Hunting in Southwest Colorado with Circle K Ranch
Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions regarding our hunting services. We trust the answers will help you determine more readily whether or not we provide the type or hunt you are seeking.
Q. What type of weather conditions and terrain can we expect?
A. Terrain varies from large expanses of relatively flat mesas (Taylor, Haycamp, and Stoner) to very rough and steep mountains and canyons. Most areas are a combination of heavily timbered forest with small meadows or Aspen areas. During September, nights are cool (30-40 degrees) with generally warm days (50-65 degrees). The nights are colder in October (10-35 degrees) with days ranging 30-65 degrees. Light to moderate snow in October at high elevations. November usually brings moderate amounts of snow in the last part of the season. Nights are 0-30 degrees with days ranging 25-50 degrees. We’re talking about Colorado weather now, so don’t pin us in on these estimates.
Q. Will we be hunting on private or forest service lands?
A. All hunting is on San Juan National Forest lands. Circle K Ranch is surrounded on 3 sides by the San Juans, Units 71, 73 & 74.
Q. What are your success rates for elk and/or deer?
A. Individual hunting parties have enjoyed as high as 100% success to no kill. If your group are experienced elk or deer hunters and you work hard at hunting you can expect about a 50% kill on average (guided hunts) and 34% kill average (non-guided). The first rifle (draw) hunt 46%.
Q. What is the best time or season to hunt elk and/or deer?
A. Deer archery hunters, anytime during the season. Elk archers during the rut (generally mid to late September). Rifle deer hunters during the October seasons. For elk rifle hunters the first rifle (draw) hunt is the premier hunt
Q. How many hunters do you book per hunt?
A. Drop camps average 4 hunters per camp. Number of hunters hunting from the lodge averages 15 – 20 for the first and second rifle hunts, 8 for the third rifle season. Archery and muzzleloader hunts average 8 to 16 with the highest number during the combined muzzleloader archery week.
Q. Are there facilities at the ranch for our wives and what is the cost?
A. Yes, wives are welcome, and we provide you with private lodging. Non-hunting spouses are at one-half the “Economy Rate”.
Q. Where is the nearest airport and will you pick us up there?
A. Cortez airport is 36 miles from the ranch. We will provide transportation to the Ranch for those flying in. Telluride airport (40 mi.) is another option.
Q. Are 4×4 vehicles required to get to good hunting areas?
A. They certainly have an advantage in wet or snow conditions, however, two wheel drive trucks or front wheel drive vehicles with chains are adequate. Most years you will not need the chains.
Q. Should we rent horses, or is most hunting done by foot or vehicle?
A. About 20% of our hunters use horses. If you’re not in top physical condition they can be a lifesaver. Six main trails leave from or close by the Ranch. It’s basically a personal choice or preference. A horse will enable you to cover more ground with less effort.
Q. Where can we buy our licenses?
A. Licenses may be purchased at the Ranch (all archery elk and all antlered elk except for the first rifle season). Muzzleloader, 1st Rifle Elk, Cow Elk, and all deer tags are by drawing only thru the Colorado D.O.W.
Q. Do you have facilities for keeping the meat?
A. Commercial processing of your game is available in Cortez, 36 miles from the Ranch. We have a large walk-in cooler and work area if you prefer to process the game yourself. A freezer is also available at the ranch.
Q. Do you provide a pack-in service where we provide all camp equipment?
A. Yes, we will pack you and your equipment into a location of your choice. You save 30% off our drop camp fees and includes game pack.
Q. Is there any phone service at the Ranch?
A. Yes, the Ranch phone number is 970-562-3808. There is also a public phone in the lodge to call home. Spouses should use 970-562-3870. There is also cell phone reception at the ranch.
Q. What do we need to bring in way of clothing, personal gear, and bedroll?
A. Dress for the season you will be hunting. Several changes of clothing (including gloves) are important, should you get wet. All hunters need to bring their own sleeping bag or bedroll, towels washcloths, a compass, flashlight, and container to keep matches dry are recommended. For those booking drop camps, please try to keep each mans gear down to one duffle bag, plus bedroll. A detailed list is provided when you book your hunt.
Q. Is there any good fishing close by it we happen to fill our tags early?
A. Yes, the Dolores River runs right in front of the lodge and Trout Lake is just 25 miles up the road, so bring your fishing gear. Rainbow trout is the main catch.
Q. Do you offer any group discounts or other discounts?
A. Yes, a 5% discount for 6 to 9 hunters, and a 10% discount for 10 or more hunters in a party. Bunkhouse lodging required for group discounts. Repeat client discount: 1 prior year – 5%, 2+ prior years – 10%. Guided hunts limited to a 5% discount. No discounts for cabin bookings.
Q. What about alcoholic beverages?
A. We don’t provide or recommend them. If you bring your own, please confine your drinking to your cabin or room.
Q. Do you have internet access and TV?
A. We do have FREE WIFI through out the ranch. Satellite TV is available in the main lodge and in all cabins (not motel rooms or lodge rooms).