CO OTC Unit Info

Okieguy

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Joined
Jul 6, 2016
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5
Hey guys,

Been a long time lurker but this is my first post. I've been dreaming of Colorado since I was 21 or so and this year I get to do it for 7-10 days for archery. I have been pouring over statistics, maps, and forums for over a year. I'm 30, in good shape (as in I do several backpacking trips a year), and need a little help.

I'm looking at Units 43, 47, and 471. Yes I'm shooting for rugged and deep. I'm mainly curious if anyone knows of horse camps that drop in these units, trails to start, or any other general tidbits. I would like to avoid other hunters and I really don't want my inexsperience to mess up somebody's hunt that paid to pack in. I'm not exspecting an X on a map but any info would be appreciated.
 
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Okieguy

Newbie
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
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5
Thanks Antler Getter, I've been doing backpack cardio all Winter to try and be in the best possible shape
 

elkduds

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Joined
Jun 22, 2016
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956
Location
CO Springs
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Atlas

Use this excellent online map resource for CO to consider wilderness areas better suited to backpacking than horsepacking. 471 has plenty of wilderness, none of which is more than 3 miles from a highway or FS Road. Got my first elk on Richmond Hill there, back in the day.
 

zman

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
183
Location
New Jersey
43 has lots of hikers. Which is not a bad thing... they stay on the trails.
As for worrying about someone else's experience who paid to pack in... they don't own that land. We all do.
 

BigAntlerGetter

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Sep 5, 2012
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465
Location
Gypsum, CO
I don't think he was saying that since they paid they own it, he feels he is inexperienced as a hunter and doesn't want to be around any other hunters invade his inexperience chases off some elk. I am the same way for different reasons but when I first started hunting alone I didn't want to be around any other hunters just in case my calling an technique was horrible.
 
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Okieguy

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Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
5
Thanks for the help guys. Ya I'm thinking more along the lines of AntlerGetter. I'm really just focusing on gaining experience. I would be happy just seeing elk and maybe getting close.
 

Hayguide

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Nov 2, 2016
Messages
107
Location
Hayward Wisconsin
I did a drop in SW Colorado last year- about 2 miles max from a trailhead- but straight uphill from one. Had a local who I met camp 1/2 mile from me. He took a horse up, I helped him load his Cow quarters on his horse and made a friend who I think I will see this years again. Saw three hunters and a hiker in my 5 days- my experience was even though I was fairly close to a gravel trailhead road about 1.5 miles- the terrain made that hike up about 3 hours- so to hit day break they would have to leave at 3am with a flash light- 95% of guys wont do that! So I was on the hill at day break and dusk- I shot a dandy 6-5 bull in a hard hunted area- At first I was a little disappointed my camp was so close, but the camps farther from me didn't even see an elk. The outfitter told me he thought they were afraid of the dark and wouldn't venture unless its was light- that's the key- don't be afraid of the dark!!
 

sodaksooner

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
671
Location
Tulsa Ok
You'll be really lucky if you don't run into someone. However, I would say half the people we have talked to we now feel we can contact, and vice versa. We have emails and phone numbers for a lot of folks now.

I agree, don't be afraid of the dark. You can get a lot done at night....

We hunt in that general area when OTC, but not the units mentioned. Shouldn't have a problem seeing elk, we see quite a few, now closing the deal on them..... :)
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2017
Messages
2
Location
Florida
Couple things to do: review the USGS Quad or Wilderness Area Map and identify drainages that are well off the pack trail. Generally speaking, the horse camps don't like to go bushwacking for fear of injuring their horses (there are exceptions). But as a starting point if you can get 1/2 mile to 1 mile off the pack trail, you should not see many people.

The other thing you can do is contact the USFS Ranger District, who manage the permits for outfitters. They may not be able to provide the exact location of the permitted site for every outfitter, but they should at least be able to tell you how many outfitter sites are permitted in each GMU.

Lastly, the great advantage to hiking in yourself is that if you are seeing too many other hunters, are too close to a drop camp, or aren't hearing/seeing elk or elk sign, you can pick up and move. If you have 10 days to hunt and are mobile, no doubt you can find the elk. Gotta be flexible.

Good luck!

For in-depth hunt planning and research, find us on facebook @westernhuntingresources
 

ew2642

Newbie
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
7
We hunted in 471 some last year and only saw does, a bear, and a mountain lion. Saw a few elk from the road in 43 when we pulled into town on public. Think we'll be there in November this year.
 
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