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Need advice D.I.Y Colorado Elk Hunt,

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Starting the early planning stages for a do-it –yourself Colorado elk/ mule deer hunt for the third season gun Nov.1-9 for my son who is 12. I started by calling the Colorado big game planner of parks and wildlife. He gave me limited information sending me in the direction of unit 54 Gunnison area. Reason for choosing the third season, my son will also draw for a cow tag and will be able to use it in this season. I started to pull maps and call ranches for information. What I have found out so for is, that if you own premium public land access and roads into the wildness area, that can cost up to 1500 a gun. I need some serious advice or your experience on different areas (GMU”s) that offer accessible roads from a hotel or cabin due to wife coming, any information on area 54, horse or ATV in different GMU areas, and areas that rent pack horses to retrieve game. Any help would be appreciated; this is what makes a fun trip 'going in the blind'.

Thanks,
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Re: Need advice D.I.Y Colorado Elk Hunt,
http://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/EHU.aspx

http://onyourownadventures.com/hunttalk/home.php

http://www.backcountryhunters.org/
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Re: Need advice D.I.Y Colorado Elk Hunt,
Thanks, read that information until I can’t read anymore; the information lacks information on places to stay within driving distance to hunting grounds or location of friendly access. Also the parks and wildlife planner couldn’t tell me much about the youth draw and how it works or planning for places to stay. Looking for someone to share information that has been with acclamations close to the hunting areas and selected youth hunt areas.
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Re: Need advice D.I.Y Colorado Elk Hunt,
if you create a log in on that second link ''hunt talk'' and ask that question there, you will get plenty of answers from people that do that all the time
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Re: Need advice D.I.Y Colorado Elk Hunt,
Hey sir. I did a DIY hunt there 3 years ago in Gunnison. we drove our truck into a camp ground and stayed there. there is one major hotel there I believe it was a holiday in. as far as renting horses or atv's unless u know someone we didn't have any luck. a lot of the area can be accessed by truck. as long as you aren't afraid of a few scratches. since we were on foot we did a lot of driving. also a lot of hunters would drive until they saw elk from there truck and tried to stalk. the way we were successful was by spotting not elk but any big thickets or stands of pines. the area is very open so the elk are being run by hunters quit a bit. we hiked in the dark to our desired thicket and just waited. it worked out for both of us. the area itself is awesome and ur son will love it. there is a park u can drive through were u can see big horn sheep and very nice rock walls off the mountains. I hope your trip goes well and good luck.
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Re: Need advice D.I.Y Colorado Elk Hunt,
also the major hotel is 5-10 min drive from access roads to hunting locations. also all the huting area I saw had dirt roads cutting through them. we were able to drive to about 300 yards from our kills and had to querter them out and hand carry back to the truck. if you do a little digging im sure u can find a locale to help you pack out for a small fee of course.
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Re: Need advice D.I.Y Colorado Elk Hunt,
Thanks for the information, we made the decision to go ahead and schedule the hunt in unit 54. I think your email confirmed that I will not be using an outfitter but studding maps and pin pointing locations. The plan is to get a hotel and wake up at 3 and start driving to locations, we may hike in one day and stay the night if the temperatures are decent. This should be a very inserting hunt for the kids involved. Last questions I need help with, are the public roads marked and do you have any preferences as to which road you would use to enter the elk wilderness.

Thanks,
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Re: Need advice D.I.Y Colorado Elk Hunt,
First you need a forest service map of Gunnison National forest, this shows all the roads you can travel, there are no roads in the West Elk Wilderness area. Basicly you have 3 levels to hunt. The valleys are about 6-7,000 ft in elevation and are mostly private owned. The 7-9000 ft levels is blm and forest service land covered in scrub oak, aspen, and ponderosa pine you can hunt and drive on marked roads. 9-14,000 FT are wilderness areas that can be accessed by foot and horses only. In the summer the elk mostly go up high but there are also cattle grazing in the forest. In sept. the ranchers run the cattle out and most of the elk down to the private ranches. The temp. in the valley will be about 15 degrees in the morning but will warm uup in the afternoon. Be careful of driving up frozen roads in the morning, they can be slicky nightmares coming back down. Black Canyon of the Gunnison is awesome. Good luck.
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