CO GMU 61 or 41 for 1st rifle?

davinski

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CO GMU 61 or 40 for 1st rifle?

Oh, the dilemma. I'm geographically close to both and can probably spend equal time/effort scouting each. Near as I can tell, 61 has more country and more elk, but average bulls are a little smaller than in 40. 40 has lots of private to dance around, bigger bulls, but much less acreage. Still, 40 has more than enough country to spend a summer scouting and a week hunting. I tend to get frustrated around competing hunters and other woods traffic, which makes me lean toward 61 just to have more elbow room and potentially less frustration even if it means lower odds at a monster. I have a nice 61 bull on my wall from when I was younger that I'm very happy with. It was probably one of the funnest hunts I've had. Just when I lean toward hunting newer country, I see or hear tales of monster 61 bulls (like Randy's 7-point death march bull) that do exist. I'm getting old enough that I could swallow my pride and pay a trespass fee in 40, but I don't even know what order of magnitude that fee would be. But...bigger bulls...

Welcome to the debate between my ears that's been going for longer than I'll admit. And yes, I realize, first world, western CO resident problems. Still, anyone have any advice? Thanks in advance.

Dave
 
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davinski

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40, meant 40 but had 41 in the title. I've since edited it. You'd think I would learn to stay away from keyboards late at night.
 

davinski

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Yeah, no, that kind of coin is not happening. The the preference point market agrees with you. 61 generally takes a few more points than 40.
 

wannakillabigbull

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Being a Junction boy, I've hunted both for a number of years. I would hunt 61 for elk hands down if on public. For a 5 day hunt I wouldn't want to be playing the boundary game on bulls in 40.

Regarding your comment on age and trespass fees: I actually think that's relevant to the conversation. Hunt the 61 tag now, and you may yet still have enough time to draw a 40 tag down the road, or buy a landowner tag if finances allow. Point being, 61 isn't a tag for a "last hurrah" hunt as the country is nasty. Hunt it now while you can. If you get a 40 tag when you're older you can always pay a trespass fee to hunt relatively easy country. My best friend did this with his 60+ year old father two years ago and the dad shot a nice bull off of some guys property, and they didn't even make him pay a fee.
 

Thomas11

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Being a Junction boy, I've hunted both for a number of years. I would hunt 61 for elk hands down if on public. For a 5 day hunt I wouldn't want to be playing the boundary game on bulls in 40.

Regarding your comment on age and trespass fees: I actually think that's relevant to the conversation. Hunt the 61 tag now, and you may yet still have enough time to draw a 40 tag down the road, or buy a landowner tag if finances allow. Point being, 61 isn't a tag for a "last hurrah" hunt as the country is nasty. Hunt it now while you can. If you get a 40 tag when you're older you can always pay a trespass fee to hunt relatively easy country. My best friend did this with his 60+ year old father two years ago and the dad shot a nice bull off of some guys property, and they didn't even make him pay a fee.
This is a very valid point with a 5 day season!
 

Backcountry Hunter 2

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40, meant 40 but had 41 in the title. I've since edited it. You'd think I would learn to stay away from keyboards late at night.
At first glance of the title, I was like 41 or 61? Duh go with 61. Did he mean 40, cause that sounds more reasonable. As stated above, they are two totally different hunts. Both have potential for very good bulls. If you have time to scout both areas and do your homework (sounds like you do), then whichever one you go with will probably work out. Both areas have different challenges. You just need to decide which challenges you would rather do.
 
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