Hunting in Colorado is about more than just walking out in the wilderness and coming home with a trophy elk or the limit of pheasant. It’s about knowing how to be safe, smart and considerate and respecting the traditions of hunting.
It also takes a fair amount of experience to do it right, and that can be hard to come by when you’re new to hunting and fishing. Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) has several programs to encourage new outdoors enthusiasts to learn the ropes.
Hunting in Colorado and the Hunter Outreach Program
They created the Hunter Outreach Program for this purpose. It’s the easiest way for beginners and those without a family background in hunting to hone their skills and learn from experienced outdoor aficionados. Skills clinics, youth programs, mentored hunts and seminars are offered on a regular basis.
A weekend, evening or online hunter education course is also a great introduction to hunting, firearm safety and outdoor skills. Courses are offered nearly every week somewhere in the state. Passing this course is required prior to applying for or buying a Colorado hunting license for anyone born on or after January 1, 1949.
The CPW programs focus on hunting heritage and tradition and promote the vast opportunities for hunting throughout the state. They also create mentorship programs for youth and novice hunters and develop educational programs for the general public. Everyone who participates comes away with a new appreciation for Colorado’s natural lands and an attitude of stewardship that helps ensure they stay intact.
An integral part of the Hunter Outreach Program is Women Afield, which provides opportunities for women to learn about hunting big game, waterfowl and upland birds from experienced volunteers and DOW staff. Summer and fall workshops focus on both shooting and fishing. The clinics and seminars feature basic instruction in the fundamentals, from shotgun shooting to fly-fishing.
Youth Hunting Program
The youth hunting program is also popular and provides a chance for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 to learn from experienced hunters during annual excursions. Accompanied by huntmasters and volunteers, the groups focus on either big game (elk, pronghorn and deer) or birds (waterfowl, pheasant and turkey). Available to Colorado residents, participants receive training in firearm safety, field safety, hunting skills and techniques as well as hunter ethics and responsibility.
About Colorado Parks & Wildlife
As one of Colorado’s advocates for environmental and wildlife habitat conservation, Colorado Parks & Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, all the state's wildlife and many recreational programs.