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Location: kalamazoo, Mi.
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Side Arm in Colorado?

Does anyone know the rules for carrying a side arm in Colorado? Is it leagal to carry a side arm during rifle season and if so, what are the regulations? It wasn't very clear in the Hunting guide. Also, what if you are from out of state? Thanks for any clarification you can offer on the subject Think .

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
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Re: Side Arm in Colorado?

7magjoe,

It is legal to carry your sidearm during hunting season as long as it is not concealed. It can also be loaded. Yes

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Re: Side Arm in Colorado?

The regs are quite simple. It has to be a minimum of a .24 caliber so no .22's and the barrel needs to be at least 4" long. So if you have a snub nose .38 with a 2" barrel it would not be legal since it does not have a 4" barrel on it. Also where it says that the minimum energy of 550-ft. lbs at 50 yards as rated by the manufacture will eliminate just about all rounds below a .357 magnum along with just about all the 9mm, .40mm, 10mm, and .45 caliber automatics.

Now all the above information is mute if you have a concealed weapons permit in your position. Just don't use that handgun for hunting or putting down a animal that you have shot with a rifle since it does not meet the qualifications.

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Joined: 10/08/2009
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Re: Side Arm in Colorado?

Critter,
Those are the rules for if you were actually going to be hunting with a handgun. You can carry whatever you want here in Colorado as long as it isn't concealed (unless you have a concealed carry permit). I know plenty of guys that carry .22's to take grouse while hunting big game. If you are thinking about bear defense, the rifle in your hands should do fine, but anything .357mag on up would be more than effective.

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Location: Greeley, CO
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Re: Side Arm in Colorado?

FYI...While hunting it can also be concealed.

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Re: Side Arm in Colorado?

R u sure about that HeavyC? I know here you have to have a cwp to carry conceled whether hunting or not.

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Re: Side Arm in Colorado?

Heavy C's post has me thinking. Legally i dont think you can conceal a weapon while hunting unless you have a concealed carry permit. I would however like to see the Law enforcement agent that is going to give you flak for putting a hand gun in your pack. i have done this before when it was snowing and raining. not to mention most of our hunting knives are long enough to be considered weapons and therefore would be concealed if in our packs.

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Re: Side Arm in Colorado?

Caliber restrictions are in the eyes of the DOW officer that checks you out. That is the gray area of Colorado's law. The strange thing is where it is legal to pack a sidearm while bow hunting. I have seen DOW enforcement officers at processing plants checking just what killed the animal. A lot of bow hunters will finish off the deer/elk with a pistole witch is against the law along with doing the same thing with a .22 that you told them that you were using for grouse and rabbits while rifle hunting.

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Re: Side Arm in Colorado?

Critter,
I agree and have seen and heard the same about putting animals down with pistols and i would advise anyone if you are planning on putting an animal down make sure that it is legal for hunting purposes. Dont use any firearm on a bow killed animal and only use a legal hunting handgun if you are using it to put down an animal during rifle season. If you are however taking small game legally during hunting season then dont worry about carrying a .22. DOW officers are humans and often times hunters and can identify the difference between someone taking small game and someone trying to put down an elk with a .22.

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Re: Side Arm in Colorado?

You can "NOT" carry your weapon concealed even while hunting without a concealed weapons permitt. I personnaly have never had a game warden question my side arm while hunting per caliber if I was not hunting with it. And definately do not use any side arm to finish game during archery season and do not finish an animal with your side arm during rifle season if the caliber is to small.

Good luck and good hunting !

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Location: Greeley, CO
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Re: Side Arm in Colorado?

From a very trusted source so I am comfortable with it...but this was provide by the CBA and reportedly strait from the CDOW Division head/director of Law Enforcement.

"While hunting, one does not need a concealed weapon permit and it does not matter if one has the sidearm open on the hip on in ones backpack concealed."

If anyone is concerned, it is an easy ask to the DOW. I always open carry mine, so not to worried, but I will see what I can find out.

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