Colorado Parks and Wildlife seeks public input on distribution of big game hunting licenses

Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife are encouraging interested stakeholders to complete a comment form and share their thoughts on the big game license distribution process as the agency considers a handful of proposed changes.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Wayne D. Lewis

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is considering changes to policies and regulations that direct the distribution of big game hunting licenses in Colorado, and the agency seeks feedback from big game hunters in the state.

CPW is encouraging the public to complete a comment form and share their thoughts on the current big game license distribution process. The comment form will be open through Feb. 20. Results will be shared with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to inform its decision-making process on big game license distribution.

Changes that are being considered include a preference point banking system and averaging group applicant preference points. The commission is also considering updating the high-demand hunt code split from 80% to residents and 20% to nonresidents to 90% for residents and 10% for nonresidents and an across-the-board license allocation of 75% to residents and 25% to nonresidents.

These topics under consideration were requested by the commission. The results of the comment form will be discussed during the commission’s meeting on March 15-16.

Changes that have already been made include the Parks and Wildlife Commission approving an update to big game license allocation in November 2022. The three-year preference point average that is used to determine high-demand hunt codes that are allocated 80% to residents and 20% to nonresidents was updated such that CPW will use the most recent three years (with a one-year lag).

The Commission also decided to retain the six preference point threshold used to determine high-demand hunt codes, which added about 1,200 deer and elk hunt codes to the 80/20 allocation of high-demand hunts. This change will be effective for the 2023 big game hunting season.

According to CPW, due to the complexity of the subject as well as ongoing interest, the Parks and Wildlife Commission requested that license distribution be reviewed separately from the upcoming Big Game Season Structure. Members of the Colorado General Assembly have also showed interest in making changes.

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