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Overview of Colorado's license fee changes for 2019

2019 Colorado hunting fee changes

Big changes in Colorado. Photo credit: Brady Miller

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) will increase the cost of license fees, application fees and preference point fees in 2019.

With the recent passage of Senate Bill 18-143 on May 5, 2018, according to CPW, they are now able to adjust pricing to meet the pressures of increased management costs and resource usage across the state. You can see all of the new for 2019 fee changes below.

How will this impact you going forward?

First things first, how will this impact you in 2019? Especially since preference point fees for sheep, goat and moose went from free to $100 for nonresidents and free to $50 for residents. The biggest surprise seems to be in the resident section. Resident species licenses all increased for 2019, but... nonresident license prices stayed the same. That is a trend you don't see too often in the West. Along with that, there are several notable changes in 2019.

Notable fee changes:

  • Nonresident bear decreased from $350 in 2018 to $100 in 2019
  • All other nonresident species licenses did not increase besides for a $0.25 increase in youth big game
  • Resident species licenses increased by $8 and moose, sheep, goat increased by $50
  • Resident application fees went from $3 to $7
  • Resident preference point fees (sheep, goat, moose) went from free in 2018 to $50 in 2019
  • Nonresident application fees went from $3 to $9
  • Nonresident preference point fees (sheep, goat, moose) went from free in 2018 to $100 in 2019

Update for February 19, 2019:

All applicants, including youth, must purchase a "qualifying license" to apply in the big game draw. Qualifying licenses are:

Resident:

  • spring turkey - $29.75 (youth: $15.75)
  • annual small game - $29.75 (youth: $1.25)
  • small game/fishing combo - $49.75
  • Veteran's lifetime combo - Free

Nonresident:

  • spring turkey - $151.75 (youth: $101.75)
  • annual small game - $81.75 (youth: $1.25)

Also worth noting: Deer, elk, antelope and bear no longer have a preference point fees. The only ones with preference point fees are: moose, rocky bighorn, and mountain goat.


Resident Fee Changes For 2019

Big game license changes
(resident)

Item 2018 2019
Deer License $30 $38
Elk License $45 $53
Antelope License $30 $38
Bear License $40 $48
Mountain Lion License $40 $48
Moose License $250 $300
Mountain Goat License $250 $300
Desert Bighorn Sheep License $250 $300
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep License $250 $300
Youth Big Game (deer, elk, antelope) License
(under age 18)
$9.75
each***
$14
each***

***Search and Rescue Fee does not apply.
 

Big game application and preference point fee changes
(resident)

Item 2018 2019
Drawing Application Fee (non-refundable) $3 $7
Preference Point Fee
(sheep, goat, moose)
Free $50

 

Small Game License Fee Changes
(resident)

Item 2018 2019
Annual Small Game Hunting License $20 $28
Furbearer Only License $20 $28
Combination Annual Fishing &
Annual Small Game Hunting License
$40 $48
Youth Annual Small Game
Hunting License (under age 18)
$1** $1.25**
1-day Small Game Hunting License $10 $12
Additional Day Small Game
Hunting License
$5 $5
Fall Turkey License $15 $23
Spring Turkey License $20 $28
Youth Turkey License
(under age 18)
$10 $14

**Wildlife Education Fee and Search and Rescue Fee do not apply.
 

Stamp/Fees
(resident)

Item 2018 2019
Annual Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp
Required with the purchase of a hunting or
fishing license
$10** $10**
"Lifetime" Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp $300* $300*
Colorado State Waterfowl Stamp $5** $10**
Wildlife Education Fee, Applied on
every license (except as noted)
$0.75 $1.50
Search & Rescue Fee, Applied on 
every license (except as noted)
$0.25 $0.25

*Wildlife Education Fee does not apply.
**Wildlife Education Fee and Search and Rescue Fee do not apply
.
 
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Nonresident Fee Changes For 2019

Big game license changes
(nonresident)

Item 2018 2019
Deer License $395 $395
Antlered or Either Sex Elk $660 $660
Antlerless Elk License $495 $495
Antelope License $395 $395
Bear License $350 $100
Mountain Lion License $350 $350
Moose License $2,210 $2,210
Mountain Goat License $2,210 $2,210
Desert Bighorn Sheep License $1,470 $1,470
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep License $2,210 $2,210
Youth Big Game (deer, elk, antelope) License
(under age 18)
$99.75
each***
$100
each***

***Search and Rescue Fee does not apply.
 

Big game application and preference point fee changes
(nonresident)

Item 2018 2019
Drawing Application Fee (non-refundable) $3 $9
Preference Point Fee
(sheep, goat, moose)
Free $100

 

Small Game Licenses
(nonresident)

Item 2018 2019
Annual Small Game Hunting License $55 $80
Furbearer Only License $55 $80
Combination Annual Fishing &
Annual Small Game Hunting License
NA NA
Youth Annual Small Game
Hunting License (under age 18)
$1** $1.25**
1-day Small Game Hunting License $10 $15
Additional Day Small Game
Hunting License
$5 $5
Fall Turkey License $100 $150
Spring Turkey License $100 $150
Youth Turkey License
(under age 18)
$75 $100

**Wildlife Education Fee and Search and Rescue Fee do not apply.
 

Stamp/Fees
(nonresident)

Item 2018 2019
Annual Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp
Required with the purchase of a hunting or
fishing license
$10** $10**
"Lifetime" Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp $300* $300*
Colorado State Waterfowl Stamp $5** $10**
Wildlife Education Fee, Applied on
every license (except as noted)
$0.75 $1.50
Search & Rescue Fee, Applied on
every license (except as noted)
$0.25 $0.25

*Wildlife Education Fee does not apply.
**Wildlife Education Fee and Search and Rescue Fee do not apply.

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26 Comments

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Mark A. - posted 3 weeks ago on 03-02-2019 08:34:57 pm
Lake Villa IL
goHUNT INSIDER

If it makes people happy it cost 81.75 small game, 10.00 habitat, and 9.00 for elk point. I probably did my application wrong. Just a long shot but my guess if its wrong ??????

Mark A. - posted 3 weeks ago on 03-02-2019 08:13:03 pm
Lake Villa IL
goHUNT INSIDER

WTF. I'm only on my 3rd year of trying to figure this $%^%$ out and (we) hunters can't wait to throw mud in the face of a different state hunter because everyone sucks. Maybe we should let to feds run it. They are doing great with social security and health care. Keep complaining. Keep dividing. They will win. I don't think anyone who spends the time to read these comment wants that. IMO. Worth nothing. I KNOW ALREADY.

Charles E. - posted 3 weeks ago on 03-01-2019 10:30:27 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

"Fork it over chums hahaha.." Did you read that on your state income tax form?
Your state has done such a crappy job at managing its draw that it had to do something to discourage people from crashing the system even further. So I agree with you, if people were smart they would not be complaining about the minimal fee. It's your attitude I find hilarious, considering you live in a state that is entirely dependent upon Texas for tourism revenue, and would be underwater without it. Be careful what you wish for - if the out-of-staters stop coming, CPW won't be able to look to Denver for funding when it's already been allocated to safe IV drug injection sites for junkies. But hey you can always hunt a private ranch in Colorado - so long as you fork over the access fee to the Texan who owns it

brandon.riley
brandon r. - posted 3 weeks ago on 02-27-2019 01:47:39 am
Pueblo, CO
goHUNT INSIDER

I love how all the non-residents are complaining about this. As a resident I pushed for this because all you non-resident point builders out there have to pay now. It’s just like every other state now so stop complaining at least it’s only 80$ and not 160 or more like other states. It’s only been a year since you had to fork over the full license amount and now y’all think it’s an outrage cause you can’t put In For 3$ anymore. It’s up to you if you want to quit hunting but I’d say majority of you will shut your mouth and fork over the dough because of opportunity to hunt every year. Or you can try to hunt Utah that’s your choice. I’m glad we are getting more money out of you. Better for our state! Fork it over chums hahaha

Kenneth S. - posted 3 weeks ago on 02-25-2019 09:44:16 am

Could the preference point changes for Elk, deer, and pronghorn be good for NR hunters ? If I am reading the regs right ( and I admit, I might not be ), I can get preference points for all 3 species for around $80 ? ( the cost of a NR hunting license ).

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 month ago on 02-19-2019 12:31:36 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey Ramon - That is correct. A ton of big changes in 2019! We will be covering all of these in our 2019 Colorado application strategy articles, but I can add more information to this article as well.

All applicants, including youth, must purchase a "qualifying license." Qualifying licenses are:

Resident:
- spring turkey - $29.75 (youth: $15.75)
- annual small game - $29.75 (youth: $1.25)
- small game/fishing combo - $49.75
- Veteran's lifetime combo - Free

Nonresident:
- spring turkey - $151.75 (youth: $101.75)
- annual small game - $81.75 (youth: $1.25)

Also worth noting: Deer, elk, antelope and bear no longer have a preference point fees. The only ones with preference point fees are: moose, rocky bighorn, and mountain goat.

Gary H. - posted 1 month ago on 02-19-2019 12:09:37 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Danny S., Colorado took "fairness" out of the equation a long time ago...

Its insulting to non-resident hunters and turning everything into a rich mans sport.

The answer is simple, Boycott Colorado if you dont like things. If nobody bought a license this year I bet they would change their tune.

Ramon P. - posted 1 month ago on 02-19-2019 12:06:08 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

@Brady Miller - It does look like Non-Res hunters at a minimum will need to purchase an $80 small game license to apply for big game in 2019. This should be listed in the "Notable Fee Changes" section. Do you happen to know if the $80 small game license is also required if you just want to purchase a preference point? Thank you!

Danny S. - posted 1 month ago on 02-19-2019 11:51:28 am

I have hunted with a group of 10 men for 35 years in Colorado we have not missed a year. I have seen a lot of changes. This year is not only the worst but the most insulting to the non resident. It would have been better to have raised all tags by 80 dollars rather than try to tell us we will get a chance to hunt more. They know and we know 95 percent of us will not come back for small game. My group of 10 this year will not come back unless they change.. for every ten of nonresident hunters it takes about 120 residents to pay the same amount in fees. That does not include gas food lodging. Maybe it's time to skip a hunting season see if they notice. Let's try to be fair . THANK you

Brodie T. - posted 1 month ago on 02-18-2019 01:52:22 pm

I hunted Co. last year. It took me seven years to get drawn. Multiply that by the $80 bucks just to apply and we're talking more than I can afford. Guess last year was my Last year to hunt there.

Craig M. - posted 1 month ago on 02-14-2019 07:25:42 am
Stillwater, OK
goHUNT INSIDER

Hey Stefan R. the other things that changed is they made non residents buy an $80 small game license just to apply this year. So our out of pocket cost went up $80 to hunt in CO even though the other tags stayed the same. In 2013 I paid approx $500 to hunt elk in CO. With the small game licenses and increases on NR for several years I will pay $740 to hunt elk in 2019. Like many others i'll never use the small game license. Non residents already support a huge majority of the CPW budget.

Jeffrey.Gragert
Jeffrey G. - posted 1 month ago on 01-29-2019 11:46:13 am
Van, TX
goHUNT INSIDER

Hey Stefan R., the only decrease to non-residents tags was Bear Licenses. Increases in almost all small-game tags. That being said, I agree with you in the upfront costs during applying. I think their would be alot more opportunities for serious hunters. I'm disappointed they increased the PP costs(sheep,goat,moose), now non-residents have to pay $100 every year for the chance to maybe draw a tag in 20+ years...I'll try my luck in the draw in Idaho.

inmissionphotography
Stefan R. - posted 1 month ago on 01-28-2019 01:06:29 pm
DENVER, CO
goHUNT INSIDER

Thanks for the article, Bummed to see the Resident licenses go up and the non-resident stay the same and even a very considerable drop on some non-resident tags. I am happy to pay the $8 extra dollars ( a meal at mcdonalds) to help fund the sate wildlife, but just for my own mental well being i would have liked to see an $8 increase on non-resident tags as well. why not keep it even across the board especially when those of us that apply for non-resident tags in other states pay through the nose just to get a chance to draw a tag see that non-residents can come here a pay incredible prices for incredible hunting opportunities and then the residents have to pay extra... I know the non-resident tags bring in huge revenue for the DOW and they don't want to scare people off of applying here. i agree with Andrey K. i miss the upfront pay process, it filters out a lot people out who aren't that serious about hunting but about playing the points game. point creep is real.

Andrew Lawrence_1795744413784962
Andrew L. - posted 2 months ago on 12-29-2018 07:42:58 am
Shelbyville, TN
goHUNT INSIDER

Does anyone know if the preference point fees for sheep, goat, and moose only apply to the regular preference points (first 3 points) or do they also apply to weighted preference points (all your points after first 3)?

Andy G. - posted 3 months ago on 12-17-2018 07:28:28 pm

I was told by a Colorado Park and Wildlife employee today that Res and non Res must purchase a small game license in order to get a big license or preference point. I didn't see that mentioned in the stamps/fees section. If that's the case that's new and is basically increasing the fees to hunt.

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 3 months ago on 12-17-2018 05:03:07 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey Adam. At this point, they have not mentioned if the preference point fee will be changing for 2019. So it should still be $40 for deer, elk, or antelope.

mi_fiveo@yahoo.com
Adam C. - posted 3 months ago on 12-17-2018 04:28:30 pm
Iron Mountain, MI

I don’t see the price of a non resident elk preference point. Anyone know what it is?

Gary H. - posted 3 months ago on 12-17-2018 05:07:58 am
goHUNT INSIDER

I like that the bear license went down. I never buy a bear tag because they cost too much and I almost always have an opportunity at a bear there but I cant shoot it. Now, I will buy the tag.

I wish they would have thrown one in for free with the purchase of a NR license though....then you would see the bears getting shot. Which is what everyone wants anyhow right?!

Andrey K. - posted 3 months ago on 12-16-2018 11:18:28 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

As a resident of Colorado, we already have an abundance of opportunities for not resident hunters, especially those that come here for elk. I also don’t mind the fee increases fee for resident hunters, but building points for elk, deer, etc., especially for nonresident hunters without paying up front, like it used to be or having a sizeable nonrefundable fee is just a joke. A nonrefundable $9 preference point fee for a nonresident, with the exception of sheep, goat, and moose will only lead to huge point creep, and harder for residents and both non-resident hunters to hunt every year in limited entries units which used to not require any points. I liked the old system where all hunters had to pay upfront and get a refund after the draw if they were unsuccessful. Anyway, we’ll see what the future brings, obviously the number of applications for sheep, goat, and moose in 2018 made them realize that some minimum nonrefundable fee needed to be charged.

Joshua K. - posted 3 months ago on 12-16-2018 06:21:46 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Am I missing something? is $8 more per tag or license really putting hunters over the tipping point of not hunting? How much was that new hunting jacket? Hard to say you want less NR hunters and to pay lower resident fees at the same time. Not sure how the math works out.

Jesse M. - posted 3 months ago on 12-16-2018 05:58:40 pm

Well considering the price of everything else is on the rise! Might consider buying beef soon.

Jon E. - posted 3 months ago on 12-16-2018 05:50:28 pm

The increase in fees to residents of Colorado is insulting. Leave it to the state government to keep their revenue coming in while screwing those who already pay taxes here. This state is already become ridiculously overpopulated and the outside hunting pressure has become ridiculous. Please stop attracting more people out here.

Bob R H. - posted 3 months ago on 12-16-2018 05:48:14 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

If CO wants to continue hunting fees in the future, then I will be hunting more western and northern states in the future! Bob R

Eric H. - posted 3 months ago on 12-16-2018 05:17:24 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

I apply/build points for goat, sheep, and moose and have something like 3 + 8 points. Last year’s method was out of control and would have made odds horrible. Overall I think I am ok with this for 2019. I have already killed a goat in MT so will probably drop it with this price increase.

Josh K. - posted 3 months ago on 12-16-2018 05:17:13 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Well, it sounds like I'll be grabbing a bear tag as well for my CO hunt this year!

cbryer101
Chris B. - posted 3 months ago on 12-15-2018 05:30:41 pm
Los Angeles, CA
goHUNT INSIDER

Great news for out-of-staters who want to throw in a bear tag.