Working on an over the counter Elk Archery hunt in Colorado (September 2019). I am an experienced whitetail and antelope hunter from Kansas. I have been doing the usual map research and reading. I feel that I have narrowed my regions down to southern CO (Weminuche Wilderness Units 75 751 77). At the same time I am wondering if I am wasting my time focusing on the wrong regions or things. I just wanted to talk with some people on here about their knowledge or experience with these areas. Or if they are able to help me narrow a few things down based on some conversation. Not looking for specific spots just some general questions about terrain, burn areas, populations, and pressure from outfitters or people in specific regions. I know many of you do not want to share info on a public forum which I completely understand and agree with. If you would be interested in PM me that is completely OK. I would be willing to trade Kansas Whitetail information as well as trail cam photos and specific spots for the right trade of info. I am located in one of the best regions in Kansas for public land whitetails with multiple 180" deer being taken on public land within 25 minutes of my house. If not I completely understand just putting out feelers for an honest gentlemens exchange of information. Thank you!
The first thing I would do is visit the DOW Hunt Planner. It has answers to many of the questions you are asking. It is one of the best that any state offers. It will allow you to compare unit/GMU data. It might even have burn history info. (If it doesn't, there are other sources to get that info also)
EDIT; Hey what happened to all of my map coordinates above? The good news OP, just lace up your boots and cover some ground in just about any unit in CO...I've been in a bunch of them and have to tell you....they all hold elk in pockets, all about the same, IME.......its all about you finding them.
I live in gmu 77, and the pressure from hunters push elk early into private or sub divisions. The Nuche... Like stated above, the wilderness draws non resident hunters like flies. Guess they think of high elk numbers, no pressure and easy to call in elk. But not all the Nuche holds a lot of elk. It's a rough place, and guys go in eight miles, kill a small bull or cow and spend four days packing meat out. With the beetle kill we've got in the Nuche, a lot if elk don't use areas they once did ten years ago. Deadfall and piled up needles kill the underbrush. Last year, the forest service in 77 started blasting trees down in areas to knock the deadfall down in the wilderness. Blasting was safer then cutting the trees down. Hunter numbers are high, guys going in from above Silverton, through the trail heads above Lemon Lake and Vallecito Lake, as well as guys driving in deep off the Mosco and heading in from there. Guys kill Bulls during the gun season cause they catch them migrating out from the weather or other hunters. But like everywhere else, you gotta roll the dice and take your chances like everyone else.