Jul 192017

5 Best Places to Go Elk Hunting in Colorado

by:  Chris Browning – Founder and Editor for Gun News Daily

Colorado is far and away my favorite state for hunting.

With over 250,000 elk within its borders, the state is home to around 40 percent of the particular animal’s population in the country. To get the maximum number of the said wildlife in your freezer, you have to learn the rules of the game.

First, because of the nature of land in the state, you will mostly have to climb, meaning you first have to get physically fit. Many hunters also tend to forget the basic fact that hunting is a backpacking sport.

Stay away from highways as much as possible since the big game in Colorado (and most states) is usually found further away from the road.

Roads are a lot more comfortable for hunters, but the results show that you can’t get much by staying away from the deep wilderness.

Note: it’s illegal in Colorado, and most states, to shoot from the road. You can, however, spot from the road (but don’t do it if you’re driving!).

Colorado Elk Hunting

Similarly, you need to shop for the best boots. The sport involves walking for hours, and if your boots are not capable of standing the pressure, you shouldn’t expect to get any game at all.

Of course, you can do all this and even put in more time and effort, but still, end up with an empty freezer. In such a case, your mistake would simply be targeting the wrong spots.

That is why we took the time to compile a list of the best places to go elk hunting in Colorado. Here are my top five:

1. Unit 74

This unit spreads across the counties of La Plata and San Juan. For every 1.1 bulls in this area, there are 5 cows.

About 85 percent of the land here has been publicized. Using private land for hunting will require you to let the other hunters know about your activities. The chances of success in this unit are about 21.1 percent, owing to the publicizing of most of the land.

Regardless, unit 74 has still consistently ranked among the top 20 places for hunting in the state. It has one of the highest success rates and total harvests.

The total harvest in the unit is about 100. For unit 74, it is best to hunt during the second and third rifle seasons.

2. Unit 65

This unit crosses over to Gunnison, Ou Ray, Montrose, and Hinsdale Counties. Hunting in this area is determined by snowfall and the best periods are usually the second and third rifle seasons.

The bull to cow ratio is about 1 to 5. Unit 65 is experiencing an increase in elk population, and this has also driven the success rate slightly up to just over 22 percent. The total harvest in 2015 was 95.

The unit is vast, and you will probably have to walk for a minimum of 2 hours before getting to where the elk are. Usually, they are in the rough parts, and these are located deep in the unit. It is best to get to the wilderness before dawn and wait for the elk to go feeding during the day. You can expect to spend the greater part of the day in the unit.

3. Unit 13

This game management unit is located in Upper Yampa. It has a bull to cow ratio of 1:4, and has a success rate of 41 percent. The total harvest in 2015 was 133.

This unit is mostly private land, and this is what contributes to the high success rate. For the best chance of success, go hunting in the archery and third rifle seasons.

The unit has a high population of deer and elk. Unit 13 is also known to have lots of canyons and steep gulches, and these are used by archery hunters very much.

These areas are mostly situated in the southern parts of the unit.

4. Unit 22

Unit 22 is located in Piceance, Colorado. It has a bull to cow ratio of 1 to 5, and hunting is most productive in archery season.

The total harvest in the unit was 84 in 2015. Although this unit has lots of public land, there are natural gas companies that are stationed in the area, and these may cause obstructions. When hunting in the unit, make sure you have recent maps of the area since several portions of the land have come into private ownership. The unit is best accessed from above.

Unit 22 is known for its heat. Some of the elk even succumb to the high temperature in the lower parts of the unit. This also makes it good for bow hunting.

Most of the elk are found in the higher areas of the unit, which are the western and northern ends of the Roan plateau. These parts have dense woods and aspen, and these further increase its value as a bow hunting area.

It is important to note that the unit is also bear habitat. The traditional advice has been to lock your food in the trunk of your car.

Generally, all scents need to be kept to a minimum if you want to avoid a bear attack. This includes body sprays. You should also have a bear spray in a holster so that you can access it fast.

5. Unit 11

This general management unit is located in Lower Yampa. The bull to cow ratio is 1 to 4. In 2015, the unit had a total harvest of 57.

The best times to hunt in this unit are in the first and second rifle, usually determined by the snowfall in the area.

Snow usually forces the elk to migrate to lower regions of the unit. For the same reason, the area is poor for archery hunting. In the warmer seasons, the elk and deer are far apart and fewer in number. The area is best for mule deer and elk hunting.

Because of the high concentration of big game in snowfall, hunters are able to enjoy the very high success rate of 23 percent.

Safety for Hunters

The forest and wilderness are very dangerous places for all types of people. That is why you need to take some safety measures when going hunting.

These tips should help you survive the danger posed by wildlife:

  • Always carry pepper or bear spray when going into woods with bear population. Target the bear’s eyes, and make sure you spray when the bear is at least 2 yards away. The actual distance depends on the particular product, so make sure you know the specifics before spraying your potential killer. The spray should be able to make the bear drop.
  • Carry large-caliber guns for protection against big animals. If you can grok it, I recommend carrying a shotgun like the Remmy 870. If that sounds cumbersome, try a large-caliber handgun like the .44 magnum, .454 Cassull or .500 S&W (my trail gun). These guns are powerful enough to penetrate the skull of bears, and should always be targeted to the said body part.
  • Point the pistol to the mouth and eyes of the attacker. In case you miss, you are still very likely to hit the large muscular lump over the bear’s head.


Colorado is the best state for hunters. It has the highest population of elk in all of the North America.

All you need to do is find the best game management units in the state, and you will be able to fill up your freezer.

Also, remember to check the best times of the year for hunting in each of the units.


Jul 042017

Concealed Carry and Make My DayThe left is starting to feel the push back and they do not like it nor know how to handle it. The coming years will be very interesting indeed and more violence and problems are bound to follow. Everyone should learn the basic dos and don’ts of self-defense. Both learn how to use firearms safely and to use your brain to follow the law and be sure that you can justify everything you do based on good common sense fundamentals that our industry teaches. I see comments and posts every day where people make statements like “I’ll shoot anyone who enters my home”. Do you think for one moment that if you have an event like this happen in your home that the investigators aren’t going to look up everything you have ever said online?? Be smart, learn to say things in a way that make you the good guy or gal. A better way to express that a man’s castle is his home might be to say that “if my life or my families life is ever threatened in my
home I will do what it takes to protect them”. This is a statement that you can defend. Be smart follow the law. Understand how to word your statements or comments so that you are the good guy or gal. Many people including police officers do not understand the “make my day law” in Colorado. Make sure you do and you will save yourself and your family a lot of agony.

A discussion of the “make my day law” and its pitfalls are in every concealed handgun class that I teach. I can also direct you to seminars held by attorneys happening around Colorado that you might like to attend.

DISCLAIMER: Have Gun Will Train Colorado and Rick Sindeband does NOT give legal advice. You should seek competent legal advice if you own a firearm for self-defense. Discuss the legal ramifications of firearms and self-defense with a knowledgeable attorney who specializes in CRIMINAL LAW in your local jurisdiction. Law, both statutory and common, regarding self-defense varies widely from one area to the next and is constantly changing. Only accept legal advice on firearms and/or self-defense from the POLICE or OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES OR OFFICIALS if it is in writing on official letterhead signed by a sworn senior supervisory official of that department in his or her official capacity or a current official document of that department bearing the department’s insignia and signed by the current head of the department (Chief of Police, Sheriff, or Special Agent In Charge). Verbal (not in writing) advice from law enforcement personnel may be in error and will have NO standing in a court of law.

May 242017

Manual of ArmsPeople look at me like I’m crazy when I say to them know your Manual of Arms. This saying comes from a prescribed drill in handling a weapon with the military. What it means to us is that you should be very familiar with your firearm. Know every feature of the gun you are carrying for personal protection. One of the things I like to do on 1911’s or semi-autos that lock the slide when the safety is engaged (not all pistols lock the slide when the safety is engaged) is to load them with dummy rounds and put the safety on. Then I ask the student to pick up the gun unload it and make it safe. A  person that knows the firearm and is proficient at manual of arms knows that before he or she can rack the slide they have to disengage the safety. I have had people pull and pull on the slide not knowing why they can’t move it. It’s funny but it really isn’t. How much time do you think that person wasted pulling on that slide and having it go nowhere. Do you think it might be important if you were trying to defend yourself, and you were scared out of your mind, not to waste that precious time. How long does it take a person with a machete to travel 21 feet? I think Dennis Tueller told us it was 1.5 seconds.

May 182017
Shotgun training in Pueblo,Colorado
NRA Basic Shotgun Shooting Course
Sign Up Below
When: Saturday, July 1, 2017,9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Where: Republic Shooting Range,4960 44th Lane, Avondale, CO 81022
Cost per person $85 Sponsor: Pueblo West Guns and Ammo
The NRA Basic Shotgun Shooting Course teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude for the
safe and proper use of a shotgun in shooting a moving target. This course includes classroom
and range time learning how to shoot shotguns at moving targets. Students learn NRA’s rules for
safe gun handling; shotgun parts and operation; shotgun shell components; shotgun shell
malfunctions; shooting fundamentals; range rules; shooting at straight away and angled targets;
cleaning; and continued opportunities for skill development. All ammo will be furnished for 12ga
shotguns. Items needed for class will be published separately.
In addition, everyone will get some experience in Sporting Clays and Home Defense
Class size will be limited sign up early to reserve your spot
  •   Colorado Concealed Handgun Level I
      NRA Basic Shotgun Shooting Course
      Colorado Concealed Handgun Level II
      Colorado Concealed Handgun Level III
      Renewal Training Concealed Handgun Permit
      Presentation and Draw from Holster
      NRA Home Firearm Safety
      NRA Basic Pistol
      Semi-Auto Pistol Cleaning
      Pepper Spray
      Range Safety Officer
      Law and Legal
Apr 162017

May Free Gun Cleaning Class

May Free Gun Cleaning ClassBack by popular demand. We had some great classes in March so we are going to do it again in May.

Not all firearms are easy to clean. If you have never cleaned a gun before or are new to guns, or if you are having trouble disassembling or reassembling your firearm when you clean it, then you will want to come to one of our comprehensive classes on gun cleaning. This free gun cleaning class is designed to help the gun owner learn and understand the best possible way to clean their particular firearm. Learn from a knowledgeable instructor that has over 20 years of stripping, cleaning, reassembling, modifying, and rebuilding various firearms. Come to class with the firearm you want to clean. We will supply you with everything you will need to clean your gun, and provide hands on classroom instruction:

You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to clean a modern firearm, unless it has been neglected. We’ll show you what you need and will probably save you a bunch of money.

When you bring your firearm to class please follow these safety rules:

Free Gun Cleaning Class will be held at 6:30pm Tuesday Evenings in the month of May. Space is limited and advance sign up is required. Once you sign up you will be sent instructions by email about where class will be held. Give us your information on this form and include the gun make and model you will be bringing to class. There are several methods and preferences to cleaning your firearms, the methods offered in this class are only suggestions, it is always better to follow the manufactures recommendations for a clean and well maintained firearm.

Free Gun Cleaning Class
  •   May 2nd
      May 9th
      May 16th
      May 23rd
      May 30th
Apr 042017

picking firearms instructorsA student seeking a firearms instructor will evaluate the quality of training offered. You are making an investment and your life may someday depend on this training and the ideas your new instructor may have. Modern handgun skills have not changed much in the past as far as standards of safe gun handling and the fine points of good marksmanship and shooting skills. There are leaders in the firearms industry who set the standards of exceptional training, such as Massad Ayoob and many others. Some people are fortunate to have trained with these individuals and share their knowledge throughout the country. Learn where your instructor received training and make sure that you’re getting quality and correct information. Think about the difference between the pro athlete and the coach.  The pro might or might not make a good coach.  The coach played that sport, maybe not at a pro level, but can bring others to that level.


Picking Firearms Instructors-

Most good instructors have trained with a variety of mentors that discuss different styles and methodologies. Keep in mind that military and law enforcement personnel may have received exceptional firearms training, but that does not mean that he or she is a firearms instructor. Further, instructors that do not have experience teaching civilians may have mindset and tactics that are very different from the training you want.

If your instructor has only recently become an instructor, or maybe even a gun owner, he or she may not be a good resource. Look for diversity of training and additional classes being offered before deciding to take a class or lesson. A person may be certified to teach a License to Carry or CCW permit course, but he or she may not be a firearms instructor that can teach safe gun handling and points of marksmanship. One teaches you how to shoot; one teaches the law for a permit or license.

Some credentials that show your instructor can shoot is always helpful. Instructors that do not encourage you to seek additional training either have large egos or they are overconfident about their curriculum or worry that you will give your training dollars to someone else.

A reputable instructor is not always the teacher, but enjoys being a student. He or she will attend continuing education sessions and training to constantly advance and/or reinforce their skills. Be sure your instructor is industry connected. The firearms industry is very competitive, but also very interconnected. Good instructors collaborate and participate in the greater firearms community. See if your instructor has ever taught at a Women on Target event with the NRA or other similar large events.

As you look at your instructor’s bio and resume, you want see some of these top instructors and others: Kathy Jackson (Cornered Cat), Karl Rehn (KR Training), Massad Ayoob and Gail Pippen, Tom and Lynn Givens (Rangemaster), Marty and Gila Hayes, Rob Pincus, Robert Vogel, Ben Stoeger, Rob Leatham, Ken Hackathorn, Larry Vickers, Paul Howe, Clint Smith (Thunder Ranch), Jerry and Kay Miculek, John and Vicki Farnam, Jim Higginbotham, and those who have trained with them.

See Ricks Credentials