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Rancher/outfitter offers high-success elk and mule deer hunts on private land in Unit 85 near Trinidad, southern Colorado

Hunt EK3847

Hunt Price per person, hunter:guide ratio
Elk rifle, 1st rifle season $4,000 2x1
Elk rifle, bow or muzzleloader $3,500 2x1 except for first rifle season
Mule deer $2,500 2x1; $3,500 1x1, $2,000 semiguided
Merriams turkey $450 for three days, $750 five days

Hunter success

Usually 80 to 95 percent kill rate on gun hunts. Bow hunts average 50 percent kill. In 2008 a total of 16 rifle bull elk hunters. Rifle hunters typically do much better. For example, in a recent year 16 hunters over four seasons got 13 bulls to 335 B&C points with most bull in the 5x5 and 6x6 categories. Six of seven deer hunters got their bucks with one blackpowder hunter not scoring even though he saw some great bucks. Two bowhunters got a 5x5 bull and a 4x4 buck. No preference points needed for elk rifle or bow tags, but you must apply by early April except for rifle elk tags during the combined seasons. Two preference points needed for blackpowder elk tags. Five preference points needed for muzzleloader deer. You must apply for deer and bow tags, but no preference points are needed. 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.
Seasons Lodging/meals
Archery deer or elk, usually last Sat. in August through last Sat. in September.

Muzzleloader deer or elk, mid-September.

Rifle elk: first season is early Oct., second season is late Oct., third season is early Nov. (click here for details)

Combined rifle deer and elk: second or third seasons.

A small house is available for rent near the ranch at a rate of $75 per group of four hunters. Evening meals are provided. Hunters provide their own breakfasts and lunches. You can stay in a Trinidad motel 30 miles away if you prefer.
Terrain Travel
4,500 acres of private land composed of flat and fairly moderate slopes with grassy meadows and timber Fly to Denver or Colorado Springs and rent a car or pay $100 round trip for a guide to pick you up

Trophy size


Most bulls taken on this hunt are 5x5s and 6x6s. The biggest bulls each year typically score 300 to 340. Most hunters shoot bucks from 22 to 28 inches wide in the 130 to 170 class with an occasional bigger animal. The bigger bucks usually have extra points. The outfitter/rancher owns a meat packing plant and will take of your game for 85 cents per pound. Hunters also may opt to take a bison on a 5,000-acre ranch across the line in New Mexico. Expect to pay $4,000 or more for a trophy bull, $3,000 for a meat bull and $2,000 for a cow.

Here's a chance to hunt elk and mule deer at a reasonable price on private land in southern Colorado. Hunter success is usually very high because the outfitter doesn't take many hunters for the amount of land and game that he has to offer.

"I limit my camp to six hunters during a season, but we usually take just four," he said. "Almost everybody gets shooting. Last year during four different rifle seasons we filled 13 out of 16 elk tags. We filled six of seven deer tags. The deer hunter who did not kill a buck was hunting without a guide during blackpowder season. He some saw great bucks but didn't get one."

You'll be hunting about 4,500 of private land that is not overly steep or rugged, making this a good hunt for hunters who are not in tiptop physical condition. The outfitter owns about 1,400 of the acres you'll hunt and runs about 100 head of cattle and also runs a meat packing plant in a town of 700 or so citizens. He can cut and wrap your venison for 85 cents a pound. The ranch is about 30 miles from Trinidad, which has a big box store and several motels. The ranch is about 60 miles from Pueblo.

Most hunters choose to rent a small house near the ranch. It comfortably sleeps four and can accommodate up t o six hunters and costs $75 per night per group of four hunters. The outfitter provides suppers, but hunters are responsible for breakfasts and lunches. The rancher also has a 24-foot travel trailer available to customers, but it does not have running water, just heat and elecricity.

Most bull elk taken on this hunt during the past four years have been 5x5s and 6x6s with the larger bulls scoring 300 or more. In the past few years the biggest bull scored about 335 B&C, and the biggest buck was a non-typical 28-incher.

The ranch also has Merriams turkeys, and you can hunt them for a reasonable fee. You must draw a tag to hunt turkeys.

Steven: "We came upon a herd of thirty to forty elk in a wooded area. My guide, Daniel, outflanked the herd and expertly called in one of the bulls to within 100 yards. Once there was a clear shot, I was thrilled to take my first elk. I highly recommend this outfit. The guides felt like long-time hunting buddies."

Rick and his first bull. His words: "e80 yds. 35 Whelen. Thanks for everything this past week. This past week the four of us lived many men's dreams. I WANNA GO BACK!."

Mike's first elk, which he shot at 357 yards with his Browning 325 Winchester Short Mag. He said he highly recommends this outfitter.

Dan: "I waited until the last evening and took a 290 yard shot on a five-by-four. We had to track it the next morning. It was my first elk. I am so excited." Dan said he had hunted elk before, spending 15 days in the field, and was happy to find a productive hunt this year.