Colorado Unit 501 Hunting Information

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Overview of CO GMU 501 Hunting Facts

Located in central Colorado in Park and Jefferson counties, Unit 501 is a unit worth looking into for your next deer, elk or antelope hunt. Contributing to its abundance of public land and picturesque landscape are the Tarryall Mountains, Pike National Forest and Lost Creek Wilderness. Unit 501 Colorado has significantly lower hunting pressure than other units, especially if you are prepared to hike into remote areas away from the road For more Colorado Unit 501 hunting information, check out the Info for Cities Near Unit 501 section on the right.

Table of Contents

CO Unit 501 Species Hunting Info

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 501
Colorado GMU 501 offers numerous outlooks to glass deer herds below. Focus your glassing efforts at first and last light. This unit stays warm and arid in the earlier seasons and natural water sources are a great focal point for hunting during archery and muzzleloader seasons. The archery and muzzleloader seasons also include the option to purchase an add-on bear tag and buck tags are also valid in Units 50 and 500. If you’re interested in a doe tag for muzzleloader season, Unit 501 is a stand-alone unit.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 501
5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
Archery 35%
Muzzle Loader 28%
2nd Rifle 55%
3rd Rifle 60%
4th Rifle 65%
Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 501 Colorado
Average Quality 150″ – 170″
Trophy Potential 170″+
Buck to Doe Ratio 25:100
Colorado Unit 501 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 501
Elk tags in Colorado Unit 501 are sought after and are not available for purchase OTC. Like the archery and muzzleloader seasons for mule deer, an add-on bear tag is available for purchase when you draw an elk tag. The fact that OTC tags are not available allow for the elk quality to improve and the bulls to mature. There are honey holes that each hunter that has hunted this unit before would never share with you, but a well-known spot for elk in Unit 501 is the Smith Creek Drainage, which is located in the northern territory of the unit.

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 501
5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 20%
Muzzle Loader 30%
1st Rifle 35%
2nd Rifle 20%
3rd Rifle 30%
4th Rifle 20%
Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 501 Colorado
Average Quality 290″ – 320″
Trophy Potential 330″+
Bull to Cow Ratio 34:100
Colorado Unit 501 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 501
Nearly one-third of Colorado GMU 501 is covered with grassland and shrubland, making this unit a favorable habitat for antelope. The tags are not available OTC, so you can expect that the hunting pressure will be low and for the herd numbers to be healthy. Archery and rifle tags are also valid in Units 49, 50 and 500. Muzzleloader tags are also legal for hunting in Units 49, 50, 57, 58, 500 and 581. The South Park Antelope Herd inhabits this unit, concentrated mainly in the eastern territories.

SUCCESS RATES for Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 501
5 Year Estimated Average for Antelope
Archery 35%
Muzzle Loader 35%
Rifle 60%
Antelope TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 501 Colorado
Average Quality 60″ – 70″
Trophy Potential 70″+
Buck to Doe Ratio 44:100
Colorado Unit 501 Antelope Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

Available Hunts

Unit 501 Hunting Information Video


Cities Near CO Unit 501


Colorado Unit 501 Topo Map

Total Acreage: 321,000 acres over 502 square miles

Total Public Land: 302,000 acres or 94%

Land Ownership Mix: 6% Private; 94% Public; USFS: 287,000 acres; USFS Wilderness: 115,136 acres; State: 704 acres

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

Elevation Variances: 6,880 ft. to 12,335 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate

Land Coverage/Vegetation: Land cover includes 61% evergreen forest, 14% grassland, 15% shrub/scrub, and 5% deciduous forest

Unit 501 Boundaries: (Park, Jefferson County Colorado) bounded on North by US-South Highway 285 and North Fork of South Platte River; on East by South Platte River; on South by US-South 24; on West by Park County Road 77


Lay of the Land in CO Unit 501


Terrain in GMU 501 CO

As many Colorado units, the terrain is a blend of several geographic land features. Unit 501 contains lowland country, brush country, alpine tundra, ponderosa forests, meadows, foothills and mountains which create perfect overlooks to the valleys and basins below. The terrain is ranked as mild to moderate, allowing for hunters of all ability levels to keep up with the physical demands that come with hunting in Colorado.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 501 CO

The alpine tundra in the highest elevations above timberline grow stunted trees with sparse vegetation throughout. The subalpine region contains mixed-coniferous forests of spruces, firs and aspens, to name a few. Below this region is where you will find the ponderosa pine forests and the riparian vegetation such as cottonwoods and willows. The grasslands contain various grass species, as well as sagebrush. The higher elevations just below the alpine tundra will be best approached during the warmer months and as the winter progresses, move your way down in elevation.

Access Points in CO GMU 501

Generally speaking, Unit 501 Colorado has good public access. Running north and south in the northeast territory, County Road 126 offers good vehicular access. Road 77 winds along the western border of the unit and Hwy 285 runs along the northwest region. Stemming from these main roads are several Forest Service roads. In addition to managed roads, there are currently 351 miles of trails with 19 trailheads that map their way throughout the unit and deep into the forests. Although there are several roads and trails that can provide access to hunting locations, hike into the deeper pockets away from the crowds where the wildlife is less pressured.