Hunter Education: Were you born on or after January 1, 1949? If so, you must have a valid hunter education card/certificate before you apply for or purchase a hunting license. You'll also need a hunter education card before applying for a preference point. Your hunter education card/certificate and the appropriate license(s) must be in your possession while hunting. See Hunter Education for test out options, apprentice license opportunities, and more information.
Social Security Number: A valid Social Security Number (SSN) is required for anyone 12 or older to apply for or purchase all CPW licenses (as required by the Colorado Child Support Enforcement Act, established by HB 97-1205 and implemented through 24-33-110 C.R.S.). Your SSN is not shown on your license. It is provided, when requested, to the Colorado Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement, as required by law and is used to enforce the law.
Photo I.D.: A photo I.D. is required for all license purchases.
Proof of Residency: Colorado residency is required to purchase any resident license. If you were issued a Colorado driver's license or renewed your Colorado driver's license within the last 6 months, you will need to provide proof of residency. See Colorado Resident Status for more information.
(Available starting March 1, online, by phone, and CPW locations.)
Prior to applying, all applicants will first need to purchase a qualifying hunting license. Online draw applications will not be accessible until you purchase your qualifying license.
(Application deadline April 2, 2019 at 8 pm MT. Online and phone applications start March 1, 2019.)
Applications are due before 8 PM (MST) on the first Tuesday in April each year (April 2, 2019).
Prior to applying, all applicants will first need to purchase a Qualifying License, available starting March 1.
You can submit your application online or by phone: 1-800-244-5613.
Apply early to avoid any last-minute online rush!
CPW publishes license prices, hunt codes, GMU boundary descriptions, and other requirements in the annual brochures (available online).
The big game brochure contains elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn, moose and bear information.
The sheep and goat brochure contains Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep, and mountain goat information.
You can request up to four hunt code choices on an application to maximize your opportunity to draw a license and hunt.
All nonresident big game licenses purchased automatically include an annual fishing license, so bring your fishing rod when you're hunting or start planning a summer scouting trip.
Private-Land only licenses include private lands within GMUs listed on the licenses as well as State Trust Lands not leased by CPW that have a private recreational lease through the State Land Board (hunters should ask the landowner if this applies). Permission from private landowners is always needed before hunting with a private-land-only license. Please get permission before applying for a private-land only license.
Ranching for Wildlife licenses are available only to Colorado residents. Residents may apply to hunt a specific ranch. Each ranch has specific rules. (See Colorado Resident Status and the Ranching for Wildlife pages for more information.)
Elk and deer applicants can have the first choice of the limited licenses that are leftover or remaining from the April drawing process by checking the "Leftover Draw" option online.
If you check the "Leftover Draw" option and are unsuccessful in the primary draw, you will be emailed the list of leftover limited licenses still available and application instructions. In June, by submitting that application online, you'll get first chance at any of the leftover licenses before they go on sale to everyone in August.
The primary and leftover applications give you 8 total chances (4 on primary, 4 on leftover) to draw before limited licenses go on sale to the public on leftover day.
If you don’t see anything you want on the leftover draw list, you do not have to apply.
Please note that application processing fees and the habitat stamp fee are non-refundable.
Preference points increase your chances of drawing a limited license. CPW awards preference points by species. When you don't draw your first hunt choice, you automatically earn a preference point. Points cannot be used in the same year they are earned.
If you can't hunt this year, but intend to in the future, apply for a preference point by entering the "preference point only" hunt code in the "1st choice hunt code" boxes on the application. Submit your application with the application processing fee.
See page 2 and 18 in the Colorado Big Game Brochure for details.
(Available 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019 in person, by phone 1-800-244-5613 AND online) These are the licenses remaining after the limited license draw. If you purchase one of these licenses, you will not use any of your preference points.
Leftover Limited Licenses: Available to both resident and nonresident hunters. They are limited licenses remaining after the draw and leftover draw processes. They go on sale online through the CPW Shop system, in person, and by phone 1-800-244-5613 at 9 a.m. (MDT) on August 6. If you plan to go to a license agent, please contact them first for details.
(Available 9 a.m. August 8, 2019)
No application is necessary to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) licenses that go on sale Aug 9. These are sold online, by phone 1-800-244-5613, at license agents and at CPW offices and State Parks Offices around the state. See the maps and page numbers where over-the-counter licenses are available under each species in the big game brochure table of contents page.
OTC unlimited licenses: Available to both resident and nonresident hunters starting at 9 a.m. (MDT) Aug. 8. They are sold online, by phone at 1-800-244-5613, at license agents and CPW locations around the state. An unlimited number of these licenses may be purchased any time up until the day before a hunting season starts. After the season starts, OTC licenses are available for purchase at CPW offices and state parks only (except for archery elk OTC licenses and plains elk OTC licenses, which can be purchased at any license agent).
Other OTC Licenses: Either-sex and cow elk archery licenses; either-sex pronghorn archery licenses; and either-sex and doe rifle white-tailed deer licenses that allow hunting in numerous units around the state. The applicable maps of these units are in the species sections of the brochure and can be downloaded online.
OTC licenses can