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Colorado outfitter offers excellent elk hunting on 30,000 private acres near Wyoming line

This hunt offers high success on 5x5 and 6x6 bulls on 30,000 acres of private property that is not high-fenced. The outfitter has done a good job for us for the past few years. Usually you need to book a year in advance to get a spot.

You won't need to draw a tag because the ranch gets landowner vouchers that allow you to bypass the drawing. The elk are free to come and go as they please. This is a good hunt for hunters who would be happy with a 300-class bull though there are bigger animals. All five rifle hunters in 2006 killed bulls. An 82-year-old hunter killed the smallest bull, a 3 1/2-year-old that scored about 250 Boone and Crockett points. The other bulls ranged from roughly 290 to 320 B&C points.

The outfitter accommodated four bowhunters last year, and they all got shooting at bulls scoring 300 to 354 Pope and Young points. Only two were able to shoot and recover their bulls , which scored 354 and 335 P&Y. The two hunters who didn't score had shots at eight and 25 yards. The only blackpowder hunter missed a 330 class bull twice at 85 yards.

In 2005 all but one of 11 hunters killed a bull during rifle season. The average score was 283 B&C points. Most bowhunters got shooting or passed on shooting opportunities with eight bulls hit but only four recovered. In 2005 three of the four blackpowder hunters got shooting, two of them at more than one bull. A 310 class bull was hit and lost at 70 yards; the other bulls were 270 class.

In 2004 the outfitter took four bulls scoring 305, 297, 275 and 294 for six rifle hunters. The two hunters who did not score were holding out for 340 to 350 class bulls they saw early in the hunt. At that time he had only 6,500 acres, and the outfitter who had the balance of the land took 15 bulls for 16 hunters. Our outfitter is much more conservative a game manager and wants to take no more than a dozen bulls per year. The outfitter wants a dozen bulls a year, and hHe doesn't care whether his hunters come during bow, rifle or blackpowder seasons. The first rifle season starts Oct. 13, and the bow and muzzleloader seasons are in November.

His elk hunt is conducted on two ranches that cover 30,000 acres of private, deeded ground. There are no game-proof fences; the elk can come and go as they please. But there is enough land that elk are usually always on the property.

Seasons are in late August and September for archery, mid-Sepember for muzzleloader, and October and November for rifle. All hunts are five days long. Some seasons last longer than five days, and hunters who need longer can stay extra days at $250 per day.

The property also provides excellent hunting for mature mule deer. Sometimes you can add a mule deer, but the hunting is good enough that he usually books it up well in advance. Hunters who can shoot well should be able to take a 160 to 180 class muley, and the bigger bucks will score 180 to 210.

Normally you have to draw a tag in the state's annual computery lottery to hunt during muzzleloader season, but the outfitter's lessor should be getting at least one transferable muzzleloader permit.

Hunt EK3802NC

Hunt Price per person
30,000 private acres, 5 days, 1x1 $7,000, bow, rifle or muzzleloader

Hunter success since 2004

License
Rifle hunters have averaged 89% kill rate.
Bowhunters have averaged 50% kill rate.
Muzzleloaders have averaged 80% shooting opportunity at close range.
No preference points needed, but you must apply before the early April deadline. Click here for the latest prices for Colorado tags. Transferable landowner vouchers available if you don't book in time to apply for a tag.
Available dates  Lodging/meals
Bow: September
Muzzleloader: mid-Sept.
Rifle: early October, late October or early November
Motel quarters and restaurant meals are not included in the price of the hunt. Most hunters stay in a motel that costs $55 per night.
Terrain Travel
Mostly sage, aspen, juniper and oakbrush Fly to Denver and rent a car

Trophy size

Notes

Most hunters see several 6x6 bulls scoring 260 to 300 or so with a good possibility of seeing a 320 to 340 class animal. Bulls taken typically range from about 250 to 320 B&C. The best bull taken last year scored 354. Most hunters who go with this outfitter tend to repeat because he takes few hunters on large private tracts and consistently produces high hunter success.