Fees & Deadlines
2018 Colorado Application Fees & Deadline
Habitat Stamp (required)
Rocky Mountain Bighorn*
Online App. Deadline (midnight MST)
2017 Results Made Available
All hunting license applications for the draw are now available ONLINE at cpw.state.co.us/CPWshop, or by phone 1-800-244-5613 only.
Application deadline for all species is April 3. Nonrefundable application processing fee for all species is $3. Habitat Stamps are REQUIRED for hunters and cost $10; only one is required per person, per year for anyone ages 18–64. You must purchase a stamp before buying or applying for a preference point or a hunting or fishing license. When you submit your application for the draw online or by phone, a 2018 Habitat Stamp ($10) will be automatically added if you haven’t purchased one already. Stamps went on sale Jan. 10, 2018, and are nonrefundable, even if you are unsuccessful in the draw.
If you draw a license, the credit card on file in your CPW account will be charged between June 4-8. The preference point fee for elk, deer & pronghorn will still be charged if you are unsuccessful in the draw. There is no point fee for bighorn sheep, mountain goat or moose.
Step-by-step guides for setting up your account & applying for the draw: cpw.state.co.us/cpwshop
If you do not hold an active 2017 annual or biggame license, or do not receive a license through the draw for the species, you will be charged $40 PER SPECIES (for deer, elk, pronghorn and bear), for which you get a preference point. For example: If a nonresident (who isn’t exempt from the fee) receives a point for all four species, they will be charged $160. The preference point fee will be charged to the credit card you have on file in your CPW account after the draw. Points accumulate unit you draw a first-choice license. You may apply for points only for any species except for desert sheep.
- One preference point is awarded to hunters who apply properly and are unsuccessful in drawing a license for a first-choice hunt code for big-game species in this brochure. You may apply for a preference point as your first-choice hunt code.
- If you are issued a first choice license, all accumulated preference points for that species become void and return to zero.
- Points accumulate until you draw a first-choice license. If an applicant both fails to apply for a species and has not purchased a license for that same species during any given 10-year period, all accumulated preference points for that species become void.
- Priority goes to those with the most points, except when the license quota or nonresident cap would be exceeded.
- Second, third-, fourth-choice, over-the-counter and leftover hunts don’t use or generate points.
- Weighted preference increases your probability of drawing a rocky mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goat or moose license. It is calculated by converting your application number into a random draw number, then dividing that new number by the number of weighted points you have, plus one. This generates your draw order number. Applications are sorted by lowest draw order number to highest, with the lowest numbers drawing first. You can have a maximum of three points for rocky mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goat or moose. If you have three and you fail to draw a first-choice license, you receive weighted preference.
- Preference points don’t apply to desert bighorn sheep.
Refunds or Points Reinstatement
To get a refund OR preference point(s) restored, you must relinquish your license and carcass tag at least 30 days before opening day of the season for which the license is valid. License must be accompanied by a completed request form obtained at a CPW location or the website. Most refunds are subject to a $15 processing fee.
Preference points are reinstated to a pre-draw level, you do NOT receive an additional preference point for 2018.
Requests must be postmarked at least 30 days before the season starts. If there isn’t enough time to request a form, mail your license and carcass tag with a letter to CPW. It must be postmarked 30 days before the season for which the license is valid starts.
Nonresident License Allocations
Nonresident allocations for elk, deer & pronghorn are determined by the average number of preference points a Colorado resident needed to draw a specific license during a 3-year period that ended with the 2009 drawing. (Units with low numbers of available licenses may not have any remaining for nonresidents after resident licenses are drawn.)
For elk and deer hunt codes that required six or more points for a Colorado resident to draw, up to 20 percent may go to nonresidents. These hunts are designated in unit tables by a + under the SEX column.
For hunt codes that required fewer than six points for a Colorado resident to draw an elk or deer license, up to 35 percent may go to nonresidents.
Nonresident allocations may increase if licenses remain after all Colorado resident first choices have been drawn for that hunt code.
There is not a nonresident allocation limit for pronghorn.
Ten percent of limited moose, sheep and mountain goat licenses are allocated to nonresidents.
The group leader must apply first. All group members must use the same person as the leader in order to go through the draw as a group. Priority is based on the member with the fewest points.
Hunter Education Requirements
Anyone born on or after January 1, 1949, must have a hunter education card to hunt in Colorado. A hunter education card is needed to apply for or buy a license. Your hunter education card must be carried while hunting.
You can apply for one bighorn sheep license and one mountain goat license each year. You cannot apply for a Rocky Mountain bighorn and desert bighorn in the same year.
If you harvest a Rocky Mountain bighorn ram (must have a half-curl or more), you must wait five years (sixth year after harvest) before applying for another Rocky Mountain bighorn ram license. During the five-year waiting period, hunters may apply for ewe licenses, but cannot accrue preference points.
Desert Bighorn Sheep
If you harvest a desert bighorn sheep, you cannot participate in future desert bighorn sheep drawings.
If you harvest a mountain goat, you must wait five years (sixth year after harvest) before applying for another mountain goat license.
The lifetime bag limit for moose is one. All licenses available by draw. If you’ve harvested a bull, you may not apply for an either-sex license.
It is illegal to hunt on private land without first obtaining permission from landowner or person in charge.
Archery Legal Methods of Take
A long bow, recurve bow or compound bow on which the string is not drawn mechanically or held mechanically under tension. String or mechanical releases are legal if they are hand-drawn or hand-held with no other attachments or connections to bow (except bowstring).
- Hand-held bows, including compound bows, must use arrows with a broadhead having a minimum of 7/8-inch outside diameter (width) and a minimum of two steel cutting edges. Each cutting edge must be in same plane for entire length of cutting surface.
- Only legal, hand-held bows are allowed during archery seasons.
- A minimum draw weight of 35 pounds and a let-off maximum of 80 percent is required.
- No part of a bow’s riser (handle) or track, trough, channel, arrow rest or other device (excluding cables and bowstring) that attaches to riser can contact, support and/or guide the arrow from a point rearward of the bow’s brace height behind the undrawn string.
- Bows can propel only a single arrow at a time. No mechanisms for automatically loading arrows allowed.
- Scopes and electronic or battery-powered devices cannot be incorporated into or attached to bow or arrow, with the exception of lighted nocks on arrows. Recording devices such as cameras or video recorders attached to bows may be used as long as they do not cast light toward the target or aid in range finding, sighting or shooting the bow.
- Hydraulic or pneumatic technology cannot be used to derive or store energy to propel arrows. Explosive arrows are prohibited.