What’s New for 2018

What’s new for hunting in western Colorado this year? Plenty, affecting everything from license sales to youth hunting options and GMUs. We checked in with Colorado Parks & Wildlife for changes to put on your radar.

There’s plenty new for hunters in 2018. Check the CPW Big Game Brochure for more information.

Licensing changes: CPW transitioned to an integrated licensing, pass and reservation system in January 2018. All customers will need their CID (Customer Identification number), driver’s license or other unique identifier to create an online account. A unique email is no longer required for login, meaning families can now use the same email address for all purchases and applications.

Paperless license applications: All license applications, for all species, must now be completed online using the integrated system (www.cpw.state.co.us/CP-Wshop; (800) 244-5613). Paper applications are no longer available.

License fees no longer due with draw application submittal: Instead of paying all fees up front when applying, hunters now only pay the $3 application processing fee, per species. Hunters ages 18–64 also need a 2018 Habitat Stamp ($10), which is automatically added to your application. You will be charged the license price and Wildlife Education and Search-and-Rescue fees only if you draw a license. The preference point fee will still be charged if you are unsuccessful in the draw and do not meet the exemption criteria.

Chronic Wasting Disease testing in select GMUs: In 2018, CPW will require mandatory submission of CWD test samples (heads) from all buck deer harvested during rifle seasons from select GMUs. Hunters that harvest a buck deer in the specified hunt codes will be required to submit their deer head to a CPW submission site for free mandatory testing.

.50 caliber minimum for muzzleloaders: This applies to deer, pronghorn and bear; round-ball bullets for muzzleloaders are now a minimum of .54 caliber for elk and moose.

Youth outreach hunting licenses valid on public land: Youth deer, elk and pronghorn licenses will be available on public CPW lands operated for hunting, as well as on private lands. (info: www.cpw.state.co.us/YouthOutreachLicense).

Dream Hunt licenses available in GMUs with hunt codes required 10+ resident preference points: The restriction on resident preference points for these licenses has been removed.

Annual closure for shed antler/horn collecting: Public lands west of I-25 are open to collecting shed antlers or horns from May 1–Dec. 31 only, except in GMUs 54, 55, 66, 67 and 551, where collecting is further restricted to between legal sunset and 10 a.m., May 1–May 15.

Overnight camping permit required for Conundrum Hotsprings area of Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness: Hunters who plan to hunt or scout in this portion of GMU 43 should be aware that a limited number of overnight camping permits will now be issued for the Conundrum Creek Valley. These federally required camping permits are necessary year-round, cost $10 and are available online at www.recreation.gov.


Fourth rifle buck season open in GMUs 69, 84, 86, 691 and 861: The new season runs Nov. 14–18.

Season dates for GMU 512 extended: The season dates of Dec. 1–31 have been lengthened to Oct. 1–Dec. 31 for 2018.


Private-land-only rifle cow season dates in GMUs 18, 181 and 28, 37 extended: The new season runs Sept. 1–Jan. 31, 2019.

Late antlerless rifle season dates in GMUs 50, 500 and 501 changed: To avoid road closures, the late season now runs earlier from Dec. 22– Dec. 30.

Regular muzzleloader and rifle season cow licenses in GMU 54 are now List A: Private-land-only cow hunts in GMU 54 are still list B.


GMUs 49 and 500 open for muzzleloader and rifle seasons: The new seasons run from Sept. 21–29 for muzzleloader and Oct. 6–12 for rifle.

New private-land-only rifle season open in GMUs 18, 27, 28, 37 and 181: The new season runs Sept. 29–Oct. 14.

New regular buck and doe rifle seasons open in GMUs 15, 26 and 231: The new seasons runs Oct. 6–12.

New GMU groupings 3/301, 4/5, 13, 131 and 214/441 for muzzleloader season: The season runs Sept. 21–29.



New bull hunt in GMUs 55 and 551: The new hunt is available for resident archery, muzzleloader and rifle seasons.

GMUs 20 and 29 now have a cow hunt: GMUs 20 and 29 still have a joint bull hunt for resident archery, muzzleloader and rifle seasons. Now each GMU has a resident cow hunt for archery, muzzleloader and rifle seasons, and a nonresident cow hunt in GMU 29 for archery, muzzleloader and rifle seasons.

GMUs 41, 42, 421, 52, 411, 521 have later rifle cow hunt season dates: Resident and nonresident rifle cow season for hunt codes M-F-041-L1-R and M-F-052-L1-R now runs from Nov. 3–18, the beginning of third rifle season through the end of fourth rifle season.



New private-land-only rifle season added to GMUs 20, 29, 38; 39, 46, 51, 104, 391, 461; and 50, 500 and 501: This new season runs from Sept. 2–Nov. 18, and the licenses are list B.

All licenses in GMUs 4, 5, 6, 14, 16, 17, 161, 171, 214 and 441 are not List B licenses: This increases hunter opportunity in these regions.

Sidebar: Fees (fee charged if you are successful in drawing your license, or get an unsuccessful option; $10 2018 Habitat Stamp required)


   Deer: Draw (limited)

  • Resident — $31
  • Youth resident — $10.75
  • Non-resident (w/ fishing) — $396
  • Youth non-resident (w/ fishing) — $100.75


   Elk: Draw (limited)

  • Resident — $46
  • Youth resident — $10.75
  • Non-resident bull/either sex (w/ fishing) — $661
  • Non-resident cow (w/ fishing) — $496
  • Non-resident either sex (w/ fishing) — $661
  • Youth non-resident (w/ fishing) — $100.75


   Pronghorn: Draw (limited)

  • Resident — $31
  • Youth resident — $10.75
  • Non-resident — $396
  • Youth non-resident — $100.75


   Bear: Draw (limited)

  • Resident — $41
  • Non-resident — $351


   Moose: Draw (limited)

  • Resident — $251
  • Non-resident — $2,211


*Nonresident fishing licenses are good through March 31, 2019. Prices include a 25-cent search-and-rescue fee, a 75-cent surcharge for the Wildlife Management Education Fund.


Sidebar: 2018 Hunting seasons



Archery: Aug. 25-Sept. 23

Muzzleloader: Sept. 8-16

2nd Rifle: Oct. 20-28

3rd Rifle: Nov. 3-11

4th Rifle: Nov. 14-18



Archery: Aug. 25-Sept. 23

Muzzleloader: Sept. 8-16

1st Rifle: Oct. 13-17

2nd Rifle: Oct. 20-28

3rd Rifle: Nov. 3-11

4th Rifle: Nov. 14-18



Pronghorn season

Archery: Aug. 15-Sept. 20

Muzzleloader: Sept. 21-29

Rifle: Oct. 6-12


Moose season

Archery: Sept. 8-23

Muzzleloader: Sept. 8-16

Rifle: Oct. 1-14


Bear season

Rifle limited (by draw): Sept. 2-30

Archery (over-the-counter w/caps): Sept. 2-30

Muzzleloading (over-the-counter w/caps): Sept. 8-16

Concurrent rifle (over-the-counter w/caps): Oct. 13-Nov. 18