Owned and operated by Mike Miniat, the Williams Peak Ranch consists of 7,000 privately owned acres and has access to another 7,000 leased acres all in northcentral Colorado. The land consists of "black" timber, sage, grass and hay meadows, plus aspen laced with streams and ponds. The property holds an impressive number of elk, including bulls ranging into the low-300 class. I hunted the rifle season in early October on Williams Peak Ranch with five other hunters. In five days we took a total of six elk (three bulls and three cows). The largest bull was a 6 x 7 that scored 311 points.
According to Miniat, who carefully manages the herd with detailed input from the Colorado Division of Wildlife, his hunting clients enjoy a high success rate for three reasons. First, there are large numbers of elk on his property. Second, his guides are local ranchers and cowboys who know the terrain and know the elk herd's habits. And, third, his clients tend to be seasoned hunters who know how to shoot.
Just consider how one hunter and his guide this past season spent nearly two hours in the black timber surrounded so closely by an elk herd they couldn't move for fear of being detected. Finally, a large bull gave the hunter a shot at roughly 70 yards. The only difficulty was, the shot was between pines that left a window about a foot wide! Another hunter took a 5 x 5 walking down a slope at 350 yards. My own bull went down at 264 yards. All that is to illustrate........(continued)