CO unit 81. any suggestionsContributors to this thread:
Lost Arra 18-Jul-17
We are heading out just after archery opens to Conejos county, just north of Fox Creek. Taking the rv, and 4 wheeler, along with our dog, hoping to dry camp for as long as it takes. Any suggestions. We have quite a few elk from Northern CO and WY. All archery. When do they usually start bugling? What are the avg expectations for a decent bull?
From: Lost Arra
I used to hunt 81 but farther north in the Platoro area. While there were lots of horse trailers I only saw a hunter one time. I heard more bugling later in the bow season right around muzzleloader season. If you pull your rv up to Platoro I would suggest a few extra spare tires. The road is (or at least was) very rough and rocky. Good luck
U mite try lamanga pass in the sw part of The unit. This is an area they will pass through on their way to New Mexico as the hunters fill 81. Don't overlook the area between osier mountain and lamanga
Things have changed. We traded the rv for a truck camper, so we can go back farther from people. Are there places to camp off the beaten trail where you can find a good walkow?
I hunt that unit a lot, I've never had any luck with wallows. Bugling is always a bit sparse in my experiences, mostly just use for locating. Oddly I seem to hear more bugling the first half of the season, and then maybe druring mzl week. I rarely see a mature 6 pt bull, I have never got a shot at one while bowhunting. Most herd bulls seem to be 5 X 5's, and most other bulls are young 3-4 pt raghorns. The archery pressure in the unit seems to have gone up a lot in the last few years, but maybe that's just in the areas I hunt.
Just an FYI, you might want to look into where you could park and camp with your truck. Most if not all of the campgrounds along FR250 close around the first week of Sept. There are plenty of daytime parking areas, however along FR 250 from the Horca Junction up to at least Platoro, camping is not allowed unless it is in an actual designated camping area of which there are very few. JRABQ is spot on about the quality of bulls you might encounter. The last 4-5 years the bugling has been very little. The elk are scattered in the unit, they can be found at every elevation in the unit. There is quite a lot of public land and with that brings hunters that seem to be increasing every.single. year. Just my .02
It's been a couple years since we hunted there and probably our last. Atv's going behind gates they shouldn't have been in and we walked in over their tracks. Didn't see many elk, one in our group did shoot a cow. Lots of hunters. It was up by Platoro, we tent camped , but had good camping area although it wasn't an organized campground just down a dirt road.
It's a good archery unit. After a couple weeks though it tails off. Go early.
Darrel and JR have it right. I pm them in the past. I have been going there for 7 years. Takes time to learn a unit but its that way all across Colorado. Just remember elk aren't afraid to move a long ways over night. Being mobile is important until you learn the unit more, we take our own horses to cover more ground. I'm from Texas and the altitude kicks my butt lol. Send out some private messages, you can get info that won't get posted on an open forum. Good luck on your hunt.