Should I be trying to find private land to hunt on?

Apr 18, 2012
Denver, CO
I have been hunting public lands in the Gunnison, CO area for my entire hunting life. Always see elk, or hear elk or kill elk. As a youngster most of the killing was done by our fathers...but now I am entering my prime.

Would I enjoy private more? Should I be focused on pulling a strategy together to find a ranch owner that will let me hunt on private? How have other people taken that step?

Is public land hunting a little different or extremely different?


Feb 25, 2012
I would say good luck getting handshake permission to hunt elk in CO pretty much everything that is decent is leased or outfitted on or no one is allowed to hunt. Late season cows are a different story but if your talking archery or general rifle then it is real tough.

As far as enjoying it more I personally enjoy public more just because of the challenge hunting where everybody else has the same chance it challenges you to hike further, hunt harder and gives a real sense of accomplishment when you succeed.

Not saying private is easy, some is just as tough as public. My biggest complaint with private is that if it touches other land owners that you do not have permission to hunt it really sucks to see game and not be able to hunt it. Same reason I try and avoid hunting public near private land. If I see something I want to hunt I hate watching and saying "Man, I really wish it was on this side of the fence"

I prefer finding out of the way public areas that very few hunt it takes alot of time, research and legwork, but it is well worth it when you find one. Just don't get to attached to it as people will find it eventually or the game will leave etc. I am constantly searching for the next hotspot.