Additional Access for Pronghorn and Deer Hunters in Colorado

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The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) is opening 87,500 acres of private land in the southeast portion of the state for the public to hunt pronghorn and deer through the Big Game Access Pilot Program (BGAP). The program begins with the opening of the archery pronghorn season on August 15.

This is the first year of the 3-year pilot program that aims to provide additional big game hunting access to the public. The property enrolled for this year is in Game Management Units (GMUs) 120, 121, 122, and 126.

To participate in the program, hunters need a valid pronghorn or deer license for one of the above mentioned GMUs and to purchase a $40 Big Game Access Program Permit from DOW offices or license agents throughout the state.

Youth hunters under the age of 18 can obtain the permit for free, but must be accompanied by an adult when hunting on a BGAP property.

The program is very similar to the very successful Small Game Walk-In Access Program which provides public access to private land for small game, waterfowl and turkey hunting.

Maps of the properties enrolled in the Big Game Access Program and the regulations can be found on the DOW Web site at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/BigGame/AccessProgram/ .

While many of the licenses for pronghorn and deer in these areas were only available through the license draw that took place earlier this spring, there are some over-the-counter archery pronghorn and leftover licenses available for these GMUs. The unlimited/over-the-counter pronghorn licenses valid in these GMUs are valid from August 15 - September 20.

"Judging by the amount and quality of the property enrolled, I believe that this pilot program is off to a strong start," said Dave Lovell, assistant manager for the southeast region. "Landowners have shown interest in the program and been extremely cooperative when it comes to opening up some great habitat to the public. It is up to the hunters to take advantage of these opportunities and follow the regulations so this program will continue to grow and be successful in future years."

In order to establish the program, the DOW has paid participating landowners to enroll their property. Payments ranged from $0.50 an acre to $1 an acre depending upon the size of the property, type of habitat, number of access days allowed and species allowed for hunting (pronghorn and/or deer). The types of properties enrolled include primarily upland grass or prairie with a focus on pronghorn, but some properties also provide limited opportunities for deer.

After 3 years the program will be evaluated on:

  • - landowner satisfaction
  • - sportsmen satisfaction
  • - game harvest by species
  • - economic viability
  • - overall participation in the program
  • - success of the program

For more information contact your local DOW office.