Colorado Unit 74 Hunting Information

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Overview of CO GMU 74 Hunting Facts

Among the sprawling San Juan National Forest and Hermosa Creek Wilderness in southwestern Colorado Unit 74 hunting has proven its value! Unit 74 provides a challenging, but rewarding hunting experience. A valuable hunting resource, the US Forest Service Office, is located in the northeastern corner of the unit in Silverton. The merit that Unit 74 holds for its healthy herd numbers and high draw odds is often overlooked by hunters. However, the adventurous hunters that are ambitious to undertake a more physically demanding terrain and possess the skills it takes to put down and pack out big game in this landscape are frequently gratified. For more Colorado Unit 3 hunting information, check out the Info for Cities Near Unit 74 section on the right.

Table of Contents

CO Unit 74 Species Hunting Info

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 74

The high elevation of Unit 74 accommodates early season hunting as its strong advantage. As winter intensifies, the deer herds descend down into the lowlands where they can be harder to find. However, do come prepared with your best pair of binoculars because Unit 74 provides some of the best glassing vantage points in Colorado. This unit contains isolated, remote hunting areas so if you hunt away from the roads and infiltrate the deep pockets of wilderness, you can escape the crowds. The hunting pressure can be high in areas with adequate road access. Unit 74 has an early-season reserved for hunting bucks found above the timberline. Archery and muzzleloader seasons both have an optional Add-On Bear Tag and these tags are valid solely in Unit 74. Second, third, and fourth rifle season tags are for hunting bucks only and are legitimate only in Unit 74.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 74

5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
Archery 30%
Muzzle Loader 35%
Early Rifle 75%
2nd Rifle 25%
3rd Rifle 30%
4th Rifle 45%

Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 74 Colorado

Average Quality 150″ – 170″
Trophy Potential 180″+
Buck to Doe Ratio 29:100

Colorado Unit 74 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 74

Elk have an innate drive to find cover, food, and water. The fact that Unit 74 provides dense foliage is advantageous, to say the least. Elk will move every day to find water and food and will choose the paths that provide the most protection. When scouting out your areas, be sure to pinpoint where the water sources are located and work your way out from there. Elk tags are available OTC for 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons. Archery and Muzzleloader season tag-holders have the option to purchase an OTC add-on bear tag. Cow tags are available as a limited draw for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rifle seasons and are valid for use solely in Unit 74. Archery, Muzzleloader, and 1st/4th Rifle seasons are legitimate to hunt in Units 74 and 741.

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 74

5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 15%
Muzzle Loader 18%
1st Rifle 40%
2nd Rifle 10%
3rd Rifle 8%
4th Rifle 35%

Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 74 Colorado

Average Quality Unavailable
Trophy Potential 280″+
Bull to Cow Ratio 16:100

Colorado Unit 74 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 74

Hunting antelope in Unit 74 Colorado can be as much of a thrill as it is challenging. The archery tags are available OTC so an antelope tag can be the perfect complement to your deer or elk hunt.

Available Hunts for Colorado Unit 74

Unit 74 Hunting Information Video


Info for Cities Near CO GMU 74


Colorado Unit 74 Topo Map

Total Acreage: 380,000 acres over 594 square miles

Total Public Land: 330,000 acres or 86%

Land Ownership Mix: 14% Private; 86% Public; USFS: 289,536 acres; USFS Wilderness: 58,688 acres; BLM: 26,560 acres; State: 7,936 acres; Other Govt. Owned: 8,192 acres

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

Elevation Variances: 6,400 ft. to 13,000 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate

Land Coverage/Vegetation: 34% evergreen forest, 18% grassland and 30% deciduous forest

Unit 74 Boundaries: (La Plata, San Juan County Colorado) bounded on North by Ouray-San Juan County line; on East by San Juan-Hinsdale County line and Animas River; on South by US-South Highway 160; on West by Montezuma-La Plata County line, Dolores-San Juan County line, San Miguel-San Juan County line and Ouray-San Juan County line


Lay of the Land in CO Unit 74


Terrain in GMU 74 CO

The terrain in this unit consists of rolling hills and snow-capped mountains overlooking canyons and valleys. The landscape can be described as rugged in some areas. Densely timbered bluffs tower over the grassy countryside. Flowing creeks and streams carve their way through the earth. The ground material ranges from rocky to fresh soil. Vegetation is abundant in this high country.

Vegetation in Unit 74 CO

Among the various plant species that cover this unit, forests that are made up of evergreen trees and deciduous trees are of the highest quantity. Different species of firs, spruces, and aspens make up the beautifully painted landscape of the ridges and valleys. Grasslands cover close to one-fifth of the total acreage of Unit 74. The coniferous forests that flourish in the upper elevations provide the wildlife with an ideal summer range. As the winter intensifies, the wildlife, particularly elk and deer, begin migrating into the lower elevations to escape the snow. They begin foraging for food in the lowlands where they are sustained for the winter months.

Access Points in CO GMU 74

Unit 74 is bounded by US-550 running north and south on the eastern side and US Route 160 winds along the southern border. Stemming from these major highways are smaller managed roads that navigate throughout the unit. The unit has a network of 486 miles of trails that aid hunters to maneuver their way to the more remote hunting areas. Similar to most units in Colorado, four-wheel-drive capable vehicles are highly recommended when maneuvering Unit 74. Stay informed on which areas allow motorized vehicles and which areas do not.