Colorado Unit 45 Hunting Information

Overview of GMU 45 Hunting Facts

Located in Eagle and Pitkin counties, unit 45 offers an expanse of public land for hunters to permeate and make use of. To be more specific, the unit is 90% made up of public land or approximately 195,000 acres. With White River National Forest in the northeast territory and Holy Cross Wilderness Area in the western territory, unit 45 provides a flawless setting for hunting big game. The Forest Service Office in Minturn is an available resource for hunting information for Colorado Unit 45. The inclusion of OTC elk (bull) tags for 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons embraces a larger hunting crowd. However, being that this unit has such a large amount of public land, there is more room for which hunters can space out.

For more Colorado Unit 45 hunting information check the Cities in Colorado Unit 45 section on the right.

Table of Contents

Unit 45 Species Hunting Info

  • Mule Deer Sihouette Unit 45 Mule Deer
  • Elk Silhouette        Unit 45 Elk       
  • Pronghorn Siohouette Unit 45 Antelope

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 45

Mule deer tags drawn for unit 45 are also legally accepted in units 35, 36, and 361, except for the early rifle season for Holy Cross Wilderness which encompasses units 44, 45, and 444. Being that this unit is primarily of higher altitude, the mule deer herds tend to stick around in the early seasons. But, at the first signs of winter, they will descend from the mountainous region into the lower-lying areas. The legendary mule deer taken from unit 45 stands testament to the trophy capabilities of this area. The average quality mule deer in Colorado unit 45 ranges from 150” to 170” with the trophy potential measuring at 170” and up.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 45

5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
`Archery 15%
Muzzle Loader 30%
Early Rifle unavailable
2nd Rifle 40%
3rd Rifle 30%
4th Rifle unavailable

Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 45 Colorado

Average Quality 150″ – 170″
Trophy Potential 170″
Buck to Doe Ratio 30:100

Colorado Unit 45 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 45

The tags drawn for elk in unit 45 will also be valid in units 44, 47, and 444. There are some specific sets of rules when it comes to the elk tags drawn in unit 45. For example, archery season is a bull-only hunt. Muzzleloader is a limited draw for either sex tag. While 2nd and 3rd rifle bull tags are OTC, the cow tags for 2nd and 3rd rifle are a limited draw. 4th rifle season is a limited draw for either sex. As with the mule deer, elk are going to be more active in unit 45 during the early seasons since the forage is still in season for them to feed on. As the winter ramps up, they will descend into lower elevations. The trophy potential measures 300” and above.

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 45

5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 90%
Muzzle Loader 85%
Early Rifle 92%

Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 45 Colorado

Average Quality 330″ – 360″
Trophy Potential 360″ – 400″
Bull to Cow Ratio 20:100

Colorado Unit 45 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 45

Whether you are exclusively hunting antelope or purchased an OTC tag to complement your deer or elk hunt, Unit 45 Colorado provides the adventure you never knew you needed. Being that the vegetation varies depending on elevation, a topographic map will be your best friend in determining where the pronghorn can be found. The lower elevation areas are concentrated primarily in the northwestern area of the unit. There are several creeks that supply water to the wildlife that inhabit the unit. Antelope cannot live without water, so the water sources are a good place to start. The lower elevation areas also include dry pastureland with assorted types of hay and grasses that attract and satisfy antelope.


Colorado Unit 45 Antelope Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

Info for Cities Near Unit 45

Lay of the Land in Unit 45

Total Acreage: 1,190 sq. miles or 763,000 acres

Total Public Land: 687,000 acres

Land Ownership Mix: 10% Private; 90% Public; USFS: 190,656 acres; USFS Wilderness: 72,576 acres

Species Common in the Area: Black Bear, Elk, Mule Deer, Moose, Pronghorn

Elevation Variances: 6,800 ft. to 14,005 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate

Land Coverage/Vegetation: 53% evergreen forest, 17% grassland/herbaceous, 12% deciduous forest and 9% barren land (rock/sand/clay)

Unit 45 Boundaries: (Eagle, Pitkin County Colorado) bounded on North by Eagle River from East Lake Creek to Dowd Junction and Interstate70 from Dowd Junction to Eagle River-Ten-mile Creek Divide; on East by Eagle River-Ten mile Creek Divide; on South by Continental Divide; on West by divide between Chance Creek-North Fork Frying pan-Cunningham Creek drainages and Cross Creek-Home stake Creek drainages and East Lake Creek

Colorado Unit 45 Topo Map

Terrain in GMU 45 CO

Unit 45 is a densely forested, high elevation unit ideal for the adventurous hunter that has a desire to slip away to the backwoods and avoid the crowds. Wildlife finds this area ideal for its lush vegetation and thick cover. The terrain creates a good vantage point for glassing wildlife below. While this unit has its rugged areas, there are also portions of it that are much milder, particularly in the southeastern territory.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 45 CO

Unit 45 is a densely forested, high elevation unit ideal for the adventurous hunter that has a desire to slip away to the backwoods and avoid the crowds. Wildlife finds this area ideal for its lush vegetation and thick cover. The terrain creates a good vantage point for glassing wildlife below. While this unit has its rugged areas, there are also portions of it that are much milder, particularly in the southeastern territory.

Access Points in GMU 45

US-24 runs vertically through the middle of the unit with numerous smaller roads branching off from it. Trails expand 264 miles throughout the unit with 3 trailheads. Observe the laws regarding motorized vehicles such as ATVs when planning your hunt. There are areas where foot traffic and horseback is the only means of transportation.