Waterfowl License Requirements
Hunters must have a small game license, youth small game or combination license to hunt waterfowl.
Hunters 16 or older also need a State and Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp, or duck stamp, to hunt waterfowl. Federal stamps are available at post offices and CPW offices. The State stamps are available at all CPW offices, from license agents, online, and by phone at 1-800-244-5613. The stamp is valid when you sign your name in ink across the face of it. An electronic stamp issued at license agents also provides a receipt as proof of purchase. This proof of purchase contains a unique code given instantly and is valid for 45 days from the date of issue, sufficient time for the peel and stick federal stamp to arrive in the mail. A federal stamp is not required to take light geese during the conservation order season.
Anyone aged 18 through 64 must buy a habitat stamp in order to buy or apply for a hunting or fishing license. The state stamp is printed on your license. The stamp is valid when you sign your name in ink across the face of it. For more information, see the habitat stamp page.
Obtaining HIP Numbers
If you intend to hunt small game (including migratory birds) in Colorado during the 2014/2015 season, you need a new Harvest Information Program number. Go to the HIP website or call 1-866-COLOHIP (265-6447) to begin the online registration process to obtain a new HIP number.
The Harvest Information Program is designed to give wildlife managers a better handle on the number of birds and small game that are taken each year in their states. Basic informational questions will be asked about hunting; including how many birds were taken the previous season and what species will be hunted this year.
The Colorado Rig
Central & Pacific Flyways
There are four administrative flyways in North America. Colorado is a member of both the Central and Pacific Flyways. Each Flyway Council is comprised of a representative of agencies responsible for migratory bird management in each member state, province or territory. Since the Flyway Council is the principal mechanism for dialog between the states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on migratory bird issues (including annual migratory game bird hunting regulations), each Council selects two of its members to carry and discuss its recommendations in a consultation process with the FWS. This process includes representatives from all flyways and frequently leads to the Service making proposals for the general public to comment on.
The http://www.flyways.us/ website is packed with news, updates, harvest management information, and scientific data from the FWS and Canadian Wildlife Service. It provides links to Flyway websites and has other features like those listed below.
initial assessments of waterfowl breeding habitat conditions in new video segments
aerial photos chronicling surveys
interactive maps to find bird banding and recovery sites
email tool for submitting questions about duck, goose, and swan hunting management to field experts
Report Birds with Federal Bands
If a person recovers a banded bird, it is asked that the individual report the information online at http://www.reportband.gov/. This web-based system, created by the U.S. Geological Survey, helps provide important wildlife research data.
Federal Regulations for Migratory Bird Hunters
Game bird hunters should be sure to read United States Fish and Wildlife Service's federal regulations for hunting migratory birds, which contains a need-to-know terms, a list of illegal hunting methods and links to additional information on refuge specific regulations. Note: When state law differs from Federal law, the hunter must comply with the most restrictive law.
Waterfowl and other migratory birds are a national resource protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Federal and State regulations help ensure that these birds continue to thrive while providing hunting opportunities.
Federal baiting regulations define key terms for hunters and land managers, and clarify conditions under which you may legally hunt waterfowl. As a waterfowl hunter or land manager, it is your responsibility to know and obey all Federal and State laws that govern the sport. State regulations can be more restrictive than Federal regulations. Waterfowl baiting regulations apply to ducks, geese, swans, coots, and cranes.
Federal regulations are more restrictive for waterfowl hunting than for hunting doves and other migratory game birds. You should carefully review the Federal regulations. See the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Waterfowl Hunting and Baiting web page for more information.