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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 thoroughly as the regulations are not the same for all. The property descriptions and restrictions, below, are as up-to-date as possible but are provided here in a shortened form. 

Cross Canyon SWA - Dolores County

GMU/Acres: 72 / 119 acres​

Hunting: deer, rabbit, coyote, dove


  • Access during the first two days of the rifle deer and elk seasons is restricted to youth and non-hunting mentors only.

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

  • Dog training prohibited on Hamilton and Lower Roubideau tracts during upland game or migratory bird seasons. Hamilton and Lower Roubideau tracts open only Aug. 1–March 14"

Flagler Reservoir SWA - Kit Carson County

GMU/Acres: 107 / 400 acres

Note: As of Aug. 2018, the lake is currently dry. Contact the southwest region CPW office​ for condition updates.

Hunting: deer, rabbit, pheasant, dove, waterfowl, tu​rkey.


  • 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


  • Valid SWA Pass or annual hunting/fishing license not required on this property.

  • Seasonal closure on western third of the property from March 15 - July 15 marked with signage.

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

  • Camping, fires, quail hunting prohibited.

  • 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, muzzleloading rifles, and by falconry.

  • Waterfowl hunting on Sat. restricted to youth/mentors only, and only from 100 yards E of blind No. 1 to western SWA boundary. 

  • Waterfowl hunting on North Skipper's Island prohibited except for existing waterfowl blinds only .

  • To hunt waterfowl on W end of property, reservations required for specific blind. Hunting restricted to within 100 yards of blind. Maximum 4 hunters per blind. Hunters can hunt only the area reserved. See Reservations: Hunting (page 1) for details. Hunters must check in and out as posted.​

  • 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.

  • Permits not required for waterfowl hunting 100 yards E of blind No. 1 to eastern SWA boundary, including Skipper’s Island.

  • Waterfowl hunting prohibited Wed.−Fri. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days. ​

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, 300 W. New York Ave., Gunnison, or call 970- 641-7060. Reservations may be made up to 30 days in advance but not less than 2 days before requested hunt date. With reservations, youths and mentors will receive map with access points and restrictions. Mentors cannot hunt.

  • Sage grouse hunting prohibited

  • 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, turkey, rabbit, pheasant, dove, squirrel.


  • Open 4 a.m.–9 p.m.

  • Camping, fires prohibited.

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

  • 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. Youth/mentor required to attend orientation to participate.  

  • Orientation date is set for Oct 23, 2022 at 2:00 pm at the Barr Lake State Park. A short introductory field clinic will follow the orientation that participants are encouraged, but not required, to attend. The clinic will briefly cover tactics, safety and wingshooting topics.​To Register, contact the Northeast Region Office at 303-291-7227 for more information.

  • Reservations required for waterfowl hunting. Hunters can hunt only the area reserved, except in areas where reservations are not required or are unreserved and unoccupied. 

  • Mandatory check in and check out at check station as posted. ​

List Last Updated: 09/2022