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Changing from western slope archery elk hunting near Meeker in past years to GMU 55 near Crested Butte. Concerned about the number of nonhunters frequenting the area. Is it bad? Also can anyone in 55 give ne a report. I am heading out 9-10.
Get up in the wilderness you won't see them... lol. There are a ton of atv's, etc but they were all in the taylor park area a couple of years ago. We stay up in the wilderness areas. Only saw a couple of other hunters last time we were out.
No report. We'll be in 55 at the same time. Haven't heard much. I head out on the 14th.
Ill echo what SoDak said. The area gets pounded by nonhunters. I mean its really unimaginable until u see just how many ppl are on the roads with jeeps, trucks, atv's, etc. Literally hundreds a day can pass u by. I ended up getting into some of the wilderness and got away from most of that traffic but its big country in the wilderness! the whole unit is really rugged actually. not sure u could find much worse terrain, we ended up hunting around 11,500- 12,200.
I just got back from 9 days in the unit. My brother and I hunted the Taylor Park area, mostly in the wilderness. We cut our teeth elk hunting this unit from 1983 for about 15 years straight. I quit hunting there because there were simply too much pressure and not enough good bulls. I was talked into going back and was looking forward to it for old times sake. It's were I killed my first elk, called in my dads first elk and had some great times. Long story short, it sucked. The population is way down and all the honey holes that we hunted years ago that never let us down didn't even hold a track, let alone elk. In 9 days I saw 3 5pts and one 3pt and 2 spikes. Hunting high was a total waste, the only elk I found were in the lower country and even there, not many. One morning I went on a 9.7 mile jaunt into what used to be great bowls and parks and never saw an elk. They've either decimated the herd with over the counter rifle tags and too many cow tags or last winter wiped them out. Sorry for the bad news. I talked to probably 15 hunters while there and one guy heard of someone killing a small 6 pt and one guy knew of a cow being killed. There are some elk and you could have a good hunt but don't expect to see very many elk. I'm pretty good at finding elk so believe me when I say the population is way, way down.
My hunting partner and I hunted unit 55 many years ago when it wasn't a draw unit. there was quite a lot of folks around at that time.I wanted to try it again but always get otc tags and hunt valid units.I have never tried the draw system.I live in Alabama wanted to hunt this year but looks like it's not going to happen.We hunted the Boston Peak area and i called in several bulls but had muzzleloader hunters come in on us. Two guys came up through our camp one morning on a four wheeler going up the mountain on a trail we were walking up on the mountain!! No respect! that's the problem with public land hunting.Good luck hope you get bull!!
Thanks for all the input. I was reluctant to change areas but was talked into it. I love bowhunting for the challenge so no matter what it is going to be fun.
Be sure and report when done. I hope you find a big one.
Thanks for the update jsw. We always keep our options open for sure. Good to know on the North End. We camp up there and try and hit the northern end right on the unit boundary. Might try our hand at fossil ridge if we don't get into them up north. We have not been over by Crested Butte yet either.
Thomas....48 is worse as far as terrain goes....all I am going to say...lol.
Colorado has be actively reducing its elk herd for the last decade. It looks like the statewide population is down over 50,000 from its peak 15+ years ago.
We had a bad, bad winter out here this year. I see a fraction of the deer I usually see on my drives home in Unit 54, just across the highway from you. Winter kill is harder on the deer than the elk though. They greatly reduced the deer tags in 54 and 55 this year.
I spent some time in 55 scouting for a potential mule deer hunt next year the last few days. Could not believe the amount of non hunting traffic. I've personally never seen anything like it. Saw all the activity near Taylor Park and was immediately turned off and went elsewhere. Ended up near Crested Butte and the recreational traffic was pretty extreme as well. Never heard a bugle and saw 1 cow elk and a few other elk miles away that had been spooked. Saw a few deer but nothing to warrant burning my points on next year.
Maybe its good that point creep keeps pushing out our early season above timberline rifle deer tag....Originally would have drawn next year, now its looking like 2020 or 2021
If you think the traffic around Taylor is bad now, just wait until Cottonwood Pass is done being paved.
yeah, no doubt....i was sad to see that was happening....At least for this year it is a bit of a pain to go all the way around to Gunnison. No issue for me. I am coming from the south, but for my brother it adds about 2 hours to his trip. At least for the sightseers in their porsches and ferrari's they will have to hook a left and head down to Gunnison, but there are so many cattle and their presents they leave on the road that maybe they will skip it.
I left this morning from unit 55.. yes there is a ton of non hunting traffic. I was hunting away from main trails.. the elk were not bugling..still very quiet..i will be going back after the muzzleloaders leave. my main complaint was how hot and dry the conditions are.
I will confirm what everyone else has been saying. Lots and lots of traffic.
Well my fellow archers I hope that all the traffic starts to die off. I will be leaving Monday from MN and setting up camp outside Crested Butte near Brushy Creek near Pearl Pass Road with my hunting group. Never been there but this is my 8 th trip to Colorado never hunted where there is so much traffic by the sounds of it. Not a rookie but always learning. If you are in the area my number is 6515876944. Be happy to share info. I am guessing the elk are going to start talking soon, hopefully. I get so pumped up I cant sleep. Am I the only elk bowhunter that has this problem?
I scouted 55 a little last year. My boy and I hiked up a road that atv's could use. We probably saw 300+ atv's that afternoon. But I also saw 15-20 elk about 300 yards from the trail just on the other side of a strip of trees that hid them from the trail. And a group of bachelor bucks up above it.
Last year I also killed a buck in a wilderness area that sometimes had a couple hundred hikers pass by it a day.
The animals get used to the noise and traffic. But if that noise and traffic leaves the trail/road then the animals get spooked. Don't be scared to hunt where a bunch of non hunters are recreating.
Thanks Branden. Maybe a couple snowflakes will come by and help pack my bull.
FWIW, I just came back from 6 days hunting around CB. I got into Elk the first 3 days, including a decent herd of 15 cows with a smallish 6x6. I was the dedicated caller for the first 3 days trying to get my 12 year old his first big game animal. He wasn't able to get it done for a variety of reasons, but he learned a lot and we had fun. I really wanted to take a poke at the bull ... but oh well.
My .02 as someone that has hunted this area for the past 9 years. Taylor Park is a zoo of ATV's etc ... The animals are there though as I continue to see them (I don't hunt that area). There are a fair number of MTB's and runner and Moto's down around CB, but unless there is an event going on (CB Ultra last weekend) or the Grand Traverse the 1st and 2nd if I recall ... In my experience it doesn't matter as much as you might think. The Elk generally don't care about bikes or Moto's .. until they stop. As long as they keep moving, the Elk don't tend to care and will continue to feed normally. If the bike/moto stops, they go on high alert. Yes, I had some cows that got pushed a bit crossing over a well used trail, but they also know that hunters stroll that trail all day long and they are not stupid ...
I wasn't able to get it done this year, but I blame the heat and lack of water I normally expect in key areas for making it harder. Last year it was super wet and I had great action from opening morning if the season.
I consider the large number of muzzie hunters a far greater challenge than recreational users. For whatever reason the camps in the CB area tend to be large (4+ hunters per group) and things like smoking cigarette's and talking in a normal voice when strolling through Elk country bother me way more.
Thanks for the response. Sorry you didnt tag one. We have three of us hunting two coming in Saturday. Will hunt to the end of archery. A few bugles, definite bulls not hunters however the are skiddish and wont come out to play. I think the have beem spooked by muzzleloaders. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Hunting East Brush Creek area nkw
Ive sent you a txt and PM? Ive hunted this exact area. I have some suggestions