Colorado Unit 42 Hunting Information

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Overview of CO GMU 42 Hunting Facts

Unit 42 is located in west-central Colorado. Rifle is located south of unit 42. There is a good number of deer and elk found in this unit every year. Keep in mind that private land takes up about half of this unit. Public land can be crowded in unit 42, but if you’re willing to put in the work you can find success here. For more Colorado Unit 42 hunting information m check out the Info for Cities Near Unit 42 section on the right.

Table of Contents

CO Unit 42 Species Hunting Info

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 42
Early on bucks will be found scattered throughout unit 42. Focus on the southern portion of this unit near the Grand Mesa area. During the archery and muzzleloader seasons, be on the lookout near higher elevations. Setting up at dusk and dawn has proven to be successful in the past. During the 2nd rifle season, deer are typically still taking cover. Be on the lookout as the deer will start to travel to lower elevations towards the end of 2nd season. The rut is starting during 3rd season, so be on the lookout for a doe with a buck following not far behind. Try to get away from the main roads, and do not be afraid to go into the rugged territory.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 42
5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
Archery 29%
Muzzleloader 28%
2nd Rifle 34%
3rd Rifle 56%

Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 42 Colorado
Average Quality 140″ – 160″
Trophy Potential 170″
Buck to Doe Ratio 20:100
Colorado Unit 42 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM COMING SOON!

INFO: Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 42
During archery and muzzleloader seasons, look for most of the public land bulls in the southern portion of this unit. Focus on the higher elevations during the early seasons. Keep in mind where the private land boundaries are located. Try to stay away from the main roads for the most promising success rates. 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons are over-the-counter in this unit and can often feel crowded near the roads. Elk can typically be seen migrating down to lower elevations during these seasons. Being patient is key to success during the 2nd and 3rd seasons. By the time 4th season comes around, the elk are normally found on private land. It is suggested to get permission to hunt private land during this time. If public land is your only option, stay near the border of private and public land in hopes of an elk crossing over into the public area you are at.

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 42
5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 11%
Muzzle Loader 16%
Early Rifle 25%
2nd Rifle 13%
3rd Rifle 12%
2nd Rifle 5%
Colorado Unit 42 Elk Hunting FORUM COMING SOON!

Available Hunts

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Colorado Unit 42 Topo Map

Total Acreage: 387,200 acres over 605 square miles

Total Public Land: 216,832 acres or 56%

Land Ownership Mix: 44% Private; 56% Public

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

Elevation Variance: 8,500 ft to 11,000 ft

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate


Lay of the Land in CO Unit 42


Terrain in GMU 42 CO

The White River National Forest is located on the southern part of unit 42. This unit consists of barren ridges, peaks, basins, and slides above the timberline. The low and middle elevations between the river and the mountains are mostly farmland, sagebrush flats, ridges, pinyon, and juniper woodlands with plenty of rimrocks. Peaks range from about 8,500 feet to more than 11,000 feet above sea level.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 42 CO

The higher elevations of unit 42 consist of dense engelmann spruce forests with lodgepole pines, grass meadows, and some tundra. Expect to see douglas firs and aspens around the middle elevations. Pinyon pines, junipers, sagebrush, oak brush, and a variety of grasses grow at the lower elevations. There are also many springs, small lakes, and perennial streams.

Access Points in CO GMU 42

Since private land takes up almost half of this unit, getting around can be difficult. There is a series of roads and ATV trails at the higher elevations. During the summer and early fall, many ATV enthusiasts use the riding trails that are found on this unit. Hunters looking to get away from crowds can hunt the area around Haystack Mountain and Horse Mountain. The low elevation is checkered with BLM and private. There are multiple access roads from 1-70 with most hunters using roads from the towns of Parachute, Rulison, and Rifle to access the unit.