Hunting Colorado’s Public Lands

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s video production crew (Dennis and I) have traveled the state for the last two years capturing footage from the peaks to the prairies. We have organized this footage in a way that is hopefully helpful to those looking to learn more about hunting Colorado’s public lands. We broke down the state into ‘life zones’ and have identified the game animals that live in each zone. It is an interesting way to look at finding your next hunting spot. To be able to decipher each life zone’s habitat and where the animals will be during which times of the year can give hunters insight as to where to hunt. We have also provided information on the different land management agencies such as Colorado’s National Forests, BLM lands, State Wildlife Areas and State Trust Lands For more information on hunting in Colorado visit HERE.


Hunting Colorado’s Public Lands

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s video production crew has been gathering footage for nearly two years for the production of Hunting Colorado’s Public Lands. The film is aimed at providing hunters with useful information to help them successfully plan and execute a hunt on public lands in Colorado. This is the trailer for Hunting Colorado’s Public Lands


Colorado Waterfowl Season

Although waterfowl season starts in the fall, wintertime seems to be the time when weather pushes most birds south. Here is a short teaser of waterfowl hunting in Colorado. I love to go back and watch it the night before a duck or goose hunting trip because it always gets my blood pumping.

Waterfowl Hunting Resources:
Ducks Unlimited MIGRATION MAP


Colorado Hunting Season

The arrival of fall brings a cool breeze to the air and a new palette of colors to Colorado’s landscape.

The rich autumn reds and yellows blanketing the mountain side not only means good fishing in Colorado, it also represents the arrival of hunting season.

Colorado boasts one of the largest elk herds in north America: The White River Elk Herd.

With an impressive number of Mule Deer, Pronghorn, Moose, Big Horn Sheep, and Mountain Goats Colorado has a lot of options when it comes to big game hunting. With nearly 300,000 elk in the state, its understandable why Colorado is the only state in the country where you can just show up during hunting season and buy an elk license. Elk hunting is a personal favorite. These large mammals are amazing creatures, especially during the fall. The cool weather triggers the elk rut, or heightened time of breeding activity. Especially with mature males. These large beasts scream or bugle loudly to attract cows (females) and compete with other bulls to protect the cows in their harem. Cows have a specific squeak to let the bulls know they are in their estrus cycle and ready to breed. The male and females social and vocal interaction makes hunting elk at this time a unique experience.

If you are interested in hunting in Colorado but don’t know where to start here are a couple resources to help you out.

First of all, if you are brand new to hunting you’ll need your hunter’s education card. Check Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) Hunter Education CALENDER for a class near you or you can take a class online through the CPW or through the IHEA In the hunter’s education class you will learn many valuable lessons on firearm safety, ethical hunting and Outdoor Survival

Second, you’ll need a license. Limited or draw licenses must be applied for before April 3rd, but over the counter (unlimited licenses) are available for bull elk 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons. You can visit your local license dealer or purchase one ONLINE

Third, you’ll need a place to hunt. Colorado has over 22 million acres of public land so there are plenty to choose from. CPW’s HUNTING ATLAS is a great place to start your search. I’d recommend pulling up the big game species layers which allows you to view migration routes and corridors, summer and winter concentration areas. For help see the HELP VIDEOS

Fourth, No matter how long you look at a map nothing will be more valuable than actually visiting the area you plan to hunt. From my experience scouting is the single most important thing you can do you to increase you chances of success. Scouting allows you to get to know your area and the patterns of the animals before you hunt rather than getting to know the area while you hunt.

Lastly, if you’re successful you’ll need to field dress the animal, click HERE for CPW’s Big Game Field Dressing Tutorial (Credit: Joe Lewandowski)

You can take the meat to your local butcher or what I prefer is to butcher it myself. Invite some buddies over for a couple beers and a meat cutting session …

… Just make sure to reward them

Nothing beats a meal fashioned straight from the field

A Colorado Surf and Turf (Fresh caught trout and elk loin steaks) can be a nice reward after a hard day of hunting or fishing.

ELK HUNTING UNIVERSITY is an informational series of training articles compiled by CPW’s hunting experts.
Elk Camp the website
ELK CAMP a sweet video produced by CPW to pump you up and get you excited to go Elk Hunting in Colorado
a.m. Colorado video series ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK IN AUTUMN


Turkey Hunting Colorado

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”] Colorado boasts a healthy turkey population that continues to thrive years after the the Colorado Division of Wildlife started the turkey re-introduction program in the early 1980’s. Whether its Merriam’s Meleagris gallopavo merriami (found in the Mountains) or Rio Grande Meleagris gallopavo intermedia (found along river bottoms on the eastern plains), turkey hunting provides an exciting challenge for beginner and experienced hunters alike. This video provides a wealth of information valuable in becoming a successful turkey hunter.

The chapters include:
-The Mating Season
-Gearing Up
-Calling all Toms
-The Scouting Game
-Playing the Game.

If you’d like your own copy of the DVD Call 303-297-1192 or email: wildlife.dowinfo@state.co.us
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Music by Little Kenny and Neargrass Junction

The deadline to apply for Spring Turkey is February 10, 2011

More Helpful links:
Turkey Hunting 101
2011 Turkey Brochure
Apply Online
National Wild Turkey Federation


Pheasant Hunting Colorado

Pheasant hunters in Colorado are well into what has been said to be the best year for hunting ringnecks in the last decade. Reports from Brush, Yuma, and Burlington have all said the same thing: more birds than they’ve ever seen. The consensus is that 2010 is a banner year for pheasants in the Centennial State. Good timing for the Colorado Division of Wildlife releasing a new DVD titled Pheasant Hunting Colorado. An informative yet entertaining view at how, when, and where to hunt Pheasants in Colorado.

The prelude:

If you’re interested in hunting roosters in Colorado but never have, this DVD can be of great value to you. Part one explains the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Walk-In access program, which for the first time this year is free for anyone with a small game license. Part one also takes you through a pheasant’s daily feeding routine and stresses on the most important things you can do to successfully hunt pheasants: learn how to scout and identify habitat … CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) or grasslands are the most desirable for pheasants.

Part one:

Part two continues on with CRP and how its specific stages are valuable to pheasants in different ways. We then move on to talk about wheat fields and why they can be the wild card in Colorado pheasant hunting.

Part two:

Part three continues the lesson on wheat habitat and how thicker and taller wheat stubble means more pheasants. We also learn why some sprinkler corners and transitional areas can produce an impressive density of birds.

Part three:

Don’t forget to visit your local Colorado Hunting and Fishing
license dealer to pick up your free copy of Pheasant Hunting
Colorado which is included in the 2010 Small Game brochure.

To see more pretty pictures and music watch the ENDING which features music from a good friend of mine: Little Kenny and Neargrass Junction


a.m. Wild Turkeys

The Colorado Division of Wildlife’s video production unit has been working on a new series of wildlife short films titled “a.m. Colorado” The latest is a piece featuring Wild Rio Grande Turkey’s along the South Platte Corridor.