Colorado Unit 80 Hunting Information

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Overview of CO GMU 80 Hunting Facts

Consisting of segments of Alamosa, Conejos, Mineral, and Rio Grande counties, Unit 80 is a widely popular hunting destination. The Rio Grande National Forest, located in the western portion of the unit remains a choice location for resident and non-resident hunters alike. Stay well-informed on Unit 80 hunting news by visiting one of the four government offices that are located within the unit. In Del Norte, a US Forest Service Office and BLM Field Office are located. Monte Vista contains another US Forest Service Office and a CPW Office. When planning your hunting trip to Colorado Unit 80, it should also be noted that hunting is prohibited in the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, and the Baca National Wildlife Refuge. For more Colorado Unit 3 hunting information, check out the Info for Cities Near Unit 80 section on the right.

Table of Contents

CO Unit 80 Species Hunting Info

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 80

The versatility of the topography in Unit 80 makes for an adventurous and exciting mule deer hunt. In the warmer months, deer can be found in the upper elevations and congregating around water sources, which are abundant throughout this unit. As the winter ramps up, the herds will begin moving down into the lower elevations. Deer licensing is pretty straightforward in that for all hunting seasons, the tags are valid for units 80 and 81 and are only legitimate for hunting bucks. Unit 80 is predominantly public land, mainly concentrated on the western side of the unit and the eastern side of the unit is private land. That being said, hunters are encouraged to come equipped with a GPS unit with a landowner chip so that you do not infringe on private property. The deer tend to retreat to the private land once hunting pressure increases. Hunting these boundaries has been proven successful.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in Colorado Unit 80

5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
Archery 20%
Muzzle Loader 33%
2nd Rifle 40%
3rd Rifle 48%
4th Rifle 65%

Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 80 Colorado

Average Quality 145″ – 165″
Trophy Potential 170″+
Buck to Doe Ratio 28:100

Colorado Unit 80 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 80

Elk behavior resembles deer in their reaction to the cold temperatures. The elk also will migrate down to lower elevations, as the weather cools down. Unit 80 has substantial hunting pressure due to its OTC elk tags and success rates. As the elk feel the pressure, they will retreat to the tougher terrain and hard-to-reach areas. Hunters that take on the challenge to go where the elk go have been successful. Elk tags are available OTC for archery season, second and third rifle seasons. Archery tags are applicable for bull and cow hunts. Rifle OTC tags are only valid for hunting bulls. Muzzleloader season is a limited draw tag for either sex and legitimate in Units 80 and 81.

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in Colorado Unit 80

5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 10%
Muzzle Loader 18%
1st Rifle 20%
2nd Rifle 10%
3rd Rifle 12%
4th Rifle 25%

Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 80 Colorado

Average Quality 260″ – 300″
Trophy Potential 300″+
Bull to Cow Ratio 18:100

Colorado Unit 80 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 80

Unit 80 provides an antelope’s perfect habitat with its vast tracts of grassy prairieland and ample water supply. The antelope tags are a limited draw for this unit. The archery and rifle tags are legal for hunting bucks only and valid solely in Unit 80. Muzzleloader tags are legitimate for hunting bucks only and can be used in Units 68, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 681, 681 and 791.

SUCCESS RATES for Antelope Hunting in Colorado Unit 80

5 Year Estimated Average for Antelope
Archery 50%
Muzzle Loader 75%
Rifle 85%

Antelope TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 80 Colorado

Average Quality 70″ – 80″
Trophy Potential 80″+
Buck to Doe Ratio 32:100

Colorado Unit 80 Antelope Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

Available Hunts for Colorado Unit 80

No data found!


Info for Cities Near CO GMU 80


Colorado Unit 80 Topo Map

Total Acreage: 567,000 acres over 886 square miles


Total Public Land: 339,000 acres or 59%


Land Ownership Mix: 41% Private; 59% Public; USFS: 249,920 acres; BLM: 60,096 acres; State: 3,456 acres; Other Govt. Owned: 16,064 acres


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


Elevation Variances: 7,500 ft. to 13,000 ft.


Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate


Land Coverage/Vegetation: 6% evergreen forest, 20% grassland, 21% shrub/scrub and 14% pasture/hay


Unit 80 Boundaries: (Alamosa, Conejos, Mineral, Rio Grande County Colorado) bounded on North by US-South Highway 160; on East by Rio Grande; on South by La Jara Creek, Alamosa River, United States Forest Service Roads 250 and 380 and Elwood Pass; on West by Continental Divide


Lay of the Land in CO Unit 80


Terrain in GMU 80 CO

The terrain of Colorado Unit 80 is versatile which ranges from low-elevation grasslands to snow-capped mountain ranges. Creeks and streams carve their way into the countryside and ponds surrounded by rocks and mountain peaks are poised throughout the high country. There are vast expanses of shrub-covered hills and the ground material varies from rocky to lush soil that breathes life into this very green landscape.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 80 CO

The vegetation in Unit 80 contains all the hallmarks of Colorado beauty. The coniferous forests full of spruces, firs and pines that forest the mountains join with the sagebrush-covered hills and valleys that paint the countryside. Pinyon-juniper flourishes in the middle to low elevations. Riparian vegetation such as cottonwoods and willows line the creeks and streams. However, the pine varieties and spruce trees have fallen victim to the beetle kill epidemic, which has left several dead trees standing amongst the others. Different professional studies reflect mixed results with the effect the beetle kill has had on wildlife. Some conclude that the elk and mule deer, in particular, are unscathed and some conclude that big game avoids the areas of concentrated deadfall. The only surefire way to determine if this will affect your hunt is to carefully look for sign. The occurrence of trees falling can be a hazardous situation so be observant of your surroundings. These beetle kill zones also present a denser, thicker timber to maneuver through. Aspen forests have not been targeted by parasitic beetles.

Access Points in CO GMU 80

US Route 160 binds Unit 80 on the northern border and follows along the western boundary. US Hwy 285 runs vertically on the eastern side of the unit and connects with US Route 160 in the north. Various National Forest roads navigate throughout the unit along with county roads. There are 105 miles of trails with 9 trailheads located among Unit 80. Be mindful of what areas allow motorized vehicles and which areas do not since the majority of the public land in Unit 80 is national forest.