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Colorado big-game license application period opens Wednesday

Colorado hunters can apply for a big-game license through April 6.

DENVER — The application period for big-game licenses in Colorado begins Wednesday, March 1.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said hunters hoping to draw a big-game license in 2023 should review the changes in license requirements and fees before submitting and application.

The application period runs from March 1 through Tuesday, April 4.

> Above video: The language of hunting

CPW said hunters must purchase a 2023 qualifying license to participate in the big game draws. A 2022 license is not a qualifying license for 2023.

The three-year preference point average used to determine the high-demand deer, elk, bear and pronghorn hunt codes that fall into the 80/20 allocation split has been modified to a rolling three-year average updated annually, with a one-year lag, according to CPW.

Credit: T.S. Steiner Photography
Bull elk surrounded by changing trees in Rocky Mountain National Park.

This year, CPW will require mandatory submission of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) test samples (heads) from all deer harvested during rifle seasons from specific hunt codes. Hunters that harvest a deer in the specified hunt codes will be required to submit their deer head to a CPW submission site for testing.

“The Colorado Big Game brochure is a must-have resource for planning a hunt and it’s available at all CPW office locations and online,” said CPW Public Information Officer Joey Livingston. “We encourage all hunters to apply early and check their online accounts to ensure their contact information and credit card information is up to date. Hunters will receive email updates on their draw results and the status of their payments.”

> For an overview of what’s in store, watch CPW’s "What's New" video for the 2023 big-game seasons:

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