View Full Version : Elk Hunt, Center, Colorado

March 21, 2002, 09:21 AM
I'm considering (must make up my mind by the end of the month) a Elk hunt near Center Colorado in Game Management unit 79 in mid Nov. Anyone ever hunt this area? if so hows the hunting and what can be expecded concerning the weather in Mid Nov.



March 21, 2002, 10:02 AM
Never hunted 79, but did 681 (75 or so miles north) for many years & did quite well all told. Area 79 is undersubscribed for cow during the 11/9-13 season = better chance of drawing.

Count on the weather being between 60 & sunny daytime w/low 30s nights to -10 with heavy snows/high winds daytime & much worse at night - hey, it's CO & November = you could have anything & all of it during a week-long hunt. We have.

Let us know if we can provide some assistance.

March 21, 2002, 12:49 PM
Hunted Unit 80 back in the early 70s (man - I must be getting old!!). It's the south side of the Rio Grande valley where it opens up into the San Luis valley - 79 is the north side. Did real good - 2 elk in 2 years - but was hunting a private ranch where my uncle knew the ranch foreman.

Terrain of unit 79 goes from flat (really flat) farming land around Center, to 13000 foot mountains in the northwest part of the unit. Once you start up into the mountainous regions you get into the National Forest. Ditto what labgrade about the weather - bring your longies and snow boots! Chains for your 4-wheel drive too.

I know that last year CDOW held hearings with outfitters and ranchers about elk moving out of unit 76 (a quality hunt area to the west of 79) into unit 79, in the latter part of the season. Can't recollect what they decided - prowl around the CDOW web site, or call them and find out what was decided.

Go here for BLM maps...


You'll want Saguache and Del Norte.

Good Luck - JohnDog

March 23, 2002, 06:31 PM

Thanks for the info. I talked with my buddy last night and it looks like our plans have changed some.

The two guys whom we'll be hunting with from Center have suggested that we get over the counter Bull tags and we will hunt in one of the following Game Management areas 681, 68, 80, 81 or 82 during the 4th season.

My plans were for a cow (lot cheaper tag) but the Bull route sounds good to me. The guys from Center have horses (riding and pack) and we'll use them to get into hunting area.

What caliber of rifles do you use? I'm going to use my CZ 550FS in 9.3x62 my buddy is has to purchase a HP rifle for the hunt.

Thanks again,


March 23, 2002, 07:51 PM
I use a Rem M7 in .308, handloaded Barnes XBT 165s primarily & that for mostly dark timber (that is where the elk live most of the time). Back-up rifle's a Rem 700 .30-06 & Fed's Premium 180 (Sierra SBT GameKing).

We did have great success for years in 681 & 1-for-1 in 82 (west side of the Sangres, if I recall correctly & just across the valley from 681). Mostly cows, but there's bulls about.

I'd suggest finding the darkest, north-facing slope you can find, git back in there & hang out quietly. Saddles & other ingress/egress routes, etc, that show recent sign are a big plus.

Although an area shows good sign doesn't mean that it still has elk. They are way migrant & move miles a day at times.

Last we hunted 82 (IIRC), word had it that some of the local ranchers were rounding 'em up on horseback & charging for "quality hunts." :mad: Dunno if true.

Just checked & 82's the area we hunted. 82 goes to 14K', 681 goes to 13K'+ (The Divide) ... in any event, the weather can be as described & you'd best be prepared for it. A heavy snow can be your best friend in 681 as it brings the critters down from the higher country & into the more open parks - can become quite the turkey shoot. It'll take a day or two for the critters to make the move. If you are camping & get "snowed in," stay put & make the best of it and get ready for some good hunting.

At times, the weather gets so nasty that the Guard, etc. will attempt heliocpter evacuations. They will allow you to take ONLY your rifle & the clothes on your back. All your gear (yes, trucks too) will stay there until you can get back to it - sometimes next spring.

I do know 681 & if you want some specifics on where we did "tear 'em" up, I'll glady answer whatever & pin-point some stuff on the topo maps if you'd like.

March 24, 2002, 08:45 AM

I'm planning on ordering Top (BLM) maps from the web site that Johndog posted.

Thanks for the offer locations etc. I will be getting back with you once I get the maps for info on the area's you hunted.

Thanks again.