Colorado Hunting

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Written by:  Philem Withlead 

May, 10 2021

Colorado offers a diverse opportunity to hunt big and small games in the state. The state comprises unsettled space and a picturesque landscape. It is also well known for multiple outdoor recreational attractions. Colorado is perfect for hunters that fancy big games.

Colorado Hunting Regulations

Before you start hunting in Colorado, you must be aware of the state hunting laws, requirements and regulations:

Some of the most important Colorado hunting regulations and requirement include the following:

The Colorado Hunter Education Certificate

A hunter education certificate obtained in Colorado is evidence that you have the important knowledge to take games and wildlife in the state. The state requires that anyone born on or after 1949 must obtain a Hunter Education Certificate before hunting in the state. Also, there is no age requirement, mandated for the purchase of Hunter Education Certificate in Colorado.

Hunting Licenses Regulation

In Colorado, hunting licenses are not the same as the Hunter Education Certificate. Before you can hunt games and wildlife in the state, you must own a valid Colorado hunting license. There are various types of licenses available for residents and non-residents. Hunting Licenses in Colorado are usually categorized based on details like the type of game to be hunted, the age of the hunter and if the hunter is a resident of the state or not.

Game Tagging in Colorado

Colorado hunting regulations require that it is compulsory to tag specific game animals after hunting them. Some of these animals are deer, turkey, bears, and elks. Before you can hunt in Colorado, you must understand the state tagging requirement for the type of animals you are taking. To avoid violations of this regulation. Ensure that the animal is tagged properly.

Some of the tagging requirements for hunting in Colorado include the following:

  • You must put the tag on the animal carcass according to the hunting requirement provided. The tagging instruction, regulation, or requirement will depend on the type of game you are taking.
  • It is a violation of tagging regulation to attach a tag on an animal carcass prior to and during the transportation of the game with a vehicle, or when the animal carcass is placed in a storage capacity, or a campsite.
  • It is compulsory for the tag to carry important details such as the date for the animal taking, the signature of the hunter, and every other information needed for the specific game. It is a prohibition to sign a tag prior to hunting a game in Colorado.

Hunter Dressing in Colorado

Before you hunt in certain game seasons in Colorado, you are required to wear at least 500 square inches of either a pink or orange hunting overall. Some of the games and wildlife that this dressing is mandated for include pronghorn, beat, moose, elks and deer.

The pink or orange dress should be worn as an outer cloth and must be above the waist level. It should also be worn with a head cover of the same cloth color. The head cover could either be a cap or hat. Hunter dressing regulations also cover hunters that are talking games in muzzle loading, rifle and archery seasons.

Although there is an exception for archery hunters that are hunting on lands privately owned in Colorado, it is still recommended for them to do so. If you are hunting from either a pop up blind or ground blip, it is compulsory to wear either an orange or pink clothing whenever you are not within the blind. The clothing color must be obvious, so it is a violation to wear camouflage pink or orange colors.

Colorado Bag Limit

There are also bag limit regulations in Colorado to limit the quantity of game that a hunter can take. Colorado bag limit can be based on either seasonal or daily hunting, depending on the game animal. If there is a daily bag limit for a game, it will restrict the number of that game specie you can hunt in a day. Seasonal bag limit will limit the number of games you can take during the specific game hunting season.

Private Land Hunting

Most land areas in Colorado are privately owned. You are free to hunt without restriction in privately owned lands, and if you do not personally own the land, you can get the landowner’s permission to do so. However, privately owned lands are still under the Colorado hunting regulations, requirements and laws. Hunters on private lands must also adhere to any landowner regulation or requirement. Furthermore, hunters are required to respect all landowner property and rights.

Public Land Hunting

Public lands in Colorado exceed 23 million acres, and the state provides many public hunting prospects with these forested areas, parks and conservation areas. Aside from hunting, public lands in Colorado provide opportunities for activities like hiking, trapping, fishing and wildlife viewing. Some of the public lands managed by states will also have their own regulations and requirements that must be adhered to. Before hunting in these areas, it is your duty to know the regulations peculiar to that hunting area.

Hunting in Wildlife Areas

Colorado wildlife areas are public lands owned by the state and under the management of the state park and wildlife. Wildlife areas in Colorado are more than 300, and this amounts to millions of land areas in mountain regions, wetlands, forests, grassland, etc.

All these parts of the state will allow hunting and every other type of outdoor recreational activity.

Regulations for Hunting in Colorado Wildlife Areas

Aside from the state hunting regulations, there may be additional restrictions to hunt in Colorado wildlife areas or use them for recreation. Most of these wildlife management areas will post the regulations for hunters to see before hunting. Regulations will not be the same for all areas. Some common wildlife area regulations include the following:

  • Restriction on the type of firearm and the method for taking wildlife and games.
  • Restrictions and regulations on the use of dogs to hunt.
  • Restriction and regulation on the use and access to vehicles within the areas.
  • Extra requirements for license and permits.
  • Restriction on recreational activities and camping in the state.

Colorado Hunting License Permits and Tags

Before hunting any game or wildlife in Colorado, you need a valid hunting license. There are various Colorado hunting licenses, and they are available based on the age, residency, and type of game animal to hunt.

Colorado hunting licenses include the following:

Big game licenses

Colorado big game licenses are available based on the type of animal big game species to be hunted. Residents and nonresidents can purchase these licenses, but the price will vary. You must own a big game license for the animal you want to take.

For a big game license issued based on draws in the state, an application fee will be required. For residents of Colorado, the cost for a big game license draw permit is $7 while non-residents’ cost is $9. This money is non-refundable too.

Other types of big game licenses in Colorado include the following:

Colorado Bear Hunting License

This is the valid license issued in Colorado for the hunting of bear species. It costs $39.75 for residents and $101.75 for non-residents.

Colorado BigHorn Sheep Hunting License

This is the only valid license required for bighorn sheep in Colorado. It costs $305.61 for residents and $2,240.20 for non-residents. There are separate licenses for Desert and Rocky Mountain permits in the state, but they cost the same price for residents and non-residents.

Colorado Deer Hunting License

This is a valid license issued for deer hunting in Colorado. The license allows a hunter to take both does and bucks deer. It costs $40.24 for residents and $401.83 for non-residents.

Colorado Elk Hunting License

This is a valid license for Elk hunting in Colorado. The license can be used for the taking of both bull and cow elks in the state. It costs $55.43 for residents and $670.25 for non-residents.

Colorado Moose Hunting License

This is a valid license for Moose hunting in Colorado. It costs $305.61 for residents and $2240 for non-residents.

Colorado Mountain Goat Hunting License

This is a valid license for Mountain goat hunting in Colorado. It costs $305.61 for residents and $2240 for non-residents.

Colorado Mountain Lion Hunting License

This is a valid license for Mountain goat hunting in Colorado. It costs $50.37 for residents and $351.75 for non-residents.

Colorado Pronghorn Lion Hunting License

This is a valid license for Pronghorn hunting in Colorado. It costs $40.24 for residents and $401.83 for non-residents.

Colorado Youth Big Game License

This is a valid license for youths that want to hunt big games in Colorado. It costs $15.1 for residents and $102.78 for non-residents.

Small game Licenses

Just like with the big game license, there are small game licenses for various species in Colorado. The license will depend on the small game that a hunter wishes to take, and they are available for residents and non-residents.

Some of Colorado small game hunting licenses include the following:

Colorado Annual Small Game License

This is an annual license valid for the taking of small game animals in the state, including furbearers. It costs $30.11 for residents and $82.78 for non-residents.

Colorado Annual Small game and Fishing Combo License

This is an annual license for small game hunting and fishing in Colorado. It is only available for residents of the state, and it costs $50.37.

Colorado Turkey Hunting License

This license is only issued based on draw. Hunters that get drawn will be allowed to partake in turkey hunting in Colorado. To get drawn hunters will have to pay the required application processing fee which is $7 for residents and $9 for non-residents.

Colorado Band-tailed Pigeon Hunting permit

This is a permit required for band-tailed pigeon hunting in Colorado. It costs $5 for residents and nonresidents.

Colorado Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp

This is a stamp issued for migratory bird hunting in Colorado. It costs $25 for residents and non-residents of the state.

Colorado Furbearers Hunting License

This license is issued only for the hunting of furbearers in Colorado. It costs $30.11 for residents and $82.78 for non-residents.

Colorado Peregrine Falcon Capture Permit

This permit is required for the capture of peregrine falcons in Colorado. It is only available for residents of the state and it costs $304.1.

Colorado Raptor Residents Hunting License

This is a Colorado hunting license for the possession of raptors in the state. It is only available for residents, and it is valid for 3 years. It costs $152.18.

Colorado Raptors Nonresidents Hunting License

This is a Colorado out-of-state hunting license for non-residents of the state. It allows them to capture or possess raptors, and it is valid for a year. It costs $81.28.

Colorado One Day Small Game Hunting License

This license is required to hunt small games in Colorado for just a day, It costs $13.9 for residents and $16.94 for non-residents.

Colorado Additional Day Small Game Hunting License

This license is required to hunt small game animals in Colorado for an extra day. It costs $6.81 for residents and Nonresidents.

Colorado Turkey Hunting License

There are 2 types of Colorado hunting licenses in the state, issued based on seasons. Turkey hunting in the fall costs $25.05 for residents and $153.68 for non-residents. Turkey hunting in the spring costs $30.11 for residents and $153.68 for non-residents.

Colorado Youth Small Game Hunting License

This license is required by youths that want to hunt small games in Colorado. It costs $1.26 for residents and nonresidents.

Colorado Fishing License Permits and Tags

Fishing License Permits and tags issued in Colorado include the following:

Colorado Annual Fishing License

This is an annual license for fishing in Colorado and it costs $35.17 for residents and $97.97 for non-residents.

Colorado Annual Senior Fishing License

This is an annual fishing license valid for residents that are at least 65 years old. It costs $9.85.

Colorado Aquatic Nuisance Species Stamp

This is a fishing stamp for nuisance species in Colorado. It costs $25 for residents and $50 for non-residents.

Colorado One Day Fishing License

This is a fishing license valid for one day. It costs $13.9 for residents and $16.94 for non-residents

Colorado Five Days Fishing License

This is a fishing license valid for five days. It is valid for only non-residents and costs $32.14.

Colorado Additional Fishing License

This license allows an extra day of fishing. It costs $6.81 for residents and nonresidents.

Colorado Youth Fishing License

There are 2 types of fish licenses issued in Colorado. The first one is for youths that are either 16 or 7 years old and it is only available for residents of the state. It costs $9.85.

The second youth fishing license is for those that are less than 16 years old. The license is available for residents and non-residents and it is free of charge.

Colorado Hunting Season 2020/2021

Games have various hunting seasons. It is a hunting violation to take or capture games outside their hunting season, or make use of a weapon outside its hunting season.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Colorado includes the following:

Colorado Elk Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (2nd of September to 30th of September)
  • Muzzleloaders Season (12th of September to 20th of September)
  • Rifle Season (10th of October to 14th of October, 24th of October to 1st of November, 7th of November to 13th of November, and 18th of November to 22nd of November)

Colorado Deer Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (2nd of September to 30th of September)
  • Muzzleloaders Season (12th of September to 20th of September)
  • Plains Muzzleloader Season (12th of October to 20th of October)
  • Rifle Season (24th of October to 1st of November, 7th of November to 13th of November, and 18th of November to 22nd of November)

Colorado Plain Deer Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (1st of October to 23rd of October, 4th of November to 30th of November, and 15th of December to 31st of December)
  • Muzzleloader Season (10th of October to 18th of October)
  • Rifle Season (24th of October to 3rd of November and 1st of December to 14tth of December)

Colorado Pronghorn Hunting Season

  • Archery Hunting Season for Bucks (15th of August to 31st of August)
  • Archery Hunting Season for Bucks and Does (1st of September to 20th of September)
  • Muzzleloader Season (21st of September to 29th of September)
  • Rifle Season (3rd of October to 11th of October)

Colorado Moose Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (12th of September to 30th of September)
  • Muzzleloading Season (12th of September to 20th of September)
  • Rifle Season (1st of October to 14th of October)

Colorado Bear Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (2nd of September to 30th of September)
  • Muzzleloader Season (12th of September to 20th of September)
  • Rifle Season (2nd of September to 30th of September,10th of October to 14th of October, 2th of October to 1st of November, 7th of November to 13th of November, 18th of November to 22nd of November, and 2nd of September to 22nd of November)

Colorado Turkey Hunting Season

  • Fall Season (1st of September to 23th of October)
  • Colorado Small Games Hunting Season
  • Squirrel Season (15th of November to 15th of January)
  • Beaver Season (1st of October to 39th of April)
  • Bobcat Season (1st of December to 28th of February)
  • Snapping Turtle Season (1st of April to 31st of October)
  • Rabbit Season (1st of October to 28th of February)
  • Coyote Season (Open Season)
  • Fox Season (1st of October to 28th of February)
  • Marmot Season (10th of August to 15th of August)
  • Prairie Dogs Season (15th of June to 28th of February)
  • Rattlesnake Season (15th of June to 15th of August)
  • Ground Squirrel Season (Open Season)

Season dates for each game from one hunting zone to another.

Colorado Wildlife Games and Fish

Some of the most common games and wildlife present in Colorado include the following:

Colorado Elk Hunting

Elk hunting in Colorado is well renowned because of the number of elks present in the state. As at the last estimation, about 280,000 are present in the state. Colorado is the state with the largest elk herds in the USA and the world. During Elk seasons, hunters from all over the nation troop into the state to capture elks.

Colorado Moose Hunting

The Moose population in Colorado is fast growing and it continues to be one of the big game species favored by hunters in the state.

Colorado Deer Hunting

The 2 most common species of deer in Colorado are the white-tailed and mule deer. The mule deer is well distributed in Colorado, while white-tailed deer inhabit the eastern region of the state and are also found in small quantities in the west.

Colorado Bighorn Sheep Hunting

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are mostly found in the steeped region and the rugged terrain parts of the state. The estimation is almost 7000 and this makes Colorado one of the most favorable states for bighorn hunting in the state. Another species of Bighorn sheep in Colorado is the desert sheep but they are less common and are found in the western part of the state.

Colorado Mountain Goat Hunting

Mountain goats are another big dame species common in the steep regions of Colorado. They are very agile game animals and coupled with the mountain regions they inhabit, this makes them very difficult animals to hunt.

Colorado Pronghorn Hunting

Pronghorns are very common in Colorado with a population of almost 90,000. Presently, they are in their most abundant in Colorado. They inhabit flatland areas in the northwest part of the state and some eastern plain regions too. Hunters can find small herds of pronghorns in Northern, Southern, and misled parks of the state.

Colorado Mountain Lion Hunting

Mountain lions are another abundant big game species found in the steep regions of Colorado.

Colorado Black Bear Hunting

Just like Mountain Lions, black bear hunting in Colorado is also common because of the large population of the animal in the state.

Colorado Turkey Hunting

Wild turkeys are quite famous among hunters in Colorado. Aside from hunting them, they are quite fascinating animals for recreational viewing, especially during their springtime mating period.

Colorado Coyote Hunting

Coyotes are well dispersed in Colorado and residents’ hunters in the state regard them as one of the most difficult predators to hunt. This is a testament to their smartness.

Colorado Fox Hunting

The common species of foxes in Colorado is the red fox. Like most predators, they are difficult to hunt because of their speed. They are also very sensitive games with great vision and smell. They are great swimmers too.

Colorado Shooting Ranges

Some of the shooting ranges in Colorado include the following:

  • Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex
  • Magnum Shooting Center
  • Pikes Peak Gun Club - Izaak Walton Range
  • Whistling Pines Gun Club
  • Teller County Shooting Society - Gold Camp Range
  • Whistling Pines Gun Club
  • Kenaz Tactical Group
  • Magnum Shooting Center
  • Blanchard Shotgun Instruction

Colorado Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale in Colorado include the following:

  • Montrose, Colorado (San Miguel County), 2258.03 acres
  • Trinchera, Colorado (Las Animas County), 8,080 acres.
  • Cripple Creek, Colorado (Teller County), 360 acres.
  • Wellington, Colorado (Larimer County), 794 acres.

Hunting lands for lease in Colorado include the following:

  • CO Private Land Archery Elk Hunt Available (Garfield County), 7600 acres.
  • Windance Ranch (Eagle County), 750 acres.
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