Colorado hunting licenses are a requirement for all hunters who plan to remove wildlife from any state-sanctioned hunting grounds. Hunters found to be hunting without a proper hunting license will be charged with poaching. Poaching charges carry a variety of associated fines and penalties. Hunting licenses are issued by the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife, with strict requirements for completing the hunting license application process. Hunting licenses are issued to both residents and non residents for varying fees, which depend on the applicant’s residency status. Residents receive a discounted fee rate in comparison with non residents. Other factors that affect the type of license and fee include the applicant’s age, the length of the hunting license’s validity and the type of privileges the license grants (i.e. small game hunting, big game hunting, etc.). Prior to buying hunting licenses in Colorado, hunters must first pass the state’s hunter education course. Hunter education courses teach prospective hunters about a variety of topics including firearm safety, survival skills and wildlife management. Once the hunter education course is complete, hunters can buy hunting licenses by submitting a hunting license application to the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife in person, over the phone or online. In addition to hunting license fees, during the application process, applicants must also submit proof of identity, proof of age and proof of residency status (for residential hunting licenses). To find out more about how to get hunting licenses and the hunter education requirements for Colorado, read the sections outlined below:
- Types of Colorado hunting licenses
- How to buy Colorado hunting licenses
- Hunting education courses in Colorado
- Educational material for kids in Colorado
- Replacing Colorado hunting licenses
What types of hunting licenses are available in Colorado?
The Colorado Parks & Wildlife office offers various types of licenses to hunt for both Colorado residents and nonresidents. Hunting licenses in Colorado are classified by the type of game the applicant plans to hunt while out in Colorado’s wilderness. One of the popular hunting permit options is the big game hunting license, which allows the licensee to hunt animals such as elk, cow, bull, deer, moose, pronghorn, buck, doe and bear. Another license to hunt is the waterfowl/small game hunting license, which allows the licensee to hunt animals such as small game birds (i.e. pigeon, partridge, crow, dove, sparrow, prairie-chicken, grouse, pheasant, quail and more), small game animals (i.e. squirrel, beaver, bobcat, snapping turtle, jackrabbit, coyote, marmot, prairie dog, rattlesnake and more) and small game hawks/falcons. The wildlife department also offers turkey hunting licenses, which give the licensee the right to hunt turkey on state-sanctioned lands.
Hunting license fees vary based on the type of game being hunted.
How do I buy hunting licenses in Colorado?
Hunters must purchase hunting permits that allow them to conduct whichever type of hunting they desire (i.e. big game, small game, etc.) prior to heading out on a hunting expedition. Hunting permits can be purchased through the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife in person, over the phone or online.
To buy hunting licenses in Colorado in person, visit one of the hundreds of licensed retailers located throughout the state. To buy hunting licenses over the phone, call the Colorado licensing hotline and complete a phone hunting license application. To buy hunting licenses online, visit the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife Total Licensing System.
Online and phone orders require a valid credit card to pay the associated hunting license fees. Prior to buying hunting permits, applicants must first buy a Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp. Hunting license applications require the applicant to enter certain personal information as well as their residency status. Hunting licenses are valid from the first day of April to the last day of the following March. Online and phone hunting license purchases will arrive by mail within 10 days of purchase. Once received, sign the back of the license to ensure its validity.
Am I required to take any Colorado hunting classes in order to purchase a hunting license?
All hunting license applicants born on or after January 1, 1949 must pass a hunter education course prior to buying Colorado hunting permits. Hunter education courses must be approved by the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife office and led by a certified volunteer or a Parks and Wildlife staff hunting instructor. Courses are offered regularly throughout the year.
Where can I find educational hunting material for kids in Colorado?
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department offers a youth program for children who are interested in hunting for sport. The main focuses of the youth hunting program include safe hunting practices, hunting ethics, wildlife conservation techniques and outdoor living strategies. The program also teaches students about the details of wildlife, including habitats, how to look for tracks and how to hunt in groups.
Youth hunting program applicants must be Colorado residents and must be between 10 and 17 years of age (12 years of age for big game hunting). Program participants must also be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. The program offers three different types of hunting specialties: big game, upland and waterfowl hunting.
How do I replace Colorado hunting licenses?
Hunters in Colorado dealing with lost, stolen or misplaced hunting licenses can request a replacement license to hunt online, by mail or in person at a local Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife office. To purchase a replacement hunting license online, visit the department’s online Total Licensing System. To purchase a replacement in person or by mail, print and complete a Request for Duplicate License form. If mailing it in, send the form to the address listed on the form.
Replacement cards are available for a small fee equal to 50 percent of the cost of the original hunting permit.