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Joined: 07/16/2009
Posts: 70
  Perhaps the conversation


Perhaps the conversation has gotten a little off track. The OP asked if you can carry a sidearm while hunting. The answer is unequivocally, yes. There are two sets of state laws on the subject:


* One regarding concealed carry, which states as long as you are hunting, the gun may be concealed. (No caliber requirement is specified.)  Open carry, of any caliber, is allowed in all parts of the state except the city of Breckenridge and Denver, if I remember correctly.


**The second set of laws relates to handgun hunting and that a handgun USED for hunting has to be a certain caliber, energy level, and barrel length. If the gun is not used for hunting, there are no restrictions. A concealed 9mm, 357mag, 25acp, even a snub nosed .22 is legal to carry while you hunt, if NOT used for hunting - you MUST have a legal method/weapon with you though. If the handgun is used to kill, including dispatch any animal, you need a tag for the animal and the gun needs to meet the requirements for the associated handgun hunting laws for that tag.


The concealed carry while hunting, open carry, and hunting statutes do not discern between a resident and non-resident as they pertain to handguns.


Here's the catch though, people, proven uniformed people, are involved in enforcing the law. A judge may be able to dismiss the charges should you be following the law, but at great expense and a ruined hunt. Obviously we can debate whether or not a handgun is logical tool to be carrying in the woods when you have a rifle (I think it is), but that aside, my advice is to get a small game license. It's very cheap insurance for carrying a handgun - concealed or open. The small game laws state "any handgun" may be used to take small game. With a small game license, you have a legitimate reason in the eyes of a warden to be carrying the handgun, and you don't have to worry about caliber, barrel length, or ballistic energy. You can also continue to carry the handgun once you fill your big game tag as you can legally continue to hunt - and per law, while hunting the gun may be concealed, with or without a CCW. With a small game license, the only question that needs to be answered is, if you want to be able to use the handgun on big game too, if so, it must have a barrel length of 4" and a 50yard energy of 550ft-lbs. "as rated by the manufacturer," which could be you if you reload.


Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 924
Keep in mind that if you

Keep in mind that if you carry a handgun during big game season. It has to be legal for hunting big game "IF" you use it for a finishing shot on big game. It can be anything for just protection.


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