NewsCovering Colorado


Colorado Parks and Wildlife implementing changes for big game hunting licenses

Posted at 6:12 PM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 20:23:09-05

COLORADO — Colorado Parks and Wildlife is changing its limited hunting licenses for big game hunters.

Currently, licenses are broken up and distributed out of two categories, areas with high demand and those in low demand.

According to CPW, the changes are only affecting low-demand areas as well as areas that suffered severe winter mortality. CPW says that the area affected most was the northwest corner of the state, near Rangely to Steamboat Springs.

CPW is now reserving 75% of licenses in those low-demand areas for in-state residents. Last season, 65% was reserved for people in the state.

The rest will be available to hunters out of state. CPW says this change is part of their efforts to track chronic wasting disease (CWD) and see how it could be affecting the big game in our state.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has also implemented mandatory checks for deer and certain big game animals for CWD depending on what hunting code you have. CWD testing is done for free courtesy of CPW if your animal is from one of the hunt codes required to be tested.

"What this does is we just try to rotate around the state and then we go between deer and elk and that just helps us look at those herds and see how those individual herds are tracking through that disease," said Travis Sauder, Assistant Area Wildlife Manager at CPW.

While there still is no evidence that disease can be passed to humans, CPW says if a deer or elk does test positive, hunters should contact them and CPW will destroy the body.

Applications for the primary draw of big game hunting licenses open on March 1 and close on April 2. The secondary draw process will open June 20 -28 for the 2024 license year.

Click here to get hunt codes and see Colorado Parks and Wildlife's updated 2024 Big Game Regulation Brochure.


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