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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2019: Colorado Sheep, Moose, Goat

2019 Colorado sheep moose mountain goat application strategy article

Colorado's 2019 sheep, moose and goat application overview

Jump to: New for 2019 State Information Draw System Rocky Bighorn Breakdown Desert Bighorn Breakdown Moose Breakdown Mountain Goat Breakdown

The Colorado draw for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat has been a bit of a rollercoaster for the past three years. The former system required applicants to submit a check for the cost of the permits and apply with a paper application. Last year, they did away with the paper application, went to an online only application, no longer required you to front the cost of the permits and didn’t charge a point fee. As such, the number of applicants shot through the roof for those species. New for this year, applicants will have to buy a qualifying small game combination license to apply and, then, for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat and if nonresidents want a point it will cost an additional $100 per species ($50 for residents). There are a few more intricacies of the draw to explore in the details of the draw section below, but we believe that you’ll likely see fewer applicants this year and new applicants will have to decide if it’s worth it.

For the applicants who are lucky enough to draw, Colorado offers some of the best Shiras moose hunting in the the world with good populations and trophy potential. Mountain goat populations are generally healthy and occupy some of the most scenic terrain in the Lower 48. Bighorn sheep populations are stable and offer another opportunity to apply and possibly draw a permit. Overall, the hunting is phenomenal if you can draw a tag! It’s going to be expensive to apply and the odds are very tough; however, if you are interested in moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat, we will break down everything you need to know to apply in Colorado!  

Note: The application deadline for Colorado is 8 p.m on April 2, 2019 MST. You can apply online here or via telephone at 1-800-244-5613. Paper applications are no longer available.


Why Colorado for sheep, moose, goat in 2019

Random chance to draw

The moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goat draw is random. Applicants need to acquire three preference points to be considered in the draw for male or either sex permits, but after that there is at least some chance you could draw.

Colorado offers one nonresident desert bighorn sheep permit. There is no point system in place for that tag and the draw is completely random. Unfortunately, you cannot apply for both Rocky Mountain and desert bighorn sheep during the same year, but the desert bighorn sheep tag is worth considering.

Trophy potential

Excellent trophy potential for Shiras moose. Herds are healthy and the quality is likely better than any other state.

Good Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep trophy potential. It’s not as good as a few other states overall, but the opportunity for a good ram exists in almost every unit

Archery-only hunts

Die hard bowhunters take note. Colorado offers Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goat archery only hunt options. The odds of drawing these licenses are typically better than the any weapon options.


New for 2019

  • All applicants—including youth—must purchase a qualifying license to apply for the big game draw. A qualifying license is one of the following: spring turkey, annual small game, annual resident combination small game/fishing or veteran's lifetime resident combination small game/fishing. Even if you want to apply for a point only, you still have to buy one of those qualifying licenses.
  • Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat now have a preference point/weighted point fee. That fee is $50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. There is no point fee for youth.
  • Applicants have the choice to opt in or opt out of the preference point or weighted point program. See the “understanding the draw” section below for details.
  • The application processing fee will increase in 2019. It will be $7 for residents and $9 for nonresidents.
  • The application and correction deadline is 8:00 p.m. MST in 2019. Previously, it was midnight
  • If you're successful in the draw, but don't pay for your license by the payment deadline, your license will be surrendered and you will lose both the license and any preference
  • points you used to draw it. The payment deadline is May 17 for bighorn sheep and mountain goat permits. The payment deadline for moose is June 21.

Bighorn sheep

  • There is a boundary change for bighorn sheep Units S12 and S78. S12 now encompasses all of the Tenmile Range and S78 now encompasses only lands west of Hwy 91.
  • Nonresident tags will be available in S2 and S59. Nonresident permits were pulled from Units S13 and S73 to make room for those opportunities.

Moose

  • There are new resident bull moose hunts in Units 53, 54 and 63.
  • There is a new nonresident moose hunt in Unit 14.

Mountain goat

  • There is a new nonresident hunt in Units G4, G11 and G16 for the female/nanny Oct. 14 to 25 hunt.

State information

It is important to understand the way that the tags are drawn for Colorado bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goats. The method of calculating who is drawn for these species is different than how deer, elk and antelope are drawn. Check out the “understanding the draw” section below for the method behind this calculation.

To view important information and an overview of Colorado’s rules/regulations, the draw system and preference points, tag and license fees and an interactive boundary line map, check out our State Profile. You can also view the Species Profiles to access historical and statistical data to help you identify trophy areas.

Colorado State Profile Rocky Bighorn Profile Desert Bighorn Profile Moose Profile Goat Profile Draw Odds Filtering 2.0

Important dates and information

  • The deadline to apply for all Colorado species is 8 p.m. April 2, 2019 MST.
  • Apply online here or by calling 1-800-244-5613.
  • Draw results will be available by May 2, 2019 for bighorn sheep and mountain goat.
  • Drawn bighorn sheep and mountain goat permits must be paid for by May 17.
  • Draw results for moose will be available between June 3 and 7.
  • Drawn moose permits must be paid for by June 21.
  • You do not have to front license fees to apply, but you must purchase a qualifying small game license to apply.
  • Applicants can opt in or opt out for the preference/weighted point program for moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goat. The point fee will be $50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents per species. There is no point fee for youth.
  • Applicants born after Jan. 1, 1949 must have completed an approved hunter’s education course before applying and you must carry your hunter’s education card with you while you hunt.
  • Hunters age 50 plus or military personnel who have not completed hunter’s education can take a one-time online test to test out. The cost is $24.50 and you must pass with 90%.
  • Youth ages 12 to 17 can hunt big game, but must meet hunter education requirements. Youth may apply for a license at age 11 if they will turn 12 before the end of the season on the license. Youth can apply for points if they will turn 12 by Dec 31 of the application year.
  • You cannot apply for both desert and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. There is no point system for desert bighorn sheep.
  • There is a preference/weighted point system for bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goats. See the draw system section below for details.
  • Colorado will allow you to return a drawn license, but it must be done 30 days prior to the opening day of the license. If you return a license, you may choose to receive a refund or have your preference points reinstated. If you have your preference points reinstated, you will not receive a point for that year’s application.
  • New for 2019: if you want to reverse a license that you’ve drawn you can do so prior to June 14. You will receive a refund or retain your points to a predraw level.

Cost to apply

Item Resident Nonresident
Application fee $7.00 $9.00
Qualifying license/annual
small game hunt license
$29.75 $81.75
Youth qualifying license/annual
small game hunt license
$1.25 $1.25
Habitat stamp $10.00 $10.00
Preference/weighted point fee
per species
$50.00 $100.00
*Moose $301.75 $2,211.75
*Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep $301.75 $2,211.75
*Desert bighorn sheep $301.75 $2,211.75
*Rocky Mountain goat $301.75 $2,211.75

* Permit cost is only charged if successful in the draw.

The draw system

Understanding the draw

Moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep and mountain goat have a different draw system than the other Colorado species. Understanding how the system works is critical if you plan to apply for these species. Nonresidents are limited to 10% of the total number of moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat licenses.

There is no point system for desert bighorn sheep. The draw is random and every applicant that applies is on the same playing field in terms of odds. Note: you must select either Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep or desert bighorn sheep when you apply. You cannot apply for both species in the same year.

Point system

For moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goat there is a preference point/weighted point system. Note: applicants have the option to opt in or opt out for preference/weighted points. Over the first three years, applicants build preference points. After that, applicants obtain weighted points. Applicants must have three preference points to be entered in the drawing for male or either sex moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goat. If you have less than three preference points, opting out of the preference point is a waste of your application fee.

The maximum number of preference points you can acquire is three. Permits are then randomly allocated in the draw. In theory, any applicant with the required three preference points that applies could draw. After you have acquired three preference points you will begin gaining weighted points for every year you apply and are unsuccessful in the draw. Weighted points increase your odds of drawing, but the draw is still random.

Each application will have a random number generated for that application. That random number is then divided by the number of weighted points the applicant has plus one. Essentially, the more weighted points you have, the better your chances of getting a lower number. Those new application numbers are then sorted from lowest to highest and the low number applications are considered moving up until all permits have been allocated.

How the Rocky Mountain bighorn, mountain goat, and moose draw works 

  Applicant A Applicant B Applicant C Applicant D
Preference points accumulated 3 3 3 1
Weighted points accumulated 15+1 10+1 6+1 0
Random number assigned 845 643 110 N/A
Random number divided by weighted 52.8 58.5 15.7 N/A
Priority number 52.8 58.5 15.7 N/A
Ranking of applicants 2 3 1 N/A

This example demonstrates that anyone with three preference points could draw a license. Statistically, you have better odds with each additional weighted point you acquire; however, you do have a random chance once you are actually in the draw. If you are lucky enough to have a low random number assigned to your application, you could draw with no weighted points at all.

If you don’t have enough preference points to be considered in the draw or you do not want to be considered in the draw and want to build points only, you can use the point only codes listed below as your first choice. Once again, there is no point system for desert bighorn sheep.

Moose: M-P-999-99-P
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep: 
S-P-999-99-P
Mountain goat: G-P-999-99-P

Note on weighted points: Once again, this year, you have the option to opt in or opt out of paying for obtaining a weighted point. As long as you have the three preference points you are in the draw so it’s worth reviewing the odds to see if paying for weighted points is actually worth it. For example, a nonresident applicant applying for an archery bighorn sheep tag in Unit S32 currently has .09% odds the first year (three preference points) and 1.6% odds with 20 points. That’s potentially $1,700 dollars or a 1.5% increase in odds and that doesn’t take into account point creep.

Hunt choices

Every applicant’s first choice is considered before moving to subsequent choices. It is highly unlikely that there would ever be a male moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goat license available as a second choice. Some ewe sheep licenses could slip to a second choice, but explore the second choice standalone draw odds. If you draw any hunt as a first choice, your points will be purged. Hunts drawn as subsequent choices would allow you to retain your points and build one for that year.

Group applications

Group applications are allowed for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goat. Groups of two can apply together for those species. Residents and nonresidents cannot apply together in a group for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep or mountain goats. The group leader must apply first. All group members must use the same person as the leader and apply for the same hunt choices in order to go through the draw as a group. Groups will go into the draw with the lowest number of points of any member of the group. If one applicant does not have enough preference points to be considered in the draw, the application will only gain a point and will not be in the actual draw. We do not advise applicants to apply as a group for these species. With very few licenses available, it does have the potential to negatively impact odds. For example, if there is only one nonresident permit available for any given hunt, a group application could not draw. Colorado will not over allocate licenses to cover all applicants of the group.

Waiting periods

If you draw a desert bighorn sheep license and harvest you cannot apply again in your lifetime. If you draw a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep license and harvest a ram of at least a half curl you cannot apply again for five years. If you draw and harvest a mountain goat you cannot apply again for five years. If you draw and harvest an antlered moose you cannot apply again for an antlered or either sex moose license again in your life. If you do not harvest, there is no waiting period to apply again for these species.

Unlocking Colorado’s system

First and foremost the key is to apply and build the necessary three preference points required to get into the draw. After that, you are in the draw and it’s worth applying for a hunt because there is a chance that you could draw.

Colorado is the only state to offer archery only Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goat licenses. The odds of drawing an archery license is still low, but they are better than the rifle hunts. The harvest statistics for the archery-only hunts are typically lower than the rifle hunts, but those hunts do represent the best opportunity to actually draw a tag.

Moose weapon/seasons are different than bighorn sheep or mountain goat. There are a predetermined number of nonresident moose licenses for each unit and, when you apply, you must select your weapon type although there are not separate pools of licenses for each weapon/season. Rather, every nonresident goes into the same pool for that unit. If you draw a license you can hunt the weapon/season you applied for or you could exchange it for another season as long as you do so prior to the season starting. Applying for one weapon/season over another does not increase or decrease your chances of drawing a license.


Colorado's 2019 rocky bighorn sheep breakdown

Bighorn sheep hunting can be tough due to the steep, rugged, and heavily timbered terrain that they inhabit. Many of the archery hunts are very hard and, historically, have low harvest rates. It’s worth doing some research before you apply to make sure a hunt is likely to meet your expectations. In order to determine the difficulty of a hunt, research historic harvest success. You can easily access this information in Filtering 2.0 using the sort function. We recommend that you explore the harvest success rate as well as each unit profile that you are considering to make sure that it meets your objectives and abilities.

2019 Colorado Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep license allocations

Season Type Resident
quota
Nonresident
quota
2018 total
quota
Archery ram 56 6 63
Archery ewe 6 0 6
Rifle ram 142 15 156
Rifle ewe 61 6 69
Ranching for wildlife
(resident only)
2 ewe NA 2 ewe
Bighorn sheep access program
(resident only)
3 ram
2 ewe
NA 2 ram
2 ewe
Total tags by residency 272 27 300

Current rocky bighorn sheep herd condition

Statewide, bighorn sheep populations were slightly up over 2015 to 2016. The most recent estimate is approximately 6,270 with another 725 that inhabit areas that cannot support hunting seasons (national parks, low population areas). Units S5, S6, S13, S20, S22, S24, S34, S37, S38, S41, S44, S61, S74, S75 and S77 all had increases in population trends while Units S8, S9, S17, S27, S30, S32, S35, S46, S48, S54, S60 and S72 were down slightly from previous years. All other units were stable. The largest populations in the state occur in Units S61, S51, S9, S49, S32, S21, S15 and S12.

COLORADO POST HUNT ROCKY BIGHORN SHEEP POPULATION ESTIMATE (2005-2018)

COLORADO STATEWIDE ROCKY BIGHORN SHEEP HARVEST ALL WEAPONS - Updated 2019

goHUNT’s hit list units for trophy Colorado rocky bighorn sheep in 2019

When considering top bighorn sheep units, harvest success and population should be considered as well trophy potential. As previously noted, trophy potential is average for the most part throughout the state.

Top hit list archery hunts to consider for 165" or better rocky bighorns
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
2019 resident
licenses
2019 nonresident
licenses
2017 harvest
success
Population
S9 165"+ 10 ram 1 ram 30% 270
S12, S78 170"+ 9 ram  1 ram 20% 210
S32 170"+ 3 ram
3 ram
3 ewe
1 ram 50%
0%
240
S44 175"+ 4 ram 1 ram 20% 70
S49 165"+ 5 ram 1 ram 80% 225

Colorado statewide rocky bighorn harvest archery - updated 2019

Top hit list rifle hunts to consider for 160" or better rocky bighorns
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
2019 resident
licenses
2019 nonresident
licenses
2017 harvest
success
Population
S1/S18 170"+ 2 ram 1 ram 100% 100
S9 165"+ 10 ram 1 ram 80% 270
S11 170"+ 5 ram 1 ram 33% 125
S12/S78 170"+ 6 ram 1 ram 29% 210
S15 165"+ 4 ram 1 ram 83% 200
S21 170"+ 6 ram 1 ram 57% 250
S32 170"+ 6 ram 1 ram 43% 240
S33 170"+ 3 ram
4 ram
1 ram 100% 135
S39 165"+ 2 ram
2 ram
0 100% 80
S44 175"+ 2 ram 0 50% 70
S59 165"+ 1 ram 1 ram 100% 60
S66 165"+ 5 ram 1 ram 60% 125

How to uncover hidden gem rocky bighorn sheep units

It is important to utilize our Filtering 2.0 tool and focus on the harvest success trends as well as what the terrain and access for a given bighorn sheep unit is like. There are some bighorn sheep units that are easier to draw in Colorado, but if the terrain is too strenuous and the bighorn sheep numbers are too low, then the odds of finding success on the hunt can be tough. Use the INSIDER tools to find the best option. Archery choices are easier to draw then the rifle choices; however, be prepared for a tough hunt and the possibility of not having a chance to harvest.

Colorado's top Boone & Crockett producing counties since 2010 for rocky bighorn sheep

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Huerfano 4 S8, S9, S38, S50, S51
Larimer 4 S1, S18, S19, S37, S40S57, S58
Las Animas 3 S38, S48, S51, S61
Eagle 2 S59
El Paso 2 S5, S6, S34

Map of Colorado's Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep B&C all time entries 2019

TOP B&C ROCKY SHEEP LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2010 - 2019 Colorado


The points system

The preference point race

2019 maximum weighted points for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep: 19

To apply for a point only, use this code: S-P-999-99-P as your first choice.

Managing points and expectations

Colorado resident rocky mountain bighorn sheep weighted points going into the 2019 draw

Colorado nonresident rocky mountain bighorn sheep weighted points going into the 2019 draw

COLORADO ROCKY MTN BIGHORN SHEEP PREFERENCE POINTS GOING INTO THE 2019 DRAW

I have 0 rocky bighorn sheep preference points. What can I expect?

First, you should decide if it's worth the cost to apply. If you are applying for other species like deer, elk or antelope, then it’s a slightly easier pill to swallow because you’ll get more value from the small game license you have to buy to apply for any species. If you apply for just bighorn sheep the cost for residents would be $96.75 to apply and get a preference point. For nonresidents, the cost would be $200.75 to apply and get a preference point. If you have never applied, your best option is to use the point code are your first choice and be sure to opt into the preference point. You will need to apply for three consecutive years in order to earn the required three preference points to be eligible to draw. At this level, you have no chance of drawing a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep tag in Colorado.

What can I do with 3 rocky bighorn sheep preference points?

Once you’ve built up the three preference points you are eligible to draw a bighorn sheep license. Unlike elk, deer and antelope, the draw is random and, with three preference points, you have some chance in the draw. Applicants can adopt a couple of strategies. They can apply for the best hunts and hope to get extremely lucky or review the draw odds for each hunt in the standalone draw odds page and apply for the hunts with fewer applicants and better odds. As noted, the archery-only hunts typically have much better odds, but you will need to be prepared for a difficult hunt. The best hunts will have very tough odds since there are many applicants who have built up weighted points and have a better chance of drawing. Use the Draw Odds, Filtering 2.0, and the Unit Profiles to find the hunt that meets your objectives.

One other note: Once you have three preference points, you can apply for a hunt and have a chance to draw and you do not have to opt in and pay for the weighted point if you do not want to. That would save you $100; however, you would not get a weighted point. It's worth looking at the odds to see if building weighted points is worth the cost.

Find your resident rocky bighorn draw odds with 3 points here

Find your nonresident rocky bighorn draw odds with 3 points here

What can I expect with 10 or more rocky bighorn sheep weighted points?

The more weighted points you gain, the better your odds get, but your application strategy should remain close to the same. Consider your objectives and apply for the hunt that meets those. If you want the best chance to harvest a ram, the rifle hunts have much better harvest success rates. The archery hunts have better odds, but the hunt can be very challenging and the harvest rates reflect that.

Residents

Residents had 26% odds for rifle hunt S5/S60. Unit S17 and S19 both had 12% odds. The archery hunt in S9 and S49 had 21% odds, S20 had 37% odds, and S12/S78 had 17% odds. Several other archery hunts had double-digit odds as well and are worth some research.

Find your resident rocky bighorn draw odds with 10 points here

Nonresidents

Odds for the rifle hunt in Unit S20 were 8.6%. Odds for the archery hunt in S35 would have been greater than 9%. Every other hunt, including the rest of the archery hunts, had odds of less than 5%. Use the trophy potential, harvest success and unit profiles to help you make the best selection.

Find your nonresident rocky bighorn draw odds with 10 points here


Colorado's 2019 desert bighorn sheep breakdown

The desert bighorn sheep population continues to increase along the western border of the state. The population has more than doubled in the last 15 years from 250 to 540 in 2017. This is the only species in Colorado where the draw is completely random with no point system. Every applicant has an equal chance in the draw. For 2019, there is only one nonresident desert bighorn sheep license, which will be available again in Unit S62. Colorado normally rotates the nonresident license between Units S62 and S56 every other year, but this will be the second year in a row where the nonresident tag will be available in S62. Residents can apply for hunts in four different units with a total of 13 ram licenses between them. There are no archery seasons for desert bighorn sheep. All seasons are rifle only. Although desert bighorn sheep inhabit the lower river drainages of southwest Colorado, be prepared for a physically demanding hunt.

Note: Applicants cannot apply for both desert and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the same year. If you apply for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, you have the option to build points; there is no point system for desert bighorn sheep.

Current desert bighorn sheep herd condition

The current estimated statewide population is 540 (2017) desert bighorn sheep with every population stable. Trophy potential is average when compared to other states, but a mature 155” to 165” class ram is realistic. Harvest success rates are typically 100%.

Colorado post hunt desert bighorn sheep population estimate - updated 2019

2019 Colorado desert bighorn sheep license numbers and populations

Unit Resident licenses Nonresident licenses Popuation
S56 4 ram 0 200
S62 4 ram 1 ram 165
S63 2 ram 0 75
S64 3 ram 0 100

The seasons

Desert bighorn sheep hunts run Nov. 1 to 30, 2019, giving hunters the opportunity to hunt during the best portion of the rut. Desert bighorn sheep seasons are rifle only and there is no archery only option.

goHUNT’s hit list units for trophy Colorado desert bighorn sheep in 2019

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 155" or better desert bighorn sheep
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
S56 165"+ 100%
S62 155"+ 100%
S63 160"+ 100%
S64 165"+ 100%
 

How to uncover hidden gem desert bighorn sheep units

Unfortunately, there are no hidden gems. The draw is random and everyone has an equal chance. For nonresidents, you can apply for the one license in Unit S62. The odds for the nonresident license in 2018 was .06% with 1,697 applicants vying for the one license. That was a record number of applicants due the 2018 draw structure. That number is likely to drop, but odds will still be less than 1%.

Resident odds were also less than 1% for all hunts. Unit S63 had the best odds with .88%.

Colorado's top Boone & Crockett producing counties since 2010 for desert bighorn sheep

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Mesa 3 S56, S62
San Miguel 3 S63, S64

Map of Colorado's Desert bighorn sheep B&C all time entries 2019

TOP B&C DESERT BIGHORN SHEEP LOCATIONS SINCE 2015 - Colorado 2019


The points system

There are no points in place for desert bighorn sheep. With only four units to choose from for residents, study the Unit Profiles and Draw Odds to find the best option. Note: Nonresidents can only apply for Unit S62 in 2019.

Find your resident Desert bighorn draw odds here

Find your nonresident Desert bighorn draw odds here


Colorado's 2019 Shiras moose breakdown

Colorado has the largest Shiras moose population and the best trophy potential of any state. While every other state continues to see numbers decline, Colorado’s population has doubled in the past 15 years. Colorado has more and higher quality moose habitat and populations continue to thrive and expand. There are some new hunts this year for moose including hunts in Units 53/54/63 and 63 for residents and Unit 14 for nonresidents.

The application process—as described in the opening paragraph—has changed a lot in only a short amount of time. Last year, applicants did not have to front the license cost and there was no point fee. That caused a tremendous influx of applicants. This year, there is both the qualifying license and the point fee, which should, once again, thin the number of applicants out.

When you apply, you must select weapon/season choices. There are not separate pools of licenses for each weapon; rather, there is one pool and lucky applicants are awarded the weapon/season they selected. There is no draw odd advantage for applying for one weapon over another.

Current moose herd condition

Moose populations are estimated at 3,095 statewide. The bulk inhabit the central portion of the state—from the Wyoming border to south-central Colorado. Moose are managed in 12 different Data Analysis Units (DAU). The table below displays the population by DAU and the units within each group.

Colorado post hunt moose population estimate - updated 2019

The seasons

Colorado offers archery, muzzleloader and rifle hunts for moose. The archery and muzzleloader hunts occur in early September during the heart of the rut. Calling and spot and stalk hunting can both be effective. Bigger bulls should be vocal and covering terrain in search of cows. The rifle hunt occurs in early October. The rut will have cooled down by then, but some bulls may still be vocal. Spot and stalk methods are best during the later rifle hunt. Harvest success is typically very high for all hunts.

2019 moose season dates

Weapon Dates
Archery Sept. 7 to 29, 2019
Muzzleloader Sept. 14 to 22, 2019
Rifle Oct. 1 to 14, 2019

Colorado statewide moose harvest all weapons - updated 2019

goHUNT’s hit list units for trophy Colorado moose in 2019

Almost every unit can produce a 40”+ bull. Colorado currently ranks fifth all-time in the total amount of B&C Shiras moose entries, but when you look at the total number of entries since 2010, Colorado sits in fourth place. Colorado is a great state to hunt and harvest a trophy class bull—if you are lucky enough to draw a license.

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 40" or better moose
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
All hunter harvest
success
6 45"+ 100%
7, 8, 191 45"+ 90%
14 45"+ 100%
15/27 40"+ 100%
17 40"+ 100%
18/181 40"+ 77%
28 45"+ 100%
37/371 40"+ 70%
41/42/52/411/421/521 40"+ 53%
49/50/500/501 45"+ 100%
76 45"+ 100%
76/77/751 40"+ 75%
171 40"+ 88%

How to uncover hidden gem moose units

Utilize the Filtering 2.0 to research unit by unit harvest success. Further exploration of each Unit Profile will allow you to find the best options for you. Consider factors like terrain, the percentage of public land and access. There are several good moose units in Colorado and just about any unit can offer a good hunt. Some areas may have access/private land issues and will require more research. Draw odds vary slightly. Review the standalone draw odds to explore the better options.

Colorado's top Boone & Crockett producing counties since 2010 for moose

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Grand 12 15, 18, 27, 28, 37, 181, 361
Jackson 12 6, 16, 17, 161, 171
Larimer 8 7, 8, 19, 20, 191
Boulder 4 20, 29
Mesa 3 41, 42, 411, 421
Park 3 39, 46, 49, 50, 500, 501

Map of Colorado's Shiras moose B&C all time entries 2019

TOP B&C SHIRAS MOOSE LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2015 - 2019 Colorado


The points system

The preference point race

2019 maximum weighted preference points for moose: 17

To apply for a point only, use this code: M-P-999-99-P as your first choice.

Colorado resident moose weighted points going into the 2019 draw

Colorado nonresident moose weighted points going into the 2019 draw

COLORADO SHIRAS MOOSE PREFERENCE POINTS GOING INTO THE 2019 DRAW

Managing points and expectations

Find your draw odds

I have 0 moose preference points. What can I expect?

First, you should decide if it's worth the cost to apply. If you are applying for other species like deer, elk or antelope it’s a slightly easier pill to swallow because you’ll get more value from the small game license you have to buy to apply for any species. If you apply for just moose, then the cost for residents would be $96.75 to apply and get a preference point. For nonresidents, the cost would be $200.75 to apply and get a preference point. If you have never applied, your best option is to use the point code as your first choice and opt in for the preference point. You will need to apply for three consecutive years in order to earn the required three preference points to be eligible to draw. At this level, you have no chance of drawing a moose tag in Colorado.

What can I do with 3 moose preference points?

Three preference points gets you into the draw and, although your chances of drawing are slim, you do have some chance. Weapon/season does not impact your chance to draw. Select the season you are most interested in hunting when you apply. Review the draw odds and unit profiles prior to making your selection. Odds for nonresidents are all >1%. With three preference points, the resident odds for every hunt are >1%. Given the fact that every unit has very low odds, it may make sense to apply for the very best areas and hope for the luck of the draw.

Note: Once you’ve earned the three preference points, the draw is random and the weighted points just improve your chances. Check out your draw odds for residents and nonresidents here. With the 2019 opt in or opt out point option, applicants might review the odds to see if paying for points is worth it. Remember that after you have three preference points you can apply and are in the draw.

Find your resident moose draw odds with 3 points here

Find your nonresident moose draw odds with 3 points here

What can I expect with 10 or more weighted moose points?

Unfortunately, with 10+ weighted points, your draw odds get only slightly better. Drawing a moose license is tough and the licenses are in high demand.

Residents

Resident odds only hit double digits in one unit at maximum points. That is Unit 161 with 13% odds. Most hunt option draw odds fall between the 2% to 4% range.

Find your resident moose draw odds with 10 points here

Nonresidents

For nonresidents with ten points, odds were 4.8% for Unit 41/42/52/411/421/521 and 4.3% for Unit 17. Unit 171 has the best odds, which are between 6% and 7%. Those hunts have the best odds at the 10 point level; everything else is less than 4%. Overall, the odds of drawing a moose tag are rough, but someone has to draw and it’s worth applying if you have the points and are buying the qualifying license to apply for other species as well.

Find your nonresident moose draw odds with 10 points here


Colorado's 2019 Rocky Mountain goat breakdown

Colorado boasts a total population of about 1,500 mountain goats. The largest populations occur in Units G12 and G13 with approximately 290 and 200 within those areas. Overall, populations have remained stable to increasing over the past several years and the hunting opportunities reflect that. Permits have increased from 183 to 198 to 209 over the past three years and there will be 236 total licenses this year. As previously noted, Colorado does have an archery only and some nanny hunts as well. Both of those types of hunts are decent options for hunters looking for better draw odds.

The trophy potential for mountain goats is average. A record book scoring billy is a rare thing—with only 20 book entries ever. Most mountain goats will have 8” to 9” horns and average mass. For what Colorado lacks in trophy potential, they make up for it in terms of providing good opportunities for those that draw, typically high harvest success rates and some of the most scenic terrain in the Lower 48.

Once again, mountain goat tags are tough to draw and will require the three preference points to actually be considered in the draw for a permit.

Current mountain goat herd condition

Mountain goats continue to have solid numbers due to a very conservative management plan in place. Colorado has several herd management units; the table below displays the estimated populations for each.

Colorado post hunt mountain goat population estimate - updated 2019

Colorado mountain goat populations by unit group-2019

The seasons

The archery only season occurs from Sept. 3 to Oct. 6 in Units G1/G14, G8. The archery hunt in G5 runs from Sept. 3 to Oct. 31. The rifle hunts occur from early September to late October, depending on what area and hunt you apply for. Refer to the CPW rules and regulations for specifics. The mountain goat seasons are early enough to offer hunters access into the high country. Later season dates are better for longer thicker hides, but you run the risk of running into winter weather. For the most part, mountain goats occur in high elevation terrain and hides should be in good condition even during the early hunts.

One thing worth noting is that many of the mountain goat units are also popular hiking and backpacking areas for nonhunters. In Units G4, G7, G10, G15, and G16, hunting is only allowed during weekdays to avoid conflict with the recreational hikers and backpackers. Plan ahead if you draw one of these hunts as hunting is not allowed on weekends.

Colorado statewide mountain goat harvest all weapons - updated 2019

goHUNT’s hit list units for Colorado mountain goat in 2019

As previously noted, Colorado does not produce many trophy quality billies. Top units are a combination of healthy populations, harvest success and some trophy potential consideration.

Top hit list hunt units to consider for 9" or better mountain goat
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
G5 9"+ Archery: 72%
Rifle: 100%
G10 9"+ Rifle (all hunts): 100%
G11, East 9"+ Rifle: 100%
G11, West 9"+ Rifle: 100%
G13 9"+ Rifle: 93%
Rifle: 87%

How to uncover hidden gem mountain goat units

There are very few—if any—hidden gems for either sex mountain goats hunts. Odds are tough regardless of which season/unit or weapon you apply for. The real hidden gems exist in the female only hunts. Most goat hunters consider the experience and the hide the true trophy and female only hunts are worth considering if that’s the case for you. Female only hunts have better draw odds. Explore those odds within the standalone draw odds page. There are female goat hunts for residents in Units G7, G12, G15 and G16. For nonresidents, there are female goat hunts in G12 and G16. A new female hunt for nonresidents will occur in Oct 14 to 15 in Unit G16. Utilize Filtering 2.0 to search by harvest success and read the Unit Profiles to better understand the opportunities within each unit.

Colorado's top Boone & Crockett producing counties since 2010 for mountain goat

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Clear Creek 2 G4, G7, G15, G16
Summit 2 G6, G7, G10, G15, G16, G18
Chaffee 1 G1, G2, G3, G13, G14
Grand 1 G6, G15
Park 1 G4, G16

Map of Colorado's mountain goat B&C all time entries 2019

TOP B&C MOUNTAIN GOAT LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2010 - 2019 Colorado


The points system

The preference point race

2019 maximum weighted preference points for mountain goat: 17

To apply for a point only, use this code: G-P-999-99-P as your first choice.

Colorado resident mountain goat weighted points going into the 2019 draw

Colorado nonresident mountain goat weighted points going into the 2019 draw

COLORADO MOUNTAIN GOAT PREFERENCE POINTS GOING INTO THE 2019 DRAW

Managing points and expectations

Find your draw odds

I have 0 mountain goat preference points. What can I expect?

Applicants with no points have no chance to draw a license. You’ll need to acquire three preference points before you are eligible to draw a mountain goat license. If you ever want to hunt a mountain goat in Colorado, now is a good time to begin applying. If you apply for just mountain goat, then the cost for residents is $96.75 to apply and get a preference point. For nonresidents, the cost is $200.75 to apply and get a preference point. If you have never applied, your best option is to use the point code as your first choice and opt in for the preference point.

What can I do with 3 mountain goat preference points?

With three preference points, you are eligible to draw a mountain goat license. The odds are long—whether you apply for the archery-only or rifle licenses. The nanny hunts do have slightly better odds. If you are not hung up on killing a billy, the female is the better option to draw a license. If you are looking for a rifle hunt, study the unit profiles and apply for a rifle hunt choice that meets your physical abilities and limitations.

Note: Once you’ve earned the three preference points, the draw is random and the weighted points just improve your chances. Check out your draw odds for residents and nonresidents here. With the 2019 opt in or opt out point option, applicants might review the odds to see if paying for points is worth it. Remember that after you have three preference points you can apply and are in the draw.

Find your resident mountain goat draw odds with 3 points here

Find your nonresident mountain goat draw odds with 3 points here

What can I expect with 10 or more weighted mountain goat points?

Statistically, the more weighted points you have, the better your odds, but you are never guaranteed to draw a license. In saying that, with 10 weighted points, the odds are getting better—especially for some hunts. G5 had 10% archery odds; rifle hunts in Unit G12 had 15% and 15% odds. Units G15 and G17 also had double-digit odds, topping out at about 20%.

Residents

Residents that fall within this higher weighted point range have several good nanny hunt options, including G15 which would have had 100% odds. All female hunts have good odds within this range of points.

Unit G5 archery only has 12% odds for residents and is a great option. G12 rifle hunts had 21% and 16% odds. Unit G15 rifle also has 22% odds. There are some great options for residents beyond the 10 point range. Explore the draw odds, unit profiles and harvest success rates to find the best application options.

Find your resident mountain goat draw odds with 10 points here

Nonresidents

Nonresident odds with 10+ points still have odds that are less than 6%. The rifle hunts in G17 had better odds with 5.5%. The nanny hunts all had relatively good odds with 10 plus points, with G7 and G12 having the best nanny hunt odds. If one of those hunts fits your objectives, those are the best bets. If not, use the INSIDER tools to find the best hunt option and cross your fingers.

Find your nonresident mountain goat draw odds with 10 points here

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