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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2020: Colorado Sheep, Moose, and Mountain Goat

Colorado's 2020 sheep, moose and goat application overview

Jump to: NEW FOR 2020 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 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 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 April 7, 2020 at 8:00 MST. You can apply online here or via telephone at 1-800-244-5613. Paper applications are no longer available.


New for 2020

  • Every applicant must purchase a qualifying license to apply in a big game draw (primary or secondary). The annual qualifying license and habitat stamp will now be valid from March 1 to 31 of the following year (i.e. for 13 months).
  • The new 2020 to 2024 big game season structure starts in 2020. Be aware that season dates fluctuate. Review the dates for the hunts you are planning to apply for or purchase licenses for to make sure they meet your objectives.

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

  • There are boundary changes to several bighorn sheep units, including S11, S13, S17 and S26. See page 12 of the 2020 Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) bighorn sheep and mountain goat brochure. 
  • There is a new archery ram season in Unit S66 (resident).
  • There is a new archery ram season in Unit S69 (resident and nonresident).
  • One additional nonresident archery license was added in both S9 and S69, bringing those up to two licenses for nonresidents in each unit. 
  • S15 now has two new rifle ram seasons (resident).
  • There is a new rifle ram season in Unit S70 (resident).
  • S13, S33 (second hunt) and S73 will all have rifle hunts newly available to nonresidents.
  • There is no rifle ewe season in S35.
  • The S26/S70 archery hunt for residents has been removed.
  • S2, S20, S31, S59 had nonresident permits in 2019, but will not have nonresident licenses available in 2020. 
  • S35 and S49 removed nonresident archery hunts for 2020.

Desert bighorn sheep

  • The single nonresident license typically switches units from year to year, but will be valid in S62 in 2020 for the third year in a row. 

Mountain goat

  • G3 and G13 have been combined into one unit, which is now G3.
  • G10 now has female only mountain goat hunts for all resident rifle seasons.
  • G15 female only rifle hunts have been combined into one hunt.
  • G6 has been reopened for nonresidents.
  • G7 third season has been closed to nonresidents.
  • G16 third season has been closed to nonresidents.
  • G12 second season will have an additional nonresident license.

Moose

  • There is a new “season choice” for 2020. Hunters that draw a bull/either-sex moose license can hunt all of the seasons until their tag is filled. 
  • 36/361 will be separated and Unit 361 will have a nonresident license this year.
  • 20/29 will have a nonresident license available. 

State information

It is important to understand the way that the tags are drawn for Colorado bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat. The draw system is different than it is for deer, elk and antelope. 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 species in Colorado is 8:00 p.m. MST on April 7, 2020.
  • Apply online here or by calling 1-800-244-5613.
  • Draw results for moose will be available roughly June 1 to 5, 2020.
  • Draw results for bighorn sheep and mountain goat will be available May 1, 2020.
  • May 15 is the license payment deadline for successful bighorn sheep and mountain goat applicants.
  • June 19 is the license payment deadline for successful moose applicants.
  • All applicants, including youth, must purchase a qualifying license before applying for the big game draw(s).
  • A qualifying license is one of the following:
    • Residents or Nonresidents
      • 2020 annual resident or nonresident spring turkey
      • 2020 annual small game license
      • 2020 annual youth small game license
    • Residents Only
      • 2020 annual resident combination small game/fishing license
      • Veteran's lifetime resident combination small game/fishing license
      • New in 2020: annual resident senior combo small game/fishing
      • New in 2020: disabled resident first responder lifetime combo small game/fishing
  • Applicants do not have to front the cost of the licenses that they are applying for.
  • 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.
  • 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 (see draw details section for more information) There is no point fee for youth.
  • You cannot apply for both desert and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. There is no point system for desert bighorn sheep.
  • 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.

Cost to apply

Item Resident Nonresident
Application fee $7.00 $9.00
Qualifying license/annual
small game hunt license
$30.11 $82.78
Youth qualifying license/annual
small game hunt license
$1.26 $1.26
Habitat stamp $10.13 $10.13
Preference/weighted point fee
per species
$50.00 $100.00
*Moose $305.61 $2,240.20
*Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep $305.61 $2,240.20
*Desert bighorn sheep $305.61 $2,240.20
*Rocky Mountain goat $305.61 $2,240.20
*License cost will only be charged if you are successful in the draw.

The draw system

Understanding the draw

Bighorn sheep, mountain goat and moose licenses are allocated differently than deer, elk and antelope. Nonresidents are limited to 10% of the total number of moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat licenses. Applicants must purchase a qualifying hunting license to apply for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat. 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. 

Point system

First, we will get the easy one out of the way. Desert bighorn sheep licenses are randomly drawn and there is no point system. Every applicant is on the same level playing field for those permit(s). 

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat and moose utilize a preference point/weighted point system to allocate licenses. For these species, applicants can build up to three maximum preference points after which they will receive weighted bonus points for each year they apply for a hunt and purchase the weighted point. Applicants must build three preference points before they have the possibility to draw a license for bighorn sheep, mountain goat or bull moose. The drawing for licenses is random with the weighted points giving applicants statistically better odds of drawing, but any applicant with three preference points could, in theory, draw a license. 

How do weighted points help you in the draw? 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 until all permits have been allocated.

Note: Applicants have the option to opt-in or opt-out for preference/weighted points. If you do not have three preference points, opting out is pointless because you have to have three points to be considered in the draw. If you obtain three preference points and then opt out to save the $100 per species you can and you will still be considered to draw a license. Review the odds to see if building weighted bonus points is worth it to you. 

Let’s take a quick look at an example. The nonresident moose license in Unit 76 has .12% odds with three points (first year considered to draw) and the odds at 23 points is 2.3%. That is a difference of 2.18% and a dollar cost of $2,000. Is that gain in odds worth it? You’ll have to decide.

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. 

Moose: M-P-999-99-P

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep: S-P-999-99-P

Mountain goat: G-P-999-99-P

Group applications

Two applicants are allowed to apply as a group for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goat. Residents and nonresidents cannot apply together. The group leader must apply first. 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.

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.


Colorado's 2020 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.

2020 Colorado Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep license allocations

Season Type Resident
quota
Nonresident
quota
Total 2020
quota
Archery ram 55 6 61
Archery ewe 9 0 9
Rifle ram 143 15 158
Rifle ewe 63 7 70
Ranching for wildlife
(resident only)
1 ewe 0 1 ewe
Bighorn sheep access program
(resident only)
6 ram
2 ewe
0 6 ram
2 ewe
Chancellor Ranch (resident only) 1 ram
1 ewe
0 1 ram
1 ewe
Total tags by residency 281 28 309

Current rocky bighorn sheep herd condition

The statewide population was down slightly in 2018, which is the most recently available estimate. The population for the state is approximately 6,225 with an additional 625 bighorn sheep occupying areas without a public hunting season. There were nine herd units that showed an increase in population and 12 that were declining. The others were stable with no change from 2017.

COLORADO POST HUNT ROCKY BIGHORN SHEEP POPULATION ESTIMATE - Updated 2020

COLORADO STATEWIDE ROCKY BIGHORN SHEEP HARVEST ALL WEAPONS - Updated 2020

goHUNT’s hit list units for trophy Colorado rocky bighorn sheep in 2020

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 160" or better rocky bighorns
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
2020 resident
licenses
2020 nonresident
licenses
2018 harvest
success
Population
S9 165"+ 8 ram 2 ram 27% 270
S12, S78 170"+ 7 ram  1 ram 25% 230
S32 170"+ 3 ram
4 ram
1 ram 50%
0%
250
S44 175"+ 4 ram 1 ram 20% 70
S49 165"+ 3 ram 0 17% 225
S69 165”+ 2 ram 1 ram 0% 80

Colorado statewide rocky bighorn harvest archery - updated 2020

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

Unit Trophy
potential
2020 resident
licenses
2020 nonresident
licenses
2018 harvest
success
Population
S1/S18 170"+ 1 ram 1 ram 100% 100
S1 170”+ 2 ram 0 100% 80
S3 160”+ 2 ram
2 ram
1 ram 100% 120
S9 165”+ 8 ram 2 ram 82% 270
S11 170”+ 5 ram 1 ram 33% 125
S12, S78 170"+ 5 ram 1 ram 71% 230
S13 170"+ 2 ram 1 ram 67% 100
S15 165”+ 2 ram
2 ram
1 ram 80% 200
S21 170”+ 5 ram 1 ram 86% 220
S32 170”+ 7 ram 1 ram 67% 250
S33 170”+ 4 ram
4 ram
1 ram
1 ram
100%
100%
120
S39 165"+ 2 ram
2 ram
0
0
100%
100%
90
S44 175”+ 2 ram 0 50% 70
S49 165”+ 2 ram 0 100% 225
S59 165”+ 1 ram 0 100% 45
S66 165”+ 5 ram 1 ram 80% 125
S73 160”+ 2 ram 1 ram 67% 100

How to uncover hidden gem rocky bighorn sheep units

It is important to utilize Filtering 2.0 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 our INSIDER tools to find the best option. Archery choices are easier to draw than 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
Larimer 5 S1, S18, S19, S37, S40S57, S58
Huerfano 4 S8, S9, S38, S50, S51
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 2020

TOP B&C ROCKY BIGHORN SHEEP LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2010 - 2020 Colorado


The points system

The preference point race

2020 maximum weighted points for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep: 19

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep points going into the 2020 draw

Preference/Weighted points Resident Nonresident
0 to 3 preference points 7,547 4,637
1 961 287
2 1,008 278
3 788 255
4 795 219
5 722 215
6 623 224
7 539 228
8 551 220
9 458 224
10 397 184
11 368 170
12 359 154
13 301 117
14 227 110
15 204 109
16 187 92
17 166 105
18 142 118
19 219 165

Managing points and expectations

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 easier to justify because you’ll get more value from the qualifying license you have to buy to apply for any species. 

If you apply for just bighorn sheep, the cost for residents is $97.24 to apply and obtain a preference point. For nonresidents, the cost is $201.91 to apply and obtain a preference point. If you have never applied, use the point code as 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?

Having obtained 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.

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?

Statistically, the more weighted points you build, the better the odds of drawing. Although, if you examine the draw odds, they are still low. If you want the best chance to harvest a ram, the rifle hunts have better harvest success rates. The archery hunts have better odds, but the hunt can be very challenging and the harvest rates reflect that.

Residents

The archery hunts at 10 points plus are relatively good for residents. Consider that S9 had 22% odds, S35 had better than 20% odds, S49 had 27% odds and several others were in the teens. Rifle hunters' best odds were in Unit S3 (10%), S5/S60 (17%), S16 (10%), S17 (11%) and S28 (12%). Check the draw odds, harvest success rates, trophy potential and apply for a hunt that meets your objectives.

Nonresidents

Out of the units that have a nonresident archery license, Unit S44 had the best archery odds at 3.1%. Don’t forget that S69 also has a new archery nonresident license. Rifle hunter odds are poor; Unit S17 had 2.4% odds at 10 points. Almost every other hunt available had odds of less than 1%. Use the trophy potential, harvest success and unit profiles to help you make the best selection.

Find your resident rocky bighorn draw odds with 10 points here

Find your nonresident rocky bighorn draw odds with 10 points here


Colorado's 2020 desert bighorn sheep breakdown

The desert bighorn sheep population is stable in the western border of the state. The population has doubled from approximately 250 to 540 peaking in 2016. There are four desert bighorn sheep units — one of which is available for nonresidents to apply for and hunt. There will be one nonresident license in Unit S62 in 2020. 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. The draw for desert bighorn sheep is random; every applicant has an equal chance to draw. 

Current desert bighorn sheep herd condition

Statewide, the population is stable at an estimated 540 sheep. The populations are largest in Unit S56 with 200 bighorn sheep and S62 with 165. Unit S63 has an estimated 75 bighorn sheep and Unit S64 has approximately 100. 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 2020

2020 Colorado desert bighorn sheep license numbers and populations

Unit Resident licenses Nonresident licenses 2019 harvest success Trophy potential
S56 4 ram 0 100% 165”+
S62 4 ram 1 ram 100% 155”+
S63 2 ram 0 100% 160”+
S64 3 ram 0 100% 165”+

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. The odds for S63 were the best for residents at .68%. Yes, that is less than 1%. Note: Nonresidents can only apply for Unit S62 in 2020.


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 2020

TOP B&C DESERT BIGHORN SHEEP LOCATIONS SINCE 2015 - Colorado 2020


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. The odds for S63 were the best for residents at .68%. Yes, that is less than 1%. Note: Nonresidents can only apply for Unit S62 in 2020.

Find your resident Desert bighorn draw odds here

Find your nonresident Desert bighorn draw odds here


Colorado's 2020 Shiras moose breakdown

Colorado has the largest populations of moose as well as the best trophy potential of any state in the West. While most western states saw populations that have tanked over the last 15 years, Colorado's moose populations have doubled. The statewide population is estimated at approximately 3,240 and trophy potential is good throughout the state.

There are some changes this year for moose hunts. Unit 36/361 are being split and 361 will have a nonresident license available. Unit 20/29 will also have a nonresident license in 2020. Likely, the biggest change is that applicants can apply for “season choice” bull or either-sex hunts where the lucky hunters will have the option to hunt the archery, muzzleloader and rifle hunts until they have filled their license. This should give hunters the opportunity to look over a fair number of bulls and be more selective in the bull they harvest. 

Current moose herd condition

The bulk of the moose population inhabits 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 2020

Colorado moose populations

Units Populations
6, 16, 17, 161, 171 780
7, 8, 19, 191 230
15, 18, 27, 28, 36, 37, 181, 361, 371 340
65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79,
80, 81, 681, 682, 711, 741, 751, 771, 791
440
41, 42, 43, 47, 52, 53, 54, 63, 64, 411, 421, 471, 521 840
12, 13, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34, 35, 131, 231 150
20, 29, 38 90
39, 46, 49, 60, 51, 391, 500, 501 140
4, 5, 14, 214, 441 90
1, 201 20
44, 45, 48, 444 20
55, 56, 481, 551, 561 100

goHUNT’s hit list units for trophy Colorado moose in 2020

Colorado is a great state to hunt and harvest a trophy class bull—if you are lucky enough to draw a license. Almost every unit can produce a 40”+ bull.

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

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
2020 nonresident license
6 40"+ 100% Yes
7, 8, 191 45"+ 100% Yes
14 45"+ 100% Yes
16 40"+ 100% No
18, 181 40"+ 100% Yes
19 45"+ 100% No
20, 29 45"+ 100% Yes
24 45”+ 100% No
28 40"+ 100% Yes
36 40"+ 100% No
37, 371 40"+ 80% Yes
38 45”+ 100% No
49, 500 45”+ 100% Yes
55, 551 45”+ 100% No
76 45”+ 75% Yes
171 45”+ 78% Yes

Colorado statewide moose harvest all weapons - updated 2020


How to uncover hidden gem moose units

Utilize 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 14 15, 18, 27, 28, 37, 181, 361
Jackson 14 6, 16, 17, 161, 171
Larimer 10 7, 8, 19, 20, 191
Boulder 5 20, 29
Park 5 39, 46, 49, 50, 500, 501
Mesa 3 41, 42, 411, 421

Map of Colorado's Shiras moose B&C all time entries 2020

TOP B&C SHIRAS MOOSE LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2015 - 2020 Colorado


The points system

The preference point race

2020 maximum weighted preference points for moose: 19

Shiras moose points going into the 2020 draw

Preference/weighted points Resident Nonresident
0 to 3 preference points 14,073 4,671
1 2,010 219
2 1,854 175
3 1,509 175
4 1,266 155
5 1,082 122
6 907 152
7 802 130
8 795 108
9 617 99
10 538 87
11 586 73
12 507 68
13 450 50
14 459 49
15 406 43
16 386 42
17 427 30
18 320 22
19 498 25

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, then it’s easier to justify because you’ll get more value from the qualifying license you have to buy to apply for any species. 

If you apply for just moose the cost for residents is $97.24 to apply and obtain a preference point. For nonresidents, the cost is $201.91 to apply and obtain a preference point. If you have never applied, use the point code as 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 bull moose or either-sex license 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.

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 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 for five hunts: 16, 37/371, 38, 49/46, and 68/79/681 at maximum points. Most hunt option draw odds fall between the 2% to 4% range.

Nonresidents

For nonresidents with ten points, odds were 6.3% for Unit 15/27. The hunts that have the better odds within this range are: 18/181, 37/371, 41/42/52/411/421/521 and 76/77/751

Overall, the odds of drawing a moose tag are poor, but remember that there is a random chance if you have the three preference points and are buying the qualifying license to apply for other species as well

Find your resident moose draw odds with 10 points here

Find your nonresident moose draw odds with 10 points here


Colorado's 2020 Rocky Mountain goat breakdown

The trophy potential for mountain goats is average, but there is good opportunity to hunt. Colorado offers both archery and rifle mountain goat hunts although there are only two archery nonresident permits in Unit G5. The number of rifle licenses will increase going into 2020. 

Statewide, mountain goat populations are stable with approximately 1,505 goats located in units with public hunting seasons. As is the case with mountain goat licenses anywhere in the Lower 48, they are tough to draw. Applicants will need the three preference points to even be considered in the draw, but after you have those, the draw is random and you have some chance.

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 2020

Colorado mountain goat populations by unit group

Unit(s) Population
G1 30
G2 40
G3 40
G4 90
G5 160
G6 25
G7 150
G8 40
G10 60
G11 140
G12 250
G13 200
G14 40
G15 30
G16 170
G17 40

Colorado statewide mountain goat harvest all weapons - updated 2020

goHUNT’s hit list units for Colorado mountain goat in 2020

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 Harvest success 2020 resident licenses 2020 nonresident licenses
G5 Archery - 69%
Rifle - 100%
Archery - 16
Rifle - 2
Archery - 2
Rifle - 0
G10 Rifle (all hunts) - 100% 13 1
G11, East Rifle - 75% 7 1
G11, West Rifle - 100% 7 1

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 female (nanny) licenses do offer better odds generally. Unit G7 even had a nonresident nanny license in 2019 that was not printed in the brochure and there was one applicant who drew it as a second choice. This scenario is highly unlikely in 2020, although it may be worth comparing the brochure with the hunt choices on the screen when you apply to see if something has been added.

Explore odds within the standalone draw odds page. There are female goat hunts for nonresidents in Unit G10 and G12. For residents, there are female goat hunts in G7, G10, G12, G15 and G16. Be aware that there are new hunts for female goats in G10 for both residents and nonresidents. 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 2 G1, G2, G3, G13, G14
Grand 1 G6, G15
Park 1 G4, G16

Map of Colorado's mountain goat B&C all time entries 2020

TOP B&C MOUNTAIN GOAT LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2015 - 2020 Colorado


The points system

The preference point race

2020 maximum weighted preference points for mountain goat: 19

Mountain goat points going into the 2020 draw

Preference/weighted points Resident Nonresident
0 to 3 preference points 6,338 3,442
1 824 198
2 838 178
3 659 169
4 605 139
5 553 142
6 516 154
7 424 134
8 372 117
9 302 103
10 251 97
11 225 92
12 207 65
13 187 43
14 106 41
15 78 43
16 71 19
17 49 28
18 31 22
19 28 21

Managing points and expectations

Find your draw odds

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

If you apply for just mountain goat, the cost for residents is $97.24 to apply and obtain a preference point. For nonresidents, the cost is $201.91 to apply and obtain a preference point. If you have never applied, use the point code as your first choice and be sure to opt into the preference point. Generally, you will need to apply for three consecutive years in order to earn the required three preference points to be eligible to draw.

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 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. 

Residents

With 10 points Unit G17, G15, G12, G11, and G10 all had either-sex rifle hunts that were better than 10% odds; the highest being the G12 late hunt that had 21% odds. 

The female hunts had much better odds, likely ranging in the 50% plus range for applicants with greater than ten points. The G12 late nanny hunt had 67% odds with seven points. If you are willing to hunt a nanny, there are good options for residents with far fewer points.

Nonresidents

G17 had the best odds of any either-sex hunt. The G12 hunts also had odds at just over 9% with maximum points. All other either-sex hunts had odds of less than 5%. The female only hunts had slightly better odds, ranging in the 7% plus range up through maximum points.

Find your resident mountain goat draw odds with 10 points here

Find your nonresident mountain goat draw odds with 10 points here

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