Colorado might require fluorescent orange for bowhunters during archery season


This is a photo from a Colorado muzzleloader hunt, but this could become the norm for Colorado bowhunters as well. Photo credit: Brady Miller

Thanks to a text from my good friend, Henry Ferguson (Chairman of the Colorado Bowhunters Association) earlier this week, I learned about the proposed decision that could impact bowhunters in Colorado by forcing them to wear fluorescent (blaze) orange during the archery season.

See the information below that I shared from the survey and let your voice be heard to Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission and remember to share this with other Colorado bowhunters. The survey will only take roughly 90 seconds. I personally have filled it and responded as well.

Take the survey here


Screenshot from the Colorado Issue Paper

According to “CPW Hunter Education records, since 1996, there have been 3 incidents related to muzzleloader hunters shooting at or near archery hunters that are mistaken for game during the overlapped seasons (roughly the third week of September). Two of these incidents have been fatal. This issue is emphasized by the recent incident in Dolores County, where a muzzleloader hunter appeared to have mistakenly identified an archery hunter for the bull elk that he was stalking, tragically killing him in the Lizard Head Wilderness Area. 1 Several solutions and recommendations have been brought to the table over the last twenty years to address this concern. However, none have been acceptable to all stakeholders. These solutions range from separating the archery and muzzleloader seasons to increasing the number of scenarios that hunters must wear daylight fluorescent orange or pink. This paper is being brought forward to continue the discussion of this issue and determine if there is currently a regulatory scenario that is acceptable to all stakeholders.”


The information listed below is directly from the Colorado Bowhunters Association survey. 

Hunter Orange Survey


If you visit the Colorado Bowhunters Association website, the survey will pop up on their homepage.

This past season, an act of gross negligence by a muzzleloader hunter resulted in the death of a bowhunter in Dolores County. The Colorado Bowhunters Association is collecting opinions on an issue raised recently by Colorado Parks & Wildlife:  "Should there be changes to season timing or daylight fluorescent orange/pink requirements to address conflict between archery and muzzleloader hunters?"

Colorado Parks and Wildlife preferred solution is OPTION 1.

The CBA strongly supports OPTION 4: Status Quo. We are eager to work with CPW Staff to better educate hunters on how to be safe during overlapping seasons. (One idea is to add a short certification to remind out-of-state hunters that muzzleloader season overlaps with archery. Perhaps anyone purchasing a muzzleloader or archery tag would be required to answer a few simple questions) 

The CBA could also support OPTION 3 if it does not result in shortening archery season days. The four alternatives as listed by CPW are:

OPTION 1

Require archery deer, elk, bear and moose hunters to wear solid daylight fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink during the period of overlap during the September archery and muzzleloader seasons west of I-25 on public land only. This includes a minimum of 500 square inches of solid orange or pink that must be worn as an outer garment above the waist, part of which must be a head covering visible from all directions.

OPTION 2

Require archery deer, elk, bear and moose hunters to wear solid daylight fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink during the period of overlap during the September archery and muzzleloader seasons west of I-25. This includes a minimum of 500 square inches of solid orange or pink that must be worn as an outer garment above the waist, part of which must be a head covering visible from all directions.

OPTION 3

Separate the regular archery and muzzleloader seasons by date. This may include shortening archery season days or extending muzzleloader season into October.

OPTION 4

Status Quo

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PLEASE TAKE 2 MINUTES TO ANSWER THE SHORT SURVEY.

Take the survey here

***REMEMBER TO CLICK SUBMIT ONCE YOU'VE COMPLETED THE SURVEY***

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More Info: The next CPW Commission meeting is scheduled for January 12-13, 2022 and will be held virtually. Public comments are due by January 7th at 12p MT. Learn more about contacting the Commission here.

Read the full CPW Issue paper: https://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Commission/2021/November/Item.18-Ch-W-2-Issues.pdf

Learn more about the Colorado Bowhunters Association here.

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Brady Miller

Brady Miller

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