Meeker is a unique hunting experience |

Meeker is a unique hunting experience

Luke Graham

The Meeker area is broken down into two distinct hunting areas — the White River units and the Piceance Basin.

Both areas offer unique hunting.

Randy Hampton, the public information specialist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife northwest region, said the White River game management units, 12, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34 and 23, offer good early hunting for deer and very good elk hunting.

“Hunting the deer in those units is typically better earlier, then the dear tend to move into lower elevations,” Hampton said.

Hampton said the deer numbers usually thin out by the third or fourth season, because they have moved to lower areas.

Elk hunting in the White River areas — especially GMU 12 — typically is strong throughout the seasons.

Although there is an abundance of elk in the area, it is tough to get a trophy bull because there are unlimited bull elk licenses.

Hampton said this is because of the amount of elk in the area.

“The White River is home to the largest migratory elk herd in North America,” he said.

As hunting pressure and weather set in, the elk generally move to the northwest.

The elk are generally at higher elevations in the eastern portions of GMU 12 during the early seasons, and then they move west to lower elevations as hunting pressure and snow depth increases.

The other area, the Piceance Basin (GMUs 22 and 32), offers strong deer hunting late in the season. Because the Piceance Basin at a lower elevation than the White River, the deer tend to move that way late in season.

Deer hunting in the Piceance Basin is especially good in GMU 22.

As for elk hunting, the Piceance Basin offers good cow hunting opportunities. Although there are not a lot of elk in the area, Hampton said the populations continue to increase. Most of the elk in the area move to GMU 22 in the winter.

The key to hunting success in Meeker, Hampton said, is to know when the deer and elk move.

“The deer are the quickest animals to move due to hunting pressure and weather,” Hampton said. “The idea here is to hunt high early and low later.” n

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