Big Game License Distribution

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is considering changes to policies and regulations that direct the distribution of big game hunting licenses in Colorado. To help inform this process, CPW is looking for input from hunters and affected communities.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is considering changes to policies and regulations that direct the distribution of big game hunting licenses in Colorado. To help inform this process, CPW is looking for input from hunters and affected communities.

Share Your Thoughts!

Let us know what you think about big game license distribution and possible changes. Share your ideas and comments with CPW and see what others are saying. (All comments are public.)

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Cap all OTC tags for Non-Residents.

Increase both resident and non-resident tag fees to help offset the cap.

Mandatory Harvest Reporting for ALL tags issued. You don’t report, you don’t get a tag the next year.

No point banking/sharing.

Residents of Colorado should ALWAYS have priority and preference over non-residents.

Stop managing our wildlife for revenue and start managing for heard health and increased numbers - ESPECIALLY now that wolves are coming back.

I agree with a previous comment that “private land allocation of tags should not come out of the resident portion of the allocation but the larger pool before res/non-res allocation.”

Decrease the number of private land tags.

IHCFSSJF23 40 minutes ago

I would love to see a random draw hybrid aspect to the draw. I also think OTC tags could be limited to one unit. I like that there are units that are OTC and units that can be drawn second choice or leftover. There are a ton of people who don't want to mess with the draw and just want to show up and buy a tag. If you take that away and force people to enter the draw, second choice and leftover tags would soon be a thing of the past. I like the diversity that exists now with some units OTC and others draw.

marchaile about 3 hours ago

I feel strongly it is time to make archery elk a draw in all units and eliminate OTC. It's also time to drop the number of elk tags issued in 011-O1R. Over crowding has become an issue here too!

bobt756 about 5 hours ago

As far as allocation percentages resident to non-resident is concerned: I strongly believe the allocations should remain through 1st choice , 2nd choice, secondary draw and reissue. Meaning the 65% of tags allocated for a resident should only be able to go to a resident. I also believe that private land allocation of tags should not come out of the resident portion of the allocation but the larger pool before res/non-res allocation

Westernco970 about 6 hours ago

-Put a Cap on OTC units
-80/20 split for residents and Nonresidents-Even if that includes price increase for residents
-80/20 split for antelope. Why does it take 5+points to draw an antelope tag?
-Do not average points. They you have one person that doesn't hunt and you are just building points for them. Example- wife doesn't hunt but she has 20 points.
-Use the last 3 years of data instead of 2007 date related to the points used for units.
-Point restriction on deer

Elkhunter about 6 hours ago

As a non-resident, I absolutely love Colorado! I’ve hunted and have had success consistently in high pressure OTC units that many folks trash by saying there is too many people. I love the opportunity that Colorado offers to people like myself. And for the record, many of these “Hunting Opportunity” units have great mature animals within them, you just have to put in the work to find them.
If it weren’t for OTC units, I probably wouldn’t be the hunter I am today, because I’ve had plenty of opportunity to practice honing my skills and for that I am forever grateful. With that being said, I’m not opposed to ditching the OTC units. I feel this would benefit those of us who are TRULY passionate about being in the high country; those of us who will keep coming back yearly regardless of the cost.
By getting rid of OTC, I feel you’ll displace pressure more evenly and can possibly make it to where hunters don’t feel that the area is over crowded, which usually leads to the general population being satisfied with their adventures. I think this would also force folks to either commit to Colorado or be ok with possibly not hunting out west every year, which again helps manage pressure.
I’m ok with them going to the “Bank” point system as well, because it allows folks to use points at the risk that they may never draw those premier units. It also awards those willing to wait until they do have enough to draw a premier unit.
I wouldn’t be opposed to Colorado going to a 1st and 2nd archery season either. This too would help displace pressure. And I’d be ok with them going to something like 5 points or better (for elk) on one side as opposed to 4. This would force hunters to only be allowed to take mature animals which again would help with management.
One last thing, we all know western big game hunting has gotten real popular due to Social Media and other things. And there has been tons of useful technological advances like GoHunt, OnX, Etc and success rates haven’t increased at all. It still takes a serious amount of dedication and those that are willing to go that far, would be doing that with or with out these advancements. So the future of hunting hasn’t been diminished any in my opinion. It’s just a hot trend currently and will probably settle back down in coming years.

Backcountry_Preacher about 6 hours ago

Please do not implement point banking. This will have the effect of increasing point creep at the lower and mid-tier point requirement hunts, which would hurt the vast majority of hunters.

Please do not allow point sharing or point averaging. This creates a system that is ripe for abuse, as we see happening in all other states that have such a system.

Please increase the resident allocation of all hunt codes. Just look across all similar Western states - Colorado does, by far, the worst job of prioritizing quality hunting opportunities for residents of its state.

smw2206 about 7 hours ago

I wanted to add one more thing that wasn't brought up by anyone yet.


PLEASE implement a smart phone system (or computer based) of reporting your harvested game in Colorado so your biologists know EXACTLY how many animals are killed. You could also poll the sportsperson on that as well.

I urge the CPW to contact the Georgia DNR and mirror their smartphone app for harvest reporting. You can thank me later after you save a pile of money by firing those 3rd party survey callers that always seem to call me during working hours....

To that end, if ANY sportsperson does not report whether they did (or did not) harvest an animal, they should be ineligible for the big game drawing the following season and all preference point should be reduced to 0.

Why any law-abiding resident or non-resident would disagree with this idea would be beyond my realm of understanding.

GeorgiaBulldog about 7 hours ago

I am from Oklahoma. We do have an elk season here, and a once-in-a-lifetime controlled hunt in a specific area for elk. This is very limiting to the opportunities I have to put elk meat in my freezer.
I completely understand the positioning that many of the residents of CO have taken. No one wants to feel infringed upon, or like you are losing "your spot."
I am novice when it comes to elk hunting/backcountry hunting. This year I was able to procure an Idaho OTC tag. I am late for getting into the backcountry game because I have elected to build my life for the last 20 years. Why should others like myself be punished for creating the life we want to live and for those around us.
I have ZERO preference points in any state other than OK, and this year will only be my second out of state hunt. So, my question would be simply about point creep with preference points. Creep will drastically limit my ability to draw for CO not to mention essentially eliminating any chance my children have to draw tags. Would there be an answer for creep with a preference points system?
I would happily pay extra for a NR OTC to ensure the chance to bring elk meat back to Oklahoma.
Residents must be protected. However, non-residents bring money to the economy as well as CPW.
The re-introduction of wolves will force CPW to change things in a drastic and emergent way. I am not excited to see that happen...but it will.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Good luck!

Tonycox15 about 8 hours ago

I believe all units should be split 90% resident and 10% non resident. I’m tired of seeing all out of state plates when I’m out hunting. We have so many people moving here that it makes no sense for non residents to get mor than 10% of tags. I ‘now revenue might suffer however residents should absolutely get preference over non residents. I also think the required small game license is stupid and should be removed. Many people are having to waste money buying a tag they won’t use which is effectively a tax which is wrong. I use my small game tag however I know many, many older people that big game hunt and they completely disagree with this extra cost. Thank you Shane.

Shane w. about 8 hours ago

As, a resident of 7 years, but new to big game hunting in Colorado, I am finding it very difficult to find quality opportunities to hunt. I love the fact that I can use an OTC tag to get out to hunt, but I also hate that I have to compete with so many Non-Residents. The fact everything is so overcrowded with not only hunters, but just outdoor tourism is such a challenge to just hunt in your backyard.

I think limiting access to OTC Units to only Residents makes a lot of sense. At this point, I do not have the ability to gain enough points to hunt quality units in the limited draw. With Points Creep the way it is I would never be able to accumulate enough points to even come close to a Trophy Unit in my lifetime or my kids. So at best, I have to compete in overcrowded OTC units or draw in low-point draw units and not be able to gain points for the future or just draw a point. Either way, as a resident for almost a decade, I have extremely limited options for a quality hunt in my own state.

Ideally, I would like to see Resident Only OTC units with Limited Draw Only for Non-Residents. I feel like this would be the best option to keep hunting pressure on the herds to a nominal level. No matter what we will still have hunters coming to the state and we would give Residents the ability to have a quality hunt every year. I want to be able to take my kids hunting every year like I did growing up hunting whitetail in Indiana and Ohio. Right now I am fearful that my kids will not be able to use the state they were born in to hunt because of the out-of-state pressure Non-Residents put on the system.

CPW and our State Representatives serve the Residents of Colorado first. Please ensure the priority to access first is provided to our Residents. I am all for and hope everyone hunting in Colorado has success, but limiting the ability to Non-Residents will allow for more successful hunts and experiences for more people and will only benefit the system in the long run.

jkarshner about 8 hours ago

I participated in a focus group with CPW on this very issue. At our focus group CPW indicated that we shared the same sentiment. The desire for limited non resident tags. The theme of simplifying and going to a straight 85/15 model across the board for all hunt codes was very popular. CPW with their survey have ignored that very request. Just like the archery season structure, cpw has come to a conclusion and tailored their questions to reflect their desired outcome.

Non resident crowding has grown exponentially as a result of other states limiting non resident access. Sites like go hunt and on-x taught over the counter tags and the favorable allocation so non residents can "hunt ELK in CO every year." Meanwhile residents quality and access is eroded. I personally apply in every western big game state and I am ok with only being able to hunt every few years there or waiting for my opportunity. I should not have to be penalized in my home state as well. Resident applications and tag numbers have a predictable and sustainable level where the non resident demand keeps jumping every year 10 fold. I support a 85/15 across the board allocation on limited entry units and also support a non resident otc with caps tag.

nolanjs55 about 8 hours ago

Require both residents and non-residents to apply for a tag every year and not have the opportunity to just buy preference points.

If you draw a tag you loose your preference points.

dwight.peschke about 9 hours ago

As a nonresident who has enjoyed the hunting in Colorado for many years. I feel a cap on OTC nonresident tags would benefit not only the herd management. But also give more opportunity for those who hunt during that time period.

Jlgibbon1 about 9 hours ago

I am a resident and would happily pay more for my hunts if that's what it took to limit non-resident OTC licenses. I realize how important the funding from unlimited OTC tags is for CPW, but I don't think it's viable much longer and I'd really like to see that change. Colorado has always been a sure thing for non-resident hunters, but as other states have limited opportunities in recent years, that demand has shifted to Colorado and made crowded seasons even worse.

Hunters will benefit from higher quality hunts, animals from less pressure, we just need CPW to figure out how it operates in a future without that non-resident OTC cash cow.

patricktullyking about 9 hours ago

Colorado Resident, Hunter, Fisheries and Wildlife Management degree......

-As some other commenters have posted, the OTC needs to end, at the very least for Non-Residents, but probably everyone. Colorado cannot continue to be the fallback state (plan C, D, E or F) for all western hunters across America. In the last years, after all the social media posts and podcasters popularizing western hunting, the woods are extremely crowded, and every trailhead is packed. A successful hunting strategy is largely based on how big game are reacting to the movements of people, which doesn't feel right. From a management standpoint (which is what we should all be primarily focused on), I do not understand how the current OTC model could even be considered a viable conservation/management plan considering every hunter could potentially be harvesting in the same unit with zero responsibility to report.

-I do not understand why CPW continues to change specific units draw only while leaving the rest unlimited OTC, is this not exacerbating the pressure issues?

-Why can hunters buy a tag in season and hunt that same day?

-Residents should 100% be heard and taken care of before out-of-state hunters. We choose to live here, we pay the taxes, we shovel the snow and sit in the traffic, and we would pay more for tags if needed. I am aware that there are plenty of current hunting opportunities that are more available to me than to someone out of state, but honestly, these are difficult to find and generally not as convenient. I do get the feeling that residents are not being catered to. Please take care of your residents.

- I would not change the points system because it doesn't seem fair. Folks who would have saved their points in a banking scenario, but who have been spending them yearly are potentially going to be pushed out of units they enjoy hunting for a couple of years while the people with 15-20 points banked get to use 3 here and 4 there. That could take some time to play out, and we do not all have the time to wait.

-It seems like the changes that NEED to be made for conservation are going to severely impact the pocketbook of the state. I do not know where all of the "organizational support" dollars are going, but I would hope that the state is focused on the long-term health of our big game populations.

-A government focused on $$ might let this play out until hunters just simply stop coming because the experience has become so poor. Whereas a government focused on conservation would have already made the changes.

Concerned Citizen about 10 hours ago

I would like to see no preference points and go to a random draw allocating 80 percent tags to residents and 20 percent to nonresidents. Its not about me being able to hunt Colorado but my grandkids being able to hunt some of Colorado best units. If it's a random draw everybody every year has a chance to hunt some of the best unit in colorado. Thanks for your time.

dmccormack about 10 hours ago

My suggestions would be to cap nonresident OTC tags at a percentage of resident OTC tag sales and keep resident tags unlimited OTC. With this structure you could reopen some units that in recent years that have been switched to limited. This would further alleviate any overcrowding issues in OTC units.

Jhess about 10 hours ago

CPW will have to distribute all licenses via draw for both residents and nonresidents alike once the wolves hit the landscape. Wyoming had to shut seasons down for moose and elk in some areas and Colorado will have to do the same. Gone are the days of OTC. Residents pay the ridiculous housing prices and taxes all year long, and we deserve the same share of our licenses that other residents enjoy in their WESTERN states. A 90% resident, 10% nonresident split is certainly the norm and more than fair. I play the game for nonresident tags in other states and wait my turn. As a resident we deserve the largest share of a diminishing resource......period. Thank you for taking the time to read our comments.

wbement about 11 hours ago

I am a non-resident from Ohio who has only hunted in CO once. But I can understand the issues residents may have with the quality of hunting in the OTC units because I have noticed a difference here in Ohio in our whitetail deer hunting- which the Ohio system is a wide open uncapped OTC tag system for everyone.
I think the root cause is our wildlife departments haven't factored in or adjusted to the greatly improved efficiency with which non-residents are able to find and navigate our public lands now due to advances in technology and resources. Before On-X maps, going into the hills of Ohio, much less the mountains of CO, was very intimidating to someone who wasn't familiar with the land. Just traveling to them on a paper map was a challenge. Now I can sit here in Ohio and E-Scout every OTC unit in the country, place ways points, plot travel routes, and navigate several miles into a piece of land without every leaving my computer chair. Don't get me wrong, I think On-X is terrific and I love using it. But it's eliminated a lot of barriers. The same is true of GoHunt, which I also love using- its made us non-residents much more efficient at finding places to hunt that we previously would not have likely made it to.
I don't think the OTC system for residents should change any at all. But I do think there should be some kind of cap on OTC for non-residents whether that's broke down by region or unit. And/or maybe make it that you can only get an OTC tag every other season if you're a non-resident? I think that would be fair.

bbnelson85 about 11 hours ago
Page last updated: 24 Jan 2023, 12:47 PM