It Is Possible to Hunt Every Year in Colorado!

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I've read many articles over the years about how hard it is to hunt in some states, and yes it probably is hard to hunt for big trophy game every year, but I have a system that seems to work in Colorado.

I have been living and hunting in Colorado since 1994 and I have never missed a year in the field. 

Now, let me tell you about Colorado's draw system for those of you that are unfamiliar with the preference point system.  Colorado is a draw only state for deer and occasionally has some left over draw tags available, but it is possible to hunt deer in some fairly good units, even if you are a non-resident.

Colorado's Division of Wildlife posts on their website every year the minimum points required to draw in a particular game management unit.  If you are unsuccessful in drawing for a particular species, then you earn a preference point for that species.  The trick is trying to find that area that requires the least amount of preference points, and there are a lot that do not require any points to draw at all.  So, if you find that unit that takes "0" points, you need to select the preference point draw code for your first choice and then enter that particular hunt code for the unit that you wish to hunt as your second choice.  This will give you a preference point for that particular species as well as your tag for that year.

I have been doing this successfully for the past ten years and have been in the woods hunting elk and deer every year and have accumlated 10 preference points for both species.

Although, I did cash in my deer points in 2010 and hunted a very nice buck in a primo unit this year.  So, I will start all over again for deer, but my primo elk hunt is in the future!

Good luck and be safe!


ManOfTheFall's picture

Congratulations on your fine

Congratulations on your fine muley buck. I would have no idea how to work that system. Now, if I ever want to go out there at least I will have an idea of what to do. Thanks for sharing.

Critter's picture

You are right about being

You are right about being able to hunt every year for both deer and elk.  I have been aquiring preference points for both elk and deer now for 16 years and have ended up hunting both deer and elk in all of those 16 years.  I will have to say that a few of those years I didn't end up hunting deer just where I really wanted to but I was hunting.  Elk on the other hand are quite simple since there are so many over the counter units that you can pick up.  That along with a lot of the archery hunts for elk being either sex and then drawing a cow tag for a later season and you can get two elk in one year.  Now if you know a rancher or farmer or two you can even end up with a couple more elk tags in your pocket it just all depends on how many that you really need.

jim boyd's picture

Cuffs, Great tip and I am


Great tip and I am very interested in what you are saying!

My ears perked up when I saw Colorado and hunting... particularly as it relates to managing draw or preference points and hunting on public land.

Thanks for a great tip!

That is a superior buck in the photo - he looks like he must be 28 or 30 inches wide - is that possible?

You should post some stories about your hunts so us east coasters - heck, everybody - can live (and hunt) vicariously through you.

Great work!

cuffs68's picture

He did just make it over 30"


Thanks for the comments!  I harvested that buck during the second rifle season this year on October 24th.  His outside spread was 30 2/8" and grossed at 172" B&C.  I cashed in 9 preference points to get the tag and the Division of Wildlife showed that it took a minimum of 8 points to draw in that particular unit.  I hunted on BLM lands.

Take a look at my photos in my galleries and you will see a picture of my first big buck that I took on public land in 2003.  It was a second choice draw tag, which required no points.  He is a 10x8 non-typical that scored 216 4/8" B&C. 

So, don't shy away from the easy draw units, there are a lot of good bucks out there, you just have to get off the beaten path to find them!

Good luck and happy holidays!


CVC's picture

I am not familiar with

I am not familiar with Colorado's point season so this is good information and i will use it when I take a look at Colorado.  I must say, however, that while you tip is good, I am more impressed by the buck in the picture.  I really like the dark horns on him.  Very nice deer.