Big Game Will Be Included in Walk-in Access Program!
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will initiate a pilot big game access component within the Walk-In Access Program in the Southeast Region of Colorado in 2017. The pilot will be designed to reconcile some of the differences between big and small game hunting and public access.
The pilot program will allow public access to some Walk-In Access properties for deer, elk and antelope hunting within specified big game season dates, from Sept. 1 -Dec. 31, 2017.
Information on specific properties enrolled in the program will not be available until well after the big game limited license application date and drawings. Please see the Regular Walk-In Access brochure in August of 2017 for additional details and properties.
Walk-in Brochures, Habitat Update & Program Detail
NOTE: The season has ended. Text and maps are left for reference purposes. 2017-2018 season updates and maps will be posted in late August.
Text below last updated August 2016
Habitat and small game populations within the core Walk-In Access (WIA) range of eastern Colorado have shown excellent recovery from the drought conditions of 2012-14. Conditions have been very good in most areas as summer has progressed, although in any given year, there are some locations that have been drier than normal or those that experienced severe hailstorms. However, Colorado is seeing a relatively large number of *Conservation Reserve Program land (CRP) expirations across the WIA range, which has an impact on the quantity and quality of land available enroll in WIA Program. Regardless, there are still good hunting opportunities available.
Similar to the last few years, a small number of properties will be designated as Novice Hunter Program Properties. Graduates of the CPW’s and Pheasants Forever’s
Novice Hunter Program and their mentors are eligible to hunt these properties, with the objective of giving the Program’s new hunters a less pressured opportunity to enter the world of pheasant hunting. These properties are available to Novice Hunter Program graduates from the opening day of pheasant season through February 28, 2017. These properties will be identified in the Late Cropland Walk-in Atlas.
Hunters note: Access dates for WIA properties do not supersede normal small game hunting season dates. Regardless of access dates for WIA properties, when a particular game species season is closed, hunters cannot pursue that game species on the basis of the WIA program’s access dates.
WIA strives to be a very convenient program with both the hunters who use the program and with the landowners that enroll lands. Other than holding a small game hunting license and associated requirements, a hunter does not need a special permit to hunt on Walk-In Access Properties. However, hunters do need to mindful that their actions when hunting on these lands are a critical factor in a landowner's decision to enroll property. With that objective in mind, please remember these important regulations:
Regular Walk-In Access Properties are open for access on September 1
through the end of February.
Late Cropland Walk-In Access Properties are open for access from the opening day of pheasant season
through the end of February.
Lands enrolled in and posted as Extended Walk-In Access properties are open from the opening day of pheasant season through the end of March annually.
Statewide, species of take is restricted to small game, furbearers and waterfowl; Hunters may not hunt or harvest Gambel’s quail, Gunnison sage-grouse or greater sage-grouse from Walk-In Access Properties.
Public access is permitted from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset; For waterfowl hunting, access is allowed from 2 hours before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset.
Access shall be by foot only. Entry by horseback, motorized vehicle or other means is prohibited.
Access is prohibited as posted when the landowner is actively harvesting crops.
Access to all Walk-In properties is for hunting only. Hunters must comply with
Habitat Stamp requirements.
To promote safe hunting and to help landowners efficiently harvest crops, some WIA properties, primarily grass sprinkler corners adjacent to irrigated corn fields, will be closed to WIA hunting when landowners are actively harvesting crops. Specifically, when harvesting machines are harvesting the associated corn field, sprinkler corners are CLOSED to all WIA hunting. In most cases, corners will only be closed for a day or two while the landowner completes harvest. All sprinkler corners will be posted with closure signs in addition to regular boundary signs. Adhering to this temporary closure will help us maintain excellent working relations with landowners, and will contribute to keeping high quality sprinkler corners open to public walk-in hunting.
Hunters may download individual maps to the right.
Hunting licenses and
habitat stamps are available for sale online & by phone. Remember, licenses are now by season-year. See "License Requirements" within the
2016-2017 Small Game Regulations Brochure.
Hunters can contribute greatly to the Walk-In Access Program's success by remembering one of the program's core rules: Be considerate of the landowners who choose to participate in the program and those who do not participate. Other guidelines for the use of these properties include:
Public access to these private parcels will be permitted for hunting small game, waterfowl and furbearers only.
All hunting must occur during established seasons as listed in the
2016-2017 Small Game Regulations Brochure and the
2016-2017 Waterfowl Regulations Brochure (available soon).
Park where there is no danger of fire.
Leave no trash in fields.
Do not clean game in or along the edges WIA properties.
Determine field boundaries before hunting.
Access for big game hunting is allowed only with landowner’s permission. Small game hunters will have access to Walk-in properties during big game seasons.
Hunters must walk into enrolled properties.
Access by vehicle, horseback or other means is prohibited.
*The Conservation Reserve Program, commonly known as CRP, is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency. Landowners offer their land for enrollment, and when accepted, agree to establish cover for the life of the agreement, in return for an annual rental payment. CRP fields, when seeded to beneficial cover, can be critical habitat for many species of wildlife.