Hunting is a way of life in the United States, and we are here to help you be as successful on the hunt as possible.
If the hill and mountain country are calling, Colorado deer hunting season is always right around the corner. Colorado offers opportunities that sportsmen worldwide love. And if the call of the wild is on your mind, here are a few pointers to keep you legal and your venture successful.
Licensing. Before you can hunt, or even apply for the proper permits, you’ll need a hunting license. Be sure you have a valid photo ID, have had hunter safety education, and have paid for a Habitat Stamp. License fees are differentiated for youth and adults, and residents and non-residents.
What You’re Hunting. Deer populations are primarily in two species: Mule Deer, often called “mulies” and White-Tailed Deer. Though the two species are largely the same size, mule deer have a stiffer gait with tails tucked when running; the white-tail is more graceful in gait, and its white-tailed is exposed when running. Differences also exist in antler development and ears. Mule deer can be found throughout Colorado while white-tailed deer tend to range in the eastern plains and woodlands. Regulations also exist for elk and moose, so be aware of your hunting preferences when making application. Pronghorn, though permitted for hunting on a more limited basis, are also a possibility in the big game category. You’ll need to have a species in mind when making application for a permit.
Permitting. Adult permits are mostly limited to established quotas per deer species. These “Limited Licenses” are set annually by Colorado wildlife officials, and include calculation of preference points. Be sure to check Colorado official publications for explanation of these preferences and how they are weighted. Permit drawings compose a significant method by which deer can be taken with applications deadlines set for late spring and issued in June. However, if you don’t make the drawings, two other categories, Over-The-Counter and Leftover Limited Licenses, become available in July and August respectively.
How You Hunt. The popular rifle hunting season usually occurs from late October to, in some cases, early December. Specialty hunting methods (archery, muzzleloading) precede this period in August and September. Colorado deer hunting season dates vary on a regional basis, so be sure you know where you plan to hunt, and what type of weapon you intend to use. Become educated on what government agency owns the land you desire to hunt. A variety of restrictions differ depending on the landowning agency. If it is private land, having the owner’s permission is required. Keep in mind that legal hunting hours in Colorado begin a half-hour before sunrise and end a half-hour after sunset.
Like many states with concern for herd management, Colorado’s deer hunting season regulations can appear convoluted at first glance. But don’t become discouraged, a few minutes of reading and research can offer a working knowledge for becoming compliant and enjoying the thrill of the hunt.
If you want more information about the seasons, laws, and regulations of hunting deer in this state, visit the state government hunting page.