Colorado Unit 65 1st Rifle

doffiehoward

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Jan 26, 2021
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26
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Pennsylvania
Hey guys was looking for a bit of info on Unit 65 in Colorado. I plan on doing my first Colorado elk hunt first rifle this year and was looking for some scouting info. I plan on coming out in late June or early July to do a little scouting in the unit. It is a pretty steep unit and seems like the decent areas that I e-scouted are spread out pretty good. I can only get out for a couple of days of scouting this year due to work and looking for some info on the roads around 65. Are the accessible roads decent that time of year? Think there would be any need to rent or buy tire chains for getting around on the forest roads that are able to be accessed by vehicle?

Just looking to make the most of my time that I have to use for scouting.
 

Shaun2390

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Apr 26, 2021
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Looks like we had the same idea. Me and a buddy are planning to hunt 65 this year for first rifle as well. Pending the results next week we will see. It’s been tough to find info and definitely looks really steep. Are you planning to do day hunts or backpack in and hunt for multiple days? We won’t have time to get up there to scout until the 2-3 days prior to opening day. Hopefully that gives us time to locate some elk and get our bodies acclimated to the elevAtion change. Good luck hunting.
 

ramsdude47

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Feb 20, 2020
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468
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CO
Maybe in a normal year, I bet the snow will be 90% gone in 2 weeks.

I checked Instagram pics of SilverJack reservoir and there is no snow at all at 9000 feet. This probably doesn’t mean anything to out of state folks but the Ridgway State Park reservoir has nearly disappeared in the past 5 years and another dismal year means it won’t be rising this year.

Translation, strong chance of fires in the area.
 
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doffiehoward

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
26
Location
Pennsylvania
Looks like we had the same idea. Me and a buddy are planning to hunt 65 this year for first rifle as well. Pending the results next week we will see. It’s been tough to find info and definitely looks really steep. Are you planning to do day hunts or backpack in and hunt for multiple days? We won’t have time to get up there to scout until the 2-3 days prior to opening day. Hopefully that gives us time to locate some elk and get our bodies acclimated to the elevAtion change. Good luck hunting.
We're planning backpack hunt. We are also getting there a few days early to do some additional scouting and get acclimated. Good luck to you guys as well. See if you can PM me and I'll relay info I find when I head out to scout this summer.
 
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doffiehoward

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Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
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Pennsylvania
Maybe in a normal year, I bet the snow will be 90% gone in 2 weeks.

I checked Instagram pics of SilverJack reservoir and there is no snow at all at 9000 feet. This probably doesn’t mean anything to out of state folks but the Ridgway State Park reservoir has nearly disappeared in the past 5 years and another dismal year means it won’t be rising this year.

Translation, strong chance of fires in the area.
I was afraid that might be the case. I was out in February fishing up on Williams Fork and South Platte, it didn't seem like there was a lot of snow pack.
 

Shaun2390

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Apr 26, 2021
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We're planning backpack hunt. We are also getting there a few days early to do some additional scouting and get acclimated. Good luck to you guys as well. See if you can PM me and I'll relay info I find when I head out to scout this summer.
We are planning to backpack as well. Once I get the qualifications to pm I will message you. I bought subs for goHUNT and onx trying to scout and make a plan as best as I can from maps. I know we aren’t expecting to harvest anything just going to have fun and experience the mountain and elk hunting. We do plan on shooting the first legal bulls we see and aren’t against taking a cow later in the hunt.
 
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doffiehoward

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Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
26
Location
Pennsylvania
We are planning to backpack as well. Once I get the qualifications to pm I will message you. I bought subs for goHUNT and onx trying to scout and make a plan as best as I can from maps. I know we aren’t expecting to harvest anything just going to have fun and experience the mountain and elk hunting. We do plan on shooting the first legal bulls we see and aren’t against taking a cow later in the hunt.
Sounds good. Our plan is basically the same thing. Going for the experience and just have a great time in the wilderness. I'm definitely not going to be picky and shooting first legal animal that isn't a calf, too many times when I lived in Montana I should've shot but didn't.
 

Kbhillhunter

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Feb 6, 2018
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Buffalo, NY
cow creek was flowing pretty good when we were there a few years back, but we were able to drive over it in a stock SUV. However cow creek road became impassible to us after the courthouse trailhead.
 

Nick Don

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Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
22
Location
Denver, CO
We are planning to backpack as well. Once I get the qualifications to pm I will message you. I bought subs for goHUNT and onx trying to scout and make a plan as best as I can from maps. I know we aren’t expecting to harvest anything just going to have fun and experience the mountain and elk hunting. We do plan on shooting the first legal bulls we see and aren’t against taking a cow later in the hunt.
FYI check your tag to make sure it’s an either sex tag and not bull or cow only
 

Brian_23456

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Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
17
Hey that's where and when my first elk hunt was! Do you have any ideas where you might be looking to go specifically? Most of the trails in 65 are pretty easy to get through in a factory 4x4.
65 is steep af, especially east of the main road. Nobody is exaggerating, kicked my ass.
We started by going all the way down cow creek trail. There was a couple tricky spots once you get by Courthouse but my majestic bone stock 2000 Jeep Cherokee made it all the way down. By opening morning there will be camps and trucks at every spot big enough to pitch a tent the whole way down the road. We hiked our camp in about 2 miles. There was a camp every few hundred yards or so up the trail but thinned out further in. After a couple days of seeing tons of people and old elk sign, we went to the other side, beneath Mt Sneffels. The trails are much easier to drive and the terrain is much easier to walk IMO, but otherwise the same scenario.
We thought about going in from the south, I think engineers pass was the name, but it's around 12.5k where you park.
I brought my tire chains but I didn't use them once. Although I would definitely bring them every time.
 
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doffiehoward

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
26
Location
Pennsylvania
Hey that's where and when my first elk hunt was! Do you have any ideas where you might be looking to go specifically? Most of the trails in 65 are pretty easy to get through in a factory 4x4.
65 is steep af, especially east of the main road. Nobody is exaggerating, kicked my ass.
We started by going all the way down cow creek trail. There was a couple tricky spots once you get by Courthouse but my majestic bone stock 2000 Jeep Cherokee made it all the way down. By opening morning there will be camps and trucks at every spot big enough to pitch a tent the whole way down the road. We hiked our camp in about 2 miles. There was a camp every few hundred yards or so up the trail but thinned out further in. After a couple days of seeing tons of people and old elk sign, we went to the other side, beneath Mt Sneffels. The trails are much easier to drive and the terrain is much easier to walk IMO, but otherwise the same scenario.
We thought about going in from the south, I think engineers pass was the name, but it's around 12.5k where you park.
I brought my tire chains but I didn't use them once. Although I would definitely bring them every time.
Thanks for the info, really appreciate it. That definitely helped a lot with our plans. Pretty similar plan as above for us.
 

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