Colorado Unit 500 Hunting Information

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Overview of CO GMU 500 Hunting Facts

Located in central Colorado in Park County, Colorado Unit 500 contains resident elk and antelope herds and produces high quality mule deer. As a valuable resource, bear in mind that a Forest Service Office is located at the southern tip of the unit in Fairplay. With the presence of the Pike National Forest occupying the majority of the unit, it is no surprise that this unit is inundated with hunters every year. A Forest Service Office is located at the southern tip of the unit in Fairplay. For more Colorado Unit 500 hunting information, check out the Info for Cities Near Unit 500 section on the right.

Table of Contents

CO Unit 500 Species Hunting Info

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 500
Mule deer in Unit 500 follow the standard migratory patterns as other mule deer herds across the state in that they can be found in the higher elevations in the warmer months and descend to lower elevations as winter progresses.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 500
5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
Archery 15%
Muzzle Loader 22%
2nd Rifle 25%
3rd Rifle 40%

Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 500 Colorado
Average Quality 140″ – 160″
Trophy Potential 160″+
Buck to Doe Ratio 25:100
Colorado Unit 500 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 500
The Kenosha Pass Elk Herd inhabits Unit 500 Colorado and is managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Unit 500 is the northwestern corner of this 3 GMU Data Analysis Unit (DAU). The herd numbers remain steady and are managed accordingly. Good size bulls that have been harvested along with above-average success rates keep this unit performing well for hunting. The versatility of the terrain gives hunters several scenarios to consider. Elk can be spotted drinking from a water hole in the warmer months while a hunter watches its every move, called in by a hunter bugling during the rut along an embankment or seen strolling through a valley by a hunter glassing from a nearby ridge. Whatever strategy that you choose, you can be sure that this unit will provide you with a fun and adventurous experience!

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 500
5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 15%
Muzzle Loader 35%
1st Rifle 35%
2nd Rifle 30%
3rd Rifle 30%
4th Rifle 40%
Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 500 Colorado
Average Quality 270″ – 300″
Trophy Potential 300″+
Bull to Cow Ratio 34:100
Colorado Unit 500 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 500
The South Park Pronghorn Herd inhabits high-elevation grasslands in this unit and is managed for population. Unit 500 is the northernmost GMU of this data analysis unit. The occurrence of antelope occupying extremely high elevations, sometimes above timberline, is an oddity, but it is the case with this herd. The population of the herd remains steady.

SUCCESS RATES for Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 500
5 Year Estimated Average for Antelope
Archery 30%
Muzzle Loader Unavailable
Rifle 60%
Antelope TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 500 Colorado
Average Quality 60″ – 70″
Trophy Potential 70″+
Buck to Doe Ratio 44:100
Colorado Unit 500 Antelope Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

Available Hunts

Unit 500 Hunting Information Video


Cities Near CO Unit 500


Colorado Unit 500 Topo Map

Total Acreage: 104,000 acres over 162.5 square miles

Total Public Land: 75,000 acres or 72%

Land Ownership Mix: 28% Private; 72% Public; USFS: 70,528 acres; BLM: 1,216 acres; State: 2,880 acres; Other Govt. Owned: 1,280 acres

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

Elevation Variances: 9,500 ft. to 13,822 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate

Land Coverage/Vegetation: Land cover includes 35% evergreen forest, 36% grassland, and 10% deciduous forest

Unit 500 Boundaries: (Park County Colorado) bounded on North by Continental Divide; on East by North Fork of South Platte River; on South by US-South Highway 285; on West by Colorado 9


Lay of the Land in CO Unit 500


Terrain in GMU 500 CO

As mentioned above, the terrain of Unit 500 Colorado is very versatile. Among its key features include mountain ranges, alpine tundra, drainages, creek bottoms, prairieland and croplands. The high elevation areas reach close to 14,000 feet above sea level! While it’s true this unit contains large mountain ranges, it is also composed of stretches of grasslands and flats. To be accurate when gauging your capabilities for maneuvering throughout this unit, be sure to have a topographic map.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 500 CO

In the northern territory of the unit, the alpine tundra terrain exists above timberline, where vegetation is sparse and wildlife existence is minimal. The subalpine region contains mixed-conifer forests of aspen, pine, spruces and firs. Mid-elevation regions contain forests of ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, aspen and shrubbery such as mountain mahogany, currant and chokecherries. Along the creeks and surrounding bodies of water, cottonwoods, bog birch and willows flourish. Among the flatlands of prairie and crops, you will find sedges, fringed sage and indigenous grass hay types.

Access Points in CO GMU 500

US Hwy 285 winds along the eastern border of the unit which intersects SH-9 in Fairplay, which continues in the southwestern and western sides of the unit. There are several forest roads that weave throughout the unit, helping hunters access hunting locations. In addition to road travel, Unit 500 Colorado contains approximately 122 miles of trails. Stay informed on what areas permit and what areas prohibit motorized vehicle use.