What’s new in big game licensing?
Big game hunters looking to get a license for large animals this year should take note of a few changes made by Colorado Parks and Wildlife before the March 1 opening of the primary draw application period.
CPW has released its 2022 Big Game brochure, which features over 70 pages of information about regulations, tips and maps to help make planning this fall’s season easier for hunters.
What’s new in 2022?
CPW is offering a brief period where hunters who were chosen in the primary draw can surrender their license if they no longer want it. If they do surrender, their preference points are restored to their pre-draw level, and the license won’t be charged to their credit card. Hunters have until Monday, June 6 to surrender any big-game license they receive.
If you want to exchange your license, that fee will now be $5 for every exchange. Formerly, the price to do that was 50% of the cost of the license and did not exceed $25. Hunters must purchase a qualifying license to participate in the big-game draws. All qualifying licenses are available beginning March 1 and must be purchased prior to applying for all big-game licenses or preference points.
For bow hunters, there is no longer a maximum let-off percentage for hand-held bows, meaning that they will have greater options when selecting archery equipment for the big-game seasons.
Mandatory Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Testing
In addition to updates in licensing, CPW will require mandatory submission of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) test samples from all deer harvested during rifle season from certain hunt codes. Not all hunt codes in a unit were selected for the mandatory testing, and there will be no charge to hunters who do have to submit.
CWD affects animals such as deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose. It could take as long as a year before an animal begins to develop symptoms. Those symptoms, which are fatal to animals that contract it, can include drastic weight loss (wasting), stumbling, listlessness and other neurologic symptoms. There have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people, but the World Health Organization has recommended that it is important to prevent animals that were infected with CWD from entering the human food chain.
Hunters who were not selected for mandatory testing can still see if their harvested deer or elk has CWD. Hunters can submit their animal’s head and pay a testing fee of $25. This year, all testing fees for voluntary submissions will be waived for all moose across Colorado, and all deer from hunt codes that were not selected for mandatory testing but are within the same Game Management Units that were selected for mandatory testing qualify for free testing, as well.
“Disease in humans resulting from CWD exposure has not been reported to date. However,
public health officials cannot determine there is no risk from eating meat from infected animals,” a warning from CPW reads. “When field-dressing game, wear rubber gloves and minimize the use of a bone saw to cut through the brain or spinal cord (backbone). Minimize contact with brain or spinal cord tissues, eyes, spleen or lymph nodes. Always wash hands and utensils thoroughly after dressing and processing game meat.”
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