Licenses, Rules, and Restrictions
The following information relating to youth hunting is taken from the
Colorado Big Game Brochures and the
Colorado Small Game & Waterfowl Brochure. The Small Game & Waterfowl brochure is also available in Spanish. (¡Ya está disponible en español!). Be sure to refer to the latest brochures for any changes. (Brochures are available at CPW offices, retail sales agents, or online off the
Regulations Brochures page.)
Big Game Hunting Rules For Youths
Youths must be ages 12-17 and meet hunter education requirements.
Youths must have an unfilled limited antlerless deer, antlerless elk or either-sex elk license after their original season ends. Then they may participate in any open rifle antlerless deer or elk hunt that begins after the last day of the season listed on their original license. (Does not include Ranching for Wildlife.)
Youths with an unfilled either-sex elk license must take the original license to a CPW office to have it converted to an antlerless license before hunting any extended seasons.
Youth hunters 12-17 years old must be accompanied by a mentor who is 18 or older and also meets hunter education requirements. Youths and mentors must be able to see and hear each other while hunting. Mentors can hunt only if they have a current license valid for the same units and dates the youth will be hunting.
Youths must follow all applicable regulations for any hunts and units they select during the extended season, including season dates and geographic restrictions.
Antlered licenses, over-the-counter licenses and either-sex plains rifle elk licenses may not be converted for extended youth hunting.
Youth Draw Preference
A minimum of 15 percent of limited licenses for doe pronghorn, antlerless and either-sex deer and antlerless elk for each GMU shall be available for youths ages 12-17 who meet hunter education requirements. These licenses are available by drawing for all seasons and methods of take - including early and late rifle seasons. Licenses not drawn by youths are available to the public. (The Air Force Academy unit and Ranching for Wildlife hunts are excluded from this.)
Youth hunt codes in GMUs 54, 55, 66, 67 and 551 have been replaced with a youth preference set at 50 percent for all antlerless deer licenses in those GMUs.
Group applications are not accepted.
If youth enter more than one hunt code on their application, ALL HUNT CODES must qualify for youth preference.
- Remember that youth-only hunt codes are part of the youth-preference draw! Eligible hunt codes for youth preference are limited license hunt codes for doe pronghorn, antlerless and either-sex deer, and antlerless elk. Any hunt code with a "K" in the season part is a youth-only hunt code.
Youth Small Game Licenses
People under age 18 must have a license to hunt small game. A youth small-game license is for hunters 17 and younger, and costs $1, plus surcharge. All youths must meet hunter education requirements, and youths under 16 must be accompanied by a mentor while hunting. A mentor must be 18 or older and must meet hunter education requirements; mentors aren’t required to hunt. While hunting, youths and mentors must be able to see and hear each other without binoculars, radios or other aids. Youths can buy an adult license as long as they meet hunter education requirements. At age 18, hunters must buy an adult license.