Calling all big game hunters! The 2012 big game hunting season has begun.
Archers and riflemen alike are heading into the wilderness across the state to hunt big game animals, including deer, elk and bear locally.
Western Colorado archers should take note of the following big game season dates. Archers may hunt pronghorn bucks until Aug. 31. From Sept. 1-20, archers may hunt either sex of pronghorn. Archers looking to hunt deer or elk west of I-25 and in Unit 140 should set aside time between now and Sept. 23. Also, archers may hunt moose from Sept. 8 through 23.
Those hunters who prefer muzzleloading rifles (those with draw licenses only) also have dates to remember. Between Sept. 8 and 16, those hunters may hunt deer, elk and moose. There are a number of important dates to remember for those looking to hunt deer, elk or moose using rifles. The rifle moose season is Oct. 1-14. The separate limited elk season (first season) is Oct. 13-17. The combined rifle deer and elk second and third seasons are Oct. 20-28 and Nov. 3-11, respectively. The combined limited rifle deer and elk season (fourth season) is Nov. 14-18.
The rifle pronghorn (by draw only) season is Oct. 6-12.
Black bear hunters need to be aware of a number of dates, also. The rifle limited (by draw) season is Sept. 2-30. Archers hunting black bears with over-the-counter with caps licenses may do so Sept. 2-23. Muzzleloading (over-the-counter with caps) season is Sept. 8 through 16. Also, take note, the rifle (over-the-counter with caps) season dates are concurrent with the dates of deer and elk rifle seasons.
For the dates of the 2013 big game season, go to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.
To buy licenses over the phone, call the Colorado Parks and Wildlife licensee hotline at (800) 244-5613.
To buy licenses in Pagosa Springs, stop by either Eagle Mountain Mercantile or Ski and Bow Rack. These license agents can provide over-the-counter, either-sex archery elk licenses, bull only over-the-counter elk licenses, and second and third rifle season combined limited dear and elk licenses.
Those looking to purchase a license should take note of the residency and hunter education requirements. To apply for Colorado hunting licenses, individuals must have a valid Colorado state driver’s license and have been a resident of Colorado for at least six consecutive months prior to hunting license application. Everyone born after Jan. 1, 1949, who applies for a Colorado hunting license must have successfully completed an approved hunter education course.
For more information on hunter education courses, go to http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/HunterEducation/Pages/HuntEd.aspx.