Locating the Right Colorado Hunting Property
Finding the right hunting property in Colorado can be a long process, but with patience and knowledge, the avid sportsman can find a hunting property that will provide many years of hunting enjoyment. It is also important to have the right person working with you to select a property that will suit your hunting needs. While one property may provide excellent elk hunting, it may not provide waterfowl or bird hunting opportunities. Areas with large expanses of wetland may provide excellent waterfowl hunting opportunities, but not offer much in the way of wild game. The proper broker will help you in distinguishing which property will work best for your needs.
When selecting a property that is tailored to your hunting needs, it is important to find a broker who specializes in hunting property who can either take you out to view the property first-hand or be able to give you specific details on exactly what the land has to offer. One of the most important factors when selecting the right Colorado hunting property is access to both the property itself as well as the surrounding public and private lands. Without the proper access, hunting can be cut short or become impossible altogether.
People seeking hunting property in Colorado should also research the availability of hunting licenses that are available in the area and be sure the proper permits are available before making a final purchase. Another important factor to consider is the availability and access of various water sources such as ponds, lakes, rivers and streams. Many migrating animals will seek out these water sources, so it is important to know the numbers and locations of these sources.
For those hunting enthusiasts who seek a quality elk hunting experience, the ability to find those experiences has become harder and harder. Overcrowding of public lands and local pressure has caused quality game to retreat onto private land and the opportunity to hunt quality elk in their natural, relaxed state is becoming a rarity. This has created more demand for hunting property, driving the price for such property out of the range of the average hunter. By locating the right hunting property professional, the average hunter should be able to find a property that will adequately suit all hunting needs and requirements. A knowledgeable broker will be able to assist you in learning game population on and off the property as well as migration routes.
A valuable source of information to any avid sportsman seeking to purchase hunting property in Colorado is the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW). The DOW’s website can provide a valuable education resource to learn about the various counties in Colorado. Their interactive GMU map is an electronic mapping system that provides a layout of the land as well as migration routes and ranges. The DOW also provides hunting enthusiasts the opportunity to be put on their mailing list to receive their annual big game hunting brochure. It is good to know that when purchasing hunting property in Colorado that all private landowners with at least 160 acres are able to register their property with the DOW and apply for special vouchers. Colorado hunting opportunities that include private property will require interested hunters to contact the landowner for permission to hunt and receive a voucher, which will also require paying a fee.
With over ten species of big game animals to hunt, Colorado is a literal sportsman’s paradise. A person armed with the proper knowledge when purchasing a hunting property in Colorado will have the opportunity to select from a wide range of animals including elk, mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goat and whitetail deer. Learning the limited available seasons for these animals will also aid the buyer when choosing a property, especially if the property will only be used at certain times of the year. It will be important to know the weather conditions for these particular hunting seasons. Some areas that are located at higher elevations will have much more limited access in the winter months due to snowfall.
Understanding these basics will assist the purchase of a prime hunting property to provide you with a pleasurable hunting experience and make owning a hunting property in Colorado work to your benefit for many years to come.
Considerations When Purchasing a Hunting Property
For most of us serious hunters the thought of owning your own private hunting ranch with abundant game inspires dreams of grandeur.
So whether you are looking for that “dream ranch” of 1000 acres or more, or planning to buy your own little corner of the world in a 35 acre subdivision, some basic points should be considered before you buy that Colorado Ranch for sale.
This document is intended to focus on the selection of a big game Colorado hunting property. The basic premise could also apply to surrounding states.
Location - We often get tired of the old adage about location, but it applies to hunting in a significant way. Colorado has the largest elk herd in the country and they are found in all mountain areas of the state. Some elk are even wandering to the Eastern Plains (their original habitat) and have been seen in Limon and other eastern communities.
There are, however, parts of Colorado where elk have a higher degree of concentration. For example, the Northwest Region contains almost half of the 250,000+ elk in Colorado. Additionally, there very good pockets of concentration throughout Colorado and you need to know these areas to make an informed decision.
Deer are found just about everywhere in Colorado. The mountain hunting units hold about 90% of the deer with the Northwest part of the state holding almost 300,000 of the 600, 000 deer. Again, excellent deer hunting can be found in all areas of the state.
Habitat – Food, water, and shelter are the three essentials that enable big game to thrive. To the degree that your new property has any or all of this, it will improve your odds of having hunting opportunities.
While deer and elk are also found at all elevations, the ideal habitat is in the 6,500 to 9,000 range. Your ranch, depending on location, may only support deer and elk during a certain time of the year, as many of the herds migrate. It is important to understand, for the area that you choose, if there are resident herds or migratory herds. Are they there during hunting season, or do they just winter there.
Agricultural production will draw animals to your property, but absent of say hay production, a property with natural meadows, some water and good browse is going to be essential for game to call it home.
Game Management Units – Colorado is divided up into Game Management Units (GMU) http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/GMUnitMaps.htm
It is very important that you understand what unit(s) the subject property sits in to understand what your opportunities may be.
To begin with, there are four big game rifle seasons in Colorado. In addition, there is an archery season and a muzzle loader season. You will want to know what is the best season or seasons to hunt the subject property. This goes back to the discussion of resident herds, versus migratory herds. Also, you may want to consider the rut, (archery, muzzle loader) or later season to improve the chances for cooler weather and snow.
In Colorado, all deer and many elk tags are draw only, using a preference point system. So the next question is, how many preference points do I need to hunt the subject property? The answer to this question can vary from zero to several. This could mean having to wait a few years to hunt you new ranch.
Some good news is that for those properties in trophy game units, there are typically landowner tags available. The minimum acreage is 160 to qualify, and as the acreage goes up, so do the available tags.
Public Land – Colorado has millions of acres of public land including US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and State land. There is some excellent hunting on a lot of this land, especially areas that have limited access to the public. In Colorado, it is illegal for the public to access public land directly through private land without permission.
Summary – The intent of this article is to inform the reader of some of the many considerations when looking for a big game hunting property. We at Colorado Ranch Sales have decades of big game hunting experience throughout Colorado and are prepared to help you through the process of selection that ideal hunting property.
Therefore, in your search for the ideal hunting property, proper selection of properties adjoining public land can significantly increase your hunting acreage without increasing you cost.