Colorado Elk, Deer & Antelope Hunt #8

Colorado Elk, Deer & Antelope Hunt #8

CO-8-BIG-ELK-1     CO-8-big-whitetail

This outfitter is based in north-central Colorado. For many years he has been producing some of the best trophies in the state. The outfitter regularly places his trophies in the top 3 slots of the Colorado Outfitters Association Best Species Contest, which is open to all outfitters in the organization. A few years ago, he won multiple awards for every single species he hunts. The only categories in which he did not win any awards in were for categories he didn’t enter! Best of the best is a reasonable conclusion.

In the Elk Category that year, the outfitter took first place with a 399 5/8-inch B & C bull taken with a rifle. The outfitter also took second place (361-inch B & C) and third place (331 4/8-inch B & C). All three top slots for elk! In the muzzleloader elk division, the outfitter again took first (334 1/8-inch B & C) and also second (315 5/8-inch B & C) places.

The outfitter also dominated the non-typical whitetail rifle category with a 203 4/8-inch rack; the antelope category with a rifle (82 7/8) and muzzleloader (75 5/8); bighorn sheep (177 1/8); and Shiras moose with a rifle and with a muzzleloader. They also won multiple second and third place awards for their whitetail, mule deer and antelope. In short, he is consistently one of the very best in Colorado.

 CO8-huge-muley  ELK:  This outfitter hunts two units for elk and they both border Rocky Mountain National Park. The park is home to a huge elk herd that tends to wanders in and out of the park boundaries and onto the outfitter’s hunting grounds. The outfitter has an exclusive US Forest Service guide permit in the Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forest. The area borders more than seven miles of the park and access to it is restricted to foot or horseback access. This is a true wilderness hunt where local hunting pressure is not a problem.

Game Management Unit 19 near the Park, is over 80,000 acres and the outfitter only takes six hunters at a time. The outfitter and hunters travel by horseback into a base camp and then split into three groups of two and directs them to different spike camps. This way, each group enjoys exclusive hunting in several basins without competition from other hunters in camp. Elevations run from 6,000 to 9,000 feet.

Clients on this hunt take several giant bulls each year in the 300-plus class. Opportunities are nearly 100 percent with success rates running 75 percent – largely because clients miss shots or pass on good bulls in search of a bigger trophy. The outfitter offers six-day archery and muzzleloader hunts here in September. His rifle hunts here run five days in October. Add two additional days to these hunts for packing in and out of the area.

The outfitter also does some drop-camp outfitting in this area.  The outfitter provides fully supplied camps, including everything except food and sleeping bags. He even provides maps.

The outfitter often has vouchers from landowners for both his guided and his drop hunts, allowing you access to areas that are normally limited quota areas. You will need to check with us on their availability.

 CO8-LATE-BULL  The outfitter’s other hunting area near the Park, is Game Management Unit 20, which borders Rocky Mountain National Park on the east side. The outfitter and a partner have locked up a number of large private ranches in the area and they have secured permits to also guide on the public lands. This hunt is more of a ranch-style affair. Clients stay in the ranch house and drive to the hunting area and hunt on foot or horseback. The outfitter hunts a combination of private and public lands, using ATVs, trucks, and horses to access the hunting areas. Hunters stay in a ranch house and the hunt includes meals. These are normally very high success elk hunts.

A unique feature about Unit 20 is that it has its own resident elk herd, but also offers migrating elk that come down from the park. Colorado’s Parks & Wildlife created a late-season hunt here that allows the outfitter to hunt bull elk in December and January when the migration typically in full swing. Because there is a resident herd, clients don’t have to depend on weather instigating the migration of the park herd for success. The late December/January season is designed to harvest elk that leave RMNP. The outfitter hunts this unit throughout the season, not just during the late season.

The resident elk are managed for a 45 bulls per 100 cows ratio, which produces trophy bulls in the 300 -350-inch class with a few over 350 inches. In a good snow year, there are a lot of bulls to look at in the January season because you are hunting the resident elk plus the RMNP elk. On a good day in a good snow year, a hunter could see 30 to 40 bulls per day. In a poor snow year it varies, but six to 10 bulls per day would be average. Killing a bull is not a problem, but the goal is to kill a 300-inch plus class bull. During a good snow year, harvest rates approach 100% on 300-inch plus class bulls. In a poor snow year, the average is closer to 70% on 300-inch plus class bulls.

This outfitter is conservative when he estimates trophy-quality bulls stating that most bulls taken are under 350 B & C. The outfitter does not want to create unrealistic expectations, but every year his clients take  some incredible elk. One client waylaid a behemoth bull that netted 385-inches B & C. The gross score was 400 1/8 inches. Every year clients regularly kill bulls between 300- and 350-inches B & C.

The outfitter only guides a limited number of archers, muzzleloaders and regular rifle hunters each season.  That’s part of the reason why the bulls get so big. For the three late-season hunts, the outfitter only guides four to five lucky hunters.

Elk prices:

Elk hunts are $6,000 for 2×1 guiding, plus the cost of a voucher if you need one, or else coordinate with us to draw the tag. This includes 5 days of actual hunting, and often a day in and a day out to get to camp. 1×1 guided hunts are $8,000. In Unit 20 there is bull harvest fee of $1,000, but not in 19. This keeps people from shooting non-trophy bulls. Muzzleloader hunts are same price as rifle. Confer with us if you want to do muzzleloader, as openings are in high demand. Season is typically around September 10-18 for bulls.
A drop camp hunt for up to 4 hunters is $8,500 for the group.

Unit 20 Dates:

Unit 20 Typical Dates: Varies from year to year so check with us. This is only a rough idea:
August – September – Need 2 points or voucher.
October 2nd rifle season – Need 4 points or voucher.
November 3rd rifle season – Need 4 points or voucher.
November – January special late season – Need 4 points or voucher.
January 16-21 special late season – Need 6 points or voucher.

Wilderness elk drop camps:  Apply for licenses by April 1st (guaranteed to draw) or buy landowner voucher if booked after April 1st. Info appears below.

The outfitter has two wilderness drop camps available. Price is $8,500 for the full camp. The camp will accommodate up to four hunters. The good news is the outfitter has elk landowner vouchers available for archery for $250 and for $500 for rifle. The area is a limited draw so there are fewer hunters here. The outfitter packs-in the hunters, packs out their game, and packs the hunters out at the end of the week. A full camp is provided complete with game bags and topo maps. Hunters bring their own food, duffle bag, weapon, sleeping bag in a stuff sack, and a daypack. The outfitter requires hunters rent a SAT phone so they can call the outfitter when they have elk down. The camp consists of spacious 12 x 18 wall tents plus a geodesic storage tent. There are comfortable cots with pads, table and stools, cooking gear, cook stoves, wood stove, fuel, lantern, axe, shovel, saw, etc… The outfitter has seven drop camps, but only uses two or three at a time so they can rotate camps and keep elk in the area. The outfitter is the only licensed elk/deer outfitter permitted in the wilderness area.  

Vouchers: These average  $250 to $500, which we think is a steal! You have avoided years of waiting to draw and wasting money by buying points.

CO8-shiras-moose       CO-8-BIGHORN      CO-8-ANTELOPE

DEER: This outfitter also offers trophy mule deer and whitetail hunts in the northeastern plains of Colorado. The mule deer average 170- 180 inches and the whitetails typically run over 150-inches B & C. A recently harvested whitetail would have scored 212, but it had a broken a G2 and ended up scoring 203 4/8-inches.

10 years ago a client took a non-typical mulie buck that grossed 256-inch B & C and netted 240-inches. There’s the potential for a giant deer of either species.

These six-day hunts are run on private and public land. You can test you luck at drawing a tag, or the outfitter has landowner vouchers for an extra cost. The vouchers mean you avoid waiting to accumulate enough points to draw and buying them every year. 

BIG HORN SHEEP: If it’s a bighorn sheep you want, the outfitter works with some ranchers that get a guaranteed landowner permits through the Ranching for Wildlife program. The cost of the permit varies widely every year – depending on how much the landowner wants for the permit. But the outfitter assures the purchaser you will get your ram. The outfitter hunts units S1, S18, S19, S32, S37, S48, S57, S58 and S61, which are among the best in the state for trophy rams. The outfitter has been 100 percent successful on rams in the 170-inch class.

ANTELOPE: The outfitter hunts three units on private land for antelope hunt in Jackson County. His antelope are very good, well above the norm. Most antelope will average in the mid to high 70-inch range, but clients do take antelope meeting the B & C minimum of 82 inches. Trophies run 14 to over 16 inches with heavy bases.  

The tag is tough to draw, especially a rifle permit, requiring seven preference points. That means 7 years of waiting—BUT- you are in luck as  he normally receives a few landowner permits every year.  The price of the hunt for 3 days, guided, is $2500. The voucher is $500, but saves you years of expense and trying to draw. Lodging and meals are not included, but are readily available nearby. The hunt is guided 2 x 1 using trucks for transportation. The lodging and meals are at the hunter’s expense at a motel/hotel in either Fort Collins or Wellington. There are 24-hour restaurants next to the hotels. The outfitter picks up and drops off the hunters at their room each day and will make sure their pronghorn gets to a processor and/or taxidermist. The guide provides a cooler of drinks for the truck. Pronghorn are generally spotted at long distance and then stalked on foot. These are very good antelope!

 TAGS & LICENSES: All of his hunts, (except for those the outfitter has landowner vouchers for), require drawing a permit. Some units are easier to draw, such as Unit 19 in the Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forest. Others require a number of preference points. Contact us here at BMOA well in advance of the application due date, which is in the first week of April. We will assist you.

VOUCHERS: Vouchers vary in cost. Some are $500- some are $1,000 to $1,500 depending on the landowner/season.  If the hunter has points, he will not need a voucher.

OPEN DATES FOR EASTERN PLAINS BOW HUNTS: Four openings for archery deer at $4,750 plus a $1,000 harvest fee.  Need one point or voucher.  75% harvest success on 170-inch class and better bucks.


Guided Two on One $6,000
Guided One on One $8,000
Drop Camp $8,500

UNIT 20 – All seasons
Guided Two on One Bull Elk or Combo $6,000
Guided One on One $8,000
Bull Harvest Fee $1,000
Deer Harvest Fee $1,000

EASTERN PLAINS DEER Call for pricing

Guided Two on One $4,000
Harvest Fee $1,000

7 Days One on One (must draw tag first) $8,000

3 Days One on One (must draw tag first) $5,000

7 Days One on One (must draw tag first) $5,500
Harvest Fee $1,000

7 Days One on One $5,000

3 Days Guided Two on One $2,500 (meals and lodging extra)