Who said hunting camps have to be rustic? What occasions that question is my discovery of a place called Three Forks Ranch northwest of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This 200,000-acre spread offers free-range hunts for trophy mule deer, elk and pronghorn antelope. And it does so from a facility that offers five-star accommodations, gourmet meals and a state-of-the-art spa that any non-hunting spouse would simply die for.
I first learned about Three Forks Ranch from a subscriber to our sister publication, The Angling Report. He reported on the fly fishing side of the operation and called it the Pebble Beach of fishing lodges, raving about the quality of the fishing, as well as the luxury lodging and other services. Now, Hunting Report subscriber Cliff Tulpa has weighed in with a report on Three Forks. Tulpa is host of a TV show called Wild Outdoor Adventures, and he was at Three Forks this past October hunting elk and filming for an upcoming episode of his show. The report he sent in had very positive things to say about the elk and mule deer on the Three Forks property and the overall experience of being there. Just to be sure, before passing his comments along, I asked Tulpa if he was selling hunts for Three Forks through a booking agency associated with his show. He told me he was not, as the ranch prefers to handle its own bookings. He just thought fellow Hunting Report subscribers would want to know about the special hunting opportunities that Three Forks offers. "There are an unbelievable number of elk on this property," he wrote. "A hunter will enjoy many opportunities each day on nice bulls." Indeed, Three Forks does seem to have a lot to offer the trophy hunter. The hunting section of the property is enrolled in Colorado's Ranching for Wildlife program, which allows Three Forks to operate hunts under special rules, including extended seasons and the right to use any legal weapon during any open season. The Ranching for Wildlife program also means the ranch gets a number of hunting licenses that........(continued)