Colorado Big Game Hunting: New Secondary Draw

Colorado’s new Secondary Draw gives big game hunters another chance to draw an elk, deer, pronghorn and bear limited license.
Bull elk
Photo by © Tony Gurzick/CPW.

For hunters who missed the April primary draw, you still have a chance to get a Colorado big game hunting limited license. Most of the elk, deer, pronghorn and bear licenses that were not issued through the primary draw will now be made available in a secondary draw that is open to anyone, whether they applied for the primary draw or not.

What’s different?

The new 2020 secondary draw means increased opportunity for all hunters. Colorado’s old leftover draw offered only deer and elk licenses and was only available to customers who participated in the primary draw. The new secondary draw offers two additional species: bear and pronghorn.

Additional changes include: 

  • Preference for youth hunters. Youth hunters will have 100% preference in the secondary draw. What does this mean? During the secondary draw, all youth choices will be processed prior to processing adult choices, so this is an outstanding opportunity to get our young hunters out in the field this year. 
  • No preference points. You cannot apply for and you will not use preference points during the secondary draw.
  • No group hunts. You cannot apply as a group in the secondary draw.

What still applies?

  • The application fee. You’ll still be charged a fee for applying, whether or not you draw a license. The $7 resident and $9 nonresident application fees applies per species for the secondary draw.
  • The qualifying license requirement. All applicants, including youth ages 12-17, must purchase a qualifying license prior to applying. For more information, please visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

When can you apply?

Secondary draw applications are accepted beginning on June 5 and the deadline to apply is  July 7, 8 p.m. MT. A list of hunt codes eligible for the secondary draw will be posted on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website on June 5.

Any licenses remaining after the secondary draw (except for Ranching for Wildlife licenses) will be placed on the leftover list and will be available for purchase on leftover day, starting on August 4, 2020, at 9 a.m. MT. Over-the-counter unlimited licenses will be available for purchase starting August 6, 2020, at 9 a.m. MT.

big game brochure cover
For more information, please see the 2020 Colorado Big Game Brochure.

4 Responses

  1. out of state hunter for the last 40 years, spent 75’000.00 in and around the bayfield area. Around 2010 sign started to be harder to find, By last year 2019 hardly no sign. In the national forest where our group hunted we saw no bucks no bulls. We saw 6 does 2cows. thank you Colorado for the last 40 years hunting my best buck was a b&c 34inch inside spread, best bull 6×6. Going to miss it. Colorado going to miss the $$$$.ANOTHER TEXAS GROUP SAYS THANK YOU AND GOOD BYE.

  2. i applied for an elk permit for my 14 year old son, based on youth preference and the number of permits available in the area he applied for i’d assume he’s pretty much assured to be drawn but i haven’t found any information on when the draw results will be confirmed.

    1. Secondary Draw (bear, deer, elk & pronghorn) results will be posted to your account on July 17.

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