About Hunting in Colorado

Hunting in Colorado offers the opportunity to be up close and personal with bears, moose, elk and more with the mountains that it provides. It has a unique climate about it and animals that are meant for the rocky area. Being a Colorado sportsperson, hunting and fishing is a way of life. While in the conservation you can display support and pride while kicking off the season.

Archery season kicks off the date on Sept 1, Next Muzzleloader on Sept 11 followed by four rounds of rifle starting Oct 9, Oct 23, Nov 6 and Nov 17. The Primary Draw deadline is April 7 and the Secondary draw correction deadline is July 17.

Colorado Hunting Seasons Offered

Big Game: Deer, Bear, Elk, Pronghorn Sheep, Goat

Small Game: Squirrel, Snapping Turtle, Rabbit, Hare, Jackrabbit, Marmot, Prairie Dog, Rattlesnake, Fox, Pine, Coyote

Bird: Band tailed Pigeon, Chukar, Crow, Dove, Starling, Greater Prairie Chicken, Grouse, Pheasant, Rai Soral, Quail, Crane, White tailed Ptarmigan, Snipe, Waterfowl

Colorado Hunting Season Dates 2021

In general Colorado is divided into hunting areas called game management units. In general for deer, elk and bear hunting archery season starts in early September and lasts almost a month. Muzzleloader season starts in the middle of archery season and four rifle seasons follow that. Hunting season is divided into zones based on the species, what you hunt with and when you hunt.

Elk Seasons
Archery Sept 2-30
Muzzleloaders Sept 12-20
Rifle Oct 10-14, Oct 24-Nov 1, Nov 7-13 and Nov 18-22

Deer seasons
Archery Sept 2-30
Muzzleloaders Sept 12-20
Plains Muzzleloader Oct 12-20
Rifle Oct 24-Nov1, Nov 7-13, Nov 18-22

Colorado Game Management Map

colorado hunting season zones

Colorado Big Game Hunting Season 2021

SeasonDatesZoneBag LimitNotes
ArcherySept 2- 30West of I-25 and
Unit 140
4 deer , no more than 2 bucks, no
more than 2 antlerless all seasons combined
Oct 1-29 and
Nov 10-30 and
Dec 15-31
East of I-25,
except Unit 140
Plains deer
Sept 11-30Lifetime limit is
Aug 15-31Pronghorn
(Bucks only)
Sept 1- 20Pronghorn
(Either sex)
(by draw only)
Sept 11-19Deer/ Elk/
Oct 9- 17East of I-25,
except Unit 140)
Plains Deer
Sept 21-29Pronghorn
Rifle Deer/ Elk/
Oct 1-14Moose
Oct 16-201st seasonLimited Elk
Oct 30- Nov 72nd seasonDeer/Elk
Nov 13-193rd seasonDeer/Elk
Nov 24- 284th seasonLimited deer/ elk
Oct 30- Nov 9East of I-25,
except Unit 140
Plains deer
Dec 1- 14East of I-25,
except Unit 140
Late plains deer
Rifle Pronghorn
(by draw only)
Oct 2-10
Black BearSept 2-30September Rifle
limited (by draw)
Sept 2- 30Archery ( O-T-C
or limited)
Sept 11-19Muzzleloader (
O-T-C or limited)

Colorado Hunting License Info

What you need to buy a license

  1. Secure and verifiable identification
  2. Proof of hunter education
  3. Habitat Stamp
  4. For residents, proof of residency

A current-year qualifying license is required in order to apply for any of the big game draws.

Purchase Colorado Licenses at https://www.cpwshop.com/purchaseprivilege.page

Resident/ Non ResidentLicenseCost
ResidentSpring Turkey$30.11
ResidentAnnual Small Game$30.11
ResidentSmall game/fishing combo$50.37
Non residentSpring Turkey$153.68
Non residentAnnual Small Game$82.78

Qualifying License on sale March 1
Each year you can apply for big game draws to get a limited license as well as after draws are over you can purchase a remaining limited license on sale. License for elk, pronghorn and bear are available without needing to enter the draws.


Colorado Hunting News

There are 23 Million acres of public land and whatever experience you have in mind Colorado is sure to please, there are so many different options from Small game to Big game to choose from and with as many places to go camping there is not stopping the adventures that will be made. Don’t forget primary draw applications are the 1st main game draw of the year and start March 1st to April 6 but you must first purchase a qualifying license! Be on the lookout for secondary and Over the Counter afterwards!

Colorado hunting tips

  • Expanded bear hunting opportunities and reduced license fee
  • All archery and muzzleloader elk and deer hunter can add bear add ons free of charge
  • All license fees include 25 cent search and rescue fee and 1.50 wildlife education fund

Find a hunting guide

Colorado Hunting Guides

Elk Hunting Guides

Mule Deer Hunting Guides

Official Sites and Links

Colorado State Regulatory
Site: https://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/RulesRegs/Brochure/BigGame/biggame.pdf
Colorado State
PDF: https://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/RulesRegs/Brochure/BigGame/biggame.pdf
Colorado Licence Purchase