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Colorado hunting season is upon us

By Kathy Dunker

Colorado big game hunting seasons are now underway. Opening and closing days for all types of big game hunts are determined by the Colorado Department of Wildlife (CDOW) and vary for each animal including bear, deer, desert bighorn sheep, elk, moose, mountain goats, pronghorn, and rocky mountain bighorn sheep. They also vary by methods of hunting which are archery, muzzle loaded guns, and rifles, with rifle season being typically divided into three or four separate sections.

The primary goal of having hunting seasons is to conserve game populations at ideal numbers. The ideal population size for any animal is the number the area can support comfortably in terms of food supply and space. This prevents the animals from dying off due to starvation.

Getting a good estimate of current populations for each animal is an involved task. If the population is too large, the CDOW will time the season to give hunters a greater advantage in the hunt. If the population is shrinking, they will set the dates to give the animals a greater survival advantage.

Colorado big game hunting seasons run roughly from August through January with some special seasons as well. To find out more, visit



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