Two Important Surveys that will Help Shape the Future of Colorado Big Game Hunting

If you want to help shape hunting opportunities in Colorado, please participate in Colorado Parks and Wildlife surveys.
father and daughter hunting.
Hunters enjoying that special Colorado hunting experience.

Colorado big game hunts are priceless adventures and sharing feedback on your experience is an important part of shaping future hunting opportunities in Colorado. Whether it’s the thrill of a surprise bugle by a bull elk or the peaceful moments spent gazing out at a spectacular horizon, these are experiences worth protecting.

This year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering two surveys that will help shape the future of big game hunting in Colorado. The surveys are just as important for future success as your preseason scouting, so please read on to learn why your participation is crucial.

Many comments are shared on platforms, such as Facebook hunting groups, Instagram, and Twitter, that never reach the ears of the decision-makers. These surveys are an official part of Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife planning process and are a great opportunity to have your voice heard.

  1. Big Game Harvest Survey (Invitation Only)
  2. Big Game License Distribution Public Process Survey (For Every Hunter)

Survey 1 (Invitation Only): Big Game Harvest Survey

If I hunted this year, can I take the Big Game Harvest Survey?

Not all hunters are eligible to take the Big Game Harvest Survey.
Only those hunters who have been randomly selected and notified by Colorado Parks and Wildlife or its vendor, Standage Market Research, are eligible. Read on to learn why.

Let’s start with a survey that many of you are familiar with. Every year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s customer service staff gets questions about the Big Game Harvest Survey. “Why don’t you survey everyone?” “Why didn’t I get a survey?” “How is this responsible management?” All valid concerns. So let me explain a little about the process.

Each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife randomly selects approximately 160,000 big game hunters to participate in its annual harvest survey. The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete and collects hunt and harvest information from deer, elk, and pronghorn hunters. Hunters are asked various questions that relate to where and when they hunted, if they harvested, what they harvested, their level of satisfaction with their hunt, and their sense of hunter crowding during their hunt. 

Why does Colorado Parks and Wildlife use a random sampling process?

To conduct the annual Big Game Harvest Survey, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) contracts with an outside firm to collect important hunt and harvest information from hunters. Each year, Colorado has over 375,000 deer, elk and pronghorn hunters, making it infeasible to contact each individual hunter by February. Instead, approximately 160,000 hunters are randomly selected to participate in the annual harvest survey. The information from the participating hunters is then used with information collected by Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists to estimate annual big game harvest and population numbers, a crucial component guiding herd management in Colorado.

If you are selected to take the survey, please complete the survey as soon as you receive a notification. It’s important to provide the most accurate information possible. And with many Colorado hunters participating in more than one big game hunt, the feedback needs to be specific to the hunt for which you are being surveyed. 

How does Colorado Parks and Wildlife choose the survey participants?

Survey participant selection is based on hunt or hunt code. The number of hunters selected is based on the number of licenses sold for each particular hunt or hunt code. The fewer licenses sold for a hunt, the more likely it is to get selected. For example, if a hunter has a limited license for a hunt with very few licenses, the greater the likelihood they will be selected to take the survey. But if a hunter has a license for over-the-counter or statewide elk, the likelihood they will be selected to take the survey is much smaller.

5 important new questions for 2021 on the Big Game Harvest survey

At the end of the survey, hunters can choose to answer 5 additional questions. The questions at the end of this year’s survey will collect feedback from hunters on crowding, satisfaction, and preferences for future herd management. For additional information, see the Harvest Survey FAQ.

Survey 2 (for Everyone): Big Game License Distribution Public Process Survey

This is a survey opportunity for EVERYONE to provide input on the distribution of Colorado big game hunting licenses. Your feedback must be submitted by November 22, 2021.

This year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is conducting a second hunting survey. The Big Game Hunting License Distribution Public Survey is for all Colorado hunters. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is considering changes to policies and regulations that direct the distribution of big game hunting licenses. To help inform this process, they are asking hunters for feedback on what topics they think are the highest priority for the agency to review over the coming year. 

Topics being considered include:

  • Resident/nonresident elk and deer license allocation
  • Preference points
  • Weighted points
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) elk licenses

Hunters selected to complete the Big Game Harvest Survey can also submit feedback on the Big Game Hunting License Distribution Public Survey. For more details, please read Big Game Hunting License Distribution Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Hunting License Allocation in Colorado

License allocation is a complex process in Colorado. To better understand Colorado’s hunting license allocation policies, please watch this video by Colorado Parks and WIldlife’s Terrestrial Section Manager, Brian Dreher. This video was presented to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission.

Video: Colorado Big Game License Allocation Explained

Your voice matters! Please participate in shaping the future of Colorado big game hunting.

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