Welcome to the center of the world, the place where east meets west, the plains meet the mountains, the elk and the deer meet the antelope. From here you can drive to any place in the United States or even fly there. You are not only in the place where you hunt in the highest elk density in the world, but you are in the legendary elk capitol of the United States, the famous Craig Colorado. From this town of 10,000 people draw an imaginary 100-mile circle and you will not find anywhere that a circle of this size can encompass so many elk. The NW corner of the state is home to over half of the states 455,000 elk. If you come to Craig to see people you may as well stay home.
If you came here to see elk don’t waste another minute come, see where the elk are made and the highest elk density in the world wraps around you like the glamor of nature at its finest. Colorado is home to the largest elk population in the world and within this big game hunting mecca, Moffat County boasts to two of the largest migratory elk herds in North America and is also a hunting hot spot for deer, antelope and small game. With over 20,000 acres to hunt on 7 different ranches you will be swimming in prime private land and enjoying the success it provides.
That is important to an elk hunter but there continues to be more as Craig unfolds to welcome you in to the hunt of your life. Craig is a bustling town with an extremely strong pro guns attitude that is as strong as its pro-hunting attitude that is extremely refreshing in today’s world. Friendly town it is, don’t hesitate to say high when you meet someone on the street, they will certainly say hi back. The area is known for its record class Mule deer and not to be slighted the pronghorn Antelope that thrive here have the very rare genes to be able to put the sportsman that kills one in the Boone and Crockett or Pope and Young record book, not to mention SCI’s book also.
Cow elk hunt $ 1995 reduced to only $1495. You must have at least 1 bull hunter per cow hunter to qualify. This in turn will add to the quality level and the success of the hunt because the elk and deer populations in this are or one of the fasted growth areas in the state. I always recommend having one hunter in the group to have a cow license because you will see more cows than bulls.
Archery Hunting is broken down into 1,2,3 and 4th weeks and each is a 5 day hunt each one for each of the weeks from the last days of August to where the season ends toward the end of September. The maximum is 4 hunters per week. These are mostly local elk, so they pattern very well but are also very aware of changes in their environment. In addition, we have some that are pushed over the fence from an adjacent property that hunts their property hard during the September rut which always brings more elk over the fence to some of our non-Grazed private property. removed from these hunt options because a few muzzleloaders are ok, but the bulk of the best hunting is during the rifle seasons.
Most archery hunting follows a schedule like this.
August 30-September 5th Is usually not hunted.
2nd, 3rd and 4th Elk Seasons Below
5 Day Elk (1st 1/2 of Season) $ 2600 Reduced Down to only..……(1-6 on 1 guiding)…………...$ 2395
4 Day Elk (Last 1/2 of Season) $ 2600 Reduced Down to only..……( 1-6 on 1 guiding)…….…...$ 1995
5 Day Elk (1st 1/2 of Season) $ 3500 Reduced Down to only..….…( 1-6 on 1 guiding)…………..... $ 2395
4 Day Elk (Last 1/2 of Season) $ 3000 Reduced Down to only..……( 1-6 on 1 guiding)……..……....$ 1995
5 Day Elk $ 3000 Reduced Down to only..……( 1-6 on 1 guiding)…………………………………..……....$ 2395
Any Season Cow elk 4 or 5 day $1595
Combination Hunt is the price above and the second animal is $ 995 if 3rd animal $ 995 as well
we are talking adding a cow elk or buck deer.
December Cow Elk Hunt 1 Hunter $ 2000 discounted down to only ….…………( 1-6 on 1 guiding)……….$ 1595
December Cow Elk Hunt 2 Hunter $ 2000 discounted down to only ………………( 1-6 on 1 guiding) …….$ 1495
December Cow Elk Hunt 3 Hunter $ 2000 discounted down to only …………………( 1-6 on 1 guiding) ….$ 1395
December Cow Elk Hunt 4 Hunter $ 2000 discounted down to only …………………( 1-6 on 1 guiding) ….$ 1295
Because of this outfitter high harvest rate, he can do more than the conventual hunt. It may be 2 on 1 in the morning but 6-1 during mid-day. Elk bed down in low bowls of sandhill in CRP Grass, sage or other grasses. His elk density is so high because he doesn’t even graze the 20,000 acres like the other outfitters.
Elk lay down during mid-day so we spot them in these bowls. We put 4 of 6 hunters in the elks escape route. Then two hunters go in from the opposite direction and jump them and shoot theirs. The other 4 fill their elk licenses with the exiting elk.
We have a special guided on private land cow hunt that you must apply for to get a license. It is November 27-29.
This is such a good season you will seldom see any other hunters during this season because this is a couple of weeks since the bull elk hunters have gone home, and the cows have settled down. Hunt code on this one is:
E-F-003-P5-R and the hunt is the end of November.
(There is a small fee for hunters per day after the 3 days if you still have an open tag which has never happened yet but just in case. Usually this is someone that has a problem getting the elk to run where his bullet is flying.
The December Late Cow hunt elk License for the month of December Requires 1 point to draw. E-F-003-L1-R
This is a highly successful 3-day hunt that usually takes place in late December and has ample opportunity to be filled on the 1st day.
2nd, 3rd and 4th Mule Deer Seasons Below
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife has announced that they are going to increase the number of licenses issue for Deer this year to remove more of the older Deer from the area. It will lower the points required to draw a Mule deer License. This may be the year you draw a deer license for this prime deer area in Colorado.
5 Day Deer (1st 1/2 of Season) $ 2900 Reduced Down to only..……( 2 on 1 guiding)…………...$ 2295
4 Day Deer (Last 1/2 of Season) $ 2900 Reduced Down to only..……( 2 on 1 guiding)…….…...$ 1995
3rd Season Rut Hunt
5 Day Deer (1st 1/2 of Season) $ 3700 Reduced Down to only..….…( 2 on 1 guiding)……………...$ 2695
4 Day Deer (Last 1/2 of Season) $ 3700 Reduced Down to only..……( 2 on 1 guiding)……………..$ 2695
4rd Season Rut Hunt
5 Day Deer (1st 1/2 of Season) $ 4700 Reduced Down to only..….…( 2 on 1 guiding)……………...$ 2995
*Add $ 1000 for 1 on 1 guiding in the hunts above
Adult Youth Landowner
Hunt Code List Res NonRes Res NonRes Unrestricted Restricted
A Drawn Out At 0 Pref Points 0 Pref Points Choice 2 0 Pref Points Leftover Choice 3 None Drawn
# Drawn at Final Level 125 of
377 56 of
149 4 of 12 4 of 8 3 of 3 N/A
A Drawn Out At 0 Pref Points 0 Pref Points Choice 2 0 Pref Points Leftover Choice 2 Leftover Choice 3
# Drawn at Final Level 141 of
150 185 of
195 10 of 36 4 of 4 1 of 17 3 of 3
A Drawn Out At 0 Pref Points 0 Pref Points Choice 2 0 Pref Points 0 Pref Points Choice 2
# Drawn at Final Level 46 of 129 103 of
270 4 of 27 12 of 19 40 of 87 8 of 80
Antelope Archery, Muzzleloader or Rifle 2 day Semi-Guided on Best of 20,000 acres
2 Day Private Land Semi-Guided $ 2500 discounted Down to $1395 Early-First 5 Days/Later in the season $ 995
A Drawn Out At 4 Pref Points 4 Pref Points 4 Pref Points None Drawn 0 Pref Points 0 Pref Points
# Drawn at Final Level 42 of 58 1 of 1 2 of 4 N/A 2 of 18 11 of 17
Adult Youth Landowner
Hunt Code List Res NonRes Res NonRes Unrestricted Restricted
A Drawn Out At 10 Pref Points 11 Pref Points None Drawn No Apps 4 Pref Points 1 Pref Points
# Drawn at Final Level 7 of 8 2 of 2 N/A N/A 1 of 1 1 of 1
A Drawn Out At 13 Pref Points 13 Pref Points None Drawn None Drawn 1 Pref Points 0 Pref Points
# Drawn at Final Level 15 of 46 5 of 9 N/A N/A 21 of 25 24 of 48
B Drawn Out At 1 Pref Points 1 Pref Points 1 Pref Points 1 Pref Points 1 Pref Points 0 Pref Points
# Drawn at Final Level 157 of
171 19 of 22 21 of 22 2 of 2 27 of 39 22 of 45
If the outfitter deems it is more successful to hunt a 3 or 4, 5 or even 6 hunters on 1 guide to surround the herds so they don’t have an exit route where they can get out without being show the outfitter will do so. In this way he can take advantage of the 20,000 acres.
This hunt uses more team work and hunt coordination to make each hunter in the group successful. The guide will coordinate the hunt and the locations of each hunter to post in an area or walk through an area to provide shots from the elk moving away from the hunters and to those posted in specific areas. This works well if some enjoy walking where others are better at staying in a location, they have been placed to receive the pushed elk.
There is 1 very important rule here and it is that the hunters must follow the guide’s direction. To be effective as a guide and successful as a hunter the guide must be able to have the cooperation of all members. In all situations some hunter will get shots while others don’t. That is the nature of the hunt but in multiple days all should be able to see elk and weather they tag out or not depends on their shooting skill. The guide has year and year of elk hunting in general and years on this property. He knows not only the ground but the way the elk usually move through the draws and gullies when in the migration corridor or fleeing from danger. This skill and knowledge is essential to continue to have the high success that this special hunt provides. There will only be 1 of these hunts for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th rifle seasons. The hunt is discounted to even make this hunt lower in price.
Without this cooperation the guide has the option to cancel the hunt.
2nd animal hunts as adding a buck deer or a cow elk to an existing bull elk hunt is $1500 reduced
down to only $795 this year.
To be successful here you will want to be with a local outfitter, someone that was born and raised here living among these great animals and hunting them at a young age. Then becoming so proficient received his outfitting license early on and has many years of outfitting and guiding to show and build his skill and animal knowledge.
This is your outfitter, a man that has probably seen more elk drop at a shot then most of us have ever seen anywhere at any time. His properties are vast and lay game full in in units GMU003, GMU301, GMU004 and GMU441. Colorado has some of the most complex license application in the nation, rules like this make up that complexity.
Early seasons, September finds the elk in the high country for rut in GMU004 and GMU441, but this outfitter is very oriented to success and since his acreage only has local elk and no migrants at that time he chooses to not hunt the September seasons. They will be dodging arrows and muzzleloader bullets during September as they hear the cow call of many new ladies and the bugles of bulls that have never been heard in these parts as the archers and muzzleloader
When mid-August rolls out of the summer heat the archers and their tent blinds on waterholes begin to pop up like mushroom after a heavy rain. The antelope hunting all takes place in the flat to rolling terrain of GMU003 and GMU301. This is a great “Low Impact” hunt, one for the youth for his first big game animal or a senior citizen that has not given up and want to hunt with him boys and shoot antelope, the time and the success together will be cherished for the years that make up the rest of their lives.
With September just, a memory the Pronghorn antelope slips in under the cover of darkness during the 1st week in October and they are greeted by the antelope hunters toting rifles and the only tents by the water holes are the ones that the hunters are camped in during this usually mild weather.
The deer and elk stay for the most part in the cooler temperatures in GMU004 and GMU441 for their archer, muzzleloader and first couple of gun seasons before they slowly migrate down to the Craig Valley floor where some will spend the winter and others continue south to the Yampa River Valley and Axel basin to spend the winter.
This outfitter learned this migration pattern at an early age and knew that you had to have mountain private land as well as land in the valley if you wanted to hunt all three animals during all seasons.
This is exactly what you will be hunting, where the animals that you have a license for are at the time of your season. Not be told “they are not here yet, or they are below us like many are told each year by other outfitters. The words to remember,” Don’t miss the Flow!”
These hunts are all about having a safe and good hunt with a guide and outfitter that have lived here most if not all of their lives hunting and guiding this honey hole of hunting. The hunt includes the hunt, guided to the degree of semi-guided with both of you having the same goal, that is to meet the large Rocky Mountain Elk, the largest of the species face to face on his terms and to see who wins the right to brag or eat crow the next day depending on the outcome of the contacted opportunity.
Lodging and meals are the hunter’s responsibility and the outfitter will provide you with motel phone numbers in Craig that he recommends for his hunters and where you will all meet for breakfast early the first morning to head out in the darkness together after plans with maps, guides and hunters all in the loop. This is the first day of the rest of your life. You are going out west on a famous Colorado elk hunt that will build memories that data confirms that hunters enjoy enough that they return year after year.
You will be required to meet the outfitter at a prearranged location at a specific time early in the morning to start your hunt. If you are late and everyone had gone stay in your car with your cell phone and depending on how the day goes they might be able to get back to you. Do not go in the property without the outfitter or guides knowledge.
Time has taught him about people or hunters. It is not a first-timer hunt for many and they mainly need access to private land where a “Land Stewart” has protected the land and made certain that the animals you are after are there when you get there.
What makes western hunter successful, or unsuccessful?
The other reason is many are short range ground blind whitetail hunters. The farthest they have ever shot is 50 yards in eastern whitetail states. Because of this a 300 or even 200 yard shot is out of the question. We have had them refuse to shoot an elk standing at 200 yards because they felt it was too far. If they do shoot they shoot that far standing up instead of with a rest or better yet laying down.
I recommend everyone to shoot a 300 yards target before coming out west. An elk is huge with a chance twice the size of a deer. (15x15 vs 36x36) so in theory shooting an elk at 200 years is like shooting a deer at 100 yards. If you can do well on paper at 300 yards you will be one of the 75% not the 25%. I also recommend shooting laying down on the ground this skill is difficult for many to lie down on the ground when hunting but this or to some degree with a rest is an important skill to build. Finally getting from a walking position to down on the ground in a solid position with shooting sticks low or resting the forearm of the rifle on a solid rest is a times even with elk hunting. You only have so much time to get from walking to pulling the trigger before the bull moves of out of sight. These are free ranging elk not high fence elk. They will do everything possible for them to be difficult to shoot, and for that we have no control but will do our best to give you an opportunity for a shot.
I have personally hunted in this area for 35 years and never gone home without an elk. You can’t find a denser population in the world then the private land you will be hunting in an area known as the elk capitol of the world. Even the public land elk move into the already high number on the private land as soon as the first shot is fired. The lead cow has been doing it for 15 years and they keep doing it generation after generations because it gets so little pressure in comparison to the public land which is wall to wall blaze orange. The public land hunter does a good job of moving even more elk than we already have into our private property. Our private property is pre-scouted before the hunts and local herds spotted. Those have the public land herd by noon on the 1st day. Moving elk are an easier target than the local herds because they are not as familiar with the private property escape routes, while your guide is. If the elk are moving, they are everywhere. Just like deer though if they decide to lie down and hold up, they will still be there but must be spotted in their beds unless they get up to feed or migrate.
Lodging is not included but here are some good options.
Would allow us to bring a self-contained RV to stay in on the property is a question we get asked but due to the fire danger during the hunting season which is usually announced by the forest service is extreme camping of any type is not allowed on the property. Better yet though is in the town of Craig is a KOA camp ground dedicated to hunters in the fall. It has a large game pole, for skinning and hanging you elk to cool. They provide anything that relates to hanging deer and elk along with hunting.
In addition, I contract for extremely reduced rates in a nice chain Motel in town that is usually $ 90 per night. The discount that my hunters get is 2 hunters 1 room 2 beds, a free breakfast each all for $30 each, while rooms are available. They do fill quickly at that rate of course even with a 70-room motel.
This outfitter books up early each year so by now some slots are already filled.
Keep the point required in your mind when you put in for a license this year. You can put in for an elk point then get an elk license over the counter when you arrive in Colorado for the 2nd or 3rd seasons.
I always recommend putting in for a deer point also because with 0 points there are very few areas that you can get a deer license. I recommend putting in for a deer point then next year you will be able to draw a mule deer license for this area, which has fantastic Mule Deer hunting.
If you would like to shoot a mule deer there is only about a 50% chance of drawing one for private land with no points and you will be running into deer all day when you are elk hunting. I recommend putting in for a deer point this year, so you will have one for next year or if you do want to hunt deer with your elk this year then put in for a deer and you will automatically either draw or get a point. Ask Greg for details on how you can build your points and hunt the best areas every year.
Also 2nd and 3rd season Bull Elk Licenses are available over the counter.
Possible left-over licenses in some categories announced in July and sold first come first serve in August.
In all 4 units there is archery, muzzleloader, 1, 2, 3 and 4 hunting seasons. Of course, during some season, the better hunting maybe east or west of Highway 13 which is the paved road going north out of Craig and on to Baggs, Wyoming.
Which GMU or Game Management Unit you will be hunting during a specific date is all perfectly planned out to provide you with the most opportunity for taking home a big buck or bull.
Please plan on arriving a day early for your hunts to get settled in and meet the outfitter at 5 PM for the details for the next day’s hunt with the outfitter and understand the plan for the next morning.
Trophy Mule Deer hunt in GMU003, GMU301, GMU004 and GMU441. There are only 2 hunts per year on 20,000 acres of private land. You can anticipate a 20-28” wide buck or bigger. It is the beginning of the rut and the big timber bucks are coming down to the lower altitudes but the rut and pushed by winter. The hunt is the last 4 days of the 3rd season usually beginning around the 5th of November. Weather can rush the rut or retard it depend on Mother Nature. The hunter will need to provide the license either by a draw or buy a voucher to be able to get the license. Landowner Voucher usually runs about $ 1700 when available for Deer and about $1000 for antelope.
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Note: Hunter Safety card required for anyone born after January 1, 1949. If you don’t have one it can easily be obtained by taking a test on-line. Don’t wait until the last minute to do it, since many will and you may have difficulty getting in online. Also If you need assistance applying for a license feel free to ask for our assistance. Application date is in March so make preparations early so you have the best opportunity get the license you require.
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Colorado Hunting Season Dates
Elk & Deer …………………………………………………… August 25 – September 23
Moose ………………………………………………………… Sept 8 – 23
Pronghorn(bucks only) …………………………….. August 15 – 31
Pronghorn (either sex) …………………………….. September 1 – 20
Deer/Elk/Moose …………..……………………………… September 8 – 16
Plains Deer east of I-25 …………………………….…. October 13 – 21
Pronghorn ………………….……………………………..… September 21 – 29
Moose …………………………….…………………………. October 1 – 14
1st Season Elk only ………..…………………………… October 13 – 17
2nd Season Deer/Elk Combined ………………… October 20 – 28
3rd Season Deer/Elk Combined …………………. November 3 – 11
4th Season Elk (limited Deer) ….………………….. November 14 – 18
Pronghorn (sex Defined) PLO ……………………. August 29 – 10-14
Pronghorn (sex Defined) Public ……………….... October 6 – 12
Plains Deer east of I-25 Early……………………..…. October 27 – 11-6
Plains Deer east of I-25 Late………….…………..…. December 1 – 14
Plains Whitetail east of I-25 ………….…………..…. October 1 – 26
Plains Whitetail east of I-25 ………….…………..…. November 7 – 30
Plains Whitetail east of I-25 ………….…………..…. December 15 – 31
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Important Note: Anyone ages 18-64 MUST purchase a Habitat Stamp in order to buy or apply for a preference point or for a hunting or fishing license. For more information, see Habitat Stamp Basics.
Elk, Bull or Either Sex
Pronghorn, Buck or Doe
*All prices include a 25-cent search-and-rescue fee, a 75-cent surcharge for the Wildlife Management Education Fund and a $3 application fee for limited licenses applied for in the draw. *Nonresident fishing licenses are good through March 31.
Welcome to the Pro-Staff Team in Discounted Hunts. If you have a hunting buddy that wants on the Pro-Staff team list I will place them on it with your endorsement. Thank-You, Greg Merriam.
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