Hello, is anyone familiar with the area south of Blanco Basin, specifically in the areas of V Rock, Navajo Peak, Opal Lake and Fish Creek? Thanks for any and all info, planning a bow hunt for the last week of archery.
It has been several years since I've hunted that area but it is all wilderness area, and fairly steep. Lots of bears. I would say an average number of elk. I have hunted it with both rifle and muzzleloader. An average bull will be in the 275 range IMO. We hunted above Opal Lake and packed in approximately 3 miles above the lake. It is beautiful country and priime elk country, both dark timber and aspen mix. We packed in with horses. It would be a tough pack out with an elk if you went in much farther than Opal Lake without pack animals. Hopefully someone will chime in who has been in there in the recent past to help you with hunting pressure, It use to be fairly light... Best of luck, John
I have a good friend that lives very near the Blanco Basin area. Not sure when I'll see him again, except we chat on Facebook a lot. Heck, I'm going to Pagosa Springs for a prime rib lunch tomorrow, and perhaps he'll show up? I'd have to ask him about the details of that area. I have never been in the Blanco Basin, but ought to be. (?) I usually get into that San Juan Wilderness Area from the East, North, and South sides, as I live on the N.E. side and there are limited access points.
. I've been procrastinating about re-visiting the main fork of the Navaho River basin. That is N.E of the Blanco Basin area. I was there, and had Outfitter Ed Wiseman showed me where he ground fought, and stabbed the last Grizzly Bear in Colorado back in 1979. I haven't been there since 1989. I have his book, and would like to find the spot where the attack took place, and then where he spent the night afterwards while awaiting a helicopter ride to the hospital. It would be fun to take photos of it. So, hurry up Summer!
Today, (Jan. 22nd), I had lunch in Pagosa Springs with a friend and his adult Son that live
S.E. of Pagosa Springs, near the Rio Blanco area. My buddy deferred questions about the hunting there to his Son. His Son has two horses, likes to hunt and pack in, so is pretty familiar with the areas around where they live. When I asked about the hunting in this area, I was surprised to hear his answer. He said he thinks that area attracts a lot of hunters, and he doesn't usually hunt that area. In fact, he hunts more on my side of the Wolf Creek Pass. That surprised me quite a bit that he doesn't use his horses to his advantage. There might be two reasons he doesn't want to hunt with his horses there. One is, the terrain gets so difficult to penetrate in some areas, that there's only so far you can go when your horse gets to virtual cliffs and steep mountainous slopes. The other reason is that huge Tierra Amarilla land grant lands that are privately owned, and verboten for hunters to trespass into.
After talking with this man today, I might hook up with him to do some pack trips this Summer in that area. I've always wanted to check out this side of the South San Juan Wilderness.