Location: Ranch is located approximately 30 miles north, northwest of Steamboat Springs.
Area Maps: USGS Quads: Routt County USGS 1:50,000: sheet 1
National Forest: Routt
Species Available: Elk, Deer, Pronghorn
Terrain and Access: The ranch ranges in elevation from 6,000 ft. to almost 10,000 ft. The vegetation varies from rolling sagebrush hills, rising through mountain shrub to aspen and mixed aspen/spruce-fir forest. Three Forks ranch is northeast of the Elkhead Mountains near the Colorado – Wyoming border which forms much of the ranches northern boundary. The main stem of the Little Snake River, as well as the North and South Forks of the Little Snake run through the ranch. Access is by 4-wheel drive on existing ranch roads.
Average Success Rates: Please see Participating Ranches.
Check the Ranching for Wildlife main page for season dates.
There are no antler-point restrictions for any of the ranches. No over-the-counter licenses are offered on these properties. Ranching for Wildlife licenses are open to Colorado residents only. Licenses are only for the season and ranch on the license. For more information on season dates and application deadlines, see the Big Game Hunting Brochure.
Ranch rules from previous seasons are provided for a general perspective. Ranch rules are negotiated annually and some rule changes may take affect this year.
THREE FORKS RANCH
Ranch Hunting Rules
Three Forks is a working cattle ranch with a strong conservation ethic and a commitment to managing all natural resources on the property for high quality and long-term sustainability. All public hunts on Three Forks are guided hunts free of charge to public hunters. You must make phone contact with the ranch manager prior to arrival to arrange hunt dates, meeting times and locations. Please do not just drop in at the headquarters, as the Ranch will not be able to provide hunting access if this happens. We believe good wildlife management goes hand in hand with a strong code of ethics and also have the following rules while hunting on our Ranch.
- All hunters must accept supervision by ranch personnel. Any hunter observed not in compliance with ranch rules, or laws of Colorado, will loose hunting access privileges. The display of unethical hunting practices may result in expulsion from the ranch and/or loss of hunting privileges. The decision of ranch supervisors will be final.
- All hunters must sign a liability waiver and agree to release Three Forks Ranch of any liability associated with the purpose of access for hunting purposes.
- All parties must agree to the rules and regulations of the ranch and sign acknowledgement of their agreement to these conditions.
- Each hunter must check in at a predetermined area each day on or before a certain time. Any hunter not checking in before the predetermined time will not be allowed access until the next check-in time.
- Each hunter must check out each day at the same location as the check in point. Any hunter not checking out daily will be denied further access to the ranch.
- No camping on the ranch, but camping is available nearby on Routt National Forest.
- No pre-hunt scouting access is allowed.
- In order to ensure a quality hunt for all, Three Forks personnel guide all hunts. Any public hunter found on the ranch not in the company of the appointed guide will be asked to leave.
- Possession or consumption of alcohol or illegal substances is not allowed on the ranch.
- Any person who at the ranch’s discretion, is deemed unable to function normally, either mentally or physically, may be asked to leave for that day’s hunt. Further access will be determined on a case by case basis.
- Travel is restricted to existing ranch roads in the company of ranch personnel.
- Individual roads maybe closed due to weather, safety, property destruction, or quality of the hunt at the ranch’s discretion.
- There will be no discharging of firearms within a one mile radius of ranch headquarters unless specific permission is given by ranch management.
- There will be no discharging of firearms on the ranch by any public hunter for any purpose other than that of direct harvest. No target practice or random shooting is allowed.
- No dogs or other pets are allowed on the ranch.
- No trash or foreign objects will be left on the ranch. First offense: Suspension of hunting privileges for one day and a $250 trash removal deposit. Second offense: seizure of trash deposit and forfeiture of hunting access privileges.
- Upon completion of harvest, further ranch access may be denied.
- Only licensed hunters may be allowed access to the ranch. Unarmed, non-hunting companions may be allowed on a space available basis.
- Only a limited number of public hunters can be granted access on any day due to the limited number of qualified guides employed by the ranch. Successful applicants will be provided a phone number to call to make a hunting reservation date. Time and place of check-in will be provided when hunters call for reservations.
- All hunters must complete a questionnaire at the end of their hunt. Failure to comply may result in loss of hunting privileges for future years.
- Due to the guided nature of our public hunts and the volume of public hunters we are accommodating, we will encourage our public guests that have drawn antlerless license(s) to harvest the first healthy adult female that is presented to them at a reasonable distance. We ask this to insure a quality hunt for you and those who may come after your hunt.
Three Forks RFW is located in an area where elk are substantially over herd objective and the elk herd is migratory. Since antlered elk do not always remain on the ranch and harvest levels off the ranch are high, the size of bulls available to hunters should not be considered "trophy" class.
Motels are available in Craig, Hayden, Steamboat Springs, or Baggs, Wyoming. Campgrounds are located in Slater, Colorado.