Best Colorado Elk Hunting Guides – 2021 Ultimate Review

| Last Updated June 9, 2021

Vivid landscapes, high plains, plateaus, rivers, canyons, forests, mesas, and desert lands; all of these define Colorado. It is one of the most scenic and beautiful states in the US, which features a diverse landscape. On the one hand, are the snow-covered Rocky Mountains while on the other is the arid desert. It is the state that you should visit at least once in your lifetime. 

Big-game hunting in Colorado is vast and varied. As they say, variety is the spice of life. The spice Colorado offers comes in the form of elk, mountain goat, black bear, bighorn sheep, moose, and white-tailed and mule deer. Amongst these hunting species, elks are a majestic catch. Their biggest herd resides here, enabling Colorado to offer more elk hunting opportunities in a single year than most states.

Since the Colorado landscape is vast and varied, we suggest that you acquire the services of a good elk hunting guide to make the most of your trip. If you are an expert, go ahead and plan a trip yourself. But being a beginner at hunting can land you in serious trouble if you don’t know what you are doing. Hunting licenses can be very cheap here, but fines are certainly hefty. 

In this article, we have gathered the best elk hunting guides. If you are a beginner who is planning to head towards Colorado this season, you should check them out. They are known for their great services and professionalism. Read on to learn more. 

Comparison of the Best Colorado Elk Hunting Guides

  • Most Popular
  • Has a high success rate
  • You get full accommodation included
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  • Best Value
  • A variety of game is available for hunting
  • Fully guided experience
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  • Provides a large hunting space
  • Hunting trips last for five days
  • Stalking and different hunting applications
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  • Accommodation is provided
  • You get all meals included with the package
  • Transport on territory is provided
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  • Guided hunting experience
  • Field trophy preparation is included
  • Stalking and bow hunting
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  • Great for family or group of friends
  • Combo hunting is included
  • Guided hunting for the group
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  • A variety of deer is available for hunting
  • Guided hunting on regular trips
  • Trophies are prepared on the spot
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Why Colorado is Such a Great Place to Hunt Elk

Colorado is the region of the Rocky Mountains. It offers opportunities for some of the best big-game hunting. Each year, hoards of hunters within and out of state, beginner or experienced, all set out to seek a new adventure. Here are some reasons why Colorado is such a great place to hunt.

Acres of Public Land

Unlike other states, Colorado has wide-open spaces that are accessible to anybody. It boasts around 23 million acres of public land, making it a state that grants the best hunting access. Hunting is more fun with the spirit of fair chase. The national forests, state parks, BLM lands, state wildlife areas, and state trust all make it possible. 

Higher Elk Population 

The state is the home of the largest population of elks. The greater number means better chances of success. You also have a choice of seasons and weapons to take down your prey. Colorado is the only state that offers unlimited bull-elk licenses to hunters during the second as well as third rifle seasons.

Easier Licensing 

Colorado is one of the states that allow hunters to choose between a variety of different licenses. Here the permits are not only easier to obtain but are also quite cheap. You can apply to draw for big-game licenses on the point of preference basis. Or you can also purchase it over the counter. 

Natural Beauty

Colorado is very scenic. From the secluded wilderness to dense forests and infinite skies of the open prairie, it certainly offers something for everyone. Elk hunting here is a great way to escape from your daily grind and reconnect with nature. 

Review of the Best Colorado Elk Hunting Guides

Colorado is one of the best places to go elk hunting. If you are a pro, you can do it yourself. But if you are relatively new, we suggest that you hire the services of a good guide. Hunting in Colorado is also a backpacking sport; you have to hike and climb a lot because of the nature of the land.

That’s why having a guide is helpful. Here is a list of some of the best Colorado elk hunting guides. You can go through it and choose one who is more suitable for your expedition. 

Most Popular:
Colorado Guided Archery Elk Hunt

What the Hunt Includes

With the owners of the hunt themselves having an experience of 23 years, this is the most popular hunt guide service. It includes all the bare necessities like accommodations and delicious meals three times a day. They are also responsible for providing additional snacks and beverages. They will also provide you the means of transportation around the territory. And once you are successful in taking down your target, they will pack, cape, skin and transport it to your camp or trailhead.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This service is known to operate in a territory that boasts a historically low hunter pressure. This means that their territory of public land does not have a huge number of hunters roaming around to scare away the elks. It increases your chances of success considerably.

It is operating since 2017 and has been providing quality service to all its clients. When they promise to provide a safe and enjoyable hunt, they stand by it with their hospitality, delicious food, and comfortable lodgings. They have employed people who are good at what they do. From guides to other staff, everyone is a true professional.

Best Value:
Justin – Guided Cow Elk hunts Group Discount!

What the Hunt Includes 

The company has been operating in Colorado for about 20 years. It is functional in four territories. When you book with them, you are eligible for transportation all over the territory, though you will have to drive to them yourself. 

During the hunt, you will be guided by a PH. They don’t guarantee a “kill,” but they will provide you with the opportunity to harvest an animal. Once you are successful, they are responsible for trophies, trophy measurements, and field trophy preparation. This hunt is limited access and is offered to groups of three to six people. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like this hunt because it has the most impressive tracking and calling skills. Their territory is loaded with elks. The friendly and hard-working staff do everything in their might to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. 

The owner himself takes a sincere interest in making your hunt the best one. All members prose to provide you with the opportunity, but from there on, the rest is up to you. They strive very hard to keep you safe. Their attitude is all about making you their returning client. The hunt is quite affordable and deserves every penny you spend over it. 

3. Lee – 5 Day Bull Elk Trespass Fee Hunt

What the Hunt Includes

Established in 2000, the company has been operating in a single territory for nearly two decades. This guided hunt is available for a single hunter, so it provides you with a limited number of facilities. These include transfer from the airport. Once here, you can hunt in the 7000 acres of non-fenced territory.

You will have to arrange for accommodations. They have a cabin that you can rent, but it is available on a first-come-first-serve basis. If it is not free, you can set up a camp on the ranch, or you can also bring an RV.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This hunt has employed some of the most down-to-earth people. They are very friendly, hospitable, and attentive to your needs. The guides work very hard to bring you on the animals. They won’t guarantee your success but will provide you with an excellent opportunity.

They are all about making your hunting experience worthwhile, even if it involves slowing down and going with you on your pace. They will never rush you. With them, you can learn a lot about elk hunting. The days you spend here will be action-packed. The thrill of hunting in a densely populated area will keep you on your feet. 

4. Lee – 5 Day Cow Elk Hunt

What the Hunt Includes

With this package, Lee offers tons of facilities. You can stay at one of the hunt cabins on the ranch. The cabin is supplied with electricity and has a fully functional en-suite bathroom. You can also use the shower provided for hunters. You will be provided hot meals three times a day. At odd hours, you can ask for snacks and beverages or soft drinks. 

He will arrange for your transportation around the territory and a PH to guide you on the hunt. Once you manage to get a kill shot, they will arrange for the field trophy preparation as well. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Lee has gone all out to provide his clients with one of the best hunting experiences ever. This is a five-day package for one hunter, so you get to hunt in wide-open territory that houses a large herd of elks roaming freely. 

The guides will do their best to give you excellent opportunities. What you do with them is up to you. This service has a good success rate of 60 to 70 percent, so you are very likely to land a successful shot. The staff is very compassionate and eager to serve. Once you book here, you will become a regular. 

5. Justin – Colorado Archery Elk

What the Hunt Includes

This hunting service is owner-operated. It includes a five-day package for one hunter. It does not include plentiful accommodations. If you do manage to get a cabin in the ranch, the amenities you will get to enjoy include a toilet, shower, stove, bed, refrigerator, and cooking utensils. You will need to bring a sleeping bag with you.

The service also includes transport on the territory, which is spread over 1500 acres. You will be guided by a PH. They are also responsible for field trophy preparation, trophy measurements, and trophies.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The owner, along with his team, takes a genuine interest in making your stay with them a memorable experience. Justin is very knowledgeable. He knows a lot about terrains, animals, their habits, and habitats. With him, you have a very high chance of success as he takes his job very seriously and wants you to be successful.

The staff working on the ranch is quite friendly. They will make sure you are comfortable, and all your needs are tended to. Being a veteran, Justin is very patriotic. This also makes him a good choice as your guide for the hunting season.

6. Justin – Combo Bull/Cow Elk Hunt Group Discount

What the Hunt Includes

This guided trip is also offered by Justin. This package is a group trip offered on a discounted rate to a group of three to six hunters. The hunting territory it covers is spread over 18,000 acres of non-fenced wilderness. It does not include accommodation or meals, so you must come prepared.

They will transport you all over the territory, provide you with a PH, arrange for field trophy preparation, trophy measurements, and trophies.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a discounted group hunt package. To avail the discount, you must have at least three hunters to form a group. Hunting is about the thrill and excitement; what better way to experience it than with your friends? And if it comes at a discount, who will say no?

Justin is a professional yet very patient guide. He will take you at your own pace without exerting too much pressure. This company operates in four territories, so you won’t have much difficulty in scoring a kill. The rest is their responsibility; you will get your trophies and meat in no time.

7. Justin – Archery Mule Deer/ Elk Combo Group Hunt

What the Hunt Includes

This is a five-day package for a single hunter, which can be converted into a discounted package if you have a group of three to six people. When you book with this service, you hire them for their years of experience to put you in a favorable position to score a kill. This hunt is semi or completely guided and very accommodating of people with disabilities. 

They have something for everyone, and even cater to disabled or mobility-impaired hunters along with youth hunters, and DIYers. Book them, and you will be eligible for travel on the territory, guidance by PH, field trophy preparation, trophy measurements, and trophies.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us because this is a combo package that specializes in hunting elk, antelope, mule deer, bear, and turkey. When you acquire their services, you can take on any of these without much difficulty, although for meat hunting, you will be required to pay some extra. 

Justin is an experienced guide. He recognizes his territory and its animals very well. He knows their habits and will put you in a favorable situation to take a kill shot. After that, it’s their job. The staff here is quite yet professional. You won’t notice them dilly-dallying when there are guests to serve. This makes them the best staff on this list. 

8. Lee – 5 Day Bull Elk Hunt

What the Hunt Includes

Lee offers this hunt over 7000 acres of private land. Since it is non-fenced, herds of elks are free to come and go as they please. It is offered during the 3rd and 4th rifle season though the 4th season is draw-only. But it is fairly easy to draw a tag for it. This guided hunt program includes lodging, scrumptious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a guide over two hunters, and trophy management. 

It also includes your transportation on the territory as well as the providence of snacks and beverages. You will stay in the hunting cabin that has electricity, bathroom, and shower facilities. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find this to be one of the best-guided hunts during the 3rd and 4th rifle season. Since these are the last elk hunting seasons, you don’t have great chances of success in a public land area. However, when you choose this service, you are entitled to hunt on their private territory, which means you have a slightly better chance of success. 

They will make sure you have a clear opportunity for a kill-shot, but availing it is in your hands. If you are successful in landing it, they will make all the necessary arrangements for trophy preparation. 

9. Brad or Darci – Rifle Elk 1st Season Hunt

What the Hunt Includes

Brad or Darci is a licensed and insured family business. The packages are very comprehensive. This one is offered for the 1st rifle season of elk hunting. This package includes accommodation. They will book you with local motels to make your stay as comfortable as possible. You will also get regular meals three times a day, along with snacks and beverages. 

Though the package does not include transfer from the airport, it can be arranged if someone needs it. Once you are on their territory, your transportation is their responsibility as well. They own a comfortable ranch spread over 7,500 feet in the vicinity of the second largest herd of elks in Colorado. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guided hunt package is offered by a family-owned and operated guiding business. Brad is both the owner and the operator here. He and the other guides he has employed have a vast experience of hunting in Colorado. They know the patterns of elk movement, so they will not only help you find one but also take it down. 

At the ranch, they will take care of your needs; while on the hunt, they will do everything they can to make sure that you are successful. They will also attend to taking care of your prey and having a trophy made for it. 

10. Brad or Darci – Archery Elk Hunt

What the Hunt Includes

The Brad or Darci guided hunting tour is offered for the elk hunting archery season. They specialize in this particular area, with almost 17 years of experience. Their ranch is comfortable but does not have any accommodation facilities. They provide accommodation by booking their clients with different local motels around their territory. These motels also attend to their meals and other necessities.

Coming to the ranch from the airport is your job. But if there is some problem, transportation to and from the airport can be arranged. In the territory, your transportation is their responsibility, and so is field trophy preparation. You can avail of this package for five days.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Brad is the owner and operator of this company. This is a family-owned business that runs on the sole principle of assisting hunters for their success. They have hired seasoned and experienced hunters as guides to give you an upper hand. They are trained to prioritize your satisfaction. This includes choosing an adequate sized prey to get that special trophy made.

You won’t be pressurized to take the first animal you see. You can wait, look, and decide on a target you are more satisfied with. The cheerful and smiling staff will do their best to make your hunt a memorable experience.

Final Thoughts About Hunting Elk in Colorado

The state of Colorado is blessed with the largest elk population in the country spread over millions of miles of public and private lands, attracting flocks of hunters year after year. The low cost of licenses plays a part in attracting hunters as well. 

However, the rising number of hunters does not cause any serious threat to the elk population here because it is carefully managed for hunting purposes. The state issues a limited number of licenses for a limited period of time, so it's mostly a first-come, first-serve basis. 

For these reasons, Colorado is the best state to go for elk hunting. Just be sure to put in the time and effort, and you will be able to fill up your freezer. 

People Also Ask 

If you’re new to hunting and haven’t opted for a hunting guide before, you might still have questions. The following are some common queries people have. 

Can You Carry a Pistol While Elk Hunting in Colorado?

Yes, you can carry a pistol while elk hunting in Colorado. It is legal, according to the Colorado statute of law. You can carry it as a sidearm but cannot use it to take down the game. 

How Many Elk Are Killed in Colorado Each Year?

Colorado is the home to the largest elk herd in the country. The elk population here is estimated at around 280,000. Since they are carefully managed for hunting purposes, the elk population here is not in mortal danger. Statistics show that because of the large number of hunters, nearly 42,000 elks are harvested in Colorado each year. 

How Big Do Elk Get in Colorado?

Elks are large mammals of the deer family. A mature Rocky Mountain bull elk weighs 660-780 pounds. A mature cow, on average, weighs about 500 to 600 pounds. A newborn calf can weigh up to 35 pounds.

What County in Colorado Has the Most Elk?

The Grand County is reported to have the most elk in Colorado. It encompasses most of the Middle Park in the northern Colorado area. It has always been a favorite hunting ground for deer and elk because it houses the largest majority herd of North America. This county boasts the largest number of successful hunts.

How Do I Get an Elk Tag in Colorado?

There are two ways of obtaining an elk tag in Colorado. The first one is to apply and draw a tag in a manner that is very similar to a lucky draw. The other way is to buy a tag over the counter. This means you just show up, buy a tag, and go hunting. 

What is the Best Time to Hunt Elk in Colorado?

Experts agree that the best time to hunt elk in Colorado is from the start of fall till the mid of October. They also report that elks are most active during the morning and evening hours, so these are the best times of the day for elk hunting in Colorado. 

How Many Elk Tags Can You Buy in Colorado?

You can buy up to two Elk tags in Colorado. But it has to be done simultaneously. You can draw for the first tag. After the drawing, you can buy the second tag over the counter. This gives you two tags. The important thing here is to draw for a tag of your preferred choice and then buy the second one as a backup if you fail to draw the first expedition. 

My name is Caleb and I am obsessed with hunting, fishing, and foraging. To be successful, you have to think like your prey. You have to get into the mind of your target - and understand Big Game Logic. If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.