Come by the Hi Rocky Store to get your gear, maps and information about the area. If you hit us in the right mood we might even tell you where you can find the elk, deer, moose, antelope, mountain lions, bears, mountain goats and bighorn sheep.

Big Game

All of Chaffee County is broken into special game management units. These units require applying for a license before the deadline which is April 1, 2003. There are large herds of elk in the area and in the winter two of these herds can be observed near town almost any time during the day. There are many mule deer and the best place to observe them and see really big bucks is right in the town of Buena Vista.

The largest concentrations of Mountain goats in Colorado can be found in the mountains to the west of Buena Vista. The first re-introduction of Mountain Goats was done just to the west of Buena Vista. There are 3 major herds of Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep in the Buena Vista area. These herds have been used for years in transplanting efforts to re-establish Big Horn Sheep herds in other parts of the state. These sheep can be seen walking in the area when you are sitting in the Cottonwood Hotsprings Pools. There is also a good sized herd of Antelope in the area that can be seen in the flats below Mount Princeton.

Small Game

There are many different species of small game that provide great recreational opportunities for adults and kids.

There are cottontail rabbits in the low country and snow shoe hares in the mountains. The snow shoe hares are especially challenging because they turn white in the winter and live where there is lots of snow. There are a number of Lynx living in the area and can be found anywhere you find snow shoe hares. Back country skiing and snowshoeing trips provide great opportunities to see at least the tracks of both!

There are large flocks of Blue grouse and Ptarmigan that live in the mountains. The blue grouse live in the spruce aspen forests and the Ptarmigan live at or above timberline.

The noisy pine squirrel is the predominate squirrel in the area and provide real challenges figuring out which side of the tree they are on.

The Division of Wildlife is introducing wild Merriam turkeys into the area and there is a large resident population at the southern end of Chaffee County.