Let’s face it: Few people like going to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In fact, the DMV ranks among the top places I try to avoid—right up there with Justin Bieber concerts and dental offices. However, when my license plate renewal notice arrived in the mail last week, I was actually happy (you might even say I was excited) to know that I’d be visiting the DMV soon.
Earlier this year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife released a new specialty sportsmen’s license plate. As an avid hunter and angler, I knew this plate would grace my bumper as soon as my old plates and registration expired. So, on Thursday morning I marched into the DMV, took a number (I had lucky # P209) and waited patiently for my turn to hand over my credit card. I’m proud to say that my new plates will arrive in my mailbox in a couple weeks and become a permanent fixture on my Toyota FJ Cruiser.
If you’re a hunter or angler and you still haven’t seen or heard about the new Colorado Sportsmen’s Plate, here are five reasons why you, too, should be excited to visit your local DMV office this year:
1. The Plate Looks Awesome
Designed by Colorado Outdoors Magazine Editor Wayne Lewis, this one-of-a-kind specialty plate looks more like wildlife art than a license plate. The plate features bold lettering and text that pops against the snowy backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Elk are silhouetted against a vibrant sunset and the native greenback cutthroat trout is displayed front and center. Colorado should consider making this the state’s official license plate—it really is that good. Whether you’re driving to your favorite hunting spot in an old Willys Jeep or cruising to your favorite fishing hole in a shiny new 4×4, this is a must-have accessory that will make any vehicle look better.
2. The Plate Conveys an Important Message
As we all know, looks aren’t everything. Fortunately, in addition to its striking appearance, the plate also features an important message: “Hunting and Fishing Fund Conservation.” This simple but effective message is a great way to educate others about the important role sportsmen play in wildlife conservation. Hunters and anglers fund more than 70 percent of CPW’s annual wildlife budget, which helps to protect critical habitat and manage 960 wildlife species. The Sportsmen’s Plate serves as a roving PSA to remind other motorists and the general public that hunters and anglers pay for Colorado’s wildlife management and conservation programs.
3. The Plate Funds Fishing and Shooting
The proceeds from the Sportsmen’s Plate help to fund CPW’s work supporting critical fish habitat, angling access and the development of public shooting ranges. That’s something all hunters and anglers can support.
4. The Plate Connects You with Others Who Share Your Passion and Values
For most Colorado sportsmen, hunting and fishing are far more than a hobby or pastime—they are a way of life. Chances are, hunting and fishing are how you connect with nature and, just as important, how you connect with others who share your passion for wildlife and Colorado’s outdoor heritage. Adding this specialty plate to your vehicle shows that you’re part of something important and allows you to proudly display your bumper “badge of honor” as a Colorado hunter and/or angler. Nearly 3,000 people have purchased the plate since it debuted on Jan. 1, 2016. I’ve seen the plate several times this summer at some of my favorite fishing spots, and it’s always great to see other people who are proud to call themselves Colorado sportsmen and sportswomen.
5. The Plate Looks Simply Awesome
Seriously. (See reason No. 1.)
For more information on the Colorado Sportsmen’s License Plate, visit:
Written by Jerry Neal. Neal is the editor of Colorado Outdoors Online and is a public information specialist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. He had an extremely pleasant experience at the DMV and was merely having a little fun with this blog post.