Hunting in Crested Butte and Gunnison County

It’s that time of year again – hunting season in Crested Butte and Gunnison County. Hunters from all over the United States travel to Gunnison County for some of the best hunting in the country.  Our pristine mountains provide the perfect landscape and habitat for many big game animals.  Below is a quick guide to hunting in Crested Butte and its surrounding areas.  Feel free to contact me with any questions!

Animals to Hunt

There are numerous animals to hunt within Gunnison County, however, mule deer, elk and black bear are the most sought after.


Early Season vs. Late Season

Early season and late season are definitely two completely different hunts.  Early season can be rewarding if you are willing to really cover some ground on foot.  This is rugged country with high altitude and cold temperatures at night.  BE PREPARED!!  With weather changes, the animals move around essentially staying at higher altitude for earlier season hunts and moving down when it snows.

How to Apply for a Tag

Applying for a tag can be fairly complex. I recommend going to the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife site, The local Wildlife office can be reached at 970-641-0088.

Places to Camp

With so much of Gunnison County being public land there are numerous drainages to post a great camp. Arrive early, a few days before your season starts. This will help in securing a good spot, learn the area a bit and if you are a flat lander, help acclimate. Other than dispersed camping, you may be able to find a good campsite through the Forest Service at or the Bureau of Land Management at

Mule Deer Crested Butte

Places to Eat

If you are looking for a place to eat before your season starts or you just need a break from the weather, there are many options to choose from in Crested Butte and Gunnison.  A list of Crested Butte Restaurants can be found here, and a list of Gunnison Restaurants can be found here.  Please note that once you get into the late season some of the restaurants in Crested Butte begin to close due to the busy tourist season coming to an end.  One mainstay is The Last Steep.  Need a recommendation?  Feel free to contact me.  I’ve been here 26 years and know the best places to eat!

Places to Stay

Don’t feel like camping? The area is also a host to numerous hotels, motels and various lodging types.  Click here for a list of Crested Butte and Gunnison County lodging options.

Elk Recipes

So you got yourself an elk!  What to do with all that meat?  Click here to view elk recipes.  My personal favorite is an elk meatloaf recipe you can read here.

Hunting in Crested Butte and Gunnison County is a great experience.  Hopefully, your bellies will be full for the year to come!  If you’d like the convenience of a owning a property here and hunting in your so to speak backyard, please contact me at (970) 209-2421 or email me at  Please sign up for my newsletters  using the form at the bottom of this page for more Crested Butte area news, activities, and real estate market information.