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Safe Hunting
Safe Hunting

​​​​​Safe Hunting Begins with Hunter Education​

​​​​​Hunting is safe in Colorado due to the effectiveness of hunter education. 

Hunting is a wildlife management tool used by CPW in fulfilling its mission. The Hunter Education Program furthers that mission by educating hunters to be safe, responsible, and legal hunters. With the emphasis on “safe,” the effectiveness of education and training in the reduction of hunting incidents is clearly reflected in the table, below.​

History of Hunter Education in Colorado

Colorado began offering voluntary hunter education in the 1950s. During the 1960s, Colorado hunters experienced an average of 10 fatal and 24 non-fatal hunting accidents each year. Noting this, the Colorado legislature took action and passed the hunter education course completion requirement in 1970. The effect? In the first 10 years of implementation fatal hunting accidents were cut in half and by the 1990s the yearly averages were down to 1.3 fatal and 11 non-fatal hunting accidents. This trend has continued into the new millennium and hunting accidents, both fatal and non-fatal, are at their lowest levels ever.  Since Hunter Education became mandatory in 1970, more than 900,000 students have passed Colorado’s hunter education course.

Colorado Hunting Incidents

​Years ​Fatal Incidents ​Average Fatal Incidents per year Non-Fatal Incidents ​Average Non-Fatal Incidents per year
​1961-1969*​91​10.1​218​24.2
​1970-1979**​45​4.5​186​18.6
​1980-1989​23​2.3​163​16.3
​1990-1999​13​1.3​111​11.1
​2000-2009​10​1.0​87​8.7
​2010-2015​6​1.0​254.2

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* Nine-year period

** Beginning of mandatory hunter education