GMU 80,81 Colorado Elk Archery 2022

kevinkirk51

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Jun 3, 2022
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1
I am a resident archery elk hunter in Colorado and have hunted GMU 80 and 81 for many years. It just went to a draw only unit. I am willing to help anyone with information or questions that they have. I also am a Outdoor Writer and so get some good exposure in Kansas, Texas and this year will be on a elk hunt as an observer in New Mexico with my son. This will be a call and stalk hunt so will be exciting for us as a team.
 

Still Hunter

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Joined
Aug 25, 2016
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579
Good luck to your son on his New Mexico Hunt. I hope you guys make some lifetime memories.
 

craig623

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Jun 11, 2022
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7
Hi Kevin,

I just drew an archery tag out there. I have never been out that way and am not sure where to begin. Any advice you have would be helpful.
 

Laelkhunter

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Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Messages
1,904
Location
New Orleans, La.
I didn't know 81 was a draw only. I thought it was OTC, and have hunted it several years now. I didn't apply for the draw, so if it is now draw only, I think I am screwed. I was waiting for the OTC tags to go on sale Aug 3. I usually hunt NR Bull Elk. Is it draw only for archery now or everything elk??

edited: just checked, it is draw for Archery. I'm good for second rifle bull elk (whew!!).
 
Last edited:

Nickofthewoods

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Oct 5, 2018
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Colorado
I didn't know 81 was a draw only. I thought it was OTC, and have hunted it several years now. I didn't apply for the draw, so if it is now draw only, I think I am screwed. I was waiting for the OTC tags to go on sale Aug 3. I usually hunt NR Bull Elk. Is it draw only for archery now or everything elk??

edited: just checked, it is draw for Archery. I'm good for second rifle bull elk (whew!!).
You may still be able to pick up an archery tag for those areas in the leftovers if you prefer that vs the otc rifle seasons.

Hi Kevin,

I just drew an archery tag out there. I have never been out that way and am not sure where to begin. Any advice you have would be helpful.
I'm starting to get the feeling that Kevin isn't coming back. You may begin by searching for and reading through every post on those units that's been posted here and on other hunting forums over the years. There's quite a lot.
 

Explorehunter

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Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
8
I am a resident archery elk hunter in Colorado and have hunted GMU 80 and 81 for many years. It just went to a draw only unit. I am willing to help anyone with information or questions that they have. I also am a Outdoor Writer and so get some good exposure in Kansas, Texas and this year will be on a elk hunt as an observer in New Mexico with my son. This will be a call and stalk hunt so will be exciting for us as a team.
hey I appreciate your willin ness to help. As I didn't get drawn for the unit I hoped in CO I have found a unit wide 81 tag for sale. I'm hoping to save my high country hunt with this tag.

this unit seems to have a fair amount of rodes, how heavily packed is the wildernsss with hikers come late aug/early sept?

how are the water sources in the high country? ONX shows a fair amount but we all know that doesn't mean to much.

how is the terrain above tree line? cliffy much?
 

Explorehunter

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Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
8
hey I appreciate your willin ness to help. As I didn't get drawn for the unit I hoped in CO I have found a unit wide 81 tag for sale. I'm hoping to save my high country hunt with this tag.

this unit seems to have a fair amount of rodes, how heavily packed is the wildernsss with hikers come late aug/early sept?

how are the water sources in the high country? ONX shows a fair amount but we all know that doesn't mean to much.

how is the terrain above tree line? cliffy much?
I would be going for mule deer I may add
 

Gerbdog

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Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
610
Location
CO Springs
hey I appreciate your willin ness to help. As I didn't get drawn for the unit I hoped in CO I have found a unit wide 81 tag for sale. I'm hoping to save my high country hunt with this tag.

this unit seems to have a fair amount of rodes, how heavily packed is the wildernsss with hikers come late aug/early sept?

how are the water sources in the high country? ONX shows a fair amount but we all know that doesn't mean to much.

how is the terrain above tree line? cliffy much?
Depends on the weekend, opening weekend is a holiday weekend and there are equal amounts of recreational hikers as there are hunters in my experience. During the week it falls off and when its not a holiday weekend it falls off.

I have cliffed out many times in the unit when being up high and trying to make my way down low. Would i say its the "cliffiest" unit in CO? Nah, but there are certainly some rock faces up near the top and its worth paying attention to. The Trees lead right up to the cliff edge so dont walk over on accident in the dark.
 

trophyhill

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Feb 27, 2012
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Tijeras NM
Depends on the weekend, opening weekend is a holiday weekend and there are equal amounts of recreational hikers as there are hunters in my experience. During the week it falls off and when its not a holiday weekend it falls off.

I have cliffed out many times in the unit when being up high and trying to make my way down low. Would i say its the "cliffiest" unit in CO? Nah, but there are certainly some rock faces up near the top and its worth paying attention to. The Trees lead right up to the cliff edge so dont walk over on accident in the dark.
Oh man. What I love about these units is I can hunt as steep as I’ve seen anywhere, and as mild you can get when the steep wears your azz out. 10-4 on getting cliffed out! I hate it when that happens! This is why boots on the ground is so important. The maps don’t always tell the whole story.
 

TheHammer

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Joined
Aug 1, 2022
Messages
84
Location
juneau wi
I am very versatile in unit 81. If it weren’t for this forum, I wouldn’t have realized it was no longer otc for 2022. Every year something has changed on units open for otc. Confusing to say the least. Now 71,74 and like are non otc as well this year. So there is less land available for otc on already over pressured ground. Come Memorial Day weekend out there the campers, hikers and sxs destroyers are out in full force. Last year I ran into over 10 guys in in one day in a place where I was lucky to see more then one other guy vs the last 3 years. I was just out there scouting 78, 80, 81 &74 for a tag I will never hold. Back to the maps n figuring out a different area.
 

craig623

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Jun 11, 2022
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7
Can anyone recommend any towns or areas to stay in around 80 and 81 when taking a break from hunting?
 

Poser

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Dec 27, 2013
Messages
4,511
Location
Durango CO
Can anyone recommend any towns or areas to stay in around 80 and 81 when taking a break from hunting?

Del Norte is kinda cool for the size. There is a brewery there and some historic buildings.
Monte Vista and Alamosa as well.
 

TheHammer

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Joined
Aug 1, 2022
Messages
84
Location
juneau wi
South fork, del Norte, I believe del Norte has the closest hospital heaven forbid your or anyone in your party need attention. Pagosa springs is a little bit of a jaunt, but has some cool little shops and restaurants.
 

kenny8906

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Sep 8, 2016
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Location
Arkansas
I had a visit with the Del Norte Hospital. Luckily for me they weren't busy at all and I got in and out real quick. Creede is a little drive, but well worth the trip for a visit.

The elk numbers on the other hand have plummeted, and the hunter numbers have increased. Have real expectations and enjoy the scenery.
 

luckydraw2014

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
148
Location
McHenry IL
I am a resident archery elk hunter in Colorado and have hunted GMU 80 and 81 for many years. It just went to a draw only unit. I am willing to help anyone with information or questions that they have. I also am a Outdoor Writer and so get some good exposure in Kansas, Texas and this year will be on a elk hunt as an observer in New Mexico with my son. This will be a call and stalk hunt so will be exciting for us as a team.
got any words of wisdom for 34 LOL.....to be clear I am not asking for a honey hole just coordinates. :)
 
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