CO 66 2018Contributors to this thread:
Going to cash out next year and hunt 66. Have 7 NR points so should be no problem getting the tag. Will be 2 guys hunting on foot prefer from a road side camp so we can move around a bit. Did a rifle hunt there in 2010 but that was a drop camp and don't want to go that route this time. 2010 gives me a little familiarity with the unit. I have 2 spots picked out both within 3 miles from a dirt or county road but looking for suggestions. I have not checked out any spots west of 149. Any recommendations or places to stay away from? Good place to get a mid week bite to eat in Lake City? My dad will probably tag along but won't have a tag so any good spots you would recommend to fish? Thanks for any help and PM will be good. Jason
Don't know about the hunting but Blue Mesa reservoir has great fishing. He should book a guided day trip for giant lake trout and he might catch the trout of his life.
Edit - he can also rent a small boat at Elk Creek marina and troll for kokanee salmon and trout on his own, too.
Great thanks for the information. That should keep him busy.
Anybody on here draw this tag this year have anything to add? Thought this would be a good time to ask while it is fresh on our minds. Thanks for any input.
Thanks for the feedback. Seems like I am still up in the air on this unit. Kind of leaning towards another low point draw unit now although I will be burning a lot of points (since I have 7). My take on this other unit from what I have read is good elk quantity, quality is so so since it is OTC rifle, and hunting pressure in archery should be good since it is a draw. Anything to add? Thanks again.
I'm amazed it takes more archery points than 1st rifle for this hunt? u can draw the rifle hunt with 1-2 points as a NR. Its just the opposite for say unit 49. more points for rifle but less for archery. Any thoughts? I haven't hunted this unit or its border unit 67, but I like it on paper. Good populations, lots of wilderness to get away and limited tags.
Your point is what many residents bring up about 66 being why would you archery hunt it when you can rifle hunt it for much less. I did rifle hunt it in 2010 with 1 point and liked it enough I wanted to go back with a bow. Problem is a lot can change in 8 years. So why does it take 6 to 7 points? I think because it kind of gets a good review on the web and what happens is many people, like me, find themselves in elk point no mans land. They think of points like $$ and they don't want to spend more on something less. If you take out 66 there are not many archery units that require more than 2 but less than 10 points.
Well didn't draw Wyoming so need to make my CO decision. Only other unit besides 66 that I considered was units 4 and 5 which only take 2 points. For guys that hunted 66 can you do day hunts without packing in? I prefer to keep a main camp at the truck and be able to move around from day to day. Although I own all the spike camp gear if need be.
I hunted 66 many years ago with my dad and his buddies, it was "their" spot. They always stayed at some single wide trailers that an outfitter rented(can't remember the name) and day hunted out of that spot. One of the group always did pretty well. Could be he was one of the younger guys. I believe it was somewhere up off 149, maybe I can find some old notes. It was in a basin, near a cattle ranch.
Thanks. Let me know if you find anything. I know Mineral Mt outfitters along the Cebolla Creek has trailers at their ranch that they use for guided clients. I was thinking something central in the unit to give me a little freedom since I have a few areas I want to check out while there. My guess is most pressure will be along the 76 border.
I'm assuming you are talking first rifle? Elk are all over in early October. I've seen them way down low, in between, and up high. A good central area to camp is the few mile area where 149 runs east/west.
Thanks but no I was talking archery. I have 7 NR points to burn. Looking for a decent population does not have to have the biggest bulls. Would even consider a different unit even if that means spending a few bucks for access through private.
If you are a fly fisherman, and need a mid week break/rest from chasing bulls in archery, there are multiple public areas to fish on the Lake Fork of Gunnison River. One is Gateview (you will see the white fence around SE side which is private property). Another place is on the dirt road directionally heading right (towards Blue Mesa Lake) off the main paved road when you first see the the valley coming in from Gunnison. Walking upstream are artificial rock weirs (falls) that harbor good trout pools. The Lake Fork of Gunnison River is simply a gorgeous river, crystal clear, excellent fishing, and you can eat the scenery.
Thank you! That will help since my dad will probably tag along without a hunting license. Still debating if this is the unit to cash in for. I think it is. Strange that the point requirement for rifle is so low. Makes me second guess it. Either way want to cash out and just hunt the 1 to 2 point draw units.
its really a function of supply. There are twice as many NR first season rifle tags available as bow so it makes it easier to draw, same reason it takes like 12 or so points to draw the muzzy hunt. Couldn't you also draw 49 archery w 7 pts?
Yes could draw 49. You think it is much better. I know it is suppose to have bigger bulls. I hunted 66 in 2010 rifle and at the time thought I would go back bow when I could now having doubts.
Honestly I think both would be good hunts. Now I’ll start by saying I’ve never hunted either unit so don’t put much stock in what I say. But the research that I’ve done told me 49 prolly has potential for bigger bulls, but 66 May have a better population and there’s a lot of wilderness in 66 so could hold a big bull. I think both would be good hunts. If I had inside intel I’d prolly choose that unit
It was Mineral Mtn outfitters they rented the trailers from and they weren't guided clients. IIRC it was pretty pricey. We saw elk on the bluffs, but could never get close enough for a shot. Sounds like that is not the right area for you.
Hunted archery 49 last year. Spent 20 days hunting. If you are looking for 280ish class it’s a good zone. Saw 2 monsters but they were both above treeline with large number of cows. Saw a lot of bulls but most were 4x and young 5x’s. If your interested in a good number of encounters you will enjoy 49. Looking for 320 plus bull you are prob going to be disappointed. Believe it took 4 NR pts per out of state hunter I met. I screwed up and spent 5 resident pts on the hunt. Could of hunted it with 4pts prior year.
Thanks Stew. That sounds like a good hunt. I am more concerned with quantity vs quality. I think I would be more than happy with any 6x. I have looked at 49 on google earth. Appears to be 1 of the steepest units in CO. Does that seem correct since you were there? I have been hunting units from around 9K-10K and have been OK with that. I did hunt a few years ago at 12K and didn't fair as well. Coming from <1000 feet I should have probably acclimated 2 nights on that trip but so damn hard to slow down once you get to CO with a tag in hand.
In my opinion 49 is not real bad to get around. There are some very rough areas and back bowls and heavy timber for sure. Be fit and you can get into a lot of it. Good luck.
Starting elev is up there. Yes there is some steep stuff and a lot of the elk hang above tree line but like halfcurl said just come in shape.
No sure if it should sway my decision but been following the snow in 66. They are only at around 65% precipitation for the year. That seems extremely low. In comparison the north central units are near 93% for the year. Maybe this just means the dispersal of the elk in 66 could be different this year unless they get some much needed snow.
I DONT SEE IT THAT WAY. TO ME, IF THEY HAD GOOD MOISTURE LAST SPRING AND SUMMER, THEN THEY HAD GOOD FEED FOR THE FALL COUPLE THAT WITH A MILD WINTER ABD THE ELK SHOULD BE HEALTHY NOW! AS LONG AS THEY GET SOME DECENT SPRING AND SUMMER SHOWERS I'D THINK THE ELK WOULD BE AHEAD OF OTHER YRS DUE TO THE MILD WINTER. iTS NOT LIKE 66 IS A ARID DESERT TYPE UNIT THAT HEAVILY RELIES ON PRECIPATATION OR THINGS QUILKY DRY OUT. BUT THATS JUST MY TWO CENTS