountain Ranges and descends to the South Platte River valley to the east. Elevations range from 13,822 feet at Mount Silverheels, north of Fairplay, north to 6,100 feet at the confluence of the North Fork of the South Platte River with the main stem of the South Platte River where the river leaves the northeast corner of the area. The area includes much of the headwaters of the South Platte River drainage. The bottom of South Park ranges from 8,800ft to 10,000ft in elevation.

The northern border of the area, along with portions of the Tarryall and Kenosha Mountains, is in the alpine tundra life zone (above 11,500ft) and is characterized by sedges, forbs, and willows. As the elevation drops, subalpine forest is the next lifezone (9,000ft-11,500ft) dominated by subalpine fir, Engelmann spruce, aspen and bristlecone pine forests with interspersed mesas. The montane forest (5,600ft-9,000) contains primarily ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, and aspen. Riparian areas along most rivers and streams include narrowleaf cottonwood, willow, cinquefoil, current and an understory of sedges, forbs and grasses.

The shortgrass prairie of South Park supports grasses and forbs with fringed sage and rabbitbrush creating a low overstory. Agricultural cropland in the area is now very limited and what remains consists of native grass hay fields in South Park and along some tributaries of the South Platte River. Most historically irrigated croplands have been dried up by transfer of the water rights to municipal uses downstream along the Front Range. As with all of mountainous Colorado, the climate varies significantly with season, elevation and aspect.

Elevations below 7,500 feet are typically warm in the summer and the south slopes generally remain snow free during most of the winter. Elevations between 7,500 feet and 9,500 feet have somewhat cooler and wetter summers with persistent snow cover on north aspects during the winter. South-facing slopes normally remain open or have minimal snow cover throughout the winter. Above 9,500 feet elevation the climate is much cooler and wetter during the summers and north slopes are snow covered all winter except for windswept ridges above timberline.

Pronghorn Drawing Stats (2021)


Total Quota
120
Licenses Drawn
120
Licenses Surplus
0
Resident Quota
95
Nonresident Quota
2
Landowner Quota
34
Youth Quota
10
8.5%
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
AM049O1R
M
R
O1
LL
4.3%
56 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 49, 50, 500, 501;
AM049O1M
M
M
O1
LL
9.3%
53 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 49, 50, 57, 58, 500, 501, 581;
AM049O1A
M
A
O1
LL
14.4%
57 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 49, 50, 500, 501;
AF049O1R
F
R
O1
LL
6%
55 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 49, 50, 500, 501;
AF049O1M
F
M
O1
LL
40.8%
59 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 49, 50, 57, 58, 500, 501, 581;
AF049O1A
F
A
O1
LL
100%
72 Permit Type A; License Valid for Units: 49, 50, 500, 501;
HuntScore Tip: Over-the-counter with caps licenses are licenses that are sold over-the-counter but limited in number and only available as first-come first-served. You snooze - you loose.

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Pronghorn Harvest Stats (2019)


Total Hunters
22
Total Harvest
2
Harvest Male
0
Harvest Female
2
9%
Average Success
Manner Season Type Sex Hunters Harvest Male Female Youth
A
A
N/A 11 0
0
0
0
ALL
ALL
N/A 22 2
0
2
0
M
M
N/A 6 2
0
2
0
R
AR
N/A 5 0
0
0
0
R
R
N/A 5 0
0
0
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.

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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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