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Hunting: Planning Tips for Non-residents
Hunting: Planning Tips for Non-residents
Bull Elk

​​​​​​​​​When Coming to Colorado to Hunt

If you’ll be camping during your hunting trip, please help protect our forests by buying your firewood in Colorado. Firewood can spread harmful insect pests and diseases such as emerald ash borer, sirex Woodwasp, gypsy moth, Asian longhorned beetle, and oak wilt disease. If you have firewood from another state, please burn it immediately. For more information contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at 303/239-4140. Thank you for your help.


Planning the hunting trip of a lifetime is a complicated business, especially if your destination is a long way from home. These reminders, tips, and links to resources are offered to assist in your hunt planning, and help assure you a memorable time in beautiful Colorado.

Hunter Education Course Completion

To hunt in Colorado, if you were born on or after January 1, 1949, you must have passed a hunter education course (often referred to as a 'hunter safety course') before you can apply for or purchase a hunting license. Your hunter education card from your home state is sufficient, with proof, or you may take and pass a course upon your arrival, or even before you leave home!

License Application Deadlines

Don't miss your hunt because the license application deadline passed. Read, online, the appropriate regulations brochure for deadlines and application procedures.

Transporting Firearms

Transporting firearms safely is a must, and not just because it is good sense. Read the rules and regulations from the Transportation Security Administration or the ATF's guidelines before traveling.

Bringing Horses to Colorado

You must contact an accredited veterinarian in your state to get a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) within 30 days before your horses enter Colorado. Horses are required to have a negative Equine Infectious Anemia test within 12 months prior to entry. The date of the test, the results, the lab and the accession number need to be listed on the CVI. The certificate must also list the nearest location the horses will be. For example, if you’ll be located somewhere without a physical address please let us know which trail head  campground, national forest or city you will be nearest to.  For additional details or questions, call the Colorado State Veterinarian’s office, (303) 239-4161. See also the health requirements from the State Veterinarian's office.

Please do not bring forage for your stock to Colorado that has not been certified as weed-free. The Colorado Department of Agriculture's Weed-Free Forage Program maintains a database of approved sources for weed-free frage, listed either by producer or location. Learn about the consequences of using non-certified forage by checking out CPW's Weed-Free Forage Program​ page.

Fluorescent Orange Garments

From the Colorado Revised Statutes: " is unlawful for any person to hunt or take elk, deer, pronghorn, moose, or black bear with any firearm unless such person is wearing daylight fluorescent orange garments that meet the following requirements:"

  • Garments shall be solid daylight fluorescent orange colored material and shall be of sufficient brightness to be seen conspicuously from a reasonable distance.

  • Garments shall be a minimum of five hundred square inches and shall be worn as an outer garment above the waist, part of which shall be a hat or head covering visible from all directions."

Archery hunters, please note: All hunters hunting during a rifle season must wear fluorescent orange according to the above regardless of manner of take.

Off-highway Vehicle (OHV) Registration

A current Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) registration or permit is required for all OHVs that are operated on public lands. (Colorado OHV permits are $25.25 a year (year begins April 1 and ends March 31. Contact the State Parks Registration Unit, 13787 S. Hwy. 85, Littleton, Colorado, 80125, (303) 297-1192. You can register at State Parks regional offices and most OHV dealers.

OHV and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use laws and regulations differ from agency to agency. Be sure you know what applies in the area you plan to use your vehicle. For example, these vehicles are illegal on public roads and highways unless otherwise designated, and, in most places, off-road travel to retrieve game is illegal.

The Bureau of Land Management offers extensive information and advice for off-road v​ehi​cle use in the Gunnison/Lake City region, but it's also practical advise and applicable anywhere.

Also, each national forest has its own rules and regulations for ATV use, so contact the national forest office for the area you plan to hunt.

Guides and Outfitters

If you are planning to engage the services of a guide or outfitter in Colorado, you should know that guides and outfitters must be registered, bonded, and insured to operate in Colorado. They also need permits to operate on public land and must register with the Office of Outfitter Registration, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1340, Denver, Colorado, 80202, (303) 894-7800​. If your outfitter is arrested for operating illegally, your hunt may be cancelled and your game confiscated. Protect yourself—verify your outfitter’s registration by contacting the above office or the Colorado Outfitters Association, (970) 824-2468.