Fees & Deadlines
2019 Colorado Application Fees & Deadline
Habitat Stamp (required)
Annual Small Game (required)
Rocky Mountain Bighorn*
Online App. Deadline (8:00 p.m. MST)
2018 Results Made Available
All hunting license applications for the draw are only available ONLINE (go to cpw.state.co.us and click “Buy and Apply”) or BY PHONE at 800-244-5613.
Application deadline for all species is April 2. Nonrefundable application processing fee for all species is $9. Habitat Stamps are REQUIRED for hunters and cost $10; only one is required per person, per year for anyone ages 18–64. When you purchase your qualifying license in order to apply for the draw, a 2019 Habitat Stamp ($10) will automatically be added if you haven’t purchased one already and are ages 18–64. Habitat Stamps went on sale Jan. 8, 2019, and are nonrefundable, even if you are unsuccessful in the draw.
All applicants, including youth, must purchase a qualifying hunting license to apply for the big game draw. A spring turkey license or an annual small game license is considered a qualifying hunting license for a nonresident.
When you submit your application, you will ONLY be charged the application processing fee per species. Your credit card information will be kept on file and ONLY charged the license fee if you receive a license from the draw. If you opt in to pay the new Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goat and moose preference point fee, your credit card will be charged if you are unsuccessful in the draw.
If you’re successful in the draw your credit card on file will automatically be charged for the license you’ve drawn. It is your responsibility to check your account and pay for any license you draw. If CPW is unable to charge your credit card for your license, and you don’t pay for the license drawn by the payment deadline, your license will be surrendered and you will lose both the license and any preference points you used to draw it.. The payment deadline for sheep & goat is May 17. The payment deadline for elk, deer, pronghorn and moose is June 21.
Step-by-step guides for setting up your account & applying for the draw: cpw.state.co.us/cpwshop
One preference point is awarded to those who are unsuccessful in drawing a license for a first-choice hunt code. Hunters can also apply for a preference point as their first-choice hunt code. Points accumulate unit you draw a first-choice license. You may apply for points only for any species except for desert sheep.
- If you apply for a preference point hunt code as your first choice or are unsuccessful in drawing your first choice hunt, you’ll now be automatically charged a $100 nonresident preference point fee (rocky mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goat & moose only).
- You’ll have the option to OPT IN or OPT OUT of paying the preference point fee while filling out your draw application(s). If you OPT OUT, you will not be charged the fee and will NOT acquire a preference or weighted point for 2019. This includes if you apply for a preference point hunt code as your first choice.
- If you are issued a first-choice license, all accumulated preference points for that species are void and return to zero.
- If you fail both to apply for a species and have not purchased a license for that same species during any given 10-year period, all accumulated preference points for that species become void.
- Second-, third- and fourth-choice hunts don’t use or generate points.
- The maximum preference points you can accumulate for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep or mountain goat is three. If you have three points for bighorn sheep or mountain goat and you fail to draw a first-choice license, you will receive weighted preference for that species:
- WEIGHTED PREFERENCE POINTS increases your probability of drawing. 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. The preference point fee applies to weighted points.
- Preference points don’t apply to desert bighorn sheep.
Refunds or Points Reinstatement
If you drew a license you would like to return, payment for the license is still required first. You can then return it for a refund or preference point restoration. 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 2019.
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 and mailed to CPW.
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 enter 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, is required to have a hunter education card to hunt in Colorado. A hunter education card is required to apply for or buy a license. Your hunter education card must be carried while hunting.
You can apply for one bighorn sheep 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 bull moose is one, except for auction, raffle or special management licenses.
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.