Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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CO: Pheasant and quail hunters gain more access

DENVER – Colorado pheasant and quail hunters will have access to
an additional 45,000 acres of private lands when the season opens
Nov. 12, thanks to Colorado Parks and Wildlife and a federal grant
program to encourage landowners to allow hunting. The new acreage
means more than 260,000 acres are available to upland bird hunters
through the state’s Walk-In Access program this year.

The season arrives with a great deal of anticipation for
small-game hunters who have witnessed two years of phenomenal
pheasant hunting in Colorado in 2009 and 2010.

“It’s hard to follow up on two great years and the drought
conditions in the southeast part of the state will temper things a
bit this year,” said Ed Gorman, small game manager for Colorado
Parks and Wildlife. “Even with less moisture and some severe hail
storms this summer, pheasant numbers should still make for plenty
of opportunity this fall in some parts of the eastern plains.”

Gorman expects counties south of Interstate 70 to have fair to
poor pheasant and quail hunting outside of irrigated areas because
of the severe drought conditions. Hunters in Kit Carson and Yuma
counties however can expect similar conditions to last year with
good populations of birds. Phillips and Sedgwick counties could see
good-to-excellent hunting. Across all counties, Gorman warns that
early July hail did reduce populations in some of the traditional
hotspots including eastern Sedgwick County, and in parts of Yuma,
Phillips, Logan and Kit Carson counties. Finally, Gorman predicts
that Washington, Logan and Morgan counties will continue to see
improving populations of pheasants.

Opening-weekend hunters should expect some unharvested corn
remaining in the fields, particularly in the northeast part of the
state. “We were in really good shape with regards to corn harvest,
until the weather turned on Oct. 26. Prior to the storm, it looked
like nearly all of the corn would be out by the opener, but this
storm slowed the harvest.” Gorman added that hunters must remember
that regulations close a Walk-In Access parcel to hunting while the
landowner is harvesting – particularly with regard to grass
sprinkler corners posted with special closure signs. “Adhering to
closure regulations is absolutely critical to maintaining good
relations with landowners,” he concluded.

Colorado’s pheasant and quail seasons open one-half hour before
sunrise on Saturday, Nov. 12. The seasons run through Jan. 2, 2012
or Jan. 31, 2012 depending on the area. Hunters must have a
Colorado small-game license and must have completed hunter
education to participate in the seasons.

Small-game hunters in Colorado are also required to register for
the Harvest Information Program (HIP) before hunting. Hunters can
register and receive a HIP number by going on-line to or by calling toll-free at 866-COLO-HIP

“Hunters that need to get a HIP number should register now,”
Gorman warned. “The phone lines get busy as opening day approaches
and hunters can get through the relatively-simple process more
quickly if they act now.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Walk-In Access Program is free for
licensed small-game hunters but hunters must adhere to specific
property regulations and guidelines. Enrolled properties and
regulations can be found using the annual Walk-In Program Atlas and
the Late Cropland Atlas. Both publications are available where
hunting licenses are sold, at Parks and Wildlife offices, or online
A Walk-In Access stamp is no longer required for hunters to
participate in the Walk-In Access Program in Colorado.

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to:


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