This unit has gone through the biggest changes of any of the units over the past two years. The CPW has taken the tact to drastically reduce the goat population. That mandate will likely result in the goats getting eradicated from certain drainages, at least temporarily. The density of goats is higher than any other area I have guided in, but there are a few things you should know before applying here: 1) The non-hunting activity is intense. This can lead to many awkward discussions on the trail and, I personally feel, it takes away from the experience of the hunt. 2) The terrain here is rugged. Just because you can glass-up goats from a parking lot, does not mean you are going to be able to ethically harvest them. 3) The hunting pressure is nuts. The nature of goat hunting can really concentrate hunters. When you are talking close to 30 tags in the unit at a time, hunting becomes a competitive sport.
Location – Maroon Bells Wilderness and Surrounding Area
Type – Historical harvest is concentrated but goats are spread throughout the area and available outside of the heavily trafficked areas. Since 2016, tag numbers have been drastically increased. This has created difficult hunts for later dates. Goats are not too savvy, but they do move to rough country after sustained pressure. This country can kill you and has killed hunters in recent history. A physical hunt. Getting the good billies takes scouting and game planning.
Quality – Lots of opportunity for hunters ready for the terrain, hold out for an 8”+ Billy.
Success Rate – If you can get up in the rugged terrain, you can kill a mid-size goat. Scout and hunt hard to find the best goat.
Draw – For hunters just wanting to check-off a goat hunt and that are in decent shape, this hunt is one of your best draws. For hunters wanting the pristine, no-one-in-sight goat hunt they have been dreaming about since they were 12 years-old it’s only an OK draw. Because of intense hunting pressure, billies are much easier to harvest during the first season but do not have near the hide they will in the second season. Once I factor in the potential for snow on the rugged goat habitat during 2nd season, I lean a bit towards the first season. Lots of terrain here is un-doable once it has a slick of snow on it.
$4,500 1×1 Guided 4-Day Hunt
*Assistant guides/spotters/packers can be added to hunts. 4 day hunts – $900 fee, 7 day hunts – $1,400 fee. If you are not in mountain hunting shape, you will likely need to add a packer.