Help for Colorado ML Area

PaJay 1962

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As this thread implies - On Your Own Adventures, a friend and I drew muzzleloader tags for the area between Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction, down to Delta, then back east through Hotchkiss. Yeah, a big area with lots of choices! A friend of ours lived out there and was supposed to do some scouting for us as he had lived in the Silt area, however, he's now moving and we're on our own! So, we've called the DOW and they more or less said to look at their maps for summer elk ranges and go by the maps on their website. To me, I want to cover my bases and know as much as possible as that's a huge area to try and narrow down in a week.

I'm asking if anyone can direct me to a mountain, drainage, etc. that we should direct our efforts to at this point that have an elk population during September. ANY help would be appreciated - even if you can say "avoid area xx because of the 4 wheelers".

Also, if anyone has names of people with pack horses in these area, that would be a big PLUS! I"m in my early 50's and my buddy is in his mid 60's - we're in decent shape, but would much rather pay for a pack horse to get an animal out of the woods instead of on our backs!

Thanks
Jay
 

HighDesertSage

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Honestly, the advice CO Parks and Wildlife gave you is solid. All those areas will generally hold elk, especially in Muzzle season. I would use that advice as to the "Where", and then worry more about the "how". I think if you cross reference those areas that CPW gave you with areas 2-3 miles from the nearest road (turn on the motor vehicle use map feature on the hunt atlas) you would have the makings for an excellent elk season. I'm not going to give you specific areas, as the Mesa is one of my go to elk spots, and I doubt anyone else will. But if I can help any other way let me know. One other note, mining traffic is heavy due south of Silt. I like the other side better for this reason only. Good luck and please post pick/stories.
 

PaJay 1962

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Well, that IS really good information. Wasn't sure how accurate that information from the CPW is, but knowing that, I think we're off to a decent start.

When you say "traffic is heavy due south of Silt, I like the other side", am I correct to assume you are suggesting to get further south?

Thanks again, looking forward to September.

Jay
 

Muley_Stalker

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Calling the DOW usually won't get you too much info. You'd be better off to ask for the phone number of the warden in that area. He might be more specific.
 

Jorgy

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Land-O-Cheese
If you pull up google earth, you can see all of the gas pads (not sure what they are actually called) There is constant traffic to these areas, and a plethora of roads. For the most part, the farther away from these you are, the better the hunting. You will find alot of hunter traffic on the grand mesa, but it's been my experience if a atv can't get there, you will find plenty of room to hunt by yourself.

I will also second the CPW maps, they are really good at giving you general areas of summer/winter ranges. If you are turkey hunting, they are really specific.
 

PaJay 1962

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Great information again, thanks a lot. We'll try to get the warden as well. I used Google Earth and see what you mean about the gas pads (We're seeing them more in PA now). Do the guys on 4 wheelers stick to the roads, or do you have to deal with them driving off the roads through the woods also?

Anyone know of a person with horses to pack out any animals taken? Also, any lodging or campgrounds in the area?
 

MinnesotaHunter

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PaJay

Check out the Elk Hunting University DVD, there is a pretty good section on using Google Earth to find likely elk hangouts. There are alot of pieces to this puzzle you are working on, and you are heading in the right direction. Regardless of the area, you always have to look at water/cover/feed; elk need all of them everyday.
 

Jorgy

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Great information again, thanks a lot. We'll try to get the warden as well. I used Google Earth and see what you mean about the gas pads (We're seeing them more in PA now). Do the guys on 4 wheelers stick to the roads, or do you have to deal with them driving off the roads through the woods also?

Anyone know of a person with horses to pack out any animals taken? Also, any lodging or campgrounds in the area?

atv's are supposed to only be on roads, it's illegal to drive them offroad/trail in Colorado (some areas do have open access, but not many) I have run into 4 wheelers that drive around closed gates that are supposed to be foot access only, but not all that often

As far as lodging/campgrounds, what are you looking for specifically. You can camp anywhere in the national forest (grand mesa) they have established campgrounds that are pay, and there are plenty of open camping spots that are free.
 

BR-549

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Not sure if they go that far south but Sombrero Ranch rents pack and saddle horses (though I don't have much confidence in the saddle horses I have seen from there).

We used to rent their pack horses and never had any trouble. They bring grain and hay along with them, that is, at a premium of course. It just became too much hassle to care for horses so we went back to the packs.

Might check for a llama ranch near by that will rent .... they are becoming popular pack animals.

Lastly, where we hunt there is almost always someone with mules or horses in the area waiting on successful hunters to hire them for packing.... don't know about your area though.

At any rate good luck!
 

PaJay 1962

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Thanks - I'll have to look for llamas, never thought of that.

As for camping, I know that camping is permitted in the National Forest. Would like to have a shower available if at all possible. It can get a bit "gamey" after a few days hiking around all day. I've done sheep and caribou hunts where we didn't get a chance to shower until back at base camp. Ended up jumping into a cold river mid week just to knock the smell down!
 

RUT JUNKEY

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Sep 5, 2012
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Indiana
Not sure if they go that far south but Sombrero Ranch rents pack and saddle horses (though I don't have much confidence in the saddle horses I have seen from there).

We used to rent their pack horses and never had any trouble. They bring grain and hay along with them, that is, at a premium of course. It just became too much hassle to care for horses so we went back to the packs.

Might check for a llama ranch near by that will rent .... they are becoming popular pack animals.

Lastly, where we hunt there is almost always someone with mules or horses in the area waiting on successful hunters to hire them for packing.... don't know about your area though.

At any rate good luck!
We used the Sombrero a few times just to pack out, they brought them and dropped them of and came back and got them. . .best money I ever spent.
 
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