How Do I Pick an Elk Hunting Unit

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*How Do I Pick an Elk Hunting Unit?

Choosing the right spot for your next elk hunting trip in Colorado can seem like a daunting thing, especially if you are a beginner hunter or from out of state. So to make the best possible choice; first there are some aspects of the Colorado hunting license system that you need to understand.

The state is divided into 185 hunting areas called game management units (GMUs), supervised by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife service (CPW). To ensure adequate big-game population ratios and that the hunting pressure helps manage herd numbers and distribution, the CPW establishes a limited number of licenses -or quota- per species, sex, hunting season, the method of taking, and specific GMUs every year. These are the licenses available through a preference-point-only drawing system, for which applications need to be sent in by the second Tuesday of April.

Then there are the over the counter licenses (OTC), which even though they are also issued for specific GMUs, the method of harvest, season, species, and sex; they are unlimited in number and remain available for purchase until the day before the hunting season they are valid for begins.

Choosing an Elk Hunting GMU in Colorado

The GMUs available for each license type are specified and described in detail in the Big-Game Regulations Brochure, which is issued in February every year. Despite its complexity, Colorado’s hunting licensing system ensures an effective wildlife management while providing several different options for elk hunters, plenty of wilderness adventures, and scouting opportunities.

Knowing how hunting licenses in Colorado work, it becomes pretty obvious that if you are not familiar with the area, you need some good insight about each GMU to decide where you want to hunt and make plans. Fortunately, the CPW has worked really hard to put together valuable resources, tools, and information to help you choose a unit and increase your chances of a successful elk hunt.

When selecting a GMU, it is wise to take into consideration all of your personal interests, preferences, people going with you, hunting season dates, and even your fitness level so you can enjoy the hunting experience as a whole. Avoid focusing only on just getting a trophy out of it.

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