What’s New for 2015

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Video colorado muzzleloader elk season 2015

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

Youth hunting: Two regulation changes affect youth hunting this year, expanding youth opportunity to hunt. First, youths get at least 15 percent of the limited licenses in every GMU for doe pronghorn, antlerless and either-sex deer and antler-less elk. This includes all methods of take and all seasons, including early and late rifle seasons. Youths also no longer have to wait to hunt during a late season. Youths may purchase their original tag to hunt deer or elk; if the season on their license ends and they haven’t harvested an animal, they can still hunt in expanded areas during any of the rifle seasons.

Landowner voucher program: All previous versions of landowner preference have been replaced with the new Landowner Preference Program. All landowners and hunters using vouchers must follow the new statutes and regulations. S

Licenses: CPW is holding separate on-sale days this year, so plan ahead. Over-the-counter and over-the-counter with caps licenses go on sale at 9 a.m. July 21. Leftover licenses go on sale at 9 a.m. Aug. 4 and at midnight Aug. 5 online.

Deer: Boundaries for select private-land archery hunts in unit 41 have been expanded. New hunts have been added for does in units 55 and 551, as well as a new fourth-rifle buck hunt in unit 201 and more fourth-rifle buck season licenses available in Gunnison Basin units.

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Archery accessories: Archers may now use lighted nocks on arrows, which can help aid in recovery of game animals. New rules are also in place that allow recording devices to be mounted on a bow.

Williams Fork: The Ranching For Wildlife program at Williams Fork Ranch has ended. Hunts are no longer available through this program.

Antlers: New restrictions are in place for collecting shed antlers certain times of the year. This helps minimize disturbance of animals on their winter range in the Eagle and Roaring Fork valleys.

Dog retrieval: Regulations are in development to allow hunters to retrieve some wounded animals with dogs. This is anticipated to go into effect before the 2015 big-game hunting season.

Pronghorn muzzleloading: To be consistent with other species dates, the pronghorn muzzleloader season has been moved to Sept. 21-29.

New moose units: Bull moose hunts in units 44 and 45 in the Eagle River watershed, and cow hunts in the southwest units of 66 and 67, are among the new moose hunts available this year.

Bear/concurrent rifle season: There are numerous changes to how and when you can hunt bear during rifle elk and deer seasons. New rules expand your time in the field and the ability to harvest a bear. The archery season has also been extended to Sept. 30 to increase hunter success.

Maps: The U.S. Forest Service and BLM have combined their map center into one location at the Public Maps Information Center, 2850 Youngfield St. Lakewood, CO 80215; (303) 239-3600, www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r2/ recreation/?cid=stelprd3794715.

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Sidebar: Fees ($10 2015 Habitat Stamp required)

Deer:

Draw (limited)

• Resident — $34

• Youth resident — $13.75

• Non-resident (w/ fishing) — $374

• Youth non-resident (w/ fishing) — $103.75

Over-the-counter/Leftover

• Resident — $31

• Youth resident — $10.75

• Non-resident (w/ fishing) — $371

• Youth non-resident (w/ fishing) — $100.75

Elk:

Draw (limited)

• Resident — $49

• Youth resident — $13.75

• Non-resident bull/either sex (w/ fishing) — $619

• Non-resident cow (w/ fishing) — $461

• Non-resident either sex — $616

• Youth non-resident (w/ fishing) — $100.75

Pronghorn:

Draw (limited)

• Resident — $34

• Youth resident — $13.75

• Non-resident — $374

• Youth non-resident — $103.75

  • Note: Subtract $3 for over-the-counter

Bear:

Draw (limited)

• Resident — $44

• Non-resident — $354

• Note: Subtract $3 for over-the-counter

Moose:

Draw (limited)

• Resident — $254

• Non-resident — $2064

*Nonresident fishing licenses are good through March 31, 2016. Prices include a 25-cent search-and-rescue fee, a 75-cent surcharge for the Wildlife Management Education Fund and a $3 application fee for limited licenses applied for in the draw.

Sidebar: Hunting seasons:

Deer Season

• Archery — Aug. 29 to Sept. 27

• Muzzleloader — Sept. 12-20

• 2nd Rifle — Oct. 17-25

• 3rd Rifle — Oct. 31- Nov. 8

• 4th Rifle — Nov. 11-15

ELK SEASON DATES

» Archery………………………….Aug. 29-Sept. 27

Muzzleloader ……………….Sept. 12-20

» First Rifle ……………………….Oct. 10-14

Second Rifle………………….Oct. 17-25 »

Third Rifle ……………………..Oct. 31-Nov. 8 »

Fourth Rifle …………………..Nov. 11-15

PRONGHORN SEASON DATES

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» Archery………………………….Aug. 15-Sept. 20 » Muzzleloader ……………….Sept. 21-29 » Rifle………………………………..Oct. 3-9 » Muzzleloader ……………….Sept. 21-29 » Rifle………………………………..Oct. 3-9

» Muzzleloader ……………….Sept. 21-29 » Rifle………………………………..Oct. 3-9

MOOSE SEASON DATES

» Archery………………………….Sept. 12-27 » Muzzleloader ……………….Sept. 12-20 » Rifle………………………………..Oct. 1-14

Black Bear

  • Rifle limited (by draw): Sept. 2 to 30

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

  • Muzzleloading (over-the-counter w/caps) — Sept. 12-20

  • Rifle (over-the-counter w/caps) — concurrent with deer/elk rifle seasons

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>