I've chosen to hunt either in the Wenimuche, Flat Top, West Elk or Fossil Ridge Wilderness areas for a solo backcountry hunt, I just don't know how to choose how I should narrow down my choices, does anyone have any tips or tricks of the trade?
Fossil Ridge and most of west elk is a "limited" draw unit. So take that into account. Also take note of your own physical ability and your mental toughness on staying out for so many days. Also.... Pick an area on google earth and then check it out. You just need to jump right in as I did. I had 2 choices of areas I was going to hunt here in colorado. I found a great spot it was just 10 miles in and I couldn't get an elk out solo, but I used it as a 3 day scouting trip for when I bring my 2 buddies next year. So now I'm going to my second choice which is about 3-4 miles in and a place where I can pack an elk out easily solo. Take that into account and then get to google earthing. Nobody is going to give up OTC wilderness honey holes on the internet , its up to you to find it and check them out.
I don't want honey holes, I'm trying to figure out criteria to look at when deciding which GMU to pick, things that I can't pull from data online that I haven't looked at already. I know what the harvest statistics, core and migratory areas are and what the terrain is like, is there anything else I should consider?
Pretty much every gmu west of I-25 has elk. The CO CDOW or CWP, whatever it is called now has a ton of tools and regional guides that has some good info. Now you already have a few areas selected so your best bet is to scout from google earth and pick the best elky lookin area you think and take into consideration the above. Have a few plans and do not commit yourself to only one area.
Also if you want to go further then you think you can pack an animal most outfitters charge arounf $250 - $300 to packout meat. Get this contact in place for all the areas you plan to hunt because you just never know if you'll need it. To find fhe outfitters in the areas you plan to hunt goto the CO outfitters associations website. This way if your 10 miles back and you have a huge bull 30 yards out you know you'llget the meat out.
Gmu 54 is a draw unit. But U can draw it with 0 points. Theres elk there. Eagle Mt outfitter does drop camps. And will pack Ur meat out. 54 is draw for archery and 1st rifle. Cap for second? Draw for 3rd? I dont no what U are hunting with... Dotman is rite on with what he says....