DENVER – With the April 5 deadline for Colorado’s big game draw
fast approaching, the Colorado Division of Wildlife is reminding
hunters that a few hours spent planning now can help ensure a
memorable and successful big game hunt this fall.
Colorado wildlife managers estimate the state’s 2010 post-hunt elk
population at more than 280,000, which means the Division of
Wildlife continues to manage more elk within its boundaries than
any other entity in North America. Colorado offers hunters a
remarkable diversity of elk-hunting choices, from wilderness and
backcountry public-lands hunts, to outfitter-supported group hunts
and private-land only tags.
“A Colorado big-game hunt creates memories to last a lifetime,”
said Division Director Tom Remington. “With more than 23 million
acres of public lands and deer, elk, moose, sheep, pronghorn and
mountain goats to choose from, Colorado truly is a land of
opportunity for big game hunters.”
Remington noted that with 48,000 elk harvested in 2010, Colorado’s
annual harvest continues to lead the West by a large margin.
Although licenses in some elk units remain strictly limited to grow
trophy bulls, Colorado remains the only state to offer unlimited
over-the-counter bull elk tags in the majority of units to
residents and non-residents alike.
In 2010, Colorado hunters also harvested a record 12,000 pronghorn,
while rifle hunters enjoyed a 50 percent success rate during deer
seasons, Remington said.
The 2011 big game seasons open in late August for archery hunters
and continue into mid-winter with late-season private land tags.
Information about season dates and license application requirements
can be found in the Division’s redesigned big-game brochure. The
new brochure features include easy-to-read tables, a detailed list
of new hunt opportunities in the state and a reference page with
important information about Colorado hunting regulations.
Copies of the brochure may be downloaded from the Division web site
and are available anywhere licenses are sold. The on-line version
contains numerous links to videos hunters will find helpful when
planning their hunt.
Also new this year is a video tutorial to using the Division’s
online license application system. About 64 percent of big-game
license applicants now use the online system.
“One of the benefits of applying on-line is that the system
prevents you from making some of the more common mistakes,” said
Henrietta Turner, the Division’s License Administration Manager.
“But to avoid the potential that computer problems could hold you
up, don’t wait until the last minute to submit your
During the next week, customer service representatives and
specially-trained Hunt Planners will be available to assist hunters
by phone from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will be standing by until
midnight on April 5. They can be reached at (303) 297-1192. Hunters
can also get personal assistance at one of the Division’s regional
service centers in Denver, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs or
Durango or any one of the Division’s Area Offices.
To improve their chances of success, hunters are encouraged to
apply for second- and third-choice licenses available through the
leftover draw. In addition, over-the-counter and additional
leftover licenses will become available starting in July.
Sportsmen are also reminded that starting this year, hunting and
fishing license applicants will need to purchase a $10 Habitat
Stamp before they apply for or purchase their first license for the
Hunters who don’t already have a stamp and who intend to submit
multiple paper applications must include the $10 stamp fee for each
application, all but one of which will be refunded. Hunters who
apply on-line will be automatically notified if they need a Habitat
Colorado’s $10 Habitat Stamp fee is similar to New Mexico’s and
Montana’s stamp fees and is less than stamp fees charged by
Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming. Unlike several other Western states,
Colorado does not require non-residents to purchase a general
hunting license in addition to a big-game tag.
Enacted by the Colorado legislature in 2005, Colorado’s Habitat
Stamp has helped the Division conserve 103,074 acres of wildlife
habitat, including 46,000 acres of big-game habitat and migration
corridors, while securing 40,635 acres of new public hunting and
fishing access in the past five years.
Hunters born after Jan. 1, 1949 are also reminded that they must
have completed a hunter education course prior to applying for a
hunting license in Colorado. Since the hunter education requirement
was imposed in 1970, hunting accidents have significantly declined
in the state.
To buy your big game license on line, go to:
A .pdf version of the 2011 Colorado Big Game brochure can be viewed
The interactive version of the brochure can be accessed at:
A video tutorial on how to use the on-line application system is