Most of the Sangre De Cristo Ranches (SDCR)( and Costilla County) are located in Unit 83. The elk population in this Area is estimated at 7,000 animals. The SDCR has over 5,000 acres of "Greenbelt" which has been set aside for hunting and recreation.  We have several parcels above 9,000' elevation surrounded by Greenbelt or with Greenbelt nearby.  Most of the private land up there in the SDCR is owned by out-of-state owners and it is easy to get your neighbor's permission to hunt on their land.  You can purchase over-the-counter bull licenses at the Post Commisary in Fort Garland for most Game Management Units, including our UNIT 83, for the second and third rifle seasons


2017 2nd Rifle Season:  October 21-29

2017 3rd Rifle Season:  November 4-12 


As of 2017, you can bring  a young person, age 12-17, with a hunter safety certificate and they can get an out-of-state bull license for $110. Adults have to pay $650 for an out-of-state bull license.  You can also go to the internet, starting in Mid-July and get leftover cow licenses for $490. You can get a small game out of state license and hunt grouse during the elk seasons. The grouse population has built up again  and the best time is in the morning , when they are on the ground feeding.

Colorado Big Game Hunting Brochure

Colorado Big Game Regulations

Ranching for Wildlife- Trinchera Ranch

Southern Colorado Game Units
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GMU 83- Costilla County, Colorado
The Trinchera Elk Herd in our Game Management Unit 83 is one of the largest in Colorado with an estimated Population of 16,000 elk.  The Sangre De Cristo Ranches Area covers about 60,000 acres south of US160 and east of CO Hwy 159, and all of that area is located in GMU 83. About 5000 acres are common land that can be used by the owners for hunting.  There are about 400 miles of good roads in the SDCR Area, reaching close to 12,000' in several areas. With ownership or permission, hunting is allowed .
Colorado Law prohibits shooting within 1/4 mile of occupied residences and shooting across roads.
Attached are elk hunting statistics for GMU 83 for the four rifle seasons from 2000-2006.  Elk are usually above 10,000' during the first and 2nd season and they move down after a heavy snow ( more that 8").  Cows and doe deer start moving down in late October or early November.
GMU 83 also has an Archery and a Muzzle-Loading Season in September of each year, with great success when calling in big bulls with an elk bugle.
GMU 82 and GMU 861
These Game Management Units encompass the western portion of the Blanca Massif with lots of public land available for hunting. There are large areas of BLM land in the western foothills , access to the San Isabel and Rio Grande National Forest and lots of Wilderness Area up in the high country. This area has the Sand Dunes Elk Herd with an estimated population of 5600 animals and a good bull to cow ratio.  This area is close to San Luis Valley Ranches Units 11,12, 13 and 14.  Most of these units have some access within walking distance to BLM and National Forest land.


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Colorado Big Game Hunting Research