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All Elk... All The time => Hunt Planner => Topic started by: Jyoung1901 on February 09, 2020, 10:28:05 PM

Title: Grand Mesa Questions
Post by: Jyoung1901 on February 09, 2020, 10:28:05 PM
This year will be my second year Elk hunting. I went last year to Montana and I am HOOKED. After entering in Colorado's DAU 2018 post hunt estimates into a spreadsheet, narrowing them down by several factors (herd estimates/size/public land %, success rates, etc), pouring over GoHunt for about 30 OTC units. I Narrowed it down to 25/26 and 41/411/52/421 (grand mesa area). Once I did that I began E-scouting on GE and did some forum research just to get a feel for what people say about those units (pressure, access, terrain, etc) to help me make the final decision. I Finally settled on the Grand Mesa area for our September archery elk hunt.

We'll be leaving on the 18th and coming back to TN on the 26th.
Grand Mesa is very different from my usual E-scouting I feel because of the giant anomoly in the middle of it (the actual mesa) so very few north facing slopes, water everywhere, huge parks on top of the mesa, etc. So I relied heavily on the Colorado ARCgis map and used it to give me some starting points based on ranges/migration Routes/etc combined with GoHunt advice and OnX roadless areas and have come up with Options A, B, C, D. Most of them not being actually on the Mesa.

So I say all of that backstory to hopefully separate myself from the usual "hey im going to this unit where should i go" posts by showing all of the effort and research put into it.

I have a few specific questions below that are general in nature (if that makes sense). I also will be calling the biologist for that area at some point this summer when time gets a little closer and asking them specific questions.

1. Hiking on and off the Mesa: Based on Elevation profile on GE and just visually it seems like on the Lands end finger of the mesa, there may be edges that you can hike down besides Indian point at the end? Obviously it wont be fun hiking back up but if we were to park on top of the mesa and use the network of roads to be mobile as we move down our options list. Is this ridiculous or is it doable?

2. Roads on the Mesa: Based on the fact that hwy. 65 is a paved road that goes up onto the mesa and then a network of forest roads/trails off of that. I am assuming that since they are pretty flat on top of the mesa that I should have no problem with a 4x4 f150 on 35" a/t tires? Is that assumption correct or should I still get chains just in case.

3. Glassing / Calling: Obviously the mesa has a lot of open space, but I was curious if glassing off of the mesa down below is effective at all? There look to be a few clearings and such but on GE I cant differentiate low oak brush from taller trees. Just curious if using the mesa as a "peak" to glass/call from is a dumb idea or if it could be viable.

4. Pressure Expectations: Obviously its Colorado, so there will be a lot of hunters. However, is most of the pressure coming from guys hunting the top of the mesa because its easy and flat? If we put in the miles off the mesa are we likely to be able to not be bumping into people left and right?

Thanks in Advance! And if anyone is familiar with the unit and is willing to share any additional knowledge or tell me if my areas i'm looking at and options are totally in left field and nowhere near elk, I definitely would be appreciative for the opportunity to PM them.
Title: Re: Grand Mesa Questions
Post by: WW on February 10, 2020, 08:08:52 AM
Can't help you all that much about the Mesa. But you mentioned something about tire chains. And I don't care where you hunt in Colorado, you should always have tire chains, tow chains, shovel, saw or ax, and a good jack.(JUST IN CASE) Most of us out here carry a handy man or hi-lift jack. They can be used as a jack or a winch if you know how to use them. Where ever you chose to hunt, be prepared!
Title: Re: Grand Mesa Questions
Post by: Jyoung1901 on February 10, 2020, 09:03:41 AM
Thanks WW. My other hobby is jeeping/rock crawling so most of the other things I already have. Just unsure about tire chains. Some people say I can buy them at Oreillys and return them if i dont use them?

not trying to skimp, just a couple hundred bucks on chains that I have no use for except once a year as an insurance policy could go towards other things.