Colorado Unit 561 Hunting Information

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Overview of CO GMU 561 Hunting Facts

Unit 561 includes part of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and a section of the Sawatch Mountains in the San Isabel National Forest. Hunters who are physically capable and are up to the challenge of hunting rugged and remote terrain have a good chance of seeing mature mule deer and elk. There are not many antelope here, but those that are can be found in lower elevations. For more Colorado Unit 561 hunting information, check out the Info for Cities Near Unit 561 section on the right.

Table of Contents

CO Unit 561 Species Hunting Info

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 561
During archery, muzzleloader, and early rifle season, use binoculars and a spotting scope to look for big bucks in high basins that contain water, such as the upper reaches of Green, Pass and South Fooses creeks. . During 2nd and 3rd rifle season, bucks are scattered in canyons and are no longer in summer bachelor groups. Glass open slopes in the early and late hours of the day. Tags drawn in unit 561 are also valid in units 48, 56, and 481.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 561
5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
Archery 17%
Muzzleloader 20%
Early Rifle 18%
2nd Rifle 33%
3rd Rifle 30%
Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 561 Colorado
Average Quality 140″ – 160″
Trophy Potential 170″+
Buck to Doe Ratio 18:100
Colorado Unit 561 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 561
Though this unit is not known for trophy class bulls, hunters have had success here in the past. Look for elk near grassy meadows in aspen groves and on steep slopes covered by spruces and firs. Elk tend to avoid trails and areas that are used by hikers. Unit 481 does not have restrictions on antler size.

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 561
5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 8%
Muzzleloader 12%
1st Rifle 26%
2nd Rifle 20%
3rd Rifle 13%

Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 561 Colorado
Average Quality 260″ – 300″
Trophy Potential 300″+
Bull to Cow Ratio 22:100
Colorado Unit 561 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

Available Hunts

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Cities Near CO Unit 561


Colorado Unit 561 Topo Map

Total Acreage: 81,920 acres over 128 square miles

Total Public Land: 73,728 acres or 90%

Land Ownership Mix: 10% Private; 90% Public

Species: Black Bear, Elk, Mule Deer, Moose

Elevation Variances: 7,500 ft. to 13,951 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate


Lay of the Land in CO Unit 561


Terrain in GMU 561 CO

With eight mountain peaks reaching higher than 14,000 feet , including some of the highest summits in the state, unit 481 tends to be more rugged and remote. Underneath peaks are basins that lead to deep canyons. Leading up to the mouth of the canyons are rolling foothills.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 561 CO

Lower elevations have flats and rolling hills covered with sagebrush, grass, pinyon pines and juniper trees. Agricultural fields on the valley floor are scattered with 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 have steep slopes leading to the peaks above timberline. Some areas are covered in grass, wildflowers and loose scrabble.

Access Points in CO GMU 561

A few four-wheel drive roads and ATV trails branch from well-maintained roads that access much of the national forest land. Backcountry trails are marked for hiking and horseback riding. Four-wheel-drive vehicles and ATVs are recommended.