What’s new for hunters in 2021? Aside from continuing to follow COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions where appropriate, plenty — from a new secondary big game draw to season structure changes. Following is a snapshot from our friends at Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
FALL TURKEY LICENSES ARE QUALIFYING LICENSES FOR THE SECONDARY DRAW:
You can now use a fall turkey license as your qualifying license for the big-game secondary draw. (Note: fall turkey licenses are not valid as qualifying licenses for the big-game primary draw.) For turkey, only spring turkey licenses are valid qualifying licenses for both the primary and secondary draws.
BIG-GAME LICENSES NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE EVEN AFTER THE START OF A SEASON:
In the past, after the start of a season, available big-game licenses could only be purchased at a CPW office or park. Now you can purchase available big-game licenses after a season starts at CPW locations, online, by phone and through sales agents around the state.
LEFTOVER LIMITED LICENSES & OVER-THE COUNTER LICENSES NOW ON SALE ON THE SAME DAY:
Leftover limited and OTC licenses (including add-on bear) will go on sale on the same day and at the same time, starting at 9 a.m. Aug. 3 for 2021.
YOU CAN NOW USE A CPW GIFT CERTIFICATE AS YOUR PAYMENT KEPT ON FILE FOR YOUR LICENSE:
If you draw a license, you can use a credit card number, Visa or Mastercard gift certificate number, or now a CPW gift certificate as the payment kept on file for your license in your online account.
NEW LIMITED LICENSE REISSUE PROCESS:
A new process is in place for reissuing returned limited licenses. Instead of hunts being randomly released Tuesday to Friday as in the past, a new reissue preview list will be posted online at 11 a.m. every Tuesday; those hunt codes will be moved to the leftover list and available for purchase every Wednesday starting at 11 a.m. Beginning Aug. 10, the reissue preview list will be published on the website at 11 a.m. every Tuesday.
CERTAIN MOOSE HUNT CODES WILL HAVE LIMITED QUOTA IN THE 2021 DRAW:
Some of the quota for certain hunt codes for moose have been reserved for 2020 moose license holders who were affected by the 2020 fires. Hunt codes shaded in orange in the moose hunt code tables have limited quota available for the 2021 draw as a result. (Note: Unless you were contacted by CPW, any other 2020 moose licenses held are not eligible for a guaranteed 2021 license.)
NEW YOUTH EXTENDED HUNT LICENSE CONVERSION FORM ONLINE:
Youth ages 12-17 can now easily convert their unfilled limited either-sex elk or either-sex pronghorn license (where the season has ended) to a female (antlerless) license through the new online form.
MANDATORY CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE TESTING:
In 2021, CPW again requires mandatory, free submission of CWD test samples (heads) from all deer harvested during any of the rifle seasons from specific Game Management Units.
In addition, testing fees for voluntary submissions will be waived for all deer harvested during the archery and muzzleloader seasons in the mandatory-testing rifle GMUs. All other GMUs will have a fee of $25 for voluntary testing.
SEASON STRUCTURE CHANGES:
The new 2020-2024 big game season structure started last year and is now entering its second season. Some of the bigger changes include season choice hunts for bull and either-sex moose, and many new over-the counter and limited licenses for archery, muzzleloader and rifle seasons for bear.