Colorado Parks & Wildlife Big Game license applications open March 1

The application process for Big Game licenses through the Colorado Parks & Wildlife will open March 1, the state agency announced Thursday morning.

The application window is open from March 1 to April 6, closing at 8 p.m. that final day, according to a press release from the agency.

Preparation and knowledge in the field will help elk hunters. (Craig Press File)

In order for a hunter to be entered into the big game license drawing, they need to buy a qualifying license beforehand. The qualifying licenses include “spring turkey licenses, annual small game, annual resident combination small game/fishing, first responder lifetime combination licenses and more,” the press release states.

The biggest change that the CPW made to the qualifying license process is that fall turkey licenses are only eligible for the secondary draw.

The qualifying licenses also open on March 1 and must be purchased before submitting an application for the big game license. The only way a hunter could get a big game license without a previous qualifying license is if there are any leftover licenses on Aug. 3, or if a hunter buys a qualifying license over the counter on Aug. 3. If this comes after the season opens, hunters can buy big game licenses in a few different ways including, “by phone, online, and through statewide license agents and CPW offices.”

The applications for the secondary draw, for those that miss the first draw, opens on June 16 and closes on June 30. If a hunter has a CPW gift certificate, they can use that to buy a big game license.

Additionally, CPW announced that hunters are required to submit the head of their harvested deer and elk to the organization for testing for chronic wasting disease if they are in designated game management units under the Chronic Wasting Disease Response plan. If a hunter wants to submit their animal for testing and they are not located in the designated game management units, they can send their animal heads in for $25 per animal, according to the press release.

“We’re encouraging all hunters to check their online accounts to ensure their contact information is current and credit card information is up-to-date,” CPW Information Officer Travis Duncan said. “Then check your account after the draw to see the draw results, your preference point levels and the status of your payments.”

For more information from CPW on what’s new in 2021, check out the video below from the state agency.

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