San Miguel County: Not A Secret Hunting Area Anymore


PJ Hulst, Staff Writer

The residents of San Miguel County continue to see a rapidly increasing number of non-resident hunters coming to the area. The hunting opportunity in San Miguel County has been a large part of the community for basically the entirety of its existence and has become a hot spot for elk hunters from all over the country.

These non-resident hunters make the trip to San Miguel to try and experience a dream hunt of their own. Possibly one of the largest attractions for these hunters is unit 61. Unit 61 is a fairly popular trophy unit due to its abundance of 300 class bulls. What are 300 class bulls? Well, the number represents how the bull’s antlers scored. This can range from around 175 to 450. These 300 class bulls are not unheard of in other units, but they require a lot more luck and knowledge to successfully harvest one.

Compared to unit 61, there is a much larger chance of killing a 300 plus class bull due to their high population numbers. This is likely to be the main reason for all of the non-resident hunters. Even if they were unable to draw a tag in the trophy unit, it is very enticing to take their chances in the surrounding units. For all of these hunters, there are a plethora of options for guiding services. This is especially popular for the non-resident hunters because of their lack of knowledge in the area. 

The county also provides a very diverse area of terrain for different levels of hunters. To the east side of the county, there is more thick and mountainous terrain which puts the hunter to the ultimate challenge. Farther west, closer to the Colorado and Utah border, there are much larger areas of flatter and more desert-style landscapes. This makes it much easier to access for any hunters who don’t enjoy walking long distances and prefer taking the easy access roads. This strategy is not a bad thing but it greatly decreases the amount of land that you have the opportunity to access. The wide range of terrain and features is a big part of what makes the county such a big attraction. With all of the great features that San Miguel County can provide it is apparent that the increase of non-resident hunters is not stopping.