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The Colorado 23/24 Big Game Draw is Open!

The Colorado big game draw is open as of March first, and closes April 2 at 8PM MTN.

Some important details to note I’ve covered the heavy hitters below. The online version of the Colorado Big Game Brochure will always be the most up to date. Use that copy for reference on any major questions, or call CPW.

Changes for this year

In the 2022-2023 season there was a severe weather event in the Northwest corner of the state that caused a dramatic license reduction in those areas, and also reduced the season length in some units. The elk and pronghorn populations were disproportionately effected by the winter kill in those units. Below are some of the big changes.

License Allocation

  • Big-game license allocation for bear, deer, elk and pronghorn has been modified from 65% for residents and 35% for nonresidents to 75% for residents and 25% for nonresidents for most hunt codes. High-demand hunt codes remain at 80% for residents and 20% for nonresidents.


  • OTC Rifle Elk Unit modifications. In the severe winter zone, rifle antlered licenses will be limited for hunting on GMUs 3, 301, 4, 441, 5, 14, 214, 11, 211, 12, 13, 131, 231, 23, 24
  • Hunt codes EM003O2R, EM003O3R (GMUs 3, 301, 4, 441, 5, 14, 214) and EM011O2R, EM011O3R (GMUs 11, 211, 12, 13, 131, 231, 23, 24) were created to allow for limited antlered rifle licenses for the 2nd and 3rd seasons for the 2024 and 2025 hunting seasons. These licenses are be valid on public and private lands. Hunting of antlered elk on private lands within this area will remain unlimited for the 2nd and 3rd seasons with the existing unlimited OTC antlered licenses (hunt codes EM000U2R and EM000U3R) that are offered statewide.
  • RFW Antler Restrictions. An antler point restriction will be instituted for all antlered elk taken on Ranching For Wildlife properties located in the Bear’s Ears (E-02) and White River (E-06) elk herds for the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 hunting seasons.
  • Early Cow season (E-F-003-E1-R) in GMUS 2, 3, and 11 has been removed.


  • GMUs 3, 301, 4, 441, 5, 13, 14, and 214 (DAU PH-09). Doe pronghorn hunting for all methods of take in this area will be closed for the 2024-2025 season.


  • GMU boundaries and descriptions have changed for GMUs 43, 79, 431 and 791.
  • License prices have increased more or less across the board for both residents and non-residents.

Big Game Draw Results

Big game draw results will be posted May 28th – 31st. This will be for the primary big game draw, the secondary draw will take all leftover tags and place them into a pool for another round. From there the preference is to allocate more tags to youth hunters.

Are all your applications submitted for this year? Then it’s time to make sure your gear is all squared away! Colorado weather varies heavily by region and season, so make sure to at the bare minimum have some technical clothing set aside, make purchases throughout the off season rather than waiting until you go to hunt your big game tags.

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Last modified: March 6, 2024