The application deadline for 2016 limited big game licenses, including deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, bear, sheep and goat, is Tuesday, April 5. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a variety of resources for hunters to complete their applications now. Costs vary based on species and residency status.
"Prospective hunters are encouraged to refer to 2016 Big Game and 2016 Sheep and Goat brochures containing detailed application information about each prospective species," said CPW's Public Information Manager Matt Robbins. "Our Communication Center is standing by to help individuals get their application in ahead of the Tuesday deadline."
Brochures include easy-to-read tables, maps, information about 2016 changes to hunting seasons and a reference page with important details about Colorado hunting regulations.
Customer service representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MDT at 303-297-1192 and specially trained Hunt Planners are available to assist hunters by phone at 303-291-7526. Hunters can also get personal assistance at CPW offices and parks located throughout the state.
Colorado publishes several statistical reports that contain the previous years license quotas, application stats, post-draw stats, minimum number of preference points used to draw each license and harvest estimates. Learn how to read the reports online. Studying the statistics of unit(s) can help hunters refine application choices.
Prospective big game hunters who fill out an application or purchase a license online should have the following information handy:
* Current and valid photo ID and/or Customer Identification number (CID)
* Proof of Hunter Education certification
* Proof of Colorado residency (if applicable)
* A 2016 Habitat Stamp, which will be automatically added to your online application if required. It can also be purchased separately.
* Social Security number for customers 12 years and older, unless already on file.
* Hunt Codes (up to four for each species) (See p. 9 2016 Big Game or p. 7 2016 Sheep and Goat)
* Credit Card (Mastercard, Visa or Discover)
Applications for nonresident Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep, Desert sheep, moose and Mountain goat must be submitted on paper applications. Also hunters can not apply for Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep and Desert sheep in the same year.
Find tips for navigating the process in this video. Hunters can also purchase an over-the-counter (OTC) bull elk tag, available for the second or third rifle seasons, starting July 26 at 9 a.m., by phone at 1-800-244-5613, at any license agent, or at CPW offices without application or preference point purchase. Colorado's over-the-counter bull elk license is unique in that it allows a hunter to hunt anywhere in 93 units, which includes some of the best elk hunting in the state. Learn more about license options, at http://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/BigGameLicenseOptions.aspx. See also Colorado's Big Game License Drawing: What you Need to Know.
Each year, a limited number of licenses are allotted to each game management unit (GMU) based on population estimates and their relationship to the objective range for each species. The Colorado Big Game Hunting Planner lists season dates, fees, and application dates and deadlines. The five-year season structure overview is a useful long-range season date planner. Because licenses are limited, interested hunters submit applications and await the outcome of the drawing conducted in May to determine if their selected hunt code is drawn.