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Hunters hoping to draw a big-game license in Colorado in 2021 are urged to review the changes in license requirements and fees prior to the March 1 opening of the application period (March 1 – April 6 at 8 p.m. MT). For a good overview of what’s in store, watch CPW’s “What’s New” video for the 2021 big-game seasons.

Important changes for hunters to take note of include:

Adjustments to license fees

The Future Generations Act, which passed through the Colorado Legislature in 2018, allows CPW to adjust license prices to keep up with the cost of inflation. This year, that means an increase of 2.7%.

Qualifying licenses

In order to participate in the big-game primary draws and secondary draws, hunters will need to purchase a qualifying license. All applicants, including youth ages 12-17, must buy a qualifying license prior to applying for any big-game license draw.

Qualifying licenses include: spring turkey licenses, annual small game, annual resident combination small game/fishing, veteran’s lifetime resident combination small game/fishing, senior combination small game/fishing, disabled first responder combination small game/fishing and annual small-game license for resident senior lifetime fishing license holders (new).

Please note that any remaining leftover limited licenses that become available on a first-come-first-serve basis (Aug. 3 at 9 a.m. MT) and over-the-counter licenses (Aug. 3 at 9 a.m. MT), do not require a qualifying license to purchase.

Valid dates for annual licenses have changed

The 2021 annual licenses go on sale March 1, 2021, including qualifying licenses, at the same time as big-game applications open. The 2021 annual licenses, including qualifying licenses, are valid March 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022. Remember, to be a valid qualifying license for the big-game draws, the license must be valid for the 2021 license year.   

Secondary draw replaced the leftover draw in 2020

Hunters who don’t draw a license in this year’s primary draw still have the opportunity to draw a license in the secondary big game draw. The secondary draw replaced the old leftover draw starting in 2020. Secondary draw applications are accepted June 16 - 30, 8 p.m. MT.

Visit CPW’s website for more information.

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