It’s almost leftover day – that time of year when Colorado Parks and Wildlife makes all remaining big-game hunting limited licenses available for purchase. This year, leftover licenses go on sale Tuesday, August 4 at 9 a.m (MDT). Licenses will be available for purchase online (CPWshop.com), in person at CPW offices and license retailers (sporting goods stores, hunting and fishing supply stores, etc.), and by phone at 1-800-244-5613. While there are no guarantees that you will get a license on leftover day, there is a great deal of opportunity for big-game hunters looking to get a Colorado deer, elk, pronghorn or bear hunting license.
This year, at the start of leftover day there will be 40,736 Colorado big-game hunting licenses available on the 2020 leftover list. That means there is still a lot of opportunity to hunt in Colorado this year.
- Deer – more than 5,878 limited licenses available
- Archery – 848
- Muzzleloader – 887
- Rifle – 4,143
- Elk – 23,060 limited licenses available
- Archery – 4,255
- Muzzleloader – 451
- Rifle – 18,354
- Pronghorn – 4,643 limited licenses available
- Archery – 14
- Muzzleloader – 805
- Rifle – 3,824
- Bear – 7,001 limited license available
- Archery – 2,229
- Muzzleloader – 825
- Rifle – 3,847
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado Parks and Wildlife recommends purchasing leftover licenses online this year. Phone wait times may be longer than normal. If you choose to go to an office or sales agent, please wear a mask, or you could be turned away, and be prepared to social distance. And please stay home if you have a fever or are feeling any symptoms.
Preparing for Leftover Day
It is important to have your online account set up, and that you are familiar with how to purchase a license before the event begins. Leftover day is always a busy morning with the majority of licenses sold within the first hour. Be prepared by completing the following checklist BEFORE purchases begin on Tuesday, August 4 at 9:00 a.m (MDT).
- Validate or create your online customer account.
- If you are an existing customer, log in to CPWshop.com to confirm that you can access your account. If you forgot your password, click “Forgot your password?” on the login screen and follow the directions. If you are experiencing issues logging in to your account, please call CPW at 303-297-1192 (M-F, 8am-5pm MT) or Aspira at 800-244-5613 (24/7) for assistance BEFORE leftover day.
- If you are unsure whether or not you are a customer with an online account, please use “LOOK UP YOUR PROFILE” to see if you have an existing account. CAUTION: Please DO NOT create multiple accounts. Purchasing licenses with multiple accounts could potentially invalidate your license.
- If you are a new customer (meaning you have never used CPWshop.com; purchased a CPW license or pass on bright green paper; made a Colorado state park camping reservation since 2018; registered an OHV, boat or snowmobile; or do not have a Reserve America account), please create an account. If you are experiencing issues creating an account, please call CPW at 303-297-1192 (M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. MT) or Aspira at 800-244-5613 (24/7) for assistance.
- Confirm account details.
- Check that your contact info is correct, including phone, email and mailing address.
Note: You will need to enter your credit card information when you check out (VISA, MASTERCARD OR DISCOVER). Your credit card on file will not be charged automatically.
License Options Available AFTER Leftover Day
If you are unsuccessful on leftover day, there are still two great options for purchasing a Colorado big-game hunting license.
1. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Licenses
OTC license sales begin on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020 at 9 a.m. (MDT). Big-game hunting license options include Unlimited OTC licenses for cow, bull, and either-sex archery elk, bull elk in the 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons, either-sex elk in the plains, either-sex archery pronghorn, and doe and either-sex whitetail deer licenses. OTC licenses are great options for hunters that are looking to start planning today. OTC hunts are restricted to certain units and manners of take. Please visit the CPW website for more information about OTC season dates and big game hunting opportunities.
2. Reissued Licenses
Reissued licenses are limited licenses that were returned for a refund or preference points, as well as those who didn’t pay for their licenses – and are listed on the leftover list. All additional reissued hunt codes that are not on the initial leftover list will be added starting August 11. These hunt codes will be released at random times Tuesday thru Friday (throughout the season) between 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. through the end of the season. These licenses are amazing opportunities for hunters with flexible schedules and they will appear throughout the season. Visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website to learn more about the reissue process.
Help CPW Manage Colorado’s Bear Population
New “addon” bear licenses give hunters increased opportunities to harvest a bear. Some archery and muzzleloader bear licenses are available in unlimited numbers this year as “addon” licenses only: You can add on one of these bear licenses if you have a deer or elk license for the same method of take and at least one unit overlaps. Check the archery and muzzleloader hunt code tables for deer (pages 22–25) and elk (pages 41–43) of the Colorado Big-Game brochure for the available add-on OTC bear license hunts. For tips on bear hunting, read 10 Tips For Colorado Bear Hunters.
Interested in Big Game Hunting, But Not Sure Where to Start?
If you are new to big game hunting or you’ve been thinking about getting started, check out Crystal Egli’s “My First Big Game Hunt.” Crystal was eager to bring locally sourced meat to her family while learning new ways to connect to the outdoors. In the 16 part video series, Crystal shares her experiences from hunter education to harvest.
Good luck and enjoy your 2020 hunting season!