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CO Unit 76 - Mule Deer and Elk
I have 5 points for deer, 6 for elk - Was thinking about burning points on mule deer in 76 this year, and using that hunt to gain some general knowledge about the unit so I can archery elk hunt in a couple years.
In general I'm wondering if that's a good idea, i.e., would I be hunting the same areas for mule deer that I would for elk in the future? Or is it a waste of time to try and do both hunts in the same unit and just spend my 5 deer points somewhere else that I want to try?
Any information for either species in 76 would be helpful. I want to start getting out of the points game in CO and focus on drawing something every 2-3 years.
Saw a couple nice bucks in the burn when I was elk hunting 2 years ago.
There are some good deer in 76. But with 6 elk points you're going to have to lead a long and healthy life to ever draw that tag. Unless CO changes is system I don't think you'll ever catch up.
He's a resident.....100% archery elk draw with eight points last year.
Keep in mind you might not draw the elk tag till 2022. I'd say 2021 at the earliest.
Resident Archery Elk Pref Points crept a little in 76, but not a lot in past 3 years
7 PPs had a 70% chance of drawing in 2018
7 PPs was 100% in 2017 [6PPs 13%]
7 PPs was 100% in 2016 [6PPs 47%]
For the past 6 years, it's been pretty consistently creeping one point every 3rd year. That's why I said 2021 or 2022. He most likely won't catch it before it creeps to 8.
Agreed, I figure 7 points will have about a 20% chance in 2020 so my guess is I would draw it in 2021 with 8.
Back to the original question, which wasn't about points: In 76 would a mule deer hunt this year or next be a wise idea to get a lay of the land for an upcoming elk hunt? Are the best spots for elk also good spots for mule deer? Or should I scrap the idea and just hunt mule deer wherever I want and not necessarily 76? Is 76 worth 5 points for a mule deer hunt?
Depends on what you're looking for. For deer, how far are you willing to travel? If you're gonna hunt 76 for deer, I'd talk to someone and get packed in. Certain areas of 76 recieve more hikers and campers then other parts. Some areas are full of dead fall and dead standing trees, not then best for spotting and stalking deer in. Is it worth six points? I dunno, depends on what you want and what you're expectations are. There are some big mulies in 76, but they're not in every basin. Only you can decide if it's worth to you or not.
I hunted 76 for elk...we didn't see squat for deer in the areas the elk were in....sure some...but not what I would call a good area to hunt mulies.
For a mule deer hunt my preference would be alpine bowls above timberline, mule deer up high and early was a blast a few years ago (different unit) and I'd like that style of hunt again. But if the good elk spots aren't necessarily the same terrain it may not be worth it.
I don't know how much I'll get to scout 76 in a few years when I draw it for elk, that's where the idea came from. I know being in a unit beforehand, even if it's just for a 3-4 day hunt one time gives a lot of info as to road conditions, access, trails, etc.
I saw a few deer last year in 76 while hunting elk, maybe 5-6 bucks in a week of hunting or so.
Hi Gary. I have hunted otc or easy draw units several times with both deer and elk tags. But I would never wait 8-10 years for a great tag and then attempt to hunt both. I think you can draw the deer sooner so I would focus on that hunt. Then, you'll be way ahead when you draw the elk tag later.
If you're wanting big bowls to be able to spot and stalk, you're gonna need horses to get in, or be prepared to walk in right to ten miles. 76 is rough and steep, not a lot of big high alpine basins like you gave up north with willow bottoms. You'll see the small 22" bucks in the timber, and you'll see the monsters in the timber, but you're not gonna see a lot of them. Areas up around Creede might be your best better, or going in deep from Silverton. I'm sitting on 13 points for elk, and I'd never dump them on 76 unless it's for a rifle tag, then I'd head in deep towards the Pyramid. Too many outfitters have camps that border 76, and too many people hunt 76 with otc tags. The Amish from the Valley are pounding 76 now, killing everything that has horns.
If you want adventure and like tough hunts, try to draw a 76 mule deer tag. It's not going to be easy, it's not a weekend or four day hunt. Don't go in expecting 180" bucks everywhere laying in high alpine bowls. Go in expecting to hunt timber, and go in expecting 60 and 70 yard shots.
Curt - I'm planning to space the hunts out over a couple years, not do them both at the same time. The thought was to hunt deer first and get a lay of the land, then elk hunt there a couple years later.
Buglmin - Thanks for the info, that's interesting. I'm not necessarily set on 76, but it looks like a place where I can dump my elk points in a couple years then focus on lesser point hunts. Where else would you look? I'm a ways out from 61, but could draw 49.
Unit 76 does not have a high deer population/density, but there are definitely some good bucks around.