I'm In the U.S. Army and I'm stationed in Colorado. I'm originally from West Virginia. At home all we have to do is buys a hunting license and walk out in the woods and hunt. How does it work in Colorado?
Many species can be hunted with an OTC (over the counter) tag, however some must be applied for (now is the time to look into what needs apps). Some species/units also require preference points. You build those up by applying every year and receiving a point for that year's app.
Next you will have to figure where you want to hunt and if there is public land available to hunt.
Talk to people in your area, at local sporting goods stores, chambers, etc. Join a rifle range/shooting club, you'll meet lots of folks with similar interests.
With some late season expections, regular hunting for 2004 is basically over. What you need to do is apply for a tag for 2005, apps due by April in the units and for the type of game you want to hunt in 2005.
If you don't draw out you get a point that boosts your chances in future years of applying. You then can hunt in some units that offer unlimited tags (purchase available over the counter at retailers).
So CO is a mixture of over-the-counter sales and limited draw.
Elk have been killed close to roads where they could be loaded whole into the bed of a pickup. But it doesn't happen often and I'm not sure that is the experience that I long for. The type of elk hunting that I prefer requires rigorous physical exertion that can cripple someone who is not in shape. Being a college hockey player I have to be in at least fair physical condition most of the year but when one of my buddies got back from the Navy Seals he changed the way I think about physical...