Ranches and ranch personnel are expected to treat hunters courteously and as welcome hunting guests. As such, CPW expects ranches to provide you with advice on hunting areas with reasonable chance at harvesting animals, as well as sound advice on hunting strategies that will improve your chances of harvest. Most hunters heeding ranch advice have higher success for the kind of animal they seek. However, as with any hunt, this is just advice and not a guarantee.
By agreement of CPW managers, the ranches may impose certain conditions to distribute hunters and harvest across the ranch for hunt quality and harvest management reasons. Ranches may also require the use of guides – but when required, the guide service is provided free of charge and tipping guides for free services is strictly forbidden. Some ranches may offer additional optional services such as packing, guiding, or lodging, and may charge for these optional services. However, hunters should not expect these services.
Weather conditions can influence access and game movements beyond the control of CPW or the ranch. However, if a ranch or certain ranch personnel fail to welcome you courteously or professionally or if ranch staff actions create problems with your hunt, you should contact your local Wildlife Office immediately.
Hunters should expect a challenging hunt. These are not “canned hunts". Deer on the eastern plains exist at much lower densities than they do in much of western Colorado, and this holds true for the plains of RFW ranches as well. Regardless of where one chooses to hunt in the RFW program, hunters should not expect an easy hunt.
Extra Cow Vouchers (Special Population Management Licenses)
Note: Due to the severe winter of 2022-2023, additional vouchers on RFW ranches in the severe winter zone will not be issued for the next several seasons.
Some ranches in the RFW program currently reside within management areas that are over elk population objective. To help with this situation, those ranches may offer additional cow vouchers to their already licensed elk hunters (to be purchased by the hunter) called "special population management licenses". Biologists have found that simply adding more license, while it does create opportunity for more hunters, does not always increase harvest. Sometimes it adds too many people to the landscape and actually pushes more animals away, ultimately decreasing harvest. These special population management licenses allow for increased harvest without creating crowding issues, which in many cases, is a primary benefit of hunting a RFW license.