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Statewide Hunting Stats

State Stats

Public Lands
38.7 %
Forest Service
17.0 %
Wilderness Area
5.9 %
BLM Lands
11.4 %
Other
4.4 %
Elevation Range
3,500' - 14,441'
Annual Hunters
327,788
Huntable Species
9
Miles Of Trails
16,506
Campgrounds And Trailheads
1,734
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Weekly Tip

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Weekly Highlight

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9 Huntable Species

Antelope

Black Bear

Bighorn Sheep

Desert Sheep

Elk

Mule Deer

Mountain Goat

Moose

Whitetail Deer

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Antelope Tags

Just like most of Colorado, Antelope tags are allocated in the draw using a Preference Point system for first choice and 3 additional choices. Tags not given out in the draw are available as leftovers. Archery hunters have an additional option of Over-The-Counter licenses in a few units.

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Antelope Stats

Number of Unit
175
Total Hunters
19,393
Bucks Harvested
5,934
Total Harvest
11,270
Overall Success
58.1%

Colorado Regualtions Overview

General Defintions

  1. "Aggregate" when applied to bag and possession limits, means the total number of species which are covered by such bag and possession limits. Any combination of the species may be possessed up to the total number established as the aggregate bag and possession limits.
  2. "Air gun” means any rifle or handgun .177 caliber or larger firing pellets, slugs, or round ball ammunition powered by high pressure air or compressed inert gas. This includes devices referred to as pellet guns or pneumatic weapons.
  3. "Archery" means the use of a hand-held bow.
  4. "Bag Limit" means the maximum number of wildlife which may be taken in a single day during an established open season. This includes any wildlife which are consumed or donated during the same day they were legally taken. The terms "bag limit," "daily bag" and "bag" are considered to have the same meaning.
  5. "Baiting" means the placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of any salt, mineral, grain, or other feed so as to constitute a lure, attraction or enticement for wildlife.
  6. "Crossbow" means a bow which is attached at a right angle to a stock with a mechanical mechanism for holding the bow string in a cocked position and fired from the shoulder.
  7. “Feral Hog” means any species or hybrid of species from the family Suidae (European boar, Eurasian boar, Russian boar, feral hog) or the family Tayassuidae (Javelina and peccary), which possesses one or more morphological characteristic distinguishing it from domestic swine including, but not limited to, an elongated snout, visible tusks, muscular shoulders with small hams and short loins, coarse hair, or a predominant ridge of hair along its back. For the purposes of these regulations, any swine running at large which possesses one or more of the above characteristics, may be presumed to be a feral hog, unless a person has received actual notice that the swine has escaped containment and its return is actively sought, in which case the person should report its location to the owner, if known, and the Division and the Department of Agriculture.
  8. "Handgun" means any pistol or revolver having no shoulder stock or attachment.
  9. "Hand-held bow" means a long bow, recurved bow, or compound bow on which the string is not drawn mechanically or held mechanically under tension. String releases or mechanical releases which are hand-drawn and hand-held with no other attachment or connection to the bow other than to the bowstring are lawful devices.
  10. Licenses
    1. “Leftover license” means a limited license which is leftover after the primary application and drawing process.
    2. "Limited license" means any license which is limited in number by regulation and which is issued through the drawing process.
    3. "Over the counter license” means a license that may be purchased at a license agent. Most over the counter licenses are unlimited in number, but some may have an established cap.
    4. "Private Land Only license” means a limited license valid only for use on private land and State Trust Lands not leased by the Division, excluding those limited licenses issued as part of the Ranching for Wildlife program. Contact the State Land Board for access restrictions.
    5. "Unlimited license" means a hunting license and carcass tag when appropriate which is not restricted in quantity and which is sold by license agents throughout the state and is not valid in any unit where licenses are available only through application and computer or hand drawn selection.
  11. “Mentor” means a person eighteen years of age or older who holds a valid hunter education certificate or who was born before January 1, 1949, and accompanies a youth or apprentice while hunting. A person whose hunting and fishing license privileges are suspended can not be a mentor.
  12. "Muzzle-loading rifle or musket" means a firearm fired from the shoulder, with a single barrel which fires a single patched round ball or bullet.
  13. “Pre-charged pneumatic air gun” means an air gun that is charged from an external high compression source such as an air compressor, air tank, or external hand pump.
  14. "Private use" means the possession of wildlife only for private enjoyment and not intended to be sold, traded, bartered, or entered into commerce.
  15. "Privately-owned game birds" means game birds held in private ownership and otherwise acquired in accordance with Commission regulations.
  16. "Processed meat" means those edible parts of wildlife which have been cut into normal portions and wrapped for storage. It does not include game meat that is whole, has been quartered, or has not been packaged into normally accepted butcher’s portions including but not limited to steaks, roasts, loins, chops, and ground meat.
  17. "Rifle" means a firearm fired from the shoulder, with a rifled bore, having a barrel length of sixteen (16) inches or more and a minimum overall length of twenty-six (26) inches.
  18. "Shotgun" means a firearm fired from the shoulder with a smooth bore, having a barrel length of eighteen (18) inches or more and a minimum overall length of twenty-six (26) inches.
  19. “Slingbow” means a hand-held device, not drawn or held mechanically, with the arms or attachment points to which an elastic band is attached for propelling an arrow. The term also includes string releases or mechanical releases which are hand-drawn and hand¬held with no other attachment or connection to the slingbow other than to the bowstring. Wrist-brace attachments are considered normal components of a slingbow.
  20. "Slingshot" means a hand-held device, not drawn or held mechanically, with the arms or attachment points to which an elastic band is attached for propelling small stones or metal projectiles. Wrist-brace attachments and non-elastic projectile pouches are considered normal components of a slingshot.
  21. “State Trust Lands” means those lands owned or under the control of the State Board of Land Commissioners.

Hunt Codes

Hunt Codes are a series of eight sequential letters and numbers which denote the species, sex of animal, unit number, season, and hunt type for each choice shown on the application:

  1.  Species - The first character of the hunt code is a letter denoting species:
    • A for pronghorn
    • B for black bear
    • C for desert bighorn sheep
    • D for deer
    • E for elk
    • G for mountain goat
    • H for small game or furbearer
    • L for mountain lion
    • M for moose
    • P for greater prairie-chicken
    • S for rocky mountain bighorn sheep
    • T for wild turkey
  2. Sex of Animal - The second character of the hunt code is a letter denoting the sex of the animal for which the license is valid:
    • E for either-sex (antlerless or antlered) of animal, as defined in #200
    • F for antlerless or doe animals, as defined in #200
    • M for antlered or buck animals, as defined in #200
  3. Unit Number - The third through fifth characters are numbers denoting the unit or group of units in which the license is valid. Units are numbered sequentially beginning with the number 1. Zeros appear before the unit number when it is less than three characters in length, i.e. 001, 023, etc. Where the license is valid in more than one unit, the lowest numbered complete unit in the group is used, and the season table shows the complete list of valid units or portions thereof. When the limited license is valid statewide, the unit number is 000. In the case of sheep and goat, the three characters are a letter denoting the species (C, S, or G) followed by the two digit unit number.
  4. Season Dates or Type - The sixth and seventh characters are a letter and number (0 andup) or two numbers (1 and up) denoting the season and hunt number within the season type (chronologically):
  5. Manner of Take - The eighth character is a letter denoting the manner of take:
    • A for archery only
    • F for hawking only
    • M for muzzle-loading only
    • R for rifle and associated methods (all legal methods)
  6. Preference Point Only Hunt Codes - When applicants wish to apply for a preference point only, the hunt codes are: Deer (DP99999P), Elk (EP99999P), Pronghorn (AP99999P), Mountain Goat (GP99999P), Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep (SP99999P), Moose (MP99999P), Wild Turkey (TP99999P) or Bear (BP99999P)

License Requirements

  1. Except as otherwise provided by these regulations any person who takes or possesses any wildlife shall have in possession the appropriate and valid Colorado resident or non-resident license as provided in §33-4-102, C.R.S. and shall only take wildlife of the species and type as indicated on the license. In addition to the required license the taking of some species may also require a permit.
  2. Except as otherwise provided, any person who hunts or fishes in Colorado shall have in possession the appropriate and valid Colorado resident or nonresident hunting, fishing or furbearer license including a customer identification number.
  3. A customer identification number is not required for the following license categories:
    • Senior Lifetime licenses issued prior to 1990.
    • Senior Lifetime Low-Income licenses issued prior to 1994.
  4. Except for state or federal waterfowl stamps or licenses that require a carcass tag, all other telephone or internet license sales will be issued a Temporary Authorization Number (TAN). This number allows the license holder to exercise the benefits of that license prior to receiving a physical license in the mail. Any person who purchases a 1 or 5 day license by phone or internet will not receive a physical license in the mail unless the valid dates for the license are more than fourteen days out from the date of purchase.
  5. All annual resident and nonresident licenses authorized in 33-4-102 (1.4), C.R.S., including fishing, senior fishing, small game hunting, furbearer, combination fishing and small game hunting, and the Colorado wildlife habitat stamp, shall be valid and otherwise in effect from April 1 to March 31st of the following year.
  6. Except as otherwise provided in these regulations, any person who hunts or fishes in Colorado shall be physically present in the immediate vicinity of the activity. Internet or other computer-assisted remote hunting or fishing is prohibited.
  7. Any person who hunts big game or turkey in a game management unit, or portions thereof, for which the Wildlife Commission has established limited license quotas must have a limited license valid for that unit. General season, over-the-counter licenses may not be used in a limited license unit unless validated by the Division.
  8. Any person possessing a license or permit restricted to a specific game management unit or portions thereof, may only hunt that unit or area for which his license or permit is issued.
  9. Duplicate small game, fishing, furbearers, senior citizen lifetime licenses and combination small game licenses may be obtained from the Division by submitting an affidavit on forms provided by the Division and payment of a $5.00 fee. All other license duplicates may be obtained from the Division by submitting an affidavit on forms provided by the Division and payment of a fee of fifty percent of the cost of the original license, not to exceed $25.00.
  10. All license exchanges will be charged a fee of fifty percent of the cost of the original license, not to exceed $25.00.
  11. Any person who is authorized to hunt, fish or trap wildlife in Colorado pursuant to a permit issued by the Division shall comply with all of the terms and conditions of that permit.
  12. The Director is hereby authorized to issue the following licenses.
    1. Licenses for law enforcement investigative purposes to District Wildlife Managers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife (USFWS) Service Special Agents, or other persons cooperating with them or otherwise participating in a wildlife-related law enforcement activity authorizing them to hunt or fish as an appropriate element of an investigation of violation of Articles 1 through 6 of Title 33 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, regulations issued pursuant thereto, or federal wildlife laws; provided however, that no wildlife shall be taken with such a license if the taking would jeopardize the maintenance of populations at viable self-sustaining levels.
      A written report shall be provided by the Director to the Wildlife Commission annually specifying the total number of licenses issued under this authority during the previous calendar year.

Hunter Safety

  1. For the purpose of this regulatory provision, the following terms have the following Definitions:
    • “Active Duty” means a person who is a full time employee of a U.S. military service branch under the Department of Defense and can be deployed at any time.
    •  “National Guard” means the Army National Guard or Air National Guard that is part of an organized militia of any state within the United States of America. National Guard members are not considered active duty military personnel.
    •  “Reserve Duty” means a person who is trained and qualified by a U.S, military Reserve Component to be available for active duty in the armed forces when needed. Reserve members are not considered active duty military personnel.
    •  Veteran” means a person who served in the Active Duty or Reserve Duty military or the National Guard and who was discharged or released from such service under conditions other than dishonorable.
  2. As authorized and in accordance with §33-6-107(8) and §33-6-107(10) C.R.S, these regulations establish requirements for Colorado’s hunter education certification program. Hunter education classes within this state must include a minimum of 10 hours of instruction, including, but not limited to, the topics of wildlife management, wildlife identification, firearms safety, ethics, and laws and regulations. A portion of the course curriculum must also include hands-on activities where students demonstrate, at a minimum, safe firearms handling and a live fire exercise. Students must also pass a written test to successfully complete the course. Except as provided in regulation #002(L)(3) below, any person born on or after January 1, 1949, must have a valid hunter education certificate prior to hunting, trapping, or purchasing any hunting license in accordance with §33-6-107(8) and §33-6-107(10) C.R.S.
  3. Allowable hunter education course delivery options and methods are as follows:
    • Traditional class- 10 hours, minimum, in a standard classroom setting that includes hands-on learning activities. Additional time beyond the 10 hour requirement is also necessary to complete the written test and live fire exercise.
    • Internet course with conclusion class- The internet portion of the class is credited with 6 hours of study. A 4-6 hour, in-person, conclusion class is required and will cover laws and regulations, wildlife identification, and hands-on firearms activities. Additional time beyond the 4-6 hour requirement is also necessary to complete the written test and live fire exercise.
    • A person age 50 and older may complete a one-time test-out of the hunter education certification requirements by passing a timed hunter education test online with a score of 90% or above. This online test can only be taken once.
    • U.S. military veterans, active duty, reserve duty and National Guard members may complete a one-time test-out of the hunter education certification requirements by passing a timed hunter education test online with a score of 90% or above. This online test can only be taken once. Military personnel must bring test certificate and military identification to a CPW office to verify military status and obtain a hunter education certificate. To qualify, a veteran must be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Acceptable forms of military identification include:
      • DD 214;
      • DD Form 2;
      • DD Form 2765;
      • Active, retired, veteran military identification card;
      • A current Colorado Drivers License or state issued identification card with the word “veteran” printed on it as specified in 42-2-303(5)(a) C.R.S.;
      • VA medical card.
  4. Exceptions to the hunter education certification requirements are as follows: a. A person 10 years of age or older who obtains an apprentice certificate. An apprentice certificate can only be obtained once and is valid for a one year period, identified as April1-March 31annually. Apprentice certificate holders must be personally accompanied by, and in voice and visual contact with a mentor while hunting. A mentor may oversee no more than 2 apprentices at a time and must carry proof of hunter education and age while in the field.

Antler and Horn Hunting

These regulations govern the collection of shed antlers, shed horns, or antlers or horns naturally attached to skull plates.

  1. On any lands east of I-25, any person may, with lawful access, collect shed antlers or horns at any time. On private lands west of I-25, any person may, with lawful access, collect shed antlers or horns at any time. Public lands west of I-25 are closed to collection from January 1 through April 30, annually. On public lands west of I-25, any person may collect shed antlers or horns from May 1 through December 31, annually, except in GMUs 54, 55, 66, 67, and 551 where the collection of shed antlers or horns shall further be prohibited between legal sunset and 10:00 AM from May 1 through May 15 annually.
  2. Possession of antlers or horns on public lands west of I-25 from January 1 through April 30 is prohibited. Possession of antlers or horns on public lands in GMUs 54, 55, 66, 67, and 551 between legal sunset and 10:00 AM from May 1 through May 15 annually is prohibited. Possession of antlers or horns on private property without lawful access is prohibited. Each antler or horn will be treated singularly for the purpose of this regulation, unless naturally attached together on a skull plate.
  3. For the purpose of this regulatory provision, the following terms have the following definitions:
    1. “Antlers” means the bony, deciduous appendages protruding from the heads of members of the deer family (Cervidae), including deer, elk, and moose.
    2. “Collect” means to search for, locate, stockpile, or possess shed antlers, shed horns, or antlers or horns naturally attached to skull plates of big game animals on public land or attempt to search for, locate, stockpile, or possess shed antlers,shed horns, or antlers or horns naturally attached to skull plates of big game animals on public land.
    3. “Horns” means the hard, permanent or deciduous appendages protruding from the heads of bighorn sheep, mountain goats, or pronghorn.
    4. “Public land(s)” means federal lands and lands owned or administered by the Division.
    5. “Shed antler” or “shed horn” means one or more antlers and/or horns having become naturally separated from the skull.

Evidence of Sex/Point Compliance

  1. Except as provided below no person shall have in possession or transport the carcass, or portion of a carcass, of any game wildlife unless evidence of sex remains naturally attached thereto. The fact that a carcass or portion of a carcass is merely accompanied by an unattached head, horns, antlers, genitals or other evidence of sex does not satisfy this requirement. If less than twenty (20) pounds of big game meat is possessed or transported with a donation certificate, evidence of sex is not required. Once the carcass is cut into processed meat (commercially or otherwise); cut, wrapped and frozen; or stored at the residence of the licensee, evidence of sex is no longer required.
  2. In those units, or portions thereof, where antler point or horn restrictions exist for deer, elk, mountain goats and bighorn sheep, any of the following must accompany the carcass as evidence of compliance with point restrictions:
    1. Deer and Elk
      1. Head or skull plate with antlers naturally attached.
    2. Mountain goats and bighorn sheep
      1. Head or skull plate with antlers naturally attached.
  3. Any of the following, which must be naturally attached to the carcass or a portion of the carcass as described in paragraph A of this section, shall be considered evidence of sex:
    1. Deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep
      1. Male - head, including any antlers or horns, testicle, scrotum, or penis.
      2. Female - head, udder (mammary), or vulva.
    2. Black bear and Mountain Lion
      1. Male - testicles or penis.
      2. Female - vulva.
    3. Small game birds (except pheasant), migratory birds (except dove and band-tailed pigeons) and waterfowl.
      1. The head or fully feathered wing.
    4. Pheasant - the head or fully feathered wing or foot with a visible spur.
    5. Wild Turkey - the beard is required during spring seasons only.
  4.  If a carcass is in more than one piece, evidence of sex need only be attached to one portion.
  5. No evidence of sex is required for small game mammals or furbearers.

Aids in Taking Wildlife

Aids Used in Taking Big Game, Small Game and Furbearers - Except as expressly authorized by these regulations, the use of baits and other aids in hunting or taking big game, small game and furbearers is prohibited.

Baiting Big Game

Furbearers may be taken with the aid of baiting. Where permitted, baits shall consist solely of material of animal or plant origin and shall not contain any materials of metal, glass, porcelain, plastic, cardboard or paper. Wildlife used as bait shall be the carcass, or parts thereof, of legally taken furbearers, carp, shad, white and longnose suckers, and nonedible portions of legally obtained game mammals, birds and game fish.

Using Dogs

  1. Use of dogs in the taking of wildlife is prohibited except as authorized in Commission Regulations. (See also: §33-4-101.3, C.R.S.)
    1. Dogs may be used to hunt or take mountain lion, small game, waterfowl, and furbearers, only as an aid to pursue, bring to bay, retrieve, flush or point, but not otherwise. Except as provided in (3) of this subsection, dogs shall not be used to hunt or take cottontail rabbits, snowshoe hares, and tree squirrels where a regular deer, elk, pronghorn or moose season is in progress.
    2. A leashed dog may be used as an aid in locating and recovering wounded big game wildlife, except for black bears, with the purchase of an annual tracking permit. Tracking permits can be purchased for $40.00 from any Colorado Parks and Wildlife Office by the dog handler. Prior to using the permit, the dog handler must notify a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Office and provide the following information: the dog handler’s name, hunter’s name (if different than the handler), hunter’s CID number, location of use, species to recover, and time of use. Within five business days of using the permit, the handler must also notify the Division regarding whether they recovered the carcass. A dog may only be used to pursue or locate wounded big game during legal big game hunting hours. Provided however, that such pursuit may continue after legal big game hunting hours if the handler contacts and obtains the permission of a Wildlife Officer prior to continuing such pursuit. In acting on any such request, the Wildlife Officer shall consider the general public safety and may authorize the dispatch of the wounded animal after legal hunting hours. The dog must be leashed at all times and can not be used to kill, chase, or harass wildlife. The properly licensed hunter is required to be present while the dog is tracking and the animal must be dispatched by the hunter using a legal method of take based on their license. The dog handler is required to wear daylight fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink while tracking, unless the handler is tracking an animal shot on an archery license.
    3. Organized dog pursuit events involving the hunting of rabbits or hares conducted by state or nationally-recognized sporting associations may be conducted on private lands or public lands not concurrently open to big game hunting during the extended dog pursuit season for such species.
    4. A valid small game license is required for all dog handlers participating in any dog pursuit event involving the hunting of rabbits or hares, in accordance with regulation #004(A)(2)(a)(3).

Other Aids

  1. Mechanical calls may be used to take all species of wildlife during established seasons.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in these regulations, electronic calls may be used as an aid in taking furbearers only.
  3. Decoys may be used.
  4. European ferret may be used as an aid in taking small game only in conjunction with hawking. All ferrets used in this activity must be neutered, permanently tattooed on the left inguinal area and dyed along one-fourth (1/4) of their body length for easy field identification.
  5. Manner of take accommodations may be issued to persons with disabilities, in accordance with #005.

Large Caliber and Birds

It shall be unlawful to hunt any game birds, small game mammals or furbearers, with a centerfire rifle larger than .23 caliber during the regular deer and elk seasons west of Interstate 25, unless the hunter holds an unfilled deer or elk license for the season he is hunting.

Use of Drones

It shall be unlawful to use a drone to look for, scout, or detect wildlife as an aid in the hunting or taking of wildlife.

  • For the purposes of this regulation, drone shall be defined as including, without limitation, any contrivance invented, used or designed for navigation of, or flight in the air that is unmanned or guided remotely. A drone may also be referred to as "Unmanned Aerial Vehicle" (UAV) or "Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System" (UAVS).

Smart Rifles

  1. All firearms used to take or attempt to take wildlife shall be fired only by humanly controlled, manually-operated mechanical triggers. No person shall use a smart rifle to take or attempt to take wildlife.
  2. “Smart Rifle” means any firearm that is equipped with one or more of the following:
    1. A target tracking system;
    2. An electronically-controlled, electronically-assisted, or computer-linked trigger;
    3. A ballistics computer.

Live-Action Game Cameras

  1. No person shall use a live-action camera to locate, surveil, or aid or assist in any attempt to locate or surveil any game wildlife for the purpose of taking or attempting to take said wildlife during the same day or following day.
  2. “Live-Action Game Camera” means any device capable of recording and transmitting photographic or video data wirelessly to a remote device, such as a computer or smart phone. “Live-action game camera” does not include game cameras that merely record photographic or video data and store such data for later use, as long as the device cannot transmit data wirelessly.

Use of Aircraft

  1. The Division may issue permits for the taking of coyotes by aircraft when it is determined by the Director that such a permit is necessary for the protection of wildlife populations. Applicants shall fill out applications furnished by the Division and shall give such information thereon as may be required by the Division; including, if requested, a map of the area where control of animal damage is needed.
  2. Permits shall not be issued for longer than a thirty (30) day period. A permit may, however, be renewed without submitting a new application unless deemed necessary by the Director. Any such permit may be revoked by the Director at any time. Permittees shall abide by restrictions and conditions set forth on the permit.
  3. Permits to use aircraft will be issued only upon authority of the Director.
  4. Reporting
    1. Within ten (10) days after expiration of an aircraft permit the permittee shall file a report on forms provided by the Division. The report shall contain all information the Division may request, including but not limited to: a) number of coyotes killed, b) location of each kill, and c) number of hours flown.

Transportation of Wildlife

Harvested Terrestrial Wildlife

  1. Wildlife for which a carcass tag is required by statute or by Commission Regulation must have such tag properly attached to the wildlife unless the wildlife consists of twenty (20) pounds or less of big game meat and is accompanied by a donation certificate.
  2. Processed big game meat shall be accompanied by the carcass tag, or in the case of donated meat a donation certificate.
  3. Except as provided in subsection four (4) below, wildlife for which no carcass tag is required must be personally accompanied by the license holder.
  4. Wildlife shipped by common carrier must be accompanied by either the license, a photo copy of the license, or appropriate carcass tag, and if applicable, a donation certificate.
  5. Evidence of sex regulations as provided in #003 shall apply while transporting any wildlife except for processed big game meat.

Big Game Definitions

  1. “Antlered” means any deer, elk, or moose with an antler or antlers of at least five (5) inches in length as measured on the outside curve of the antler from the skull to the tip.
  2. “Antlerless” means any deer, elk, or moose; including fawn deer and calf elk or moose; without antlers or with antlers of less than five (5) inches in length.
    1. “Antler Point” means a projection of the antler at least one (1) inch long and which is longer than the width of its base.
    2. “Bait” means any salt, mineral, grain, or other feed. Salt or mineral blocks used for normal agricultural practices are not considered bait.
  3. Bighorn Sheep:
    1. “One-half (1/2) curl ram” means: A male sheep with a horn or horns that have one (1) or both tips grown at least through one-half (1/2) or 180 degrees of a circle to be measured by first establishing a reference line which bisects the eye and the base of the ear; and which has horn tips which have grown at least as far as the projection of this reference line.
    2. “Three-quarter (3/4) curl ram” means: A male sheep with a horn or horns that have one or both tips grown at least through three-quarters (3/4) or 270 degrees of a circle to be measured by first establishing a reference line which bisects the eye and the base of the ear; then by establishing a line which intersects the reference line at the base of the ear, and is perpendicular thereto; and which has horn tips which have grown at least as far as the downward projection of the perpendicular line.
    3. “Ewe” means: any female sheep having a horn or horns of at least five (5) inches in length as measured on the outside curve of the horn from the skull to the tip.
  4. “Brow tine” means a projection of the antler at least five (5) inches long located on the lower half of the antler.
    1. “Buck” means any pronghorn with a black cheek patch and a horn or horns of at least five (5) inches in length as measured on the outside curve of the horn from the skull to the tip, excluding any prong or point occurring between base (skull) and tip.
    2. “Doe” means any pronghorn; including fawn pronghorn; without horns, or with a horn or horns of less than five (5) inches in length.
    3. "Game Management Objectives" means specific data analysis unit (DAU) objectives relative to long- term population and/or sex ratio objectives.
  5. "Intermingled Lands" means lands where: 1) private land deeded to one landowner completely surrounds public land, or 2) public land is intermingled with private lands owned by a landowner where a quantified access component exists, the landowner possesses some ability to affect game management on the adjacent public land, and the issuance of licenses valid on both private and public lands would help to achieve game management objectives.
  6. “Habitat Evaluation Committee (HEC)” means local advisory committees established in units where the Wildlife Landowner Conservation pilot program is implemented. 

Hunting Hours

Big game may be taken from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise to one-half (1/2) hour after sunset.

Legal Rifle

Rifles using center-fire cartridges of .24 caliber or larger, having expanding bullets of at least seventy (70) grains in weight, except for elk and moose where the minimum bullet weight is eighty-five (85) grains, and with a rated impact energy one hundred (100) yards from the muzzle of at least one thousand (1000) foot pounds as determined by the manufacturer's rating, and except for mountain lion where any center-fire rifle using bullets of at least 45 grains and producing at least 400 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle may be used. Provided further that any semiautomatic rifle used shall not hold more than six (6) rounds in the magazine and chamber combined. A fully automatic rifle is prohibited.

Legal Muzzleloader

  1. Muzzle-loading rifles and smoothbore muskets, provided the minimum caliber shall be forty (.40) for all big game except elk and moose when hunting with conical bullets and fifty (.50) caliber when hunting with round ball bullets. The minimum caliber for elk and moose shall be fifty (.50) when hunting with conical bullets and fifty-four (.54) when hunting with round ball bullets. All muzzle-loading rifles and smoothbore muskets from forty (.40) caliber through fifty (.50) caliber must use a bullet of at least 170 grains in weight. All muzzle-loading rifles and smoothbore muskets greater than fifty (.50) caliber must use bullets of at least 210 grains in weight.
    1. During the muzzle-loading firearms seasons for deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, and moose only lawful muzzle-loaders and smoothbore muskets may be used by muzzle-loading license holders.
    2. During the muzzle-loading firearm seasons for deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, and moose the following additional restrictions apply:
      1. Propellent/Powders: The use of pelletized powder systems and smokeless powder are prohibited.
      2. Projectiles: Sabots are prohibited. For the purposes of this regulation cloth patches are not sabots.
      3. Loading: Firearms must load from the muzzle. Firearms which can be loaded from the breech are prohibited.
      4. Sights: Any muzzle-loading rifle or smoothbore musket with any sighting device other than open or “iron” sights is prohibited.
      5. Electronic or battery-powered devices cannot be incorporated into or attached to the muzzle-loading firearm.

Legal Archery

  1. Handheld bows, including compound bows, using arrows equipped with a broadhead with an outside diameter or width of at least 7/8ths of an inch with no less than two steel cutting edges. Each cutting edge must be in the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface.
    1. During the archery seasons for deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, sheep, goat, and moose, only lawful hand-held bows may be used by archery license holders.
    2. Bows must have a minimum draw weight of 35 pounds. The let-off percentage shall not exceed 80%.
    3. No portion of the bow’s riser (handle) or any track, trough, channel, arrow rest or other device, excluding the cable(s) and bowstring, that attaches to the bow’s riser can contact, support and/or guide the arrow from a point rearward of the bow’s brace height.
    4. Bows can propel only a single arrow at a time and no mechanism for automatically loading arrows is allowed.
    5. Equipment using scopes, electronic or battery-powered devices cannot be incorporated into or attached to the bow or arrow, with the exception of lighted nocks on arrows and recording devices on bows that cast no light towards the target and do not aid in range finding, sighting, or shooting the bow.
    6. Hydraulic or pneumatic technology cannot be used to derive or store energy to propel the arrow. Explosive arrows are prohibited.

Legal Shotgun

Shotguns, no smaller than twenty (20) gauge and firing a single slug.

Legal Crossbows

Crossbows, provided the minimum draw weight is at least one hundred twenty-five (125) pounds and has a minimum draw length of fourteen (14) inches as measured from the front of the bow to the nocking point of the draw string and contain a positive mechanical safety device. In addition, the bolt must be at least sixteen (16) inches in length equipped with a broadhead with an outside diameter or width of at least 7/8th of an inch with no less than two steel cutting edges and each cutting edge must be in the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface.

  1. Crossbows are not legal during the archery seasons for deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, sheep, goat, and moose.

Legal Handguns

Handguns, provided they have a minimum barrel length of four (4) inches and comply with the following criteria:

  1. Except for mountain lion, use a .24 caliber or larger diameter expanding bullet with a rated impact energy of at least 550 ft. pounds at 50 yards as determined by the manufacturer.
  2. For mountain lion only, use a centerfire handgun using bullets of at least 45 grains and producing at least 400 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, as determined by the manufacturer.

Application Drawing Provisions

  1. Number of Applications: No person may submit more than one application per year for the regular drawing process for a limited license for any big game species, nor more than one application per year for a leftover limited license for any species.
  2. Additional Choice Applications: Any additional choice on any application must be for the same species as the first choice.
  3. Valid Applications: Only complete and correct application forms will be accepted. Any forms involved in a violation of (a) or (b) above will be considered to be incorrect. Any incorrect application by one member of a group will invalidate the entire application.
  4. Group Applications: Group applications are accepted for the regular drawing for all species except moose and desert bighorn sheep, with no limit on the number of applicants per group except as follows:
    1. Bighorn Sheep: 2 applicant maximum
    2. Mountain Goat: 2 applicant maximum
  5. Ranching for Wildlife: Non-residents are not eligible to apply for public Ranching for Wildlife licenses for any big game species.
  6. Bighorn Sheep Access Program: Non-residents are not eligible to apply for public Bighorn Sheep Access Program licenses.

Application Restrictions by Species

  1. Bighorn Sheep: Any person who harvests a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep ram, one-half (1/2) curl or larger, except one taken on a Division auction or raffle license or a license issued in accordance with regulation #271 or #272, shall not be eligible to apply for, or participate in the drawing for a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep ram license for the five years following the year in which the harvest occurred. During this five year period a person may apply for a ewe license, but if unsuccessful will not receive preference points or chances. Any person who harvests a desert bighorn sheep, shall never again be eligible to apply for or participate in a desert bighorn sheep license drawing.
  2. Mountain Goat: Any person who harvests a mountain goat, except one taken on an auction or raffle license, a special goat management license, or a license issued in accordance with regulation #271 or #272, shall not be eligible to apply for or participate in the drawing for a mountain goat license for the five years following the year in which the harvest occurred.
  3. Moose: Any person who harvests an antlered moose, except one taken on an auction or raffle license, or a license issued in accordance with regulation #271 or #272 shall never again be eligible to apply for or participate in an antlered or either-sex moose license drawing.

Application Submittal

  1. Applications for limited licenses will be accepted only by methods (on-line or by phone) provided by the Division.
  2. Application submittal shall include a $3.00 non-refundable application fee.
  3. Applications for the regular drawing must be submitted appropriately no later than midnight on the first Tuesday in April, annually.

Preference Points and Chances

Preference will be given for qualifying applications for first choice hunt codes only and shall be subject to the following provisions:

  1. Deer, Elk, Pronghorn, and Bear: one preference point will be awarded to each person who qualifies for and fails to draw a limited license for deer, elk, pronghorn, or bear as a first choice in the regular drawing or who applies using a first choice hunt code established for the purpose of accumulating a preference point only. Preference points will be used in future drawings for the same species and will accumulate until the applicant obtains a first choice license. When an applicant obtains a first choice license, all accumulated preference points for that species become void. If an applicant both fails to apply for a species and has not purchased a license for that same species during any given 10-year period, all accumulated preference points for that species become void. If an applicant accepts a first choice license that has been returned and reissued manually, all accumulated preference points for that species become void. No preference points are required for purchasing a returned license placed on the leftover list. In those hunt codes requiring 10 or more resident preference points to draw, up to 20 percent of available licenses for deer, elk, pronghorn and bear shall be issued through a random drawing. The number of preference points required to draw shall be determined by a three-year average for the 2007, 2008, and 2009 limited license draws. A minimum of five individual preference points is required for an applicant to participate in the random drawing. Group applications shall not be eligible to participate in the random drawing.
  2.  In addition to the $3 application fee, an unsuccessful applicant (except youth as defined by 33-4-117 C.R.S., lifetime license holders, and Colorado resident military personnel on active duty outside Colorado), or one who applies using a first choice hunt code established for the purpose of accumulating a preference point only, for deer, elk, pronghorn or bear will be assessed a $40 fee ($30 for resident deer and pronghorn) to receive a preference point unless they have purchased one of the following: an annual license (fishing (including free senior annual), small game or resident combination small game/fishing license, furbearer) for the year previous to which they are seeking a preference point; any big game license for the previous year or a current draw license for the species for which they are seeking a preference point. The fee, per species, shall entitle the hunter to preference points for any unsuccessful deer, elk, pronghorn or bear application in that year.
  3. Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat, and Moose: One preference point will be awarded to each person who qualifies for and fails to draw a first choice license, until three preference points have been accumulated. Each time an applicant with three (3) points qualifies for and fails to draw a first choice license for rocky mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goat or moose the applicant will be awarded one (1) weighted preference point to be used in future drawings for that species. Applicants with at least three (3) preference points or any number of weighted preference points will be given weighted preference during the license drawings for each applicable species. Weighted preference is calculated by converting the applicant’s original application number into a new random application number, then dividing that random application number by the number of weighted preference points the applicant currently has for that species plus one. The resulting number is the applicant’s final and only application number. Final application numbers are sorted from lowest number to highest number, with licenses awarded to applicants starting on the top of the list (lowest number), working down the list until no licenses for that species remain. When an applicant obtains a first choice license, all accumulated preference points for that species become void. If an applicant both fails to apply for a species and has not purchased a license for that same species during any given 10-year period, all accumulated preference points for that species become void. If an applicant accepts a first choice license that has been returned and reissued, all accumulated preference points for that species become void.
  4. Applications receiving preference points will be given priority over all applications with fewer points. Group applications will receive preference at the level of the group member with the fewest accumulated preference points, and, where applicable, the fewest accumulated chances, except that group applications will not be successful, regardless of preference point level or number of chances, when there are fewer licenses remaining in the hunt code quota than the number of applicants in the group.
  5.  In lieu of applying through the regular limited license draw, any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces who is stationed at any military facility in Colorado and actively deployed outside the United States, or any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces who is a Colorado resident and is deployed outside the United States, shall, upon their return to the United States, be eligible to apply for preference points for any limited license draw that occurred during their absence. Applications for preference points shall be made on forms provided by the Division and filed within six months upon the member’s return to the United States.

Drawing Process

  1. Applications using landowner preference and youth preference shall be drawn, in that order, prior to drawing general public applications for the same species.
  2. Except as otherwise provided, applicants who applied properly for deer, elk, or pronghorn in the regular drawing and are unsuccessful will be given the option to apply for a leftover drawing.
  3. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified of their accumulated preference points on their on-line account.
  4. Nonresident hunter drawing limitations (first choice applications only)
    1. Nonresidents hunters shall receive no more than 10% of available moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat licenses for all hunt codes. In the event there are an insufficient number of nonresident applications for the allocated number of moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goat licenses in any hunt code, the excess nonresident licenses will be issued to residents through the regular drawing process. These drawing limitations do not apply to the issuance of Bighorn Sheep Access Program (BSAP) licenses.
    2. Unless there is an insufficient number of resident applications, nonresident hunters shall receive no more than 35% of available deer and elk licenses for hunt codes requiring fewer than six preference points for resident hunters to draw in the regular drawing, and no more than 20% of available deer and elk licenses for hunt codes requiring six or more preference points for resident hunters to draw in the regular drawing as calculated using a three-year average for the 2007, 2008, and 2009 limited license draws. These drawing limitations do not apply to the issuance of Private Land Only and Ranching for Wildlife licenses.

Leftover Licenses

  1. Elk, deer, pronghorn and bear licenses which are not issued through the regular drawing will be issued as "leftover" licenses, (through one "leftover" drawing process if the number of "leftover" licenses is sufficient to justify the administrative cost).
  2. Only persons who apply for a limited license and who are unsuccessful are eligible for the leftover license drawing. Applicants for the leftover drawing may only apply for the same species that they applied for in the initial drawing.
  3. Any eligible hunter, ages 12 – 17 shall receive preference for leftover deer and elk licenses.
  4. Any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces stationed at any military facility in Colorado and actively deployed outside the United States, or any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces who is a Colorado resident and is deployed outside the United States, shall be allowed a preference for the purchase of leftover licenses prior to their sale to the general public.
  5. Group applications are not accepted for leftover licenses.
  6. Applicants must apply on-line or over the phone following the regular drawing.
  7. Applications must be submitted no later than the first Tuesday in July, annually.
  8. Applications not submitted by the first Tuesday in July, annually, will become void.
  9. Leftover Ranching for Wildlife licenses will not be available through the standard over-the-counter leftover process. For information regarding the availability of these licenses on a first-come, first-served basis, please refer to the big game drawing brochure or call the Division at (303) 297-1192.

OHV Weapons Restriction

All firearms, except pistols and revolvers, carried on an OHV during deer, elk, pronghorn or bear season must be fully unloaded (both the chamber and the magazine) and fully enclosed in a hard or soft case (no scabbards or cases with open ends or sides). All bows carried on an OHV during any deer, elk, pronghorn or bear season must be fully enclosed in a hard or soft case (no scabbards or cases with open ends or sides). This regulation shall not apply to any person; any member of such person's family, or an employee or agent of the person, carrying a firearm on an OHV for the purpose of taking depredating wildlife on property owned or leased by the person, pursuant to 33-3-106 or 35-40-100.2, C.R.S.

Flourescent Orange/Pink Garments

Except for archers hunting during a limited bear season, archers with an auction or raffle deer, elk, pronghorn or moose license hunting outside of a regular rifle season, private hunters hunting with a archery equipment under the Ranching for Wildlife program, and archers hunting with an archery bear, deer, elk, pronghorn, or moose license, all persons hunting bear, deer, elk, pronghorn or moose shall be required to wear daylight fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink garments which comply with the requirements of 33-6-121, C.R.S.

CWD Testing Requirements

Mandatory CWD Sample Submissions
The Director of the Division may establish and enforce mandatory CWD submission areas for species known to contract CWD. Such submission areas may be established and enforced where necessary to meet sampling requirements, and mandatory submittal shall end when the Division achieves sampling goals, as stipulated by Division staff prior to enacting any such mandatory submission requirement. At such time that mandatory submission areas are established public notice shall be given, including posting of mandatory submission requirements in applicable Division offices and license agents, and when possible inclusion of such requirements in Division publications. Upon establishment of mandatory CWD submission requirements, it shall be unlawful to fail to submit CWD samples for the designated species harvested in designated mandatory submission areas.

Baiting of Big Game

It shall be unlawful to hunt big game over bait, regardless if the person hunting over such bait personally placed the bait or not.