Welcome to Colorado, a majestic hunting paradise. Located in the Rocky Mountains, this state is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse wildlife you’ll find anywhere in the US. From experienced hunters to first-timers taking their first steps into nature’s bounty, there’s something for everyone here.
Elk and deer roam widely alongside coyote and moose – all just waiting for you. With its open spaces full of stunning views across breathtaking landscapes, it’s time to grab your rifle and experience what Colorado has to offer.
Let us provide you with everything you need to know when hunting in Colorado like what to hunt, where to hunt, and license information so each trip out into the wilds is successful – giving plenty of opportunity for a rewarding outdoor adventure. So, without any further ado, let’s jump right to it.
What Can You Hunt in Colorado?
Colorado is a top destination for elk hunters. Rugged mountains, high plains, and diverse ecosystems make it the perfect playground for outdoor enthusiasts. With over-the-counter licenses available in certain units and seasons, you can easily embark on a DIY hunt or book an outfitted one at the last minute.
Not only are there plenty of elk to be found, but also white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose, furbearer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep turkey, waterfowl, and black bears – this state has it all. Plus with 53 peaks that reach 14000 feet above sea level known as fourteeners – Colorado provides breathtaking views along with its bounty of wildlife.
Whether you’re looking to get away from the hustle of everyday life or just want some quality time hunting in nature’s backyard – head on down to Colorado; It won’t disappoint.
Colorado is an excellent place for deer hunting, offering a variety of terrains and abundant wildlife to pursue. Whether you’re after mule deer or white-tailed bucks, the Western part of Colorado and North Park are some of the best places in the US for this pursuit.
Here hunters will find plenty of public and private lands with lush meadows, rolling prairies, dense forests as well and open fields – making it easy to hit your mark.
Beyond these regions, there is still plenty more opportunity for successful hunts across Eastern Colorado too. With oak brush slopes, pinyon-juniper stands grasslands on plains & sagebrush flats in valleys all providing great habitat; scouting out prime locations before setting up shop can help ensure success when out in the field. No matter what time of year you hunt or where you go every bit counts towards bagging that trophy buck.
Deer Season in Colorado
|Archery Season||02 Sep – 30 Sep|
|Muzzleloader Season||09 Sep – 17 Sep|
|High Country Deer||09 Sep – 17 Sep, 07 Sep – 15 Sep|
|Plains Archery Deer||01 Oct -27 Oct, 08 Nov – 30 Nov, 15 Dec – 31 Dec|
|Plains Muzzleloader Deer||14 Oct – 22 Oct, 12 Oct – 20 Oct|
|Plains Rifle Deer||28 Oct – 07 Nov, 26 Oct – 05 Nov|
|Late Plains Rifle Deer||01 Dec -14 Dec|
Colorado is an incredible destination for elk hunting. With over 500,000 acres of public land to choose from, it’s no wonder why so many hunters flock here every year. The best time to hunt elk in Colorado is during the rut season (late September-early October). During this time, bulls are very active and vocal – making them easier to spot.
When packing for your Colorado elk hunt, be sure you have all the right gear; a good rifle & scope combo will do wonders, binoculars or spotting scopes come in handy when locating game from afar as well as warm clothing and protective outerwear since temperatures can drop significantly at higher elevations.
Last but not least don’t forget a map or GPS device– staying on track never hurts while out on a hunt.
Elk Season Colorado
|Plains Archery Elk||02 Sep – 30 Sep|
|Plains Muzzleloader Elk||09 Sep – 17 Sep, 14 Sep – 22 Sep|
|Plains Rifle Elk||01 Sep – 31 Jan|
|1st Regular Rifle Elk||14 Oct – 18 Oct|
|2nd Regular Rifle Elk||28 Oct – 05 Nov|
|3rd Regular Rifle Elk||11 Nov – 17 Nov|
|4th Regular Rifle Elk||22 Nov – 26 Nov|
|Late Rifle Elk||27 Nov – 31 Jan|
|Private Land Only Elk||15 Aug – 31 Jan|
|1st Separate Limited Elk||14 Oct – 18 Oct|
Moose are an impressive sight, their huge bodies and bell-like dewlaps draped in striking black or brown fur. With their long legs, they can easily wade into lakes to find food at the bottom, or paw through deep snow during winter months.
Although moose have occasionally stumbled upon Colorado’s borders, it wasn’t until 1978 and 1979 when animals were transplanted from Utah and Wyoming that a breeding population was established.
Nowadays, these majestic creatures can be found throughout nearby counties – even Rocky Mountain National Park – as well as Grand Mesa and Flat Tops Wilderness areas; not only do they roam around mountain habitats but sometimes graze alongside cattle on the plains too.
|Archery Moose||09 Sep – 30 Sep|
|Muzzleloader Moose||09 Sep – 17 Sep|
|Rifle Moose||01 Oct – 14 Oct|
|Alternative concurrent antlerless rifle moose||14 Oct – 18 Oct, 28 Oct – 05 Nov, 11 Nov – 17 Nov, 22 Nov – 26 Nov|
Black bears are iconic creatures of Colorado and the largest remaining carnivore in the state. These majestic animals may be black, honey-colored, blond, or cinnamon – often featuring a tan muzzle and white spot on their chest.
They can easily be mistaken for grizzlies but none exist here. Female adults are sows while males are boars; cubs being young ones.
The average weight of male black bears is 275 pounds with females weighing around 175 pounds. Depending on factors like seasonality and food availability though, they could range from 100 to 450 lbs.
When on all fours, these magnificent mammals measure about 3 feet tall however when stand up straight, they’re 5 feet tall. Their habitat consists primarily of Gambel’s oak & aspen trees interspersed with patches of chokecherry & serviceberry bushes where a bear’s home range spans 10 to 250 square miles depending upon its size and gender.
Black Bear Season in Colorado
|Archery Bear||02 Sep – 30 Sep|
|Muzzleloader Bear||09 Sep – 17 Sep|
|September Rifle Bear||02 Sep – 30 Sep|
|Concurrent Rifle Bear||14 Oct – 18 Oct, 28 Oct – 05 Nov, 11 Nov – 17 Nov, 22 Nov – 26 Nov|
|Private-Land Only Rifle Beer||02 Sep – 30 Sep, 01 Oct – 24 Nov|
|Plains Rifle Beer||02 Sep – 26 Nov|
Colorado is a prime destination for Pronghorn hunting, especially in the fall. With an estimated population of around 100,000 across The Centennial State, it’s no wonder why seasoned hunters come from near and far to have a crack at bagging one of these magnificent animals.
The best areas for successful Pronghorn hunting are typically found on open plains and grasslands – places where they can be easily spotted by keen-eyed marksmen. Plus with Colorado boasting wide-open spaces abound in wildlife, you’re sure to find yourself some trophy specimens here.
If you’re looking to go after these majestic creatures, then make sure that your gear game is up to par; binoculars, rifles (with scopes), ammunition rangefinders, and decoys/calls should all be present in your arsenal if you want the best chance at success out there.
Remember too that there may be local restrictions regarding firearms so always check before setting off into the field. Also, don’t forget about reporting requirements; any big game species taken must be reported within 24 hours when harvested on public land or 48 hours when harvested on private land.
Pronghorn Hunting Season Colorado
|Archery Pronghorn (Bucks only)||15 Aug – 31 Aug|
|Archery Pronghorn (Either Sex)||01 Sep – 20 Sep|
|Muzzleloader Pronghorn||21 Sep – 29 Sep|
|Rifle Pronghorn||07 Oct – 15 Oct|
The breathtaking variety of waterfowl species in Colorado is awe-inspiring. From geese to ducks, from wood ducks to teal, the Centennial State has it all. Mallards and snow geese are the most common types seen here, but with a bit of effort, you can spot Canada geese and other sorts too. If you’re looking for something else besides birds that swim on the surface – upland bird species like grouse and quail can also be hunted in these parts.
What’s really great about this place is its abundance of public lands which makes accessing prime hunting grounds accessible without having to pay hefty fees or request permission from private owners.
National Forests, Wildlife Areas, and State Parks are some sites where hunters can find good spots for getting their game; while refuges maintained by U.S Fish & Wildlife Service provide excellent habitat for migratory birds offering some of the best chances at success.
Waterfowl Season Colorado
|Dark Geese||31 Oct -12 Feb||Regular Season|
|Light Geese||29 Oct – 12 Feb||Regular Season|
|Dark Geese||01 Oct – 13 Jan||South Park|
|Light Geese||——-||South Park|
|Dark Geese||01 Oct – 13 Jan||North Park|
|Light Geese||29 Oct – 12 Feb||North Park|
|Canada Goose||01 Sep – 09 Sep||Early Season|
|Goose||01 Oct – 09 Oct, 06 Nov – 31 Jan||Western Zone|
|Goose||01 Oct – 04 Jan||Eastern Zone|
|Dark Geese||01 Oct – 19 Oct||San Luis Valley|
|Light Geese||19 Oct – 12 Feb||San Luis Valley|
|September Season||10 Sep – 18 Sep|
|Southeast Zone||22 Oct -23 Oct|
|Northeast Zone||01 Oct – 02 Oct|
|Western Zone||22 Oct -23 Oct|
|Eastern Zone||24 Sep – 25 Sep|
|Foothills Zone||24 Sep – 25 Sep|
Duck & Coot Season
|Northeast Zone||08 Oct – 27 Nov, 18 Dec – 31 Jan|
|Southeast Zone||28 Oct – 31 Jan|
|Western Zone||01 Oct – 18 Oct, 06 Nov – 31 Jan|
|Eastern Zone||01 Oct – 13 Jan|
|Foothills Zone||01 Oct – 27 Nov, 25 Dec – 31 Jan|
As spring rolls in, hunters eagerly anticipate the sights and sounds of wild turkey season. In Colorado, it’s easy to get an over-the-counter license at a reasonable price and access prime hunting grounds with plenty of public land available.
Whether you’re chasing after Rio Grande turkeys on the eastern side or Merriam’s subspecies out west, there are plenty of opportunities to hunt if you know where to look.
Though they can be scattered across elevation levels throughout the region, finding these birds is far from impossible if you do your research — scouting areas that have ample food sources like acorns and berries will help increase your odds for success when it comes time for opening day.
The adrenaline rush that comes from hearing a distant gobble is second to none; just make sure you come prepared with all the necessary gear when hunting in Colorado so as not to miss any chances at bagging one of these majestic creatures.
|Spring (Purgatoire Ranch)||15 Apr – 24 Apr (units 136, 143, 147)|
|Spring (Twin Peaks Ranch)||26 Apr – 17 May, 17 May – 28 May (Unit 85)|
|Spring (Mountain Meadows Ranch)||22 Apr – 31 May (Unit 84)|
|Spring (Twin Peaks Ranch – Youth Only)||26 Apr – 07 May, 17 May – 28 May (Unit 85)|
|Fall||01 Sep – 27 Oct|
|Late Season||15 Dec – 15 Jan|
For the Mountain Lion hunter in Colorado, there’s no better place to experience an unforgettable hunt. With its varied landscape and plenty of game, hunters can expect a challenging but rewarding outdoor adventure.
To get started, you’ll need the right equipment like a rifle in .243 caliber or larger, and optics as well as appropriate clothing for cold weather hunting. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with state laws so that your hunt is conducted safely and ethically.
The best time for chasing after mountain lions is usually between December and April when they’re most active – early mornings and late evenings are ideal times since cats are more likely to be more active during these periods of low light levels.
Mountain Lion SeasonCSF
|April Season||01 Apr – 30 Apr|
|Regular Season||27 Nov – 31 Mar|
Colorado is a coyote hunter’s dream come true. Boasting an abundance of land and 30,000 private acres to hunt on, Colorado provides the perfect destination for calling in these wild canines.
With year-round hunting allowed with either a small game or furbearer license – available from any store over the counter – there are many opportunities for expert hunters and beginners alike to get their fill of this thrilling sport.
|01 Jan – 31 Dec||Unlimited|
|01 Oct – 30 Apr||Unlimited|
|01 Nov – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
|01 Dec – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
|01 Nov – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
|Red Fox||01 Nov – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
|Swift Fox||01 Nov – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
|Gray Fox||01 Nov – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
|01 Nov – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
Ring-Tailed Cat Season
|01 Nov – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
|01 Nov – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
|01 Nov – 29 Feb (Western Spotted Skunk)||Unlimited|
|01 Nov – 29 Feb (Striped Skunk)||Unlimited|
|01 Nov – 29 Feb (Long-Tailed Weasel)||Unlimited|
|01 Nov – 29 Feb (Short-Tailed Weasel)||Unlimited|
Prairie dog Season
|15 Jun – 29 Feb (Public Land)||Unlimited|
|01 Jan – 31 Dec (Private Land)||Unlimited|
|10 Aug – 15 Oct||Unlimited|
Snowshoe Hare Season
|01 Oct – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
|01 Oct – 29 Feb||Unlimited|
|Band-tailed pigeon||01 Sep -14 Sep||Statewide|
|Chukar partridge||01 Sep – 30 Nov||Statewide|
|Dove||01 Sep – 29 Nov||Statewide|
|Crow||01 Nov- 28 Feb||Statewide|
|Pheasant||12 Nov – 02 Jan||I-25 West|
|Rails||01 Sep – 09 Nov||Statewide|
|Wilson’s snipe||01 Sep – 16 Dec||Statewide|
|Quail||12 Nov – 31 Jan, 12 Nov – 02 Jan||——–|
|House sparrow||01 Jan – 31 Jan||Year-round|
Colorado Hunting License Information
Hunting is a popular hobby in Colorado, but it’s important to remember that you need the right license before taking part. If you’re aged 16 or older and live in the state, then you’ll need to purchase a resident hunting permit. Non-residents must get a non-resident one instead.
There are various licenses depending on which type of game you’re after – maybe small animals like ducks and quail; big game such as elk or deer; even some furbearers like coyotes and foxes! And if bowhunting or trapping is your thing, additional permits will be required for those activities too.
With a valid hunting license in hand, prospective hunters should be aware of the regulations governing Colorado’s hunting activities. From dusk ’til dawn, no shots may be fired; only three antlered deer per hunter are allowed to be taken each year, and all harvested animals must have their species tagged for identification purposes.
Plus, it is important to research local rules concerning where one can hunt and what weapons they can use as these vary from location to location within the state.
For more information regarding Colorado’s licensing requirements in this beautiful state, contact your nearest division office of the wildlife agency or refer to online resources such as the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website for further guidance.
Where Can You Hunt in Colorado?
If you are searching for where to hunt in Colorado, then you have come to the right place. Here, we will list some of the best places to go hunting in Colorado.
Public Hunting Places in Colorado
San Juan National Forest
San Juan National Forest is a stunning destination situated in the southwestern corner of Colorado. Travelers will find lush mountains, gushing rivers and scenic valleys that are perfect for enjoying nature’s beauty. If you’re looking to hunt, make sure you know all the rules and regulations – hunting licenses are required before setting off into this wild paradise.
In San Juan National Forest, hunters must be outfitted with blaze orange clothing so they can be easily spotted by other hunters. It’s also important to remember that only certain designated areas within the forest permit hunting; always double-check your location before starting your hunt.
The most popular game animals found here include deer, elk, turkey, bear, coyote, pronghorn antelope, grouse, and quail.
Rio Grande National Forest
Rio Grande National Forest is nestled in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Colorado, a prime destination for hunting. A wide variety of game awaits here including mule deer, elk, antelope, black bear, and turkey.
With its rugged terrain and towering forests of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir plus alpine lakes and streams full of fish – it’s no wonder why so many hunters come to this place.
To hunt in Rio Grande National Forest you’ll need both a valid Colorado hunting license as well as special permits if you’re after bigger game such as elk or mule deer.
Colorado River, coursing through the majestic Rocky Mountains, is a prime destination for hunters. Late summer to mid-November provides ample opportunity to bag game like deer, elk, bighorn sheep, antelope and mountain goats – even bears.
It’s important to keep track of local regulations as some areas may be off-limits during hunting season. Satisfy your inner outdoorsman with an unforgettable hunt in this beautiful region of the United States.
Sweitzer Lake State Park
Sweitzer Lake State Park, situated in the ever-stunning Colorado, is a top destination for nature enthusiasts. This 400-acre lake and its surrounding forests, wetlands, meadows, and trails are perfect for camping trips or days out spent fishing or boating. Wildlife such as deer, elk, and birds are spotted here too.
Barr Lake State Park
Barr Lake State Park in Colorado offers a fantastic hunting experience, with plenty of game animals like waterfowl, pheasants, and deer. The park’s open spaces and woodlands are the perfect habitat for these animals to thrive.
The park staff provides helpful advice on how to hunt safely and responsibly within their boundaries. Visitors can take advantage of guided tours or rent a boat from the marina if they’d rather explore solo. Hunting is allowed in certain areas – make sure you check with rangers before setting out.
Seasoned hunters should get ready as hunting season begins at the end of October until mid-December – giving you ample time to track down your prey.
White River National Forest
Hunting in the White River National Forest is an activity that appeals to nature lovers. It covers a sprawling two million acres of land, home to wildlife like deer, elk, bighorn sheep, black bear, and mountain lion as well as small game animals. To hunt safely and legally in this area be sure you understand the relevant regulations before setting off.
The terrain here ranges from soaring mountains to gentle hillsides with open meadows making it ideal for hunting – whatever your preference there’s something for everyone! Plus there are plenty of camping spots should you wish to stay overnight during your expedition.
Private Hunting Places in Colorado
Hunting on private land in Colorado is allowed, but it’s essential to abide by local regulations. Before you can hunt, get a valid hunting license from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Agency. Make sure you receive permission from the landowner too.
Once out in nature, always wear bright clothing to make yourself visible and alert other hunters of your whereabouts for safety reasons. It’s important to treat wildlife with respect while hunting in Colorado.