4 Significant Changes For Colorado Big Game Hunters
The release of Colorado’s Sheep & Goat and Big Game brochures brings the promise and excitement of new hunting seasons. With over-the-counter maps, hunt codes, season dates
There are a number of substantial changes that will affect all hunters planning to apply for this year’s limited-license drawing. To make sure that you are prepared for the change, I strongly recommend that you take some time to thoroughly read the “What’s New” section found on pages 1-2 of the 2019 brochures.
Below, I’ve highlighted four major changes that are likely to impact your hunting plans.
1. Qualifying License Requirement
New this year, all applicants, including youth, must purchase a qualifying license in order to apply for the 2019 limited license draw. This new requirement is intended to ensure hunters are not accumulating preference points without making a financial contribution to wildlife conservation in Colorado.
Qualifying licenses include:
- Limited or spring turkey license
- Small-game license
- Combination small game/fishing (Colorado resident only)
- Veteran’s lifetime combination small game/fishing licenses (Colorado resident only)
Your qualifying license must be valid for the current license year, April 1, 2019–March 31, 2020. Qualifying licenses can be purchased starting March 1, 2019 and can be completed in the same CPWshop.com transaction with your big game application, but the qualifying license MUST be added to your cart first. Applicants must purchase a qualifying license even if applying for a Preference Point.
TIP: OTC OPTIONS FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
Over-The-Counter (OTC) licenses offer great options to hunt big game in Colorado and do NOT require the purchase of a qualifying license. OTC licenses do NOT require or use preference points and the hunter is making a financial contribution to wildlife conservation by purchasing the OTC license. See the OTC maps in the big game brochure for season dates and GMU maps.
2. Changes to Preference Point Fees
In 2019, preference point fees will only be charged for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat applications. There are no longer preference point fees for elk, deer, pronghorn or bear. Preference point fees for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat will be $50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Youth ages 12-17, residents who are in the military and on active duty outside of Colorado and lifetime license holders are exempt from the preference point fee requirement.
3. Expanded Youth Hunting Opportunities
Opportunity leads to success, and CPW has structured youth big game licenses to maximize hunting opportunities. Offering more chances for youth success is one of the foremost goals at CPW. By expanding youth opportunity, CPW is helping to turn our first-time hunters into lifelong sportsmen and women. And this year, youth ages 12-17 will find more opportunities than ever before to harvest a big-game animal. If they are unsuccessful with their original license, they will have the opportunity to keep hunting IF they have the correct license. The key is to apply for the correct license. To participate in the extended season, children and teens ages 12-17 must purchase a limited license for antlerless deer, antlerless or either-sex elk or pronghorn. With the correct license, you will have a number of opportunities to get out in the field and help build the foundation of solid hunting skills and pass down the appreciation of the outdoor lifestyle we have all learned to cherish. And remember, sometimes the best measure for success is simply finding ways to enjoy your time in the field. For more information on how you can take advantage of the youth hunting opportunities in Colorado, please visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.
4. Application and Correction Deadline Change
Draw applications and any corrections to the applications must be submitted by 8 P.M. MT on April 2, 2019. This is four hours earlier than in years past. With all of the changes to this year’s process, it’s best NOT to wait until the last minute. I highly recommend completing your application closer to March 1 than April 2. You can
Avoid Payment Pitfall
Hunters who are successful in the limited drawing must pay for licenses by June 21. The payment deadline is final and failure to pay by this deadline will result in a forfeit of your license and preference points. To avoid any issues, when completing your application, make sure that your account information is up to date – credit card information, phone number, mailing address, email address and other contact information. Customer purchasing multiple big game licenses (deer, elk, pronghorn) have reported issues with banks rejecting cards as a result of multiple charges over a short period of time. So play it safe and check your draw results online in your CPWshop.com account. Results will be available by June 7. While you’re there, check your post draw preference point levels and confirm that your payment was successful before the June 21 payment deadline.
Why So Many Changes?
Last year, the Colorado legislature passed the Future Generations Act, granting the Parks and Wildlife Commission authority to adjust pricing to meet the pressures of increased management costs and resource usage across the state. These adjustments allow Colorado Parks and Wildlife to continue its conservation mission, while also ensuring transparency and accountability in working to achieve the ten key goals laid out in the bill. For more details about the 2019 pricing adjustments, please read the Future Generations Act Changes FAQ. And visit the CPW website to view a complete list of big game license fee changes.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife thanks hunters and anglers for their ongoing support. The additional revenue from license sales and application fees helps to support wildlife populations and habitat, and provide greater access for hunting and fishing.
Additional Resources For Hunters:
- Big Game Statistics – Drawing a limited license can be a challenging task for new hunters. Use CPW’s Draw Recap Reports to learn how many licenses were available in all big game management units throughout Colorado, how many hunters applied for those limited licenses, how many of those hunters were successful drawing and how many preference points it took to be successful. Quotas, applicant pools, and hunt codes may change year-to-year, but the reports will give you an idea of where you have your best shot at drawing a license.
- Residency Requirements – Avoid application issues or delays by ensuring you are aware of all residency requirements before you apply for the big game draw.
- Weighted Preference Points Explained
- A Step-By-Step Guide to Apply For Group Hunts
- 2019 Colorado Outdoors Preference Point Issue
Good luck in the draw and have a safe and successful fall season!
Video by Jerry Neal. Neal is a videographer and information specialist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.