CO 161 3rd Season


Senior Member
Jan 20, 2014
Excitement has set in now that it is official my dad and I drew unit 161 3rd season. I did my due diligence prior to applying for this unit in the sense that I got good feedback from the CO Game Manager, Jacob and CNelk from this forum, the unit checked a lot of my boxes from scouring go hunt, google earth, CO deer herd publications and onX. I am from WA state and enjoy the process of hunting out of state, this being my first time hunting CO.

I have already booked a house in Walden to stay at. We typically do a wall tent set up but with a 10 day window for travel and hunting and not wanting to deal with the logistics of November weather and setting up a big base camp, we are trying to be as efficient as we can with our precious time.

Knowing this is a popular area for OTC 3rd season elk hunters, I am putting a lot of the National Forest places like Damfino Park, Ryan Park, Buffalo Park further down my list as I imagine they will have a lot of elk hunting pressure. Can anyone with experience in this country during 3rd season tell me if that is a mistake to do so?

With that said, I am drawn towards the eastern and NE part of the unit for better glassing country and hopefully habitat more conducive to mule deer to limit the amount of elk hunting pressure. Specifically, the BLM country between Independence Mtn and Watson Mtn, BLM between Bear Mtn and Willis Reservoir, S Fork Big Creek drainage, Placer Creek drainage, Fischer Draw and the upper part of Spring Gulch. Can anyone tell me if I am on the right track?

Thanks for any insight towards making my dad’s and my experience in CO a quality one.


Senior Member
Jun 15, 2017
I can't speak in much more than generalities here, but I think you're on the right track. One of the things to note about those herds in that there is a lot of interchange between Wyoming and Colorado. I think I have hear that the deer push south there with weather, but you might consider chatting with a biologist if you can track one down. In either case, I think the concentrations of deer should tell you what you need to know. Don't linger too long waiting for them to show up - stick with one if you find him. He likely won't be there long.