Colorado Unit 30 Hunting Information

Overview of GMU 30 Hunting Facts

Colorado Unit 30, located on the western side of Colorado on the Utah border, is esteemed as a region with a healthy population of big game. With the Colorado River running along the southern border and the Demaree Canyon Wilderness Study Area located in this unit, this area offers a lot of inhabitable lands. However, the terrain is very steep and very rugged. That being said, SOME hunters shy away from this unit because portions are difficult to navigate. Nevertheless, if you are a physically conditioned hunter looking for an adventure, this unit would perfectly suit you. The availability of OTC elk tags does add some hunting pressure, but there are 420,000 acres of public land to go around and spread out. Don’t be afraid to hike off the beaten path into the remote areas for solitude and unpressured wildlife.  For more Colorado Unit 30 hunting information, check the Info for Cities Near Unit 30 section on the right.

Table of Contents

Unit 30 Species Hunting Info

  • Mule Deer Sihouette Unit 30 Mule Deer
  • Elk Silhouette        Unit 30 Elk       

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 30

Trophy potential for mule deer in Colorado unit 30 measures 170” and up with the average quality ranging from 140” – 160”. The physical demands of Unit 30 combined with the thriving mule deer population create a perfect combination for a fun, yet challenging, hunting venture. The archery and muzzleloader seasons are going to be best approached in the higher elevation areas of the unit. The lower valleys and canyons are most successfully hunted in the rifle seasons when the herds descend from the snow-covered peaks. Considering the rut, decoy hunting is a victorious tactic implemented during the late rifle seasons. Whether you are decoy hunting, still hunting, or stalk hunting, this unit has proven successful for killing big deer.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 30

5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
Archery 35%
Muzzle Loader 40%
2nd Rifle 48%
3rd Rifle 70%

Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 30 Colorado

Average Quality 160″ – 180″
Trophy Potential 180″ & occasional 200″ buck
Buck to Doe Ratio 40:100

Colorado Unit 30 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 30

With the availability of OTC elk tags in some seasons, the hunting pressure is higher than in other units. However, as mentioned above, the harsh landscape deters a high majority of the hunters who will most likely hunt closer to the roads and avoid the physically demanding remote areas. This is an opportunity for hunters that are up to the task and challenge to take advantage of. Stay informed about property lines as this unit has several acres of private land. The numerous rocky cliffs provide an ideal overlook for glassing the herds descending from the higher elevations as the winter ramps up. 

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 30

5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 10%
Muzzle Loader 20%
1st Rifle 15%
2nd Rifle 18%
3rd Rifle 14%
4th Rifle 18%

Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 30 Colorado

Average Quality 260″ – 300″
Trophy Potential 320″+
Bull to Cow Ratio 24:100

Colorado Unit 30 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

Info for Cities Near Unit 30

Lay of the Land in Unit 30

Total Acreage: 555,000 acres over 876 square miles

Total Public Land: 420,000 acres or 76%

Land Ownership Mix: 24% Private; 76% Public; BLM: 408,640 acres; State Land: 704 acres; Other Govt Owned: 3520 acres

Species: Black Bear: Elk, Mule Deer, Moose, Pronghorn

Elevation Variances: 4,450 ft. to 8,980 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Moderate

Land Coverage/Vegetation: 53% shrub/scrub, 21% evergreen forest, 9% cultivated crops, 7% deciduous forest, 3% developed.

Unit 30 Boundaries: (Garfield, Mesa County Colorado) bounded on North by West Salt Creek-Bitter Creek Divide, Evacuation Creek-Salt Creek Divide, and Douglas Creek-Salt Creek Divide; on East by East Salt Creek-Roan Creek Divide, Big Salt Wash-Roan Creek Divide, Little Salt Wash-Roan Creek Divide, and Bookcliffs; on South by Colorado River; on West by Utah

Colorado Unit 30 Topo Map

Terrain in GMU 30 CO

The overall terrain of Unit 30 has been described as unforgiving for some. The rocky inclines and steep canyons can be very taxing when not conditioned. This unit is one that you will want to physically prepare for ahead of time. There are numerous streams and water holes that will draw the wildlife in and allow a hunter to still-hunt from a nearby blind. So, if maneuvering through the rugged terrain is not for you, there are still options for hunting Unit 30.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 30 CO

The vegetation of Colorado hunting Unit 30 is composed of evergreen forests in the higher elevations, sagebrush and graminoid mixtures in the middle elevations, and a blend of oak brush, pinyon pine, juniper, and sagebrush in the lower elevations.

Access Points in GMU 30

Highway 139 runs vertically north and south through Unit 30 and several small roads connect off of it that creates a network of access points for hunters in the unit. Some of these roads are well-maintained, but others will become difficult to get through without a four-wheel-drive. Be sure to come prepared with chains, just in case. There are approximately 419 miles of trail in unit 30 with 2 trailheads. Consult a reliable map for information regarding land ownership and access points since some areas are blocked by private property.