Range in Colorado:
Greater prairie-chickens are fairly common local residents in the sandhills of northern and central Yuma County, extreme eastern Washington County and extreme southern Phillips County.
Habitat: They prefer mid-grass sandsage grasslands on sandhills, mixed with cornfields (Evans and Gilbert 1969, Van Sant and Braun 1990).
History: Between 1973 and 1993, Colorado’s greater prairie-chickens were listed by the state as an endangered species. In 1993, the birds were delisted to threatened and in 1998 they were delisted to a special concern/non-game status. Through CPW recovery efforts, which included cooperative habitat projects with eastern Colorado landowners, greater prairie-chicken numbers have grown from a low of 600 birds in 1973 to an estimated fall population of 10,000 to 12,000 birds, which can easily sustain a limited harvest.
Check out the "Sand Hills Dancers" high definition video!
No public lands are open to prairie-chicken hunting. Applicants don’t need permission to hunt from landowners before buying a permit. However, hunters must obtain landowner permission before hunting on private property.
Season and fees: For season dates, please refer to the Small Game Season date table. For other information, see the Regulations brochure (Greater Prairie-Chicken is now included within the Small Game brochure).