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Camping in GMU-4 Colorado
Big Game Hunting topics that dont fit other categories
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Joined: Mar 22, 2007
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Location: Lewisville, TX

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:46 pm    Post subject: Camping in GMU-4 Colorado Reply with quote

We are still searching for hunting/camping areas in GMU-4. We have never been to the area, and could REALLY use some advise....We are a group of 10 hunters and drew third rifle season for deer. I have tried to contact game wardens but can't get a return call, and maps I have bought are not helpful unless you are already familiar with the area. If anyone has ever hunted GMU-4, please pass along any tips you feel would be beneficial....most importantly: 1. Where can we drive in to? 2. Where can we set up campers? 3. Where can we drive ATVs? Road names or numbers are a plus and GPS coordinates would be incredible.
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Joined: Nov 09, 2005
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Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: Camping in GMU-4 Colorado Reply with quote

Hunting third season rifle in this country is really up in the air as far as weather and snow fall. These both will play a key role in what hunting conditions you determine are best for your party. If you are looking to hunt higher altitude muleys, then you will be concentrating on the black mountain area which is national forest. If you want more open country, you need to be looking at the BLM grounds shown on most maps. There are some deer in all of the areas, you have to be willing to go get them though. There is a large area called the Bakers Peak DOW lands on the northern part of GMU 4 which might be worth looking at.

As far as camping goes, Unless you are set up for driving in deep snow, 4X4 and chains on all 4, ropes, winches, and jacks, I would plan on camping lower, and spend a little windshield time to go to the hunting area you find. It is not uncommon to get 18 - 24 inches of snow up high over night.

Hope this helps, good luck and let us know how you did.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Camping in GMU-4 Colorado Reply with quote

popo120 –

I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are no elk or deer in GMU-4. None. Best trade in your licenses now for licenses in another GMU – before it’s too late.

You might wonder how I now this – its because I’ve been hunting Unit 4 since 1982, almost exclusively.

The weather can be unpredictable – lots of snow and cold one year, good campfire weather and no snow the next.. Some years we have camped out up by Bears Ears Peak, other years we have camped just inside the Forest (don’t know the road offhand but about 13 miles north of Craig there is a sawmill – turn East and go about 7 miles to the Forest gates, further to Bears Ears). Other years we have camped further north in BLM land off Highway 13 that runs between Craig and Baggs, WY. That’s likely where we’ll be this year. If you go high make sure you have lots of tire chains, rubber snubbers and maybe a repair kit.

Be VERY cautious when driving Highway 13 after dark or in the low light of dawn or dusk. You will see a lot of deer on the private land. It is not uncommon to meet them close up. My truck has one kill to its credit and several VERY (as in lock the brakes up and pray and thank the Lord we were going slow) close calls.

What we have learned over the years is there are a lot of deer in the BLM land – we see many more down there than up high at that time of year.

You may find this hard to believe but I swear its true. As you drive Highway 13 between Baggs and Craig you will see hhundreds of deer, antelope and elk in the evenings, in the mornings and even during the day. Most are on private land and safe. My hunting buddy and I were camped out about 3 miles south of the WY border and were driving into town everyday for more coolers and ice (we had 3 elk down and were de-boning them and carrying them out to the road). One evening Dave said he figured we saw 1000 game animals on the way to Craig. I figured his estimate was high and that 750 was more accurate. That was the night a doe greeted the bumper of my truck, just outside Craig as we headed back to camp in the dark.

Also, if you want to see some elk, find Ralph White Reservoir a few miles north of Craig on Highway 13. The Reservoir is dry but at the north end you’ll findCounty Road 18n. Follow that east about 1-1/2 miles until you get on top of the hills. Look south to the north facing slopes of the far hills and start counting elk. (It’s a good time to have binocs.) That time of year you should see 1500 or more scattered around on private land. There are a couple small BLM tracts in there where you might find some deer, also.

Coyote Hunter
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:30 am    Post subject: Re: Camping in GMU-4 Colorado Reply with quote

Go to the game warden's office or go to the forestry offices. Don't call. A lot of these people are liberals and do not wish to help you even though you pay their wages. And unless you get right in their face (politely of course) they will try not to help you. At least that's what I have found...They are very busy trying to protect the land and the game animals from hunters...

I have one nerve left and yer standin' on it...

DEMOCRACY Two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for lunch...
LIBERTY A well armed sheep contesting the outcome of the vote...
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Joined: Jan 04, 2006
Posts: 298
Location: NW Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Camping in GMU-4 Colorado Reply with quote

You can pull off the road at most BLM locations and set up right by the road, you will see many folks doing just that, so far as formal campgrounds, you most likely will not find them unless you get into the National Forest.

So far as hunting, Coyote_Hunter & Meeker both give great advice popo, I too have hunted GMU 4. As I mentioned in a previous posting, unless you are willing to get off the beaten path and get back into some of the BLM that is a few miles away from the roads, the majority of the mature deer will be sparse there. Further North from where CH mentions the sawmill there are a couple roads that will take double out and bring you back onto Hwy 13 just south of the Wyo border, quite a bit of BLM land up in this area. 3rd rifle is definately a throw of the dice as the other guys have mentioned. Last year we had snow on the ground pretty much all through 2nd rifle. You could drive in just fine in the mornings, but by about 11 or so the ice had melted and you would definately be getting your money's worth out of a set of chains. ATV's suck for the forest area (if you go up the sawmill area) - not too many trails for them, although they do get you from point a to B nicely up the main road and maybe a few fire roads so you can tackle draws on foot.

Now, all warnings and bad mojo aside of weather, this part of Colorado does have some trophy quality mulies - they won't be easy, but they are definately there. One of the states largest elk herds and one of the largest in the country to boot runs through the Bears Ear/Black Mountain area. I usually try and choose the other side of the highway (GMU 3) for deer and GMU 4 for elk. There are many pull off type roads from Wyoming down to the saw mill that will allow you access to BLM and State lands. There are some good little draws and arryo terrain that house these beauties. If there are 10 of you, you should be able to work out a pretty good game plan to tackle these areas. If you stop into Craig Sports, ask to speak to Joe the owner, he will have all your ammo needs and then some, he might even have some of the latest info for you on where they are getting into them at. The chamber of commerce always has GMU or topo maps. The Colorado Atlas & Gazeteer

would be a good one for you and your buddies to study before getting here, it has good accurate information. If you are having trouble getting ahold of the DOW guys, here is a cell #970-942-8270 not sure if he covers area 4, but he will link you- you may need to go through the Meeker office (970)878-6090 and ask for the agent for GMU 4. We have 3 guys who cover this part of the state and they are all great guys and have been helpful for providing information to me in the past.

Good luck and also note that we have the "Buckskin Network" here which is a radio broadcast that announces names of hunters who may have urgent or emergency messages from their families. Let you families know to call the following number to get a life or death message to you at 970-824-6501. They announce the names hourly every day on 550 AM and other stations, it is good to try and listen to it at least once a day. Here is the link for a hunting party form which may help speed things up.

I have attached a couple photos from 2nd rifle last year in GMU 4, disregard the ugly bastard in the photo, but it will show you what some of the terrain looks like, the other is a small buck my buddy got out of there.

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Joined: Jan 04, 2006
Posts: 298
Location: NW Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:58 am    Post subject: Re: Camping in GMU-4 Colorado Reply with quote

POPO - here is the scoop on GMU 4,5,13,14,15,131,214,441 straight out of the 2007 NW Colorado Hunting Guide page 20 : "DEER - The deer herd continues to grow, and the hunting should be good. Most of the deer will be found in the western section of these units. Movement is also to the west. Hotspots are located north of Hayden. We are seeing some trophy bucks in the southern portion. In GMU's 4 and 5, the buck hunting has shown steady improvement. This area is not managed for trophy bucks, but it does have a good number of adult males in the population. Hunt the aspen and brush areas. Doe licenses in these units are "list B" licenses, so you can have both a buck and a doe license."

This mag offers a website for the complete list of units via PDF, you can sign up for a 7 day free trial and download the whole list of unit info:

Good Luck!

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Location: Lewisville, TX

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Camping in GMU-4 Colorado Reply with quote

Thank you very much for all of the replies....I didn't get much response after posting my question, so I hadn't checked the posting in several weeks, and was very surprised to get the responses....Again, thank you folks.

I finally spoke with a fellow named Barry regarding the BLM land north of Craig, and he suggested a couple of spots as well. He is a federal officer or supv of some sort and a hell of a nice guy, with what sounded like good suggestions. In the past, we have always hunted the lower areas of sage and cedar flats near the base of a mountain (peak) and we have never been skunked., so our plan is to stick with that and find the deer in the cover. Two of us are also going up a couple days early to look for elk as well. If we spot a few quality animals, we may head into town and buy an bull elk tag (since they are over-the-counter). Plus that will give us a good shot at finding a place to pull off the road and camp.

Because it is going to be third season we all have 4X4's and chains, and we have at least one truck with a winch. I would like to hunt 1st or 2nd season, but my son's birthday is 10/22, and I almost missed him being born 2 years ago, and actually did miss his first B-day last year....I have 2 sons now, and would prefer to stay married , so I opted to hunt the latest season and avoid the punishment I would surely receive, and deserve. One day my monkeys will be big enough to go, and they can carry me. Until then, it looks like Pop will be hunting late and in the cold/snow.

It is also my understanding that you cannot drive off of the roads to retrieve downed game, and there are no ATV's allowed in BLM land. But I understand there are areas one can just pull off the road and set up tents or campers? Secondly, I have been looking at TOPO maps, and from the air, it looks like Baker's Peak is a great area to camp and hunt...Is this area all public land? Finally, the areas we normally hunt are adjacent to private land, but there are fences, and gates are clearly marked; are private lands well marked around that area?

Thank you again, and if we have another good year, I'll post pics. I tried to attach a couple of pics from last year, but apparently, I'm not sharp enough to figure out how to do it. Sad
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Location: NW Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:42 am    Post subject: Re: Camping in GMU-4 Colorado Reply with quote

It looks as if you are on the right track. If you are talking about Baker's Peak State Trust area, it is public, however, as of last year, in order to hunt etc. on State Trust areas you need to make sure you have conservation tag for each of your first 2 licenses (it is kind of confusing if you read the regulatory language- if say Joe Bob had 1 deer and 1elk license, he would need 2 conservation tags, if Billy Bob has 2 elk and 1 deer license, he would only need 2 conservation tags, likewise if Sue Bob has one deer license only she would only need one conservation tag) and you either order these with your license or can pick them up anywhere that sells licenses for around $5-7 each, I don't remember the exact fee. I am not real clear on the camping regs for state trust, but for National Forest and BLM you should be ok with just pulling off the road and setting up, but you are right about not being able to get off the road to snag up your kill. I do know that if there is a trail head, you need to camp 300yds from the trail head and no closer than 100yds rom the trail itself. Public land is usually marked pretty well, however, you will need to keep your eyes open for placards at cattle crossings, usually an 8" x 12" sign saying you are either entering or leaving public lands, additionally there will be 3" wide fiberglass reflector type poles, usually brown in color stating the same near regular roads and designated trails. In order to be sure, you should really reference a state or government issued topographical map clarifying you position. I take off tomorrow to set up elk camp. I wish you the very best of luck in your hunt.

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