Colorado unit 14/16/161

ahatclif

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Mar 13, 2017
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87
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Nebraska
First time elk hunter. First time bow hunter.

My brother and I are planning a CO archery elk hunt. We may be tagging along with a more experienced hunter but that is not a certainty. We will probably be going in early September (with the unfortunately bright moon). We are planning to try Colorado unit 14. We are looking in the general area where units 14/16/161 share borders.

Has anyone hunted this area? Any sage advise? Will we run into a lot of hunters on horseback or outfitter crowds in there? I understand that these are not trophy areas, but what constitutes a good bull in one of these OTC areas? Any other advice that you can think of?

Thanks.
 

ohhiitznik

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Feb 24, 2012
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Rochester Hills, MI
Any legal bull. Youll have mule deer hunters with rifles in the wilderness, and expect to see crowds near trails. Its a popular area.

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cnelk

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Mar 1, 2012
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N Colorado
Hikers, bikers, campers, lookey-loos, moose hunters, deer hunters, elk hunters, ATVs, UTVs, 4WDs.
You planning on going in from the east or west?
 
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A

ahatclif

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Mar 13, 2017
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Nebraska
Thanks.

Planning on going in from the east.
I'm sure the whole area is busy but I have heard it's worse near Steamboat? Does that seem correct?
 

LongWayAround

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Aug 10, 2015
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It probably is worse near Steamboat. I've hunted the north and south ends of that area and it was crowded. I also hunted nw of Steamboat and it was crowded there too.
 

toddb

Senior Member
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Jun 21, 2014
Messages
294
Beatle kill area and tons of blowdowns in the area. Trailheads are loaded with hikers and bikers. It takes some getting used to the activity. To me it seems like the fall weather getting warmer and making mid day activity slow down.
 

cnelk

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Mar 1, 2012
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N Colorado
Sounds like you are wanting to access in from Lone Pine Cr area.
All what was said above will be true

Good luck
 
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ahatclif

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Mar 13, 2017
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Nebraska
Thinking of accessing from Big Creek lake. Get on the 7 lakes trail for a ways and then cutting off the trail to try to find an area to hunt?
 

wildcat33

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Feb 17, 2015
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609
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Lakewood, CO
That's as good a plan as any. You walk back in there too far you'll be rubbing shoulders with all the outfitters back by 7 lakes and Gem lake. Big Creek Lakes is a major put in for the outfitters (but beautiful). That parking lot is loaded with horse trailers during archery.
 

cnelk

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Mar 1, 2012
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N Colorado
Yep ^^^^

And I guarantee you there will a pile of hunters just itchin to get into that fresh burn with the regrowth and the surrounding area.

First elk hunt, Id maybe look elsewhere

Good luck in what you decide to do
 

cnelk

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N Colorado
Go to Inciweb and look up the Beaver Creek fire.
It will have all the maps of the burn area
 

Shadysailor

Newbie
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Messages
4
Location
KY
First time elk hunter. First time bow hunter.

My brother and I are planning a CO archery elk hunt. We may be tagging along with a more experienced hunter but that is not a certainty. We will probably be going in early September (with the unfortunately bright moon). We are planning to try Colorado unit 14. We are looking in the general area where units 14/16/161 share borders.

Has anyone hunted this area? Any sage advise? Will we run into a lot of hunters on horseback or outfitter crowds in there? I understand that these are not trophy areas, but what constitutes a good bull in one of these OTC areas? Any other advice that you can think of?

Thanks.

ahatclif,

I suggest doing some homework if you plan on going to this area. I've hunted 161 for years and this area is in rough shape. Obviously, that could be good or bad for elk, but maybe bad for your first hunt. I drove out during the 4th of July week to spend some time scouting knowing the fire damage was bad and the beetle kill blow down, but wanted to see it myself before I committed on going and boy did we see it. Most of the trail systems have not been cleared and there are no plans on getting them cleared before hunting season starts so the access is terrible. 20 years ago we could hunt for a week and never run into anyone, but things have changed significantly, you will see people hunting. I'm considering going somewhere else now, it's just not conducive to my Dad's health anymore. Good luck with your hunt!
 

timekiller13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
532
Beetle kill is horrendous. In many areas it can take hours to go a few hundred yards. I got back in some nasty stuff last year chasing some elk. It was so bad that I backed out because I knew there was no way I could get an animal out there before it spoiled. Just keep that in mind. Otherwise, what others have said is pretty much true about the area.
 

AndyJ

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2012
Messages
25
I've hunted the areas you speak of for years. I feel like I know 16 and 161 as well as any living person. Be prepared for a very difficult hunt in terms of actually finding and killing an elk. These units are very popular and very crowded with hunters. High, low, close to the road, way back, it's all busy. I know a few guys who change units frequently that have told me 16 and 161 are some of the most crowded units in CO. There are elk and some pretty good bulls but they are tough to find. I have always been successful hunting here, but I work my ass off every season and I know where to look. Truthfully, these units have been on a steady decline over at least the last 10 years. I am honestly not trying to discourage you, but I am just trying to let you know how the situation is. Every year I say I'm not going back. The hunt is all about avoiding other hunters and finding isolated undisturbed pockets that hold elk. The beetle kill is no joke. It is the worst I have seen anywhere. PM me if you have more questions.
 

rgrmike

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Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
213
Location
Colorado
Colorado as a whole has a ton of hunters. It's kinda ridiculous. It so bad I've been trying to convince my wife to move. 161 is an extremely crowded unit and if seeing other hunters and high pressure is something you want to avoid I would look elsewhere.
 

jdmaxwell

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2014
Messages
486
Thinking of accessing from Big Creek lake. Get on the 7 lakes trail for a ways and then cutting off the trail to try to find an area to hunt?

The couple years I hunted there, at 7 lakes you will have bunch of hikers in there camping and hiking too, plus the rifle mule deer guys.
 

Karmine

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Messages
83
I see a lot of talk about units 16 & 161 being over used. what is the consensus on unit 14. i have been there several times and it looks promising. i know this area is heavily trafficked by hikers especially gilpin lake & gold creek area, but could be productive? any thoughts on how it holds up for archery or rifle seasons?
 
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