The Colorado Wildlife Commission finalized 2010 big game regulations at its regular meeting Jan. 11.
Key revisions include:
The Colorado Division of Wildlife established a “hybrid” drawing for select elk and deer licenses for the 2010 hunting seasons. The purpose of the drawing is to give hunters the additional opportunity to draw a license for some of the state’s premier elk and deer hunting areas. Hunters with five or more elk or deer preference points that select as their first choice a unit requiring 10 or more resident preference points for that species will be automatically included in the random drawing. Approximately 15 elk and three deer units qualify for the drawing.
New White-Tailed Deer-Only Units:
For the first time, white-tailed deer-only seasons are available in the Arkansas River drainage between Pueblo and Canon City. Additional units have been added on the Eastern Plains.
Moose Regular Rifle Season:
The regular rifle season for moose has been extended to 14 days. The 2010 season opens Oct. 1 and continues through Oct. 14.
Third Rifle Combined Season:
The third rifle combined season for deer and elk has been extended to nine days, including two weekends. The 2010 season opens Nov. 6 and continues through Nov. 14.
Gunnison Basin Elk Hunts:
• Archery elk licenses are totally limited in units 54, 55 and 551.
• Either-sex, over-the-counter licenses with cap are available in unit 54 during the second rifle season.
• Additional cow licenses and late-season licenses are available in units 54, 55 and 551.
Muzzleloading Elk Licenses:
“Statewide” muzzleloading licenses are no longer available in 2010. All muzzleloading elk licenses are valid in specific Game Management Units (GMUs) or Data Analysis Units (DAUs) only. Either-sex licenses are also available in specific units.
Desert Bighorn Ram Licenses:
Unit S63 (Middle Dolores River) is now open for rifle hunters.
Nonresident Desert Bighorn Ram License:
A nonresident, desert bighorn ram license is available in unit S56 (Black Ridge).
Bighorn Sheep Ewe Licenses:
Ewe licenses are available in units S57 (Big Thompson) and S15, S16, S21, S28, S33 and S53 (San Juan Mountains).
Bighorn Sheep Ram Licenses:
Units S40 (Lone Pine), S39 (Mt. Silverheels) and S41 (Peru Creek) are open for rifle hunters.
Female-Only Goat Licenses:
Female-only (nanny) goat licenses are now available in units E15 and E16.
Hunters who do not want to accumulate preference points may opt out of paying the $25 “Pay-to-Play” fee by selecting the appropriate check box on the big game drawing application. If this option is checked, the applicant will not receive a preference point.
2010 big game brochures:
Hunters are encouraged to thoroughly review the 2010 regulations brochures due to these and other changes approved by the Commission. The “2010 Colorado Big Game” and “2010 Colorado Sheep and Goat” brochures will be available at Division of Wildlife offices, statewide licenses agents and online (www.wildlife.state.co.us) mid-February 2010.
To review season dates and other 2010 big game regulations approved by the Commission, visit http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeCommission/Archives/2010/January112010.htm.