From the Colorado Division of Wildlife
-- With the April 5 deadline for Colorado's big game draws near, the Division of Wildlife reminds hunters time spent planning now can ensure a memorable hunt this fall.
Wildlife managers estimate the state's 2010 post-hunt elk population at more than 280,000. This means the Division of Wildlife manages more elk within its boundaries than any other entity in North America. The state offers hunters a diversity of elk-hunting choices, from wilderness and backcountry public-lands hunts to outfitter-supported group hunts and private-land only tags.
With 48,000 elk harvested in 2010, Colorado's annual harvest continues to lead the West by a large margin. Although licenses in some elk units remain strictly limited to grow trophy bulls, Colorado remains the only state to offer unlimited bull elk tags in the majority of units to residents and non-residents.
In 2010, Colorado hunters also harvested a record 12,000 pronghorn, while rifle hunters enjoyed a 50 percent success rate during deer seasons.
Big game seasons open in late August for archery hunters and continue into mid-winter with late season private land tags. Information about season dates and license application requirements can be found in the Division's redesigned big game brochure, online at http://wildlife.state.co.us/RulesRegs/RegulationsBrochures/BigGame.htm.
The new brochure features easy-to-read tables, new hunt opportunities and a reference page with important information about Colorado hunting regulations. The online version contains numerous links to videos hunters will find helpful when planning their hunt.
New this year is a video tutorial to using the Division's online license application system. About 64 percent of big-game license applicants now use the online system.
"One of the benefits of applying online is that the system prevents you from making some of the more common mistakes," according to Henrietta Turner, license administration manager. "To avoid the potential that computer problems could hold you up, don't wait until the last minute to submit your application."
Customer service representatives and hunt planners are available to assist hunters by phone from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and until midnight April 5. They can be reached at (303) 297-1192.
Hunters can also get personal assistance at one of the Division's regional service centers in Denver, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs or Durango or any one of the Division's Area Offices. To improve the chance for success, hunters are encouraged to apply for second- and third-choice licenses through the leftover draw. In addition, over-the-counter and additional leftover licenses will become available starting in July.
Hunters born after Jan. 1, 1949, are reminded they must have completed a hunter education course prior to applying for a hunting license in Colorado. Since the hunter education requirement was imposed in 1970, hunting accidents have significantly declined in the state.
To buy your big game license online, go to http://wildlife.state.co.us/ShopDOW/AppsAndLicenses/.
A puff version of the 2011 Colorado Big Game brochure can be viewed at
The interactive version of the brochure can be accessed at http://wildlife.state.co.us/RulesRegs/RegulationsBrochures/BigGame.htm.
A video tutorial on the online application system is online at http://vimeo.com/21662805. For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.