Colorado GMU 44

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Newton
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Colorado GMU 44

Postby Newton » Tue May 26, 2015 7:49 am

Hello. New guy here. I will admit up front that I joined for a specific purpose, needing some help with an upcoming elk hunt. Been doing a lot of research and this site had quite a bit of real useful info, not to mention very nice people who were giving it. So I am hoping I can glean a tad bit more and some up to date info to boot.

Going out with a couple of guys this fall to unit 44 in Colorado. Two of us have muzzleloader cow elk tags(or we should have if the backdoor method of checking proves right). We picked this unit for various reasons, but being new to elk hunting and hunting Colorado in general, we decided that this unit seemed to be the best fit. May not have the greatest success rate, but accesabilty, location, and ability to get a decent tag(one of our top priorities is hearing elk bugle....yea, kind of cheesy I know). We are not after trophy's, but I would like to take home a decent sized cow.

I'll have to go back and look at the usernames I came across, but a few years ago there were a couple of guys who actually lived in this unit who were very helpful to a few other guys going out for some mulies. I know its a lot to ask for help/advice, but I'm hoping that I can get some. I talked to the local Ranger and she said that this unit is predominantly hunted by residents during the Archery/Muzzleloader season. I see that it does not have the greatest success rate for cow elk during these two seasons, so I am curious why.

Regardless, we have plans on hunting west of Slyvan lake. Us two that have the cow tags are not afraid to hike or pack one out of a deep hole. Any help and pointers of this area would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Colorado GMU 44

Postby MuleyMadness » Tue May 26, 2015 8:48 pm

Welcome, sorry I don't have any info on GMU 44 though.

Newton
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Re: Colorado GMU 44

Postby Newton » Wed May 27, 2015 9:26 am

Thanks, hopefully those with info will see this eventually.

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ABert
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Re: Colorado GMU 44

Postby ABert » Wed May 27, 2015 9:30 pm

I haven't hunted that unit but the best advice I can give you is hunt high during that time of year. During the daytime the elk will be in the thickest, darkest parts of the forest. Dawn and dusk you might get lucky to find transiting through an open area. Try to get out as much as you can before the season so you might be able to find a few spots where the elk are. Nothing beats boots on the ground before the season to be successful when it comes time to hunt.
It ain't the size of the gun but the placement of the bullet.

Newton
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Re: Colorado GMU 44

Postby Newton » Thu May 28, 2015 7:02 am

Thanks. Red Table has more elevation to it, but it seems to be the one that gets the most attention in this unit. We plan to hunt Hardscrabble, maybe the lower parts of the drainage's of the eastern side of Red Table. We are from Arkansas, so there wont be much scouting going on locally. However, things worked out in that I have a work trip to Denver coming up in a few weeks and after that I am going to spend a few days in Eagle. I wont be able to cover much ground, but Ill be able to see first hand what we are going to be looking at.

Two of us have been getting in good shape for this because we want to be able to hunt those deep holes everyone talks about elk being in, and hunters not. We fully plan to get in and away as far as possible(kind of limited due to the amount of roads), and don't mind a long pack out. After going over the area time after time with google earth, I am wondering what one of these nasty holes looks like. They seem somewhat harmless on the computer screen....lol.

More or less, the southern side of Hardscrabble to the Gypsum Creek Rd. Maybe part of the norther side of Red Table like I mentioned, but staying west of Brush Creek Rd(FR400). We will camp somewhere along Powerline Rd.

Let me know what you guys think.

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Re: Colorado GMU 44

Postby bocephus » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:46 pm

I hunted 44 on a 3rd season deer tag in 2012, saw quite a few elk in the big holes on the 44 side of the road that divides 44 from 444. I don't believe you can access those from the bottom and it would be a grunt to drop in one and pull an elk out. I would imagine you wouldn't have much competition in there which would be a positive. Also saw elk on Bellyache, and Coffin Mountain. Coffin is fairly remote and great looking elk country. Good luck and I hope you hear a big screamer!

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Re: Colorado GMU 44

Postby Newton » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:04 am

I heard that bellyache held some. I dont plan on going that far west in the unit. I have heard that a LOT of people camp on that road and hunt from there. Of course, i am not opposed to it if thats what it comes down too.

Coffin did look good when I was Google earth scouting. But I was afraid it might not be far enough away from roads. I guess I could be wrong about that. I saw a youtube video of guys riding their dirtbikes up a trail to the top. It looks nice in the video anyways, but figured it might be plagued with people on atvs.

I'm headed out to colorado Sunday. Wont be able to see the area till next Friday, but hopefully I'll get a feel for it when i get there.

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Re: Colorado GMU 44

Postby Newton » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:16 am

Just got back from my trip out there. It was an eye opener for sure. I am about as sore as I have been for a long time. I had Friday afternoon to drive around, which let me get the lay of the land. And I hiked all day Saturday. Definitely need to continue on my workouts, you don't realize the muscles you use hiking the mountains until you use them. I was fine as far as breathing and altitude is concerned, so that was a plus, but I can see why they talk about people only hunting 1/2 mile from the roads.

I'll be curious how it turns out this September though. One area I think we are focusing in on is for sure far enough away from the roads, but does have a trail that leads up to within a 1/2 mile from it. But, you have to hike a mile or better in on the trail and its not all that easy. I am curious how many will hike that far, then go further.

I saw a LOT of mule deer. I think I saw one elk, but only a glimpse. It could have been a large mule deer though. Saw some tracks, but not a ton of sign. Of course, only having that one day kind of limited my area of looking, but the tracks help with having confidence there are elk in the area at least.

I would still be glad to get any insight people have on the area.

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Re: Colorado GMU 44

Postby Big Moose » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:45 pm

I think you are on the right track, hunting west of Sylvan Lake. There are quite a few elk in the area between Sylvan Lake and LEDE Res.. You can also work your way into the roadless area west of the powerline road into the bowls on Red Table. Also, the steep drainages on the southwest side of Hardscrabble that run down to Gypsum Creek will hold elk. You may find more hunters on Hardscrabble than back up behind LEDE Res. though. Best of luck!

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Re: Colorado GMU 44

Postby Newton » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:34 am

Thanks Big Moose. I have heard the same thing about the hunter density on Hardscrabble vs south of LEDE. Is it simply the roads on Hardscrabble? If thats the case, then would it make sense to think that as long as you are off the road a mile or so(where it is possible) that you get away from the crowds?

I have that area south of LEDE on my radar for sure. There is just so much area to cover that its going to be tuff to cover it all. I suppose that I'll start in the area I have mainly looked at, then if there are just no elk, and lots of hunters, I'll move on to another area.

I just don't want it to be one of those trips where i spend more time with indecision than actually hunting. One thing about LEDE is right now there is even more limited access. I have yet to call them, but when I was up there they had a gate cutting off the road that leads up to the reservoir. It did have a sign that said "Attention hunters, gate will be closed at dark" or something like that. But it was closed during the day when I was there. Maybe they open it up during the hunting season.


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