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Thread: Colorado Unit 76 - Elk - who's been there??

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Colorado Unit 76 - Elk - who's been there??

    Looks like I have enough points this year to draw an archery tag in Unit 76. I've heard the unit is "Pretty Good" as draw units go, but nothing too specific.

    Let's hear from some folks who've been there in there elk hunting. What was your experience?

    Appreciate any & all input, thanks.



  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    I hunted it back in 06, it's been a while. There are a good amount of elk in there and the terrain can be very steep/rough in places. You can also be caught in a storm at any time, like anywhere else in Colorado. If you have the points I recommend applying for the unit as you will never catch up to anything else.

    Tips - get good with a call and bring someone who can call, help you out on the trip. If its a once in a lifetime hunt, hire an outfitter to help you out OR budget enough time for a few weeks to hunt. Packing out your animal can be tough as the terrain is rough in many places as stated before. Keep in mind the CDOW/CPW have been issuing many bull tags for 1st rifle seasons.

  3. #3
    I think I'm close to being able to draw 76, but I have been leaning towards saving for 61. I do not know if I will ever catch up to 61 with the current system, so I am watching and listening about 76. I live in 43, so I would like to hunt some tamer terrain and from what I hear 76 is not it.

    Let us know what you do and how it turns out. I am most likely save points for a while and debate on what to do

  4. #4
    I've hunted in that unit but for mulies instead of elk. There's plenty of elk there too. It's good ground if you don't mind burning some boot leather.
    America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys. Our original plan had been to hunt 61 also, but we have literally been 1 point out of the race for like the last 5 or 6 years. I'm tired of waiting....

    I talked with one CO resident that bowhunted there in '09. They said the elk were there, but were all up high in the rugged stuff. I've also talked with some folks who have been hinting that 61, while it is a very good unit, simply is not worth the wait.

    Time to start getting back in shape I guess.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozarksbuckslaye View Post
    I've hunted in that unit but for mulies instead of elk. There's plenty of elk there too. It's good ground if you don't mind burning some boot leather.
    How was the mule deer hunting? We've hunted a bunch in 66 & 67 and had good luck up there, but after the 08 winter kill, the deer numbers are waaaaayyyyy down.

  7. #7
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    I hunted there 10 yrs ago. Now I have 10 pts again and still cannot catch the point creep. I would love to hunt there again. I have also fished alot in that Unit too. just absolutely great country. The DOW reports are that the Unit is not producing the big bulls like they had envisioned long ago. But there are still some good elk there.
    I think I will get too old to hunt before I could catch up to U61 which is next on the PP plum tree. So I will wait a couple of more years to see what happens with the draw. If there are no changes and creep continues, I too will play out whatever I can get for that year.
    The unit is steep and high, and is certainly prone to some stormy weather. And there is just miles and miles of elk country with very little competition. There are Shiras and bighorns in the Unit which are always fun to see for me. ZA206 and Wbuffetjr have also hunted there more recently I believe.
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  8. #8
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    It's beautiful country, but I wouldn't endure 10 years of points to hunt it.
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  9. #9
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    Hunted there last season. Saw more elk in 4 days than I had seen in 10 years of OTC hunt units. Hunted early part of Sept and the elk were relatively quiet, but were easy to find above timberline through binos. Watch them for a couple of days and ambush them as they come out above timberline in the evenings. Worked for me. Absolutely beautiful country, but brutally steep and a nightmare to pack one out(especially when hunting solo). I was saving PP's for unit 61 but gave it up and opted for 76. No regrets choosing this unit, but glad to be done chasing preference points. Good Luck

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by elkdude07 View Post
    Hunted there last season. Saw more elk in 4 days than I had seen in 10 years of OTC hunt units. Hunted early part of Sept and the elk were relatively quiet, but were easy to find above timberline through binos. Watch them for a couple of days and ambush them as they come out above timberline in the evenings. Worked for me. Absolutely beautiful country, but brutally steep and a nightmare to pack one out(especially when hunting solo). I was saving PP's for unit 61 but gave it up and opted for 76. No regrets choosing this unit, but glad to be done chasing preference points. Good Luck
    lets not steal srb99 thread....but I wann see your pics...or start a new thread........please?
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  11. #11
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    I've hunted there several times. Posted in another thread that I am so old that the first time I went to Colorado I got drawn for Unit 76 with zero preference points. That was in the 70's. It is an excellent area for sure. I hunted some of it that was not hard to hunt and not real steep. Killed 2 elk above Love Lake. Very reasonable terrain. PM me if you would like and I'll tell you anything I know about it.
    Unabashed crossbow bashing elitist, and proud of it.

  12. #12
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    I remember "BB" over on Bowsite had a GREAT picture thread of his hunt in 76. You should try to find it, it was a good one...

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by srb99 View Post
    How was the mule deer hunting? We've hunted a bunch in 66 & 67 and had good luck up there, but after the 08 winter kill, the deer numbers are waaaaayyyyy down.
    It was pretty good but it was pre-08' when we went. I went with a group and I think all of us but one punched our tags. The one who didn't had a few good opportunities, he just couldn't make a connection. I talked to several elk hunters while we were there. Most had good reports on the numbers of bulls they were hearing and seeing up in the high country and we seen quite a few hunters in town and at camps that had stuck some nice bulls.
    America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

  14. #14
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    ttt

  15. #15
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    I hiked and scouted 76 alot about 5-6 years ago and have hunted it once with a tag in my pocket and a few more times with friends and it is a great unit as long as you don't have your sights set on a monster. The year that I hunted it there was TONS of 260-280 type bulls, but it seemed like anything over 300 was tougher to find. They were around, but it just seemed like you would see 10 in that range for every real good bull. Kinda weird.

    I passed alot of bulls that I shouldn't have and ended up taking a 5x5 on the last day.

    As far as quanity it is unreal in one morning up there a few years ago we glassed 60+ branch bulls from one spot in about 2 hours.

    It may have all changed since I was spending alot of time up there, as this was all several years ago.

  16. #16
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    Thanks ckleeves, that's good stuff. Seems to be the common thought on the unit - lots of medium sized bulls, tough to find real standouts.

    We you finding a lot of the elk up high near timberline?

  17. #17
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    Ya but I wasn't looking anywhere else either, never had a reason to lol. I shouldn't say there isn't any big bulls in there on my hunt I saw a 340+ bull and scouting and hiking I have seen a few 350+ bulls just not one every day.

  18. #18
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    pm sent

  19. #19
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    Looks like we are both in the same boat. I am pretty sure I will draw this year. I am from the San Luis Valley and have heard things about 76 all my days. I have heard what most people are talking about here. Lots of good bulls. I am looking for a good bull. My cousin hunted there 5 or so years ago and got into many good bulls and super close to a 340-350 class bull. said it was amazing. I am starting my research as we speak on areas to go. very large unit and very rugged in most parts. Not getting any younger and like many....tired of chasing points. It is go time. Good luck. maybe hear from you or others on this subject.

  20. #20
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    Great unit.... Trying desperately to get back there this year (land owner vouchers). We will see how it goes...

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  21. #21
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    I love AT! I haven't been on for months and first thing I see when I log on is a 76 thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by ckleeves View Post
    it is a great unit as long as you don't have your sights set on a monster. The year that I hunted it there was TONS of 260-280 type bulls, but it seemed like anything over 300 was tougher to find...........

    It may have all changed since I was spending alot of time up there, as this was all several years ago.
    I would say this hits the 76 nail on the head in a couple of ways. One, it is a GREAT unit if you're not set on a monster (I am not). Two, it does sounds like things have changed some. I would not say there are TONS of 260-280 bulls now (unless where we hunted is unique). I would say if you see a 280, shoot him IMMEDIATELY cause chances are you WILL NOT see anything bigger. If you do see something bigger, it will be 200-500 yards out in the middle of the "tundra" with no possible shot opportunity unless you have a muzzleloader. Some thoughts:

    You better be in shape if you are gonna fully enjoy this hunt. Where we hunted, you could stop hiking and reach out and grab grass without bending over a bit! STEEP is an understatement! Our tent was at 10k and all elk were up considerably from there.

    Coming in silent was our most successful tactic.

    Both years I shot the first bull I saw and have not regretted it at all!!

    Did I say be in shape? Lol. That's not a joke. If you are not, you will not like the place. The thought of 76 in 2013 has me 10lbs away from how much I weighed when I was 18! That's how serious I am about how important it is!

    If you're gonna hire an outfitter, Sam Frazier is the man!

    If you do a search, both ZA and I did posts of our hunts. Should be easy to find.


    I have been very lucky in 76 but my partner has been very unlucky in 76 so we are 50-50 there and I would say that we are both fairly successful hardcore hunters. Our first year in 76 we hiked 48 miles in 10 days. Our second year we took atvs and still hiked over 30 miles if I remember correctly.
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  22. #22
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    I am a follower of this thread. I had 9 PP's before this years app. Another PP for me this year as I have other commitments for fall 2012. But 2013 will be here soon enough. I have already purchased maps from mytopo.com, bought the Gebhardt Trail book, etc. I am 46 and figure I will only get one shot at this unit. Even looking at taking some time off next summer to run some of the trails and cover country. For non wilderness trails, are the trails condusive to travel on Mtn bike?

    I am in good shape and have done 5 DIY elk hunts. I think this unit is up my alley. (Then again, with my current point standing, no other unit is realistically in reach.)

    Not trying to hijack. Looking forward to the stories from those who draw in 2012!

    Brian

  23. #23
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    it's official.........just checked the Colorado DOW website and I drew for unit 76. Soooooooooo Geeked right now.

  24. #24
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    That is great to hear. Just found out today that I drew for unit 76. The research begins....Now. Sounds like you saw plenty of elk?

  25. #25
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    congrats mr. super!!!!!!!
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