Keystone Real Estate: Hunting elk … or condos in Keystone Resort |

Keystone Real Estate: Hunting elk … or condos in Keystone Resort

Craig Walsh
Special to the Daily

Most people think of Keystone as home base for some of the best skiing and riding in the winter and/or mountain biking, golfing or fly-fishing in the summer. Did you also know that since there are more elk in Colorado than anywhere in the world, Keystone is a place that can provide some of the easiest and most convenient access to some of THE best elk hunting available in the state!

In the backyard of the Arapahoe and White River National Forest, Keystone not only offers some of the most memorable vacation experiences summer, winter, fall OR spring, but just beyond the resort is some of the best elk hunting in the high desert of Northwest Colorado. Large herds of mule deer, elk and pronghorn antelope frequent the rolling sage hills, draws and canyons of fine private ranches and public lands. Also, if you are a Colorado resident, you pay much lower license fees: mountain goat, bighorn sheep and moose licenses are $1,761 for out-of-state hunters and only $251 for residents.Elk hunters can find an infinite number of exciting hunts within two hours – from Kremmling to Fairplay to Rifle and everywhere in between. Here’s a look at some options. The White River Game Management Unit offers milder weather during the first hunt at lower elevations, 5,300 feet in the sage brush near Rifle progressing to oak brush and mountain brush, aspen, evergreen and alpine tundra. Later in the season 4X4s and a good outfitter can pack your party off-road. (GMU 12, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34, 231)

Eagle River Valley units are bordered by the Colorado River, the Gore Range, the Red Table Mountains and the Continental Divide. Beginning at 6,000 feet with sagebrush and pinion to 14,000 feet, the weather can vary tremendously, especially in the high country. (GMU 35, 36, 44, 45)

Middle Park is surrounded by the Continental Divide and the Gore Range Divide and includes lots of steep terrain with rapidly changing weather. The lower elevations are private lands and the remaining two-thirds public. Horses and pack animals are recommended for remote tracts and for wilderness areas. This section is an easy getaway for hunters from the Denver area and can be overhunted. (GMU 18, 27, 28, 37, 181, 371)

For the big game hunt, consider hiring an outfitter to help improve your chances of success. Depending on the goals of the hunter, outfitters direct the parties to different spots. Hunters wanting a four-point or better bull elk will hunt different territory than those seeking a cow elk for a freezer full of meat. Also, please know that hunters in Colorado must either pack out their own game or hire a licensed outfitter to care for the animal. Still ahead in 2011 are hunts for separate limited elk, Oct. 11-15; combined deer and elk, Oct. 8-15; pronghorn, Oct. 21-29; and combined limited, Nov. 12-16.

Happy hunting!

The Walsh Group and RE/MAX Properties of the Summit may not be the expert when it comes to bagging that big bull elk but we do offer expert service when it comes to ‘hunting down’ that perfect vacation home or the quintessential ‘cabin in the woods.’ Just give the real estate experts at The Walsh Group a call (800) 594-1010 or (970) 376-0199 for assistance. You’re welcome to just visit our website at or you can email us at as well.

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