Colorado Unit 56 Hunting Information

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Overview of CO GMU 56 Hunting Facts

Salida is located in the southeastern corner of unit 56. This unit is mostly public land, which makes accessibility higher. High peaks of the Sawatch Range in the San Isabel National Forest are located in the west and towards the east are valleys. Healthy herds of elk and mule deer along with some antelope live here. Mining claim roads provide good access throughout the unit. For more Colorado Unit 56 hunting information, check out the Info for Cities Near Unit 56 section on the right.

Table of Contents

CO Unit 56 Species Hunting Info

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 56
During archery season, glass high basins in the San Isabel National Forest. Deer are often seen in the high country during muzzleloader and early rifle season and start to migrate down as it gets colder. Browns and Baldwin creek drainages has shown success in the past, as has the Chalk Creek drainage in the north. During 2nd and 3rd rifle season, be on the lookout near canyons, open slopes in the early and late hours of the day, and sagebrush flats with scattered stands of pines and junipers. Tags drawn in this unit are also valid in units: 48, 481, 561.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 56
5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
Archery 31%
Muzzleloader 27%
Early Rifle 42%
2nd Rifle 44%
3rd Rifle 47%
Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 56 Colorado
Average Quality 150″ – 170″
Trophy Potential 170″
Buck to Doe Ratio 18:100
Colorado Unit 56 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 56
Elk are in high terrain in the San Isabel National Forest during archery season, moving down into timber as the season progresses. Elk are usually rutting and bugling during muzzleloader season and are often seen in thick timber at middle elevations. Areas that have proven successful in the past include drainages of the North Fork of the South Arkansas River and the Baldwin Lake basin. For 1st and 2nd rifle season, elk are typically in middle elevations migrating towards lower elevations. Try glassing ridges in the upper Chalk Creek and Grizzly Gulch drainages. During 3rd and 4th rifle season, elk are seen feeding in the open, but be aware because the tend to head towards private property during this time of year.

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 56
5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 10%
Muzzle Loader 15%
1st Rifle 12%
2nd Rifle 28%
3rd Rifle 23%
4th Rifle 11%
Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 56 Colorado
Average Quality 260″ – 300″
Trophy Potential 310″
Bull to Cow Ratio 22:100
Colorado Unit 56 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 56
Antelope tend to stay near low flats, farm ground and rolling sagebrush hills in the east. Public access is limited so be aware of where you are. The OTC archery antelope tag gives hunters the ability to hunt antelope without waiting for a draw tag. Many of the antelope are found on private land causing hunters to need permission from a land owner to get access to hunt, or you could book with a guide that has access to private land. Tags for muzzleloader season are easier to draw than rifle tags, but many pronghorns are on private property by the time this season opens. During rifle season, hunters normally spot and stalk, using binoculars and spotting scopes to find and evaluate bucks. Tags drawn in this season are also valid in units: 481, 48

SUCCESS RATES for Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 56
5 Year Estimated Average for Antelope
Archery 5%
Muzzleloader 50%
Rifle 92%

Antelope TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 56 Colorado
Average Quality 65″ – 70″
Trophy Potential 70″
Buck to Doe Ratio 3:100
Colorado Unit 56 Antelope Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

Available Hunts

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Info for Cities Near CO GMU 56


Colorado Unit 56 Topo Map

Total Acreage: 154,880 acres over 242 square miles

Total Public Land: 104.544 acres or 67.5%

Land Ownership Mix: 32.5% Private; 67.5% Public

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

Elevation Variances: 7,100 ft. to 14,269 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate


Lay of the Land in CO Unit 56


Terrain in GMU 56 CO

Unit 56 has three peaks reaching above 14,000 ft. including Mount Antero, Mount Shavano and Tabeguache Peak. This section of the Sawatch Mountains is rugged. This unit also has other peaks that exceed 12,000 feet in elevation. The creek drainages are steep, so make sure you well prepared for your hunt before heading out. Rolling foothills are above valleys that contain irrigated farmland and fenced pastures.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 56 CO

Low elevations in unit 56 has flats and rolling hills covered with sagebrush, grass, pinyon pines, juniper trees and valleys filled with scattered cottonwood trees along creeks. Some areas have ponderosa pines and oak brush. Middle elevations consist mainly of spruce and fir trees mixed with large, scattered aspen groves along with flats covered with grass and wildflowers on ridges. High elevations consist of steep slopes leading to the peaks above timberline are covered in grass, wildflowers and loose scrabble.

Access Points in CO GMU 56

Thanks to mining in the area, many four-wheel drive roads and ATV trails branch off a few well-maintained roads that access much of the national forest. Backcountry trails are marked for hiking and horseback riding. The Colorado Trail runs from Wrights Lake State Wildlife Area on the northern boundary to Foose Creek on the southern boundary.