The 2019 Colorado big game draw results are now available for elk, deer, moose and bear. And by now, all applicants should have received an email revealing your Colorado big game license fate (results can also be found by logging into your account at CPWshop.com). If you successfully drew your license, you’re probably daydreaming about your upcoming hunt. However, for many of us – me included – luck was simply not in the numbers this year. But fear not! Failing to draw a limit license does not mean that you won’t be hunting big game in Colorado this year. Trust me, there is a lot of positive in that negative-sounding statement.
Not drawing a big game limited license (or didn’t apply) can actually be a good thing. Sometimes the challenge of finding a new hunting area is just what’s needed to add a new sense of adventure to your hunting routine.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s 5-Year Big Game Season Structure is close to being finalized, but there is still time to add your valuable input to the process. Public input is a crucial part of the planning process and up to this point, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has heard from several thousand hunters, both residents and non-residents, who have shared feedback in public meetings, telephone town halls, focus groups, and the initial public comment form. This valuable feedback has aided Colorado Parks and Wildlife in developing recommendations and alternatives for the 2020-2024 Big Game Season Structure. And in July, a 5-Year Big Game Season Structure proposal will be presented to the Parks and Wildlife Commission for final approval. But before that happens, there are still two important opportunities for hunters to participate in the planning process.
Every year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) big-game biologists compile data on the state’s deer, elk and pronghorn herds by Data Analysis Units (DAU). These DAUs encompass several of the Game Management Units (GMU) that hunters are more familiar with.
A primary tool used in the management of Colorado’s big-game animals is a limit, or quota, on the number of licenses issued in most game management units (GMUs). When applying for a limited license, a preference point is awarded when an individual is unsuccessful in drawing their first-choice hunt code. Preference points provide a mathematical advantage when applied to future drawings.
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 and fees, the brochures confirm that what we’ve done in the past is still available, aid us in finding new opportunities and help support a strategy to secure a license for the upcoming seasons. Most years, we dive in with purpose, flipping to the sections that we know will help us get the job done (or scrolling if you’re looking at the brochures online). I caution you – do not take that approach this year!
If you’re a Colorado big-game hunter, now’s the time to prepare for the 2019 hunting seasons.
Colorado Outdoors, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s conservation magazine, is a valuable planning resource for hunters. The Jan/Feb issue features big-game preference points for deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and moose.
For more than 120 years, your contributions have supported wildlife conservation, ensuring that Colorado remains home to abundant wildlife and world-class hunting. Now is your chance to look toward the future!
This special edition of Colorado Outdoors magazine features articles that will help you make the most of your fall and winter out in the field. Discover where species and hunting seasons align to create opportunities for multispecies hunts. Learn tactics for locating early season mule deer. And protect your investment with gear care tips and much more. Purchase your copy or an annual subscription today. Read more