Hunting season is underway. Here’s what you need to know |

Hunting season is underway. Here’s what you need to know

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — What’s new for hunting in western Colorado this year? Plenty, affecting everything from license sales to youth hunting options and game-management units. We checked in with Colorado Parks & Wildlife for changes to put on your radar.

LicensingCPW transitioned to an integrated licensing, pass and reservation system in January 2018. All customers will need their customer identification number, driver’s license or other unique identifier to create an online account. A unique email is no longer required for login, meaning families can now use the same email address for all purchases and applications.

Read more

This article is from the 2018 issue of Colorado Hunter magazine.

Paperless license applications: All license applications, for all species, must now be completed online using the integrated system. Paper applications are no longer available.

License fees: Instead of paying all fees up front when applying, hunters now pay the $3 application processing fee, per species. Hunters ages 18 to 64 also need a 2018 habitat stamp ($10), which is automatically added to your application. You will be charged the license price along with wildlife education and search and rescue fees only if you draw a license. The preference point fee will still be charged if you are unsuccessful in the draw and do not meet the exemption criteria.

Chronic wasting disease testing: In 2018, CPW will require mandatory submission of test samples (heads) from all buck deer harvested during rifle seasons from select GMUs. Hunters that harvest a buck deer in the specified hunt codes will be required to submit their deer head to a CPW submission site for free mandatory testing.

2018 hunting seasons

• Deer
Archery: Aug. 25 to Sept. 23
Muzzleloader: Sept. 8 to 16
Second rifle: Oct. 20 to 28
Third rifle: Nov. 3 to 11
Fourth rifle: Nov. 14 to 18
• Elk
Archery: Aug. 25 to Sept. 23
Muzzleloader: Sept. 8 to 16
First rifle: Oct. 13 to 17
Second rifle: Oct. 20 to 28
Third rifle: Nov. 3 to 11
Fourth rifle: Nov. 14 to 18
• Pronghorn
Archery: Aug. 15 to Sept. 20
Muzzleloader: Sept. 21 to 29
Rifle: Oct. 6 to 12
• Moose
Archery: Sept. 8 to 23
Muzzleloader: Sept. 8 to 16
Rifle: Oct. 1 to 14
• Bear
Rifle limited (by draw): Sept. 2 to 30
Archery*: Sept. 2 to 30
Muzzleloading*: Sept. 8 to 16
Concurrent rifle*: Oct. 13 to Nov. 18
* over the counter with caps

Minimum muzzleloader caliber: The minimum caliber of 0.50 applies to deer, pronghorn and bear. Round-ball bullets for muzzleloaders are now a minimum of 0.54 caliber for elk and moose.

Youth licenses: Youth deer, elk and pronghorn licenses will be available on public CPW land operated for hunting as well as on private lands. (More info:

Dream hunt licenses: The restriction on resident preference points for these licenses has been removed.

Annual closure for shed collecting: Public lands west of Interstate 25 are open to collecting shed antlers or horns from May 1 to Dec. 31, except in GMUs 54, 55, 66, 67 and 551, where collecting is further restricted to between legal sunset and 10 a.m. May 1 to 15.

Overnight camping permits: Hunters who plan to hunt or scout in the Conundrum Hot Springs area or Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness portion of GMU 43 should be aware that a limited number of overnight camping permits will be issued for the Conundrum Creek Valley. These federally required camping permits are necessary year-round, cost $10 and are available at

Read more about GMUs and license pricing at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User