Colorado Big Game Draw Requirements and Updates for 2023

Mandatory Qualifying License Purchase

  • All adult and youth individuals must obtain a qualifying license prior to applying for the big game draw.

Draw Application Deadlines

  • Primary Draw Application Deadline: April 4, 2023, at 8 p.m. MT.
  • Secondary Draw Application Deadline: June 30, 2023, at 8 p.m. MT.

Significant Changes for 2023

License Allocation and Preference Points

  • The method for assessing high-demand hunt codes with 80/20 allocation split now uses a rolling three-year average of preference points, updated annually with a one-year lag.

Hybrid Draw Updates

  • The hybrid draw list has been revised based on data from the 2019 to 2021 draw cycles.

Geographic Revisions

  • GMU 54 has altered the name of a rifle elk hunt boundary to Red Gulch, as per the U.S. Board on Geologic Names.

Mount Evans Hunting Regulation Alteration

  • The no-hunting zone around Mt. Evans has been adjusted to within a quarter mile of Mount Evans Highway, as opposed to the previous half-mile restriction.

Nonresident Cow Elk License Price

  • The Nonresident cow Elk license fee discount has been removed.

Important Resources for Hunters

  • Hunters are strongly advised to meticulously review the Big Game Regulations brochure, paying special attention to the "What's New: 2023" section for all alterations and updates applicable to the current hunting season.

Colorado 2023 Hunting Season Dates


Deer/Elk (West of I-25 & Unit 140)

  • Sept. 2–30*

Plains Deer (East of I-25, except Unit 140)

  • Oct. 1–27
  • Nov. 8–30
  • Dec. 15–31

Whitetail-Only (Limited)

  • Oct. 1–27
  • Nov. 8–30
  • Dec. 15–31


  • Sept. 9–30

Pronghorn (Limited)

  • Aug. 15–31
  • Aug. 15–31 & Sept. 1–20 (Split Season)

Pronghorn Bucks Only (Over-The-Counter)

  • Aug. 15–31

Pronghorn Either Sex (Over-The-Counter)

  • Sept. 1–20

Bear (Over-The-Counter and/or Limited)

  • Sept. 2–30

Muzzleloader (By Draw Only)


  • Sept. 9–17*

Plains Deer (East of I-25, except Unit 140)

  • Oct. 14–22

Whitetail-Only (Limited)

  • Oct. 14–22


  • Sept. 21–29

Bear (Over-The-Counter and/or Limited)

  • Sept. 9–17



  • Oct. 1–14

Separate Limited Elk (1st Season)

  • Oct. 14–18

Combined Deer/Elk (2nd Season)

  • Oct. 28-Nov. 5
  • NEW **Oct. 28-Nov. 1 (certain GMUs)

Combined Deer/Elk (3rd Season)

  • Nov. 11–17
  • NEW **Nov. 11-15 (certain GMUs)

Combined Limited Deer/Elk (4th Season)

  • Nov. 22–26

Plains Deer (East of I-25, except Unit 140)

  • Oct. 28–Nov. 7

Late Plains Deer (East of I-25, except Unit 140)

  • Dec. 1–14

Whitetail-Only (Limited)

  • Oct. 28-Nov. 7

Late Whitetail-Only (Limited)

  • Dec. 1-14

Pronghorn (Limited)

  • Oct. 7–15*
  • Check brochure for specific hunts.

Bear (Limited)

  • Sept. 2–30*

Bear (1st Season) (Over-The-Counter and/or Limited)

  • Oct. 14–18

Bear (2nd Season) (Over-The-Counter and/or Limited)

  • Oct. 28–Nov. 5

Bear (3rd Season) (Over-The-Counter and/or Limited)

  • Nov. 11-17

Bear (4th Season) (Over-The-Counter and/or Limited)

  • Nov. 22-26

Bear Private-Land-Only (Over-The-Counter)

  • Sept. 2–Nov. 26*

*For exceptions and details, refer to the regulation brochure. **Reduced rifle season duration applies to over-the-counter bull elk licenses in specified GMUs with severe winter conditions. Outside these GMUs, the full season dates apply.

Colorado 2023 Limited License Draw and Habitat Stamp Fees

Application Processing Fee for Limited License Draw

  • Residents: $8.00 per application.
  • Nonresidents: $10.00 per application.

Habitat Stamp Fees

  • Annual Habitat Stamp: $11.50

    • Mandatory, non-refundable, and valid from March 1 to March 31 of the following year (13 months).
  • Lifetime Habitat Stamp: $345.36

    • One-time purchase granting lifetime benef

Colorado Habitat Stamp Requirement

Habitat Stamp Inclusion with License Purchase

  • A Habitat Stamp is automatically included with the purchase of any annual hunting or fishing license for individuals aged 18-64, when required.

Where to Learn More

  • Detailed information about the Habitat Stamp, including its importance and utilization, can be found on the Habitat Sta​mp page.

Disability Exemption

  • Individuals with disabilities may be exempt from the requirement to purchase a Habitat Stamp. Verification of eligibility is necessary for exemption.

Colorado 2023 Draw (Limited) License Fees and Payment Deadlines

Success and Unsuccessful Payment Deadlines

  • Sheep & Goat License Payment Deadline: May 2 at 11:59 p.m. MT
  • Primary Draw (Deer, Elk, Pronghorn, Moose & Bear) Payment Deadline: June 16 at 11:59 p.m. MT
  • Secondary Draw (Deer, Elk, Bear, Pronghorn) Payment Deadline: July 21 at 11:59 p.m. MT

License Fees - If Drawn Successfully

Deer License Fees

  • Resident: $45.46
  • Resident Youth: $17.57
  • Nonresident Adult/Fishing Combo: $456.14*
  • Nonresident Youth/Fishing Combo: $116.50*

Elk License Fees

  • Resident Cow, Bull, or Either Sex: $62.72
  • Resident Youth: $17.57
  • Nonresident Cow/Fishing Combo: $760.99*
  • Nonresident Bull, or Either Sex/Fishing Combo: $760.99*
  • Nonresident Youth/Fishing Combo: $116.50*

Pronghorn License Fees

  • Resident: $45.46
  • Resident Youth: $17.57
  • Nonresident Adult/Fishing Combo: $456.14*
  • Nonresident Youth/Fishing Combo: $116.50*

Moose License Fees

  • Resident: $346.86
  • Nonresident/Fishing Combo: $2,544.04*

Bear License Fees

  • Resident: $43.78
  • Resident Youth: $16.98
  • Nonresident/Fishing Combo: $112.34*
  • Nonresident Youth/Fishing Combo: $56.80*

Additional Costs Included in License Fees

  • All prices include a $1.50 Wildlife Council surcharge and a $0.25 search-and-rescue fee.

Nonresident Combination License

  • *Nonresident big-game licenses include an annual fishing combination license valid through March 31.


  • Fees are only charged upon the successful draw of a license or selection of the unsuccessful option. It is crucial to fulfill the payment by the respective deadlines to secure the drawn license.

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