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Colorado Hunting Laws and Regulations



Ready, Aim, Fire |

Open season is just a few weeks away for most of the US. It’s an exciting time of year for veteran hunters and beginners alike. But before heading out on your first hunt, make sure you’re familiar with Colorado hunting laws and regulations. Hunting laws evolve on an almost yearly basis, mainly to address public safety for the benefit of the hunter and the hunted.

Colorado Hunting Laws and Regulations

Every hunter needs to know about the different hunting laws and regulations in the state that they currently reside, or they plan on visiting, because these laws vary from one state to another. For example, Colorado hunting laws and regulations are different from the hunting laws in Arkansas.

By being up to date with these hunting laws and regulations, hunters are able to avoid paying hefty fines or worse, going to jail. But before you start polishing your rifles, polish up on your knowledge on hunting laws and regulations first.

 

1. Deer Hunting Seasons

Archery:                 August 27 – September 25 (West of I-25 and Unit 140)

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October 1 – 28; November 9 – 20; December 15 – 31

Muzzleloader:      September 10 – 18

October 8 – 16 (east of I-25, except Unit 140)

Rifle:                     October 22 – 30 (2nd season)

November 5 – 13 (3rd season)

November 16 – 20 (4th season)

October 29 – November 8 (east of I-25 except Unit 140)

December 1 – 14 (east of I-25 except Unit 140)

For more details on deer season, click here.

Manner Of Take

Manner Of Take | Colorado Hunting Laws And Regulations

image via Optics Den

  • Rifles
    • using center-fire cartridges of .24 caliber or larger
    • having expanding bullets of at least seventy (70) grains in weight and with a rated impact energy one hundred (100) yards from the muzzle of at least one thousand (1000) foot pounds as determined by the manufacturer’s rating
    • Provided further that any semiautomatic rifle used shall not hold more than six (6) rounds in the magazine and chamber combined
    • A fully automatic rifle is prohibited.
  • Muzzle-loading rifles and smoothbore muskets
    • Provided the minimum caliber shall be forty (.40) for all big game except elk and moose.
    • All muzzle-loading rifles and smoothbore muskets from forty (.40) caliber through fifty (.50) caliber must use a bullet of at least 170 grains in weight.
    • All muzzle-loading rifles and smoothbore muskets greater than fifty (.50) caliber must use bullets of at least 210 grains in weight.
  • Handheld bows, including compound bows
    • Using arrows equipped with a broadhead with an outside diameter or width of at least 7/8ths of an inch with no less than two steel cutting edges.
    • Each cutting edge must be in the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface.
  • Crossbows
    • Provided the minimum draw weight is at least one hundred twenty-five (125) pounds and has a minimum draw length of fourteen (14) inches as measured from the front of the bow to the nocking point of the draw string and contain a positive mechanical safety device.
  • Shotguns, no smaller than twenty (20) gauge and firing a single slug.
  • Handguns
    • Provided they have a minimum barrel length of four (4) inches and comply with the following criteria: a. Except for mountain lion, use a .24 caliber or larger diameter expanding bullet with a rated impact energy of at least 550 ft. pounds at 50 yards as determined by the manufacturer.

Big Game License Options

Big Game License Option | Colorado Hunting Laws And Regulations

image via Mankato Times

Colorado offers several types of big game licenses and options for purchasing them.

For specific details on the three main categories to limited license drawing, click here.

2. Duck Hunting Season

Duck Hunting Season | Colorado Hunting Laws And Regulations

image via Wikimedia

Duck & Coot Season – Pacific Flyway

Western Zone: October 1 – 19 / November 5 – 29)

Eastern Zone: October 1 – 13

For other details on Teal season, Youth Hunt Regulations and fees, click here. For specific dates and types of waterfowl including bag limit, click here (Page 11-12).

Manner of Taking

Manner Of Take | Colorado Hunting Laws And Regulations

image via Colorado Outdoors

  • Shotgun
  • Any shotgun not larger than 10 gauge, not firing single slugs and incapable of holding more than three (3) shells in the magazine and chamber combined and fired from the shoulder
  • Hand-held Bow
    • Any hand-held bow where arrow or bowstring is not held or drawn mechanically, except no bows may be used on any firing line designated by the Commission.

For more elaborate details on manner of taking ducks in Colorado, click here.

License Requirements

License requirements | Colorado Hunting Laws And Regulations

image via Colorado Outdoors

Various requirements need to be complied before one can get a valid license to hunt in the state of Colorado.

For more specific details, click here and turn to page 2.

Mountain Lion Hunting Season

Mountian Lion Hunting Season | Colorado Hunting Laws And Regulations

image via KOAA

Regular Season:                November 16 – March 31

April Season:                      April 1 -30

Manner Of Take

Manner of Take | Colorado Hunting Laws And Regulations

image via Corks Outdoors

  • Rifles
    • Using center-fire cartridges of .24 caliber or larger, having expanding bullets of at least seventy (70) grains in weight, except for elk and moose where the minimum bullet 6 weight is eighty-five (85) grains, and with a rated impact energy one hundred (100) yards from the muzzle of at least one thousand (1000) foot pounds as determined by the manufacturer’s rating
    • Except for mountain lion where any center-fire rifle using bullets of at least 45 grains and producing at least 400 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle may be used. Provided further that any semiautomatic rifle used shall not hold more than six (6) rounds in the magazine and chamber combined.
    • A fully automatic rifle is prohibited.
  • Muzzle-loading rifles and smoothbore muskets
    • If the minimum caliber shall be forty (.40) for all big game except elk and moose.
  • Handheld bows, including compound bows
    • Using arrows equipped with a broadhead with an outside diameter or width of at least 7/8ths of an inch with no less than two steel cutting edges.
  • Shotguns, no smaller than twenty (20) gauge and firing a single slug

For other specific details as well as the use of crossbows and Handguns, click here and turn to pages 5-6

License Information & Requirements

License Information | Colorado Hunting Laws And Regulations

image via Columbian

One must have a mountain lion license and carry it at all times when hunting.

For the details on how to acquire a hunting license, click here.

For detail on license fees, click here.

Meanwhile, check out this video on Coyote Management by USDAAPHIS

As long as you are knowledgeable with the hunting laws in the state of Colorado and abide by them to the letter, you and your hunting buddies will surely enjoy every minute of hunting.

Hunt safe and hunt proud!

Do you wish to know more about hunting laws? click here

Featured image via NRA-ILA

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