For many centuries, the mountains and basins surrounding Marble have lured hunters with promises of healthy populations of big game. From the ancient Ute tribes to the 1830’s-era trappers to modern-day hunters, the Marble area is a prime destination for expedition-style wilderness hunting.
For the hunter seeking a Colorado wilderness big game hunting experience, Marble is a prime destination. Marble is located in the heart of the Elk Mountain Range, in the southern part of Colorado game management unit 43, 45 miles south of Glenwood Springs and on the opposite side of the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area from Aspen.
Elk numbers in the Marble area are at an all-time high, and the area’s mule deer herds are showing signs of increasing numbers. There are small but stable populations of bighorn sheep and mountain goats. The Marble area is open to anyone who purchases an elk license, so the area receives more pressure than limited-license areas. However, because of the rugged terrain, Marble is home to trophy-size elk and mule deer. Marble, Colorado hunting is a wilderness hunting destination where most hunting areas are accessed on foot and horseback.
There are many thousands of acres of public land for hunters to stalk game, though much of the valley floors—and some of the high-elevation ridges—are private property. Hunters are responsible for knowing the boundaries of public and private lands, and landowners are not required to post private property. Marble is bordered by the Maroon Bells/Snowmass wilderness to the north and the Raggeds wilderness to the south. Special regulations are in effect for wilderness visitors. For example, wilderness visitors may not use chain saws, motorcycles or ATV’s, or even mountain bikes. All horse feed must be processed pellets. Check with the U.S. Forest Service in Carbondale (970) 963-2266 for maps and more information.
Hunters visiting the Marble area can expect a unique experience, and should keep in mind that methods that work elsewhere don’t necessarily work here.
Some ideas to help you plan your trip:
• ATV’s are not suggested for Marble hunting. ATV access is limited to a couple of jeep roads that are often impassable from early snows. ATV hunters typically do not enjoy great success in the Marble area. Foot and horseback hunters typically do much better.
• The terrain is rugged! There are four peaks over 14,000 feet and many more peaks over 12,000 feet in immediate proximity of Marble. Much of the terrain is very steep. Hunters should be in peak physical condition and able to hike at high elevations in order to enjoy success.
• Some big game licenses are limited. Muzzleloader and first rifle season elk licenses are issued by drawing only, as well as all deer,bighorn sheep, and mountain goat licenses. License application deadline is April 1 of each year. Contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife (www.wildlife.state.co.us, 303 297-1192) for more information.
• Make your reservations early. Hunting season is high season in the Marble area, and many hunters reserve accommodations a year in advance. Don’t get caught in the cold! See our list of lodging and outfitter establishments.