What species can I hunt on Walk-In Access (WIA) properties?
By regulation, allowable species of take include small game, furbearers, migratory game birds and Eurasian collared-doves, with the exception of Gambel’s quail, Gunnison’s sage-grouse and greater sage-grouse. On many properties, big game hunting is also allowed under Walk-In Access.
For all Walk-In Access parcels east of I-25, you can hunt and harvest any small game species that have an open season during the Walk-In Access period. This includes small game, furbearers, and waterfowl. Properties that allow big game hunting are marked as yellow polygons in the atlas and with yellow access signs in the field.
In Western Colorado, you can hunt and take all species of small game, furbearers, and waterfowl that have an open season during the Walk-In Access period, with the exceptions of Gambel’s quail, Gunnison’s sage-grouse and greater sage-grouse.
Under no circumstances can Gambel’s quail, Gunnison’s sage-grouse and greater sage-grouse be hunted or taken from Walk-In Properties.
Do I need a special permit or stamp to hunt Walk-In Access properties?
No, you do not need to purchase a special permit or stamp to hunt Walk-In Access.
Can a non-hunting companion accompany a hunter?
Yes, a non-hunting companion can accompany a hunter that is actively hunting a Walk-In Access property.
Do I need to get permission from the landowner to hunt on Walk-in properties?
No, you do not need permission from the landowner. However, it is important to only hunt properties that are signed as Walk-In properties
. A few properties are removed every year for various reasons and there are the inevitable (few) errors in mapping and signing. The Walk-In Atlas should be used as a guide to get you to the property; the signs at the property are the definitive permission to hunt.
Do I need to purchase a Habitat Stamp to hunt Walk-In properties?
All hunting or fishing annual licenses purchased for individuals ages 18-64 will have a Habitat stamp applied at the time of purchase, if required. A hunter does not need to purchase an additional Habitat Stamp to hunt Walk-In Access lands.
I have hunted Walk-In in the past, and some of the fields are not very good. Why is this?
There are a number of reasons that this could be true. As the program has expanded to a wider focus including big game, enrolling different types of habitat is necessary to meet objectives of a wider ranging program. For instance, rarely would a pheasant hunter look at a property that was leased for pronghorn hunting and see much value. Also, in many instances, a field could have been enrolled to simplify signing. This is a frequent occurrence on the eastern plains, and normally, the landowner is not paid for these acres. It is also very likely that the habitat in the field degrades in quality during the season. This is quite common when high winds, hail, heavy rainfall and snow falls on cropland fields between our inspections and the hunting season. Finally, it is important to remember that hunters are very different in their hunting preference; for instance, many hunters prefer to hunt dense cover for pheasants, yet every year we see hunters have success in thinner, short cover, especially during periods of mild weather.
I have found a WIA field which is depicted in the atlas but signs are not present when I visited the field. Is the property open to hunting?
No, a property must be posted with WIA boundary signs to be open to hunting. There are a large number of reasons that the signs could be missing, including that the landowner may have removed the property from WIA after the atlas was published. When you find a field like this, we recommend that you contact the nearest Colorado Parks and Wildlife office, and provide a detailed description of the property, including the nearest County Road intersection in question so that we can investigate the situation.
What can I, as a user of these properties, do to ensure that the property stays in the program?
By far the biggest factor in property renewal from the landowner’s perspective is hunter behavior. Treating properties and other users with respect, picking up trash left by others and acting with a sense of stewardship when on the properties and when spending time in the local communities makes a significant difference in how landowners view the program and its users.
The most frequent concern expressed to program staff by landowners is hunters leaving trash or cleaning birds on properties. This is particularly a problem on properties that offer good dove hunting, so please remember to pick up your empty shotshells. Both of these practices are easily within the control of each hunter that uses the program.