Sign In
Youth Hunting Regulations & Licenses
Youth Hunting Regulations & Licenses

​​​​​​​Licenses, Rules, and Restrictions

The following information relating to youth hunting is taken from the Colorado Big Game Brochures and the Colorado Small Game and Waterfowl Brochure. Be sure to refer to the latest brochures for any changes. (Brochures are available at CPW offices, retail licen​​​​se​ agent​s​, or online off the Regulations Brochures page.) 

Youth Big Game Licenses 

The youth license program has expanded to include 16 and 17 year olds. Youths must be at least 12 and meet hunter education requirements. An 11 year old can buy or apply for a license if he/she turns 12 before the end of hunting season on the license. However, youths cannot hunt with the license until they turn 12. License fees are reduced for deer, elk and pronghorn licenses for youths, ages 12-17. Hunters under 16 must be accompanied by a mentor, 18 or older, who must meet hunter education requirements. Mentors don’t have to hunt. Youths and mentors must be able to see and hear each other while hunting. Youths cannot apply for a reduced-cost license in the limited license drawing if they turn 18 on or before Feb. 15 this year. Youths must be 12-17 to buy a reduced cost unlimited or leftover license.

Youth Small Game Licenses

Youths under age 18 can buy a youth small game license for $1. All youths must meet hunter education requirements. Those under 16 must be accompanied by a mentor while hunting. A mentor must be 18 or older and must meet hunter education requirements. Mentors aren’t required to hunt. While hunting, youths and mentors must be able to see and hear each other without binoculars, radios or other aids. Youths under 18 also can buy an adult license as long as they meet hunter education requirements. At age 18, youths must buy an adult license.

Youth Preference

  1. Up to 15 percent of limited doe pronghorn, doe and either-sex deer, and cow elk licenses for each unit during regular rifle and private-land-only rifle seasons (except ​Ranching For Wildlife and Air Force Academy) are available for youths. Youths must be 12-17 and meet hunter education requirements. These licenses are available through the limited license drawing. Licenses not drawn by youths are available to the public.

  2. Group applications are not accepted. If you enter more than 1 hunt code on your application, all hunt codes must be eligible for youth preferences as in #1 above.

Youth Elk Hunts Now Expanded

Colorado offers youth hunters, age 12-17, a second opportunity to hunt if they are unsuccessful in harvesting an animal during the season listed on their original license.

The former late-season elk hunts are now an extended season, giving youths a chance to harvest antlerless deer or elk throughout the rifle seasons, and doe pronghorn during December.

Read more on the Youth Hunting Opportunities​ page.

Youth Hunting Areas

Several state wildlife areas and state trust lands have been set aside for youth hunters, ages 17 and under. For particulars, read the listings in CPW's State Recreational Lands Brochure and the Fishing Brochure.