Colorado’s 2022 Secondary Big Game Draw

It’s your chance to get licenses remaining from the primary draw without having to wait until leftover day!
Colorado Big Game Hunter
Colorado Big Game Hunter


Didn’t Draw? Start planning for the Secondary Draw 

Hunters who did not apply or draw a license in the primary draw should be aware they still have the opportunity to draw a license in the Secondary Draw. Most elk, deer, pronghorn, and bear licenses not issued through the primary draw will be made available in a Secondary Draw that is open to anyone, whether they applied for the primary draw or not. Secondary draw applications open on June 21, 2022, and must be completed by the application and correction deadline on July 5, 2022, at 8 p.m. MT.

Available Secondary Draw Colorado Big Game Licenses

Follow the links below to view the lists of elk, deer, bear, and pronghorn limited licenses that are available in the 2022 Secondary Draw.

  • 2022 Secondary Draw is Closed.

Hey, I Applied for That Hunt Code in the Primary Draw!

You may see a license available in the Secondary Draw that you were unsuccessful at drawing in the Primary Draw. There are a couple of ways that this happens. If a customer returns a license or fails to pay for the license they were awarded in the primary draw, CPW may reissue the license in the Secondary Draw.  Most licenses are added to the Secondary Draw list if they took 4 or less preference points for a resident adult to draw in the 2022 primary draw. Please visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website to learn more about License Refunds, Reissues, Reversals, and Exchanges.

Secondary Draw Basics

  • You still pay an application fee. You’ll still be charged a fee for applying, whether or not you draw a license. The $7.13 resident and $9.17 nonresident application fees apply per species for the secondary draw.
  • No primary draw? No problem. You do not have to have applied in the primary big game draw to apply in the Secondary Draw.
  • A qualifying license is required.
  • No preference points. You cannot use or apply for a preference point in the Secondary Draw.
  • No group hunts. You cannot apply as a group in the secondary draw.

Youth (Ages 12–17) Preference

Father and daughter hunting
The secondary draw provides great opportunities for youth hunters!

The Secondary Draw is a great opportunity to get a young hunter a big game license. The new system provides youth hunters with a 100% preference in the Secondary Draw. What does this mean? The Secondary Draw processes ALL youth application choices prior to processing adult choices. If your young hunter was unsuccessful in the primary draw, this is another great opportunity to try to get them a Colorado big game hunting license!


Hunting atlas screenshot
The Colorado Hunting Atlas
  • – Apply for the Secondary Draw.
  • Colorado Big Game Brochure – An essential resource for any Colorado hunter. Be sure to read the entire “what’s new” section in the brochures before purchasing a​ license or hunting this fall.
  • The Colorado Hunting Atlas – The Colorado Hunting Atlas allows users to view big game concentrations and game management units on top of street maps, USGS topographic maps or high-resolution color aerial photography. The Hunter Resource Report allows hunters to create a list of important emergency and contact information, field office locations, campgrounds, CPW sales agents, and more.
  • Big Game Hunting Statistics – Colorado publishes several statistical reports that contain the license quotas, application stats, post-draw stats, and harvest estimates. Learn how to read the reports online.
  • Colorado Game Management Unit (GMU) Videos – Need to find a new area to hunt? In this video series, Colorado’s wildlife officers answer frequently asked questions, discuss access, describe animal movement, and more.​​
  • License Refunds, Reissues, Reversals, and Exchanges – If you have any questions about returning your license, please visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website for more details. 

If you were successful in the primary draw, congratulations! If not, it’s time to get to work and prepare for the Secondary Draw.

16 Responses

  1. Seems like a scam to charge a second draw fee for a tag that was available in the first draw that was properly applied for but not drawn. Just another way for the government to rape the people paying thier wages.

    1. Unfortunately, there is a cost to running the draws. The “application processing fee” helps to cover the cost with the vendor.​

    2. yes I could agree, But sometiems people draw the tags and don’t pay, or they decide they don’t want to tag and give it back. The second draw like this gives people another chance to get some good tags.

    3. id rather it go to parks and wildlife then other state and federal tax organizations. they can have my $9.17 for habitat resources.

    4. Exactly right… Just another scam to take more non-refundable application fees and add them to the Govt. and give the applicants NOTHING BACK.

  2. I think it’s unfair to allow those who didn’t apply the first time to now enter the secondary draw. It’s just a way for them to reap more $$ in application fees. So unfair. We should go back to requiring the full license price up front in the initial draw as well.

  3. Trying to navigate the brochure (if you can find one) is a headache. Understanding it is another story. Not drawing time and again and being a resident for 55 years is really frustrating. I accused them of granting (in a drawing no less) 50% of the tags to out of state applicants. They assured me that that was not so and corrected my guess of 50% to the actual which is 48%. Well I feel better now…

    1. If you need help with your big game application, please call a Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt planner at (303) 291-7526. For next year’s primary draw, they can help you look at hunt codes that will align with your preference points. There have been record numbers of applications submitted over the past couple of years, so drawing a tag can be challenging.

  4. I live on the border of Gilpin County and Jefferson Counyt. I could shoot a K-Mart bow and arrow from my deck into Jefferson County. There are 93 outstanding elk tags for Jeffco and not one for Gilpin. That ratio needs to be rebalanced, badly.

  5. Year after year the process is so micromanaged, I feel like I need a degree in Colorado Hunting Regulations. Is there such a thing?

    1. There may not be a degree, but the closest thing to a professor is a Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt planner. If you need help with your big game application, please call a Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt planner at (303) 291-7526.

  6. I was unsuccessful for elk in the primary draw. There were 3 tags left over for the unit. I applied for the secondary draw no luck.Still 3 tags leftover. Makes one wonder what is going on with this system.

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