The following information relating to youth hunting is taken from the Colorado Big Game Brochures
and the Colorado Small Game Brochure
. Be sure to refer to the latest brochures for any changes.
(Brochures are available at CPW offices, retail license agents, or online
Youth Big Game Licenses
The youth license program has expanded to include 16 and 17 year olds. Youths must be at least 12 and meet hunter education requirements. An 11 year old can buy or apply for a license if he/she turns 12 before the end of hunting season on the license. However, youths cannot hunt with the license until they turn 12. License fees are reduced for deer, elk and pronghorn licenses for youths, ages 12-17. Hunters under 16 must be accompanied by a mentor, 18 or older, who must meet hunter education requirements. Mentors don’t have to hunt. Youths and mentors must be able to see and hear each other while hunting. Youths cannot apply for a reduced-cost license in the limited license drawing if they turn 18 on or before Feb. 15 this year. Youths must be 12-17 to buy a reduced cost unlimited or leftover license.
Youth Small Game Licenses
Youths under age 18 can buy a youth small game license for $1. All youths must meet hunter education requirements. Those under 16 must be accompanied by a mentor while hunting. A mentor must be 18 or older and must meet hunter education requirements. Mentors aren’t required to hunt. While hunting, youths and mentors must be able to see and hear each other without binoculars, radios or other aids. Youths under 18 also can buy an adult license as long as they meet hunter education requirements. At age 18, youths must buy an adult license.
- Up to 15 percent of limited doe pronghorn, doe and either-sex deer, and cow elk licenses for each unit during regular rifle and private-land-only rifle seasons (except late rifle, muzzleloading, Ranching For Wildlife and Air Force Academy) are available for youths. Youths must be 12-17 and meet hunter education requirements. These licenses are available through the limited license drawing. Licenses not drawn by youths are available to the public.
- Group applications are not accepted. If you enter more than 1 hunt code on your application, all hunt codes must be eligible for youth preferences as in #1 above.
Late Youth Elk Hunts
Colorado offers youth hunters, age 12-17, a second opportunity to hunt if they are unsuccessful in harvesting an animal during the season listed on their original license. This option is available to youths with unfilled female or either-sex licenses. Youths with unfilled bull elk or buck pronghorn licenses are not eligible. This program has specific rules and policies for eligibility in specific game management units. For more information on this unique program, see the Late Youth Hunts page.
Youth Hunting Areas
Several state wildlife areas and state trust lands have been set aside for youth hunters, ages 17 and under. For particulars, read the listings in CPW's State Recreational Lands Brochure (5.6MB) and the Wildlife Property Directory & Fishing Brochure . Links on the left, Helpful Links, also provide access to condensed versions of this information.