Colorado Unit 66 Hunting Information

Overview of GMU 66 Hunting Facts

Nestled in the Gunnison Basin of southwestern Colorado, Unit 66 is a prized hunting unit that has been overlooked. Despite its trophy elk and deer that are taken from the unit every year and the healthy herd populations, this unit is not heavily hunted like other units in Colorado. The Powderhorn Wilderness, Uncompahgre National Forest, La Garita Wilderness and Gunnison National Forest all contribute to the nearly 450,000 acres (78%) of public land that Unit 66 has to offer. In addition to the vast expanse of wilderness, Unit 66 contains several perennial springs and numerous lakes. Wildlife do not have to look far for food, water, cover or bedding. This abundance of natural resources may help narrow down your hunting area. Another reason unit 66 has been able to maintain its status as a lightly hunted unit is that there are no OTC elk tags or antelope tags issued. For more Colorado Unit 3 hunting information, check out the Info for Cities Near Unit 66 section on the right.

Table of Contents

Unit 66 Species Hunting Info

  • Mule Deer Sihouette Unit 66 Mule Deer
  • Elk Silhouette        Unit 66 Elk       
  • Pronghorn Siohouette Unit 66 Antelope

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 66

Contributing to the healthy deer numbers is the resident Powder horn Creek deer herd which carries a population of approximately 5,000 deer. The unit provides bountiful resources that can sustain the deer’s needs year-round. What that means to hunters is that the probability of the deer moving out of the unit as seasons change is low. Through tactful preparation and sometimes a stroke of luck, hunters will close in on the herds and their daily patterns. Unit 66 is a stand-alone unit for mule deer tags. The archery and muzzleloader seasons are straight buck tags with no doe tags allotted. Second and third rifle seasons are valid for hunting either sex. Fourth rifle season contenders can only draw a buck tag for unit 66.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 66

5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
Archery 35%
Muzzle Loader 50%
2nd Rifle 75%
3rd Rifle 85%
4th Rifle 90%

Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 66 Colorado

Average Quality 160″ – 180″
Trophy Potential 190″+
Buck to Doe Ratio 40:100

Colorado Unit 66 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

 

INFO: Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 66

The variety of terrain and the low hunting pressure of Unit 66 allow the Lake Fork Elk Herd (6,000 population) to flourish in this environment. The sound elk numbers and ability for hunters to get away from the crowds make this unit almost too good to be true. The terrain can be challenging as elk like to retreat to the remote areas. In this case, the remote areas can be an uphill climb. However, motorized vehicles and horseback are permitted in certain areas and can be of great service for navigating through Unit 66. The elk tag regulations are very straightforward for unit 66. For all seasons (archery, muzzleloader, 1st rifle, 2nd rifle, 3rd rifle and 4th rifle), the tags are valid for hunting elk of either sex.

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 66

5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 30%
Muzzle Loader 30%
1st Rifle 35%
2nd Rifle 28%
3rd Rifle 30%
4th Rifle 30%

Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 66 Colorado

Average Quality 280″ – 320″
Trophy Potential 320″+
Bull to Cow Ratio 23:100

Colorado Unit 66 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

 

INFO: Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 66

Unit 66 is home to the Chance Gulch Antelope Herd and is an esteemed antelope hunting unit in Colorado. There are large bucks taken out of this unit every year. With its assorted vegetation and various terrains, this unit makes for an exciting antelope hunt!

SUCCESS RATES for Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 66

5 Year Estimated Average for Antelope
Muzzle Loader 100%
Rifle 85%

Antelope TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 66 Colorado

Average Quality 65″ – 70″
Trophy Potential 70″+
Buck to Doe Ratio 28:100

Colorado Unit 66 Antelope Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

Info for Cities Near Unit 66

Lay of the Land in Unit 66

Total Acreage: 575,000 acres over 898 square miles

Total Public Land: 450,000 acres or 78%

Land Ownership Mix: 22% Private; 78% Public; USFS: 200,128 acres; USFS Wilderness: 103,680; BLM: 259,712 acres; State: 768 acres; Other Govt. Owned: 11,712 acres

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

Elevation Variances: 7,500 ft. to 14,309 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate

Land Coverage/Vegetation: 38% evergreen forest, 19% grassland, 18% shrub/scrub and 11% deciduous forest

Unit 3 Boundaries: (Gunnison, Hinsdale, Saguache County Colorado) bounded on North by Morrow Point Res, Gunnison River and Blue Mesa Res; on East by Colorado 149, Cebolla Creek, Spring Creek, Cathedral Creek, Groundhog Park and Spring Creek- Cochetopa Creek Divide; on South by Continental Divide; on West by Hinsdale-San Juan County line, Hinsdale-Ouray Co line, Cimarron River-Henson Creek Divide, Big Blue Creek-Little Cimarron River Divide, US-South Highway 50 and Big Blue Creek

Colorado Unit 66 Topo Map

Terrain in GMU 66 CO

From shrubbery-covered hills and meadows to mountainous alpine tundra, Unit 66 has hunting areas to cater to anyone at almost any physical skill set. Rocky formations make up the mountainside complete with coniferous forests. Open grasslands scattered throughout the unit serve as nutrition for grazing mule deer in velvet still in their summer patterns. The unit is very lush and green, due in part to the several lakes and flowing streams that provide water to the area.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 66 CO

Unit 66 has an abundant variety of vegetation flourishing among the different landscape ranges. In the alpine tundra, high above the treeline, you will find short plants clinging to the rocky soil underneath. At the treeline and below, you will find coniferous forests of alpines, spruces and firs. These evergreen forests are a common element throughout the rest of the unit due to the high elevation of the unit as a whole. However, there are meadows that are populated with shrubbery, wildflowers and grasses.

Access Points in GMU 60

The major highways that run through Unit 66 are SH-149, which runs north and south weaving through the unit and US HWY 50, which weaves along the northern border. There are several BLM roads and trails that grant access to the more remote areas of Unit 66. Be mindful of which areas are permissive of motorized vehicles and horseback.