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Youth Hunting on State Wildlife Areas
Youth Hunting on State Wildlife Areas
​​​​​​​​Youth Hunting group with Mentors - Pheasant Hunt

General Provisions, Rules, and Descriptions​

​​​​The Following State Wildlife Areas are Youth/Mentor Hunting Only. Youth/mentor hunting means hunting by youths under 18. Youth hunters under 16 must be accompanied by a mentor when hunting on youth/mentor properties. Mentors must be at least 18 and comply with hunter education requirements. 

Please read descriptions for each SWA's thoroughly as the regulations is not the same for all.

The property descriptions and restrictions, below, are as up-to-date as possible, but are provided here in shortened form. You should, therefore, review the State Recreational Lands Brochure. It is a good idea to contact the property's local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office (included with the property description) to learn of any late changes or temporary restrictions. Note that all properties allow mentors to hunt along with youth.

Arikaree SWA - Yuma County 

GMUs/Acres: 102 / 2320 acres

Hunting: small game, deer, and Rio Grande turkey


  • Open Sept 1 - May 31.

  • Public access is restricted to foot traffic only.

  • Camping, fires, dog training, target practice and horseback riding are prohibited

  • Parking allowed in designated areas only.

  • In designated areas, hunting is limited to youth mentor hunting only. No more than one mentor per youth hunter may engage in hunting within these designated areas.

Escalante SWA - Delta, Mesa and Montrose Counties

GMU/Acres: 62 / 7,612 acres on all tracts

Hunting: deer, elk, rabbit, pheasant, dove, waterfowl


  • ​Lower Roubideau tract hunting are youth/mentor hunting only. Only one mentor per youth may hunt.

  • ​Field trials may be authorized in Feb., March, Aug. and Sept.

  • Bowfishing prohibited

Flagler Reservoir SWA - Kit Carson County

GMU/Acres: 107 / 400 acres

Hunting: deer, rabbit, pheasant, dove, waterfowl, turkey.


  • Boating prohibited during waterfowl seasons except float tubes or craft propelled by hand, wind or electric motors.

  • Boating prohibited if it creates a whitewater wake. Waterskiing permitted only Sun. and Mon. from June 1-Aug 31.

  • Hunting open to youth/mentors only. Only one mentor per youth may hunt.

Horsethief Canyon SWA - Mesa County​​

GMUs/Acres: 30, 40 / 1,439 acres

​Hunting: waterfowl, dove, deer, coyote, rabbit, pheasant


  • Open 5 a.m.-9 p.m., no time restrictions for fishing

  • Turkey hunting only allowed for:

    1. ​Limited-access permit for youth/mentor hunting in spring.
    2. Hunters with limited GMU 30 license may hunt, but only on Skipper's Island.

  • ​Hunting permitted with shotguns, hand-held bows and muzzleloading rifles.

  • Hunt areas not reserved are available on first-come, first-served basis after 5 a.m. each hunting day. Reserved areas not claimed by 7 a.m. also available first-come, first-served. Any hunt area must be yielded at any time by request of a hunter with a valid reservation for that area.

Melon Valley SWA - Otero County

GMU/Acres: 125, 129 / 278 acres


  • On weekends hunting limited to youth/mentor hunting; only 1 mentor per youth may hunt.

Miller Ranch SWA - Gunnison County

​GMU/Acres: 54 / 1,604 acres


  • Open Sept. 1-end of February. Access by foot or horseback only. 

  • N of CR 7: Closed except for youth/mentor hunting by permit. Maximum 4 free permits available daily, first come, first served. Permits available by reservation from CPW's Gunnison Area Office (970) 641-7060

  • Camping, fires, dogs prohibited

  • Discharging firearms or bows prohibited in designated​ safety zones, as posted. 

Sand Draw SWA - Sedgwick County

GMU/Acres: 93 / 209 acres

Hunting: deer, rabbit, pheasant, dove.


  • Camping, fires prohibited.

  • Target practice prohibited except when authorized by area wildlife manager. 

  • Discharging firearms or bows allowed only when hunting.

  • Hunting open only to youth/mentors. One mentor per youth may hunt.

Whitehorse SWA - Adams County

GMU/Acres: 104 / 400 acres​


Open only for youth/mentor waterfowl hunting when authorized by area wildlife manager as participants in CPW youth hunter program.  All youth and adult mentors must attend an Orientation to be enrolled in this program.

2018 orientations have concluded. Please check back in August of 2019 for next seasons classes.

Reservations required for waterfowl hunting. Hunters with reservations except in areas where reservations are not required or are unreserved and unoccupied. Mandatory check in and check out as posted at designated check station. 

List Last Updated: 01/2018