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Landowner Preference
Landowner Preference

Starting in 2002 with the passing of House Bill 00-1098, an alternative to the Regular Landowner Preference System was created: The Priority Landowner Preference Program.  In order to apply for priority landowner preference, the deeded landowner must register their deeded property with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) by the 2nd Friday in January to be eligible for the drawing for that same year. Early registration is highly encouraged.

Registered priority landowners must notify CPW of ANY changes in ownership or boundaries for any property registered for landowner preference. Landowner preference registrations, applications, leftover request forms, vouchers, and preference-points are NOT transferable if there is ANY change in the deeded ownership (examples: sold, transferred, traded, re-deeded, etc). When there is ANY change in the deeded ownership, all vouchers drawn for that property are invalidated as well as any licenses purchased from any of the vouchers.

For a landowner to qualify for Priority Landowner Preference in Colorado, the landowner must:

  1. Be the deeded owner of record of the property which is:

    • used primarily for agricultural purposes and

    • inhabited by DEER, ELK, or PRONGHORN (must be the species to be hunted) for the greater portion (six months or longer) of the calendar year preceding the application, and

    • located within Game Management Unit (GMU) for which the application is made, and

    • a single contiguous parcel containing 160 acres or more in the GMU(s) – all 160 acres need not be in the same unit – but MUST be contiguous, and

    • located in a unit where the number of licenses permitting firearm hunting to be issued is totally limited by Commission regulation for the species to be hunted.

  2. Allow a reasonable number of properly licensed hunters on their land for the species being applied for.

  3. The landowner must agree that the transfer of any license voucher by a landowner must include permission to the license holder to hunt on the land for which the voucher was awarded.

  4. Landowner vouchers may be transferred one time only, and shall only be transferred by the landowner to the hunter that will use the voucher to purchase the license. Third-party brokering of landowner vouchers is not permitted. Violation of this subsection shall invalidate the applicable landowner voucher and license purchased with it.
               

  5. Landowners who fail to comply with the provisions of 33-4-103, C.R.S., or any regulation implementing landowner preference may be disqualified from participation in any landowner preference program for up to five years.

For a species that is eligible for landowner preference, up to 15% of the general quota is allocated to the landowners. Registered landowners receive a number of acreage applications based upon the number of deeded acres owned and properly registered:

  • 160 to   639 acres = 1 application per species
  • 640 to 1199 acres = 2 applications per species
  • 1200 to 2399 acres = 3 applications per species
  • 2400 to 3999 acres = 4 applications per species
  • 4000 to 4999 acres = 5 applications per species
  • 5000 acres or more = 6 applications per species

If the property is located in more than one Game Management Unit (GMU), a separate registration is required for each GMU. In addition, if the property is deeded under different legal entities, a separate registration is required for each legal entity. Each separate legal entity per GMU must qualify for landowner preference independently.

After the property is properly registered, the appropriate number of acreage applications per species is mailed to the landowner for the registered property. The landowner will select from the list of available huntcodes printed on the application. These applications are mailed to the landowner approximately the middle of February.

The acreage applications and leftover request forms are returned to CPW and are processed for the Big Game Draw by the deadline of the 1st Tuesday in April. These are NOT guaranteed licenses; there is still a draw process. If the landowner application(s) or leftover request form(s) are successful in the Big Game Draw, a voucher will be mailed to the landowner for each winning huntcode. The landowner is able to distribute the voucher(s) directly to any eligible hunter. Annual bag limits still apply. Please refer to the current Big Game Brochure for further information about annual bag limits.

Unfortunately, in some GMUs, there are more landowners than available licenses. Therefore, landowners are not guaranteed a successful draw (voucher). If a landowner acreage application is unsuccessful for a valid 1st choice huntcode, the application will gain a preference point for future draws. If an acreage application is successful for a 1st choice, the preference points on that application is reset to zero.

The eligible hunter must then take the voucher to a license agent, or CPW office, and redeems the voucher for a proper and valid license PRIOR to hunting. The appropriate license fee(s) are paid at that time. Annual bag limits still apply. Please refer to the current Big Game Brochure for further details about annual bag limits.

Early registration is highly encouraged. The complete Statutes and Regulations pertaining to the Priority Landowner Preference Program may be found at:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION, PLEASE READ:

  • Landowner preference registrations, applications, leftover request forms, vouchers, and preference-points are NOTtransferable if there is ANY change in the deeded ownership (examples: sold, transferred, traded, re-deeded, etc). When there is ANY change in the deeded ownership, all vouchers drawn for that property are invalidated as well as any licenses purchased from any of the vouchers.

  • Landowners must notify CPW of ANY changes in deeded ownership or boundaries for any property registered for landowner preference. Examples: sale of property, transfer/trade of property, re-deeding the property, etc.

  • A deeded landowner must sign all registrations, applications, and vouchers.  If the property is owned by a corporation, an officer of the corporation may sign (officer’s title must be included with signature).

  • Landowner vouchers may be transferred one time only, and shall only be transferred by the landowner to the hunter that will use the voucher to purchase a license.  Third-party brokering of landowner vouchers is NOT permitted. Violation of this subsection shall invalidate the applicable landowner voucher and license purchased with landowner voucher.

  • After the voucher has been transferred to the hunter, the voucher with NOT be re-printed; even if the voucher has not been redeemed.

  • The transfer of a voucher shall constitute permission to the recipient to hunt on the land for which the voucher was awarded for the duration of the season for which the voucher was issued.

  • Vouchers from the Landowner Preference System must be redeemed for a proper and valid license at any license agent or CPW office PRIOR to hunting. The appropriate license fee(s) are paid at that time.

  • Annual Bag Limit rules still apply to licenses received by redeeming landowner vouchers.

  • Landowners who fail to comply with the provisions of 33-4-103, C.R.S., or any regulation implementing landowner preference may be disqualified from participation in any landowner preference program for up to five (5) years.

For more information, view the Frequently Asked Questions as well as the Priority Landowner Preference Registration Form & Directions.

Priority Landowner Preference Program Timeline:

  • 2nd Friday of January: Deadline for all Priority Landowner Preference Registrations (registrations are valid for up to five (5) years).

  • Middle of February: Priority Landowner Preference application & leftover request packets are mailed to registered landowners. Each species is mailed separately.

  • 1st Tuesday in April: Deadline for all Priority Landowner Preference applications and Leftover Request forms

  • End of May through middle of June: Draw result packets are mailed to Priority Landowner Preference applicants. Each species is mailed separately.

If you have any further questions, need clarification, or would like to request a registration packet be mailed to you, please contact:

Limited License
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
6060 Broadway
Denver, CO  80216
(303) 291-7380