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Parks and Wildlife seeks input on changes to hunting regulations

A herd of elk winters along the Dolores River south of Rico. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Comments will be taken until Feb. 20

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is considering changes to policies and regulations that direct the distribution of big game hunting licenses in Colorado, according to a news release.

To help inform this process, CPW is looking for input from residents and nonresidents interested in big game hunting in Colorado.

A comment form is available at https://engagecpw.org/big-game-license-distribution

The comment form will be open through Feb. 20. Results will be shared with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to inform their decision-making process on big game license distribution, the news release stated.

Changes that are being considered are:

  • A preference point banking system.
  • Averaging group applicant preference points.
  • Updating the high-demand hunt code split from 80% to residents and 20% to nonresidents to 90% for residents and 10% for nonresidents.
  • An across-the-board license allocation of 75% to residents and 25% to nonresidents.

The results of the comment form will be discussed with the Commission at its March 15-16 meeting in Steamboat.

Recent changes

In November 2022, the Parks and Wildlife Commission approved an update to big game license allocation.

The three-year preference point average that is used to determine high-demand hunt codes that are allocated 80% to residents and 20% to nonresidents was updated such that CPW will use the most recent three years, with a one-year lag.

The commission decided to retain the six preference point threshold used to determine high-demand hunt codes, which added about 1,200 deer and elk hunt codes to the 80/20 allocation of high-demand hunts. This change will be effective for the 2023 big game hunting season.

The wildlife commission noted the proposed changes to the license distribution be reviewed separately from the upcoming Big Game Season Structure. Members of the Colorado General Assembly also showed interest in making the changes.