What species can I hunt on Walk-In Access (WIA) properties?
By regulation, allowable species of take include small game, furbearers, migratory game birds and Eurasian collared-doves, with the exception of Gambel’s quail, Gunnison’s sage-grouse and greater sage-grouse.
- For all Walk-In Access parcels east of I-25, you can hunt and harvest any small game species that have an open season during the Walk-In Access period. This includes small game, furbearers, and waterfowl.
- In western Colorado, you can hunt and take all species of small game, furbearers, and waterfowl that have an open season during the Walk-In Access period, with the exceptions of Gambel’s quail, Gunnison’s sage-grouse and greater sage-grouse.
- Under no circumstances can Gambel’s quail, Gunnison’s sage-grouse and greater sage-grouse be hunted or taken from Walk-In Properties.
- State and Program-wide, Walk-In Access does not confer permission to hunt big game.
Do I need a special permit or stamp to hunt Walk-In Access properties?
In 2010 the requirement for hunters to purchase a Walk-In Access permit was removed from regulation. You must comply with normal small game licensing requirements, but you do not need a special permit to hunt Walk-In Access properties.
Can a non-hunting companion accompany a hunter?
Yes, a non-hunting companion can accompany a hunter that is actively hunting a Walk-In Access property. Remember, access to these fields is for small game hunting only.
Do I need to get permission from the landowner to hunt on Walk-in properties?
No, you do not need permission from the landowner. However, it is important to only hunt properties that are signed as Walk-In properties. A few properties are removed every year for various reasons and there are the inevitable (few) errors in mapping and signing. The Walk-In Atlas should be used as a guide to get you to the property; the signs at the property the definitive permission to hunt.
Which properties are best to hunt?
All of these properties have the potential to hold pheasants, quail or waterfowl. While it is true some will be better than others, the type of habitat you prefer to hunt or your hunting style should dictate which fields you hunt. We have acquired the permission for the hunter; it is up to the hunter to identify specific fields.
Do I need to purchase a Habitat Stamp to hunt Walk-In properties?
Hunters between the ages of 18 and 64 must purchase a Habitat stamp when purchasing a hunting license. A hunter does not need to purchase an additional Habitat Stamp to hunt Walk-In Access lands. To hunt Walk-In lands, a hunter between 19 and 64 must have a valid small game license, which will require them to purchase a habitat stamp. Hunters, as of January 1, 2010, no longer need a special permit to hunt on WIA lands.
I have hunted Walk-In in the past, and some of the fields are not very good. Why is this?
There are a number of reasons that this could be true. As the program has expanded to a wider focus, enrolling different types of habitat is necessary to meet objectives of a wider ranging program. For instance, rarely would a pheasant hunter look at a property that was leased for dove hunting and see much value. Similarly, a hunter looking for scaled quail is generally not going to be looking for WIA properties composed of tall CRP. The program is charged with providing widely diverse hunting opportunities for small game, which requires that different habitats be enrolled. Also, in many instances, the field could have been enrolled to simplify signing. This is a frequent occurrence on the eastern plains, and normally, the landowner is not paid for these acres. It is also very likely that the habitat in the field degrades in quality during the season. This is quite common when high winds, hail, heavy rainfall and snow falls on cropland fields between our inspections and the hunting season. Finally, it is important to remember that hunters are very different in their hunting preference; for instance, many hunters prefer to hunt dense cover for pheasants, yet every year we see hunters have success in thinner, short cover, especially during periods of mild weather.
I have found a WIA field which is depicted in the atlas but signs are not present when I visited the field. Is the property open to hunting?
No, a property must be posted with WIA boundary signs to be open to hunting. There are any number of reasons that the signs could be missing, including that the landowner may have removed the property from WIA after the atlas was published. When you find a field like this, we recommend that you contact the nearest Colorado Parks and Wildlife office, and provide a detailed description of the property in question so that we can investigate the situation.
What can I, as a user of these properties, do to ensure that the property stays in the program?
By far the biggest factor in property renewal from the landowner’s perspective is hunter behavior. Treating properties and other users with respect, picking up trash left by others and acting with a sense of stewardship when on the properties and when spending time in the local communities makes a significant difference in how landowners view the program and its users.
The most frequent concern expressed to program staff by landowners is hunters leaving trash or cleaning birds on properties. Both of these practices are easily within the control of each hunter that uses the program.