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Hunting Self-Guided, DIY, Trespass Hunts Colorado DIY Elk and Mule Deer Hunts in the San Juan Mountians

Colorado DIY Elk and Mule Deer Hunts in the San Juan Mountians Hot

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Hunt Info

Hunt Type
Archery
Game Type
Unguided Hunts Available
Yes

Location

Location
USA
GMU
  • 70
  • 71
  • 711

Contact Info

Phone
1-800-494-9048

Big Game

Pick your own hunt Guided or DIY with lodging and meals with good access to public land in the prime elk hunting of the Colorado Mountains. You will be hunting public property on foot, horseback or 4 wheel drive truck in South Western part of the state in the San Juan Mountains near Dolores, Telluride and Rico. This outfitter has a very successful business and very successful hunters.

 He has been in the guiding and outfitting business since 1961, providing an affordable, top quality hunts for trophy Rocky Mountain Elk and Colorado Mule Deer to our clients. Each year up to 85% of their clients return that have hunted with them before, many for more than eight years. 

More "bragging-size" mule deer and trophy elk are taken from San Juan Mountain hunts than from any other area of Colorado.

 The official record books and hunt publications continue to list Southwest Colorado's San Juan National Forest lands for producing record book animals. They are located in the heart of this prime hunting area (unit 71) between Telluride and Dolores near Rico. All our Colorado big game hunts are conducted on National Forest Lands.

This area covers 2,800-square-miles from the west side of the Uncompahgre Plateau to the Utah state line and south to the New Mexico border. Habitat throughout these GMUs is favorable for big game. With altitude ranging from about 5,000 feet to about 12,000 feet, the vegetation ranges from desert shrubs to grasses, to pinyon/juniper and aspen/conifer forests, and eventually alpine tundra. Weather can change quickly, so be prepared. Vehicle access is easy in these areas; consequently, hunting pressure is heavy on public lands.

Travel in the Lizard Head Wilderness Area in GMU071 is by foot and horseback only. Most of unit 72 and the western sections of GMU070 and GMU711 is desert terrain. Consequently, these areas are least productive for elk.

Be aware of private land in the northern sections of GMUs 71 and 711, and in the southern section of GMU 70. The southern half of units GMU072 and GMO73 is tribal land. Hunting by non-tribal members is prohibited.

 

 

Deer Hunting

 

Overall, the deer population in the northern GMU’s 70, 71, 711 is improving but still low, buck-to-doe ratio is low and fawn survival is poor. Consequently, doe licenses have been cut by 50 percent and buck

licenses by 25 percent. Harvest reduction has helped the population to start rebuilding. Deer population is stable in the southern units. In the early seasons, deer are evenly distributed above 8,000 feet. Deer begin migrating to lower elevations, generally from east to west, in mid-October.

Snow will cause them to move quickly moving toward their winter ranges in Dry Creek Basin, Disappointment Valley and along the Dolores River which is primarily private land. Although deer population is low the percentage of larger than normal bucks is high.

Estimated deer population: 29,000

3-year average sex ratio: 22 bucks per 100 does

 

Season Bucks Does Fawns Harvest Hunters Success 2011/5 year Average by %

Archery    8           11       0            19              81                                   23 / 34

Muzzle   16             4       0             20             50                                   40 / 37

2nd Rifle   98           16       0           114           284                                  40 / 37

3rd Rifle    90            6       0             96           265                                   36 / 43

4th Rifle  14            0        0            14             17                                   82 / 73

 

Elk Hunting

The elk population is holding steady and herds are at objective. This year, cow licenses were reduced slightly to assure that the population remains stable. Animals are distributed widely throughout these units.

Generally, parts of this general area is better early in the season; and other parts are better

as the season progresses. Elk also move quickly into thick aspen and mountain shrub when hunting pressure becomes apparent. The opportunity to see a mature bull is fair.

 

Estimated elk population: 19,500

3-year average sex ratio: 18 bulls per 100 cows

Season Bulls Cows Calves Harvest Hunters Success 2011/5 year Average by %

Archery   72         40        4            116             832                                 14 / 14

Muzzle     0           0         0               0              107                                 20 / 20

1st Rifle    86         99         0           185              534                                35 / 40

2nd Rifle  135        66          4           205             986                                 21 / 22

3rd Rifle    43        25          2             70             515                                 14 / 12

4th Rifle      5        14          1             20               59                                 34 / 25

 

Remember there are deer and elk licenses that aren’t over the counter purchases so you will need to apply for those for GMU071. They are 1st & 4th season elk, all rifle and muzzleloader deer and bear. At times after the draw there is a limited number of licenses left over for a short time but by the hunting seasons they are long gone.

Points usually required drawing the following licenses:

Deer Archery no Draw 100% available license     

Elk Archery Either Sex unlimited 

Deer Muzzleloader 3 points 29%      

Elk Muzzleloader 3 points 40%    

 

Elk 1st season       Either Sex no points drew 72%           

Elk 2nd Season      OC                                       100%                                             

Deer 2nd Season   1 points min                       37%           

Elk 3rd Season      OC                                       100%                                            

Deer 3rd Season   1 points min                       29%        

Elk 4th Season      Either Sex                            95%        

Deer 4th Season   5 points                               82% 

 

Late season GMU 071 Cow licenses (GMU 071 & 072 are tied together in some seasons)

1st     Either Sex   Only not specified Cow 72%

2nd   no points with a 45% draw success

3rd no points with a   45% draw success

4th no points with a   45% draw success

 

Bear all manner of take  

Rifle with caps B-E-071-1R 50% OC w/Cap   

Keep in mind a bear license can only be purchased for you Elk/Deer season dates

 

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2012 Colorado Elk and Mule Deer Hunting Season and License Information

 Muzzleloader, 1st. Rifle Elk, Rifle Cow Elk, and all Deer licenses are available by drawing only. All other licenses can be purchased at the Ranch before each season starts.

 Archery licenses may be purchased after the season opens. Applications for licenses through the drawing process must be submitted by approximately April 1.

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Southwest Colorado Big Game Hunting Packages & Rates

 In promotion of our Youth hunters we provide a 50% Fee Discount for All Youth Ages 12 – 17.

In addition hunting licenses are only $10 for deer and $100 for elk through the Colorado Game, Fish and parks. We sell license right at the lodge for the 2nd & 3rd season and archery for elk.

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 Economy Lodge Hunt

Southwest Colorado elk, mule deer or black bear hunting, with all the comforts of home!

Our Non-Guided Hunt for those who are tired of camping out and want a nice warm bed, hot showers, home-cooked meals, and a large lodge fireplace to sit around in the evenings. Hunting area begins 1/4 mile in any direction from Circle K Ranch lodge. Most of our hunters kill their game within 8 miles of the lodge. This hunt includes 7 nights lodging, all the food, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks you want, our advice on where and how to hunt our area, pack service to get your trophy out, topographic maps and pick up of your party at the Cortez or Telluride airports. This includes everything except sleeping bag, personal gear, transportation for hunting, rifle and game license. 

Archery - Muzzleloader...$1,595 ea.

Rifle Hunts...$1,7955 ea.

Extend your hunt for only $80.00 per night each

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 Guided Elk and Mule Deer Hunts in the San Juan Mountains

Our experienced hunting guides will make your SW Colorado elk or deer hunt a rewarding adventure 

Five day hunt includes seven nights lodging and meals at the ranch, your personal horse, the services of a professional guide and his horse and/or truck. Includes everything except your sleeping bag, personal gear, rifle and game license. 

 

1 on 12 on 13-4 on 1

Archery - Muzzle$4,200$3,500 ea.$3,200 ea.

Rifle Hunts$4,500$3,800 ea.$3,300 ea.

Combo - Hunt, Add$500$400 ea.$300 ea.

 

 

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Drop Camp Elk and Mule Deer Hunts near Dolores and Telluride

 Our drop camp tent set up is in prime habitat for mule deer and elk hunting in the San Juan Mountains

 Complete tent camp with equipment set up. You bring your own food, sleeping bag with foam pad and drop cloth or cot, personal gear, rifle and game license. We provide all the rest and pack you in and back out with game for a 5 to 12 DAY HUNT (plus one day pack in and one day pack out). The Drop Camp Hunt is for those who like to rough it a little, camp out under the stars, and just get close to Mother Nature. Hunting area starts at your tent door. Add the cost of horses if you prefer to have them in camp. 

 Save 30% off the below rates by providing and setting up your own camp gear!

ARCHERY/MUZZLELOADERRIFLE HUNTS

2 hunters/camp$2,100 ea.$2,300 ea.

3 hunters/camp$1,900 ea.$2,100 ea.

4+ hunters/camp$1,800 ea.$2,000 ea.

 

Southwest Colorado Hunting Guide Service

Hunting guides are available on a daily basis subject to availability

 There are times when our fully guided parties bag their deer and elk during the early part of the season. Although you cannot book a guide in advance on a daily basis, we can provide a guide during the hunt subject to his availability. This includes services of a guide and his horse and/or truck. Specify when you book your economy hunt that you want a guide for one or more days if available.

Daily guide fee is in addition to economy fee and includes a horse. Deduct $75 if you booked a horse with your economy hunt or prefer to hunt without a horse. 

                     1 Hunter/Guide........$450/day2 Hunters/Guide...$350/day ea.

 Hunting and Packing Horses

Get back into remote Southwest Colorado elk and deer hunting areas rested and ready for the hunt!

 Our gentle and sure-footed mountain horses will allow you to cover a lot of country! Especially recommended for those who do not exercise regularly or who live near sea level. The full hunt booking (minimum fee) provides you with a horse for up to 12 days and includes tack, feed and daily trailering to local trail heads. Daily delivery and pickup of horses applies only to clients staying at the ranch. Our horses are usually booked up (by the hunt) well in advance of each hunt. Daily rental of horses is therefore subject to availability during the hunt and may not be reserved in advance. Colorado Guide and Outfitter Association Rental Forms are used. Horse rental fees shown are for those who have booked a hunt with us. Add 10% without a booked hunt. 

Archery-Muzzleloader...$5601st & 2nd Rifle Hunts...$590 

3rd & 4th Rifle Hunt.....$500Daily Rental..................$125 

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Cabin Rentals for Self-Service Hunts

Rent a hunting cabin if you are a do-it yourself hunter who wants minimal assistance

 We have a few nice 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom cabins if you prefer doing your own cooking. Each is equipped with gas heating and cooking stoves, bathroom with shower, refrigerator, electricity, cooking and dish utensils. Just bring your bedroll, linens, food and personal gear. Horses, guides, game pack, etc. are at extra cost if contracted. The minimum is a six night booking. 

One or two hunters...$235/night - each additional person...$65/night

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 Questions and Answers: Hunting with us.

 The following is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions regarding our hunting services. We trust the answers will help you determine more readily whether or not we provide the type or hunt you are seeking. 

 Q. What type of weather conditions and terrain can we expect? 

Terrain varies from large expanses of relatively flat mesas (Taylor, Haycamp, and Stoner) to very rough and steep mountains and canyons. Most areas are a combination of heavily timbered forest with small meadows or Aspen areas. During September, nights are cool (30-40 degrees) with generally warm days (50-65 degrees). The nights are colder in October (10-35 degrees) with days ranging 30-65 degrees. Light to moderate snow in October at high elevations. November usually brings moderate amounts of snow in the last part of the season. Nights are 0-30 degrees with days ranging 25-50 degrees. We're talking about Colorado weather now, so don't pin us in on these estimates. 

 Q. Will we be hunting on private or forest service lands? 

All hunting is on San Juan National Forest lands. The Ranch is on 77 acres, surrounded by forest service lands in GMU071. 

 Q. What are your success rates for elk and/or deer? 

Individual hunting parties have enjoyed as high as 100% success to no kill. If your group is experienced elk or deer hunters and you work hard at hunting you can expect about a 50% kill on average (guided hunts) and 34% kill average (non-guided). The first rifle (draw) hunts 46%. 

 Q. What is the best time or season to hunt elk and/or deer? 

Deer archery hunters, anytime during the season. Elk archers during the rut (generally mid to late September). Rifle deer hunters during the October seasons. For elk rifle hunters the first rifle (draw) hunt is the premier hunt 

 Q. How many hunters do you book per hunt? 

Drop camps average 4 hunters per camp. Number of hunters hunting from the lodge averages about 20 for the first and about 30 for the second rifle hunts, 15 for the third season. Archery and muzzleloader hunts average 10 to 20 with the highest number during the combined muzzleloader archery week. 

 Q. Are there facilities at the ranch for our wives and what is the cost? 

Yes, wives are welcome, and we provide you with private lodging. Non-hunting spouses are at one-half the "Economy Rate". 

 Q. Where is the nearest airport and will you pick us up there? 

Cortez airport is 36 miles from the ranch. We will provide transportation to the Ranch for those flying in. Telluride airport (40 mi.) is another option. 

 Q. Are 4x4 vehicles required getting to good hunting areas? 

They certainly have an advantage in wet or snow conditions; however, two wheel drive trucks or front wheel drive vehicles with chains are adequate. Most years you will not need the chains. 

 Q. Should we rent horses, or is most hunting done by foot or vehicle? 

About half our hunters use horses. If you're not in top physical condition they can be a lifesaver. Six main trails leave from or close by the Ranch. It's basically a personal choice or preference. A horse will enable you to cover more ground with less effort. 

Q. Where can we buy our licenses? 

Licenses may be purchased at the Ranch (all archery elk and all antlered elk except for the first rifle season). Muzzleloader, 1st Rifle Elk, Cow Elk, and all deer tags are by drawing only thru the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW). 

 

 Q. Do you have facilities for keeping the meat? 

Commercial processing of your game is available in Cortez, 36 miles from the Ranch. We have a large walk-in cooler and work area if you prefer to process the game yourself. A freezer is also available at the ranch. 

Q. Do you provide a pack-in service where we provide all camp equipment? 

Yes, we will pack you and your equipment into a location of your choice. The Fee is 30% off our drop camp fees and includes game pack. 

 Q. What do we need to bring in way of clothing, personal gear, and bedroll? 

Dress for the season you will be hunting. Several changes of clothing (including gloves) are important, should you get wet. All hunters need to bring their own sleeping bag or bedroll, towels washcloths, a compass, flashlight, and container to keep matches dry are recommended. For those booking drop camps, please try to keep each man’s gear down to one duffle bag, plus bedroll. A detailed list is provided when you book your hunt. 

Q. Is there any good fishing close by it we happen to fill our tags early? 

Yes, the Dolores River runs right in front of the lodge and Trout Lake is just 25 miles up the road, so bring your fishing gear. Rainbow trout is the main catch. 

Q. Do you offer any group discounts or other discounts? 

Yes, a 5% discount for 6 to 9 hunters, and a 10% discount for 10 or more hunters in a party. Bunkhouse lodging required for group discounts. Repeat client discount: 1 prior year - 5%, 2+ prior years - 10%. Guided hunts limited to a 5% discount. No discounts for cabin bookings. 

Q. What about alcoholic beverages? 

We don't provide or recommend them. If you bring your own, please confine your drinking to your cabin or room.  Any drunk or disorderly conduct will not be tolerated and be a reason to be asked to leave the property. There are too many guns and people here to allow this type of risk. Also be advised that alcohol can affect your more body at the higher altitude than it does at a lower altitude, the ranch is a 8000 feet.

Current Weather Conditions

http://www.wunderground.com/US/CO/Rico.html?bannertypeclick=smalltemptr

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                                                 Other Attractions in the Area

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK

Tour the world's largest collection of ancient cliff dwellings right here in southwest Colorado! Mesa Verde National Park is the archaeological gem of the southwest. The National Park features a museum, exhibits, arts and crafts, gift shops, a book store, restaurants, self-tours and ranger guided tours; open year-round. Approximately 50 miles from Circle K Guest Ranch.

For more information visit:Mesa Verde Country® website • Mesa Verde National Park website

 

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 DURANGO SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD

Ride this historic steam powered narrow gauge railroad from Durango to Silverton through 45 miles of spectacular canyons and peaks. May through October and a winter train. Advanced reservations recommended. Approximately 70 miles Ranch. 

For more information visit: Durango

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 TELLURIDE, COLORADO

A National Historic District, well known for its terrific powder skiing and litany of eclectic festivals. Cultural events every summer weekend: Bluegrass, Chamber Music, Jazz Celebration, Wine Festival and the internationally acclaimed Film Festival. Activities: Jeeping, Rafting, ride the ski gondola free of charge in summer and winter. Approximately 38 miles Ranch. 

For more information visit: Official

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 DOLORES, COLORADO

Anasazi Heritage Center and Museum, located just outside of Dolores, is part of the new Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, and features self-guided tours, archaeological exhibits and the Escalante and Dominguez Ancestral Puebloan sites. Dolores is well known for excellent cross country ski trails and is home to McPhee Lake, the second largest body of water in Colorado, which features a marina, fishing and water sports. Approximately 26 miles from Ranch. 

For more information visit:Dolores, Colorado Chamber website

 

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 RICO, COLORADO

Historic 1880's Colorado mining town, Rico features an historic walking tour, mountain biking, backpacking, off-road driving, cross-country skiing, and brilliant fall colors on the San Juan Skyway National Scenic Byway. Approximately 10 miles from Ranch. 

For more information visit:Town of Rico website

 

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 MOUNTAIN LAKES

Photographic opportunities abound in our spectacular high country! This lake is just one example of the magnificent mountain lakes of southwest Colorado, within 20 miles of Ranch. 

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 RIVER RAFTING

For thrill seekers who enjoy the challenge of shooting the rapids, whitewater river rafting is available in Durango and Telluride, Colorado. 

For more information visit: River Rafting in Telluride • River Rafting in Durango

 

 

 

 

 

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Limited License/Preference Points page.

Although the deadline is over, there is still a chance to obtain licenses. There are deer and elk licenses left over. See the Leftover List. You may also buy over the counter licenses. 

The Regulations Brochure can be viewed online and printed.

Nonresidents apply at the same time and on the same application forms as resident hunters. They may purchase an over-the-counter license just the same as resident hunters. 

 

 Maps of Colorado: Includes local, state and federal government, Colorado counties, political and administrative districts, commercial map sites and GIS related links. 

 U.S. Forest Service: Information and maps 

 USGS: Topographic Maps 

 Colorado Bureau of Land Management: Information and maps

More Links 

 Click» for more big game hunting links and Colorado hunting information

 

 

 

 

 

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 Colorado License Fees 

Deer (Mule or Whitetail)

Resident Adult……………………………….…….... $   34

Resident Youth…………………………………...…. $   14

Non-resident Adult…………………………….…… $ 334

Non-Resident Youth…………………………….…. $ 104

 

Elk (Bull or Either Sex)

Resident Adult……………………………….…….... $    49

Resident Youth…………………………………...…. $    14

Non-resident Adult…………………………….…… $ 554

Non-Resident Youth…………………………….…. $ 104

 

Elk (Cow)

Resident Adult……………………………….…….... $    49

Resident Youth…………………………………...…. $    14

Non-resident Adult…………………………….…… $ 354

Non-Resident Youth…………………………….…. $ 104

 

Antelope

Resident Adult……………………………….…….... $    34

Resident Youth…………………………………...…. $    14

Non-resident Adult…………………………….…… $ 334

Non-Resident Youth…………………………….…. $ 104

 

Moose

Resident Adult……………………………….…….... $     254

Resident Youth…………………………………...…. $     254

Non-resident Adult…………………………….…… $ 1,844

Non-Resident Youth…………………………….…. $ 1,844

 

Bear

Resident Adult……………………………….…….... $   44

Resident Youth…………………………………...…. $   44

Non-resident Adult…………………………….…… $ 354

Non-Resident Youth…………………………….…. $ 354

 

Sheep( Rocky Mountain & Desert )

Resident Adult……………………………….…….... $     254

Resident Youth…………………………………...…. $     254

Non-resident Adult…………………………….…… $ 1,844

Non-Resident Youth…………………………….…. $ 1,844

 

Goat

Resident Adult……………………………….…….... $    254

Resident Youth…………………………………...…. $    254

Non-resident Adult…………………………….…… $ 1,844

Non-Resident Youth…………………………….…. $ 1,844

 

Turkey

Resident Adult……………………………….…….... $    24

Resident Youth…………………………………...…. $    14

Non-resident Adult…………………………….…… $ 104

Non-Resident Youth…………………………….…. $    79

 

All Hunters require 1 Conservation Stamp..$ 10.00

License Application Deadline March 31st with only a few left over licenses after that ! 

Additionally, persons aged 19 - 64 are required to buy a Habitat Stamp for $10 the first Colorado hunting licenses purchased that year.

Hunter Safety Card required for hunters born after 1949. It is not required to be a Colorado Hunter Safety Card it can be from another state. There is also an on-line hunter Safety Class available.

The link to the Colorado Game & Fish web page is: http://wildlife.state.co.us/

303-297-1192 and mailing address is 6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216

 

Additionally, persons aged 19 - 64 are required to buy a Habitat Stamp for $10 the first Colorado hunting licenses purchased that year.

Hunter Safety Card required for hunters born after 1949. It is not required to be a Colorado Hunter Safety Card it can be from another state. There is also an on-line hunter Safety Class available.

The link to the Colorado Game & Fish web page is: http://wildlife.state.co.us/

303-297-1192 and mailing address is 6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216

 

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