Introduction to Colorado Hunting: Small Game and Waterfowl
The hunt for small game and waterfowl adds variety to the plethora of Colorado hunting experiences. When it comes to purchasing a Colorado hunting ranch, you’ll be interested in everything from the big tags to hunting small game and waterfowl too.
Colorado is home to world-class small game and waterfowl hunting properties. The incredible diversity of wildlife lets you hunt small game in Colorado on your very own ranch.
What to Look for in a Colorado Hunting Ranch for Small Game
There are a variety of things to consider before buying a hunting ranch in Colorado.
The biggest factor to consider is if you plan on using your hunting ranch for income or private use. For income hunting properties, you’ll want to investigate the business side of running a hunting ranch, as well as study the Ranching for Wildlife Program in Colorado. This decision will drive your buying process since you’ll want to consider the income potential of your land.
Next up, you want to ensure that the previous owners have had a stout ranch management plan. Meaning, you’ll want an expert to weigh in on the health factor of the land you’re looking to purchase. Can you spot small game on the ranch? Does the landscape look healthy? Are water sources well maintained and looked after? These are all important items to look at when purchasing a hunting property.
When is Small Game Hunting Season in Colorado?
Small game season of one kind or another is open from August through February. This means there are plenty of opportunities to hunt small game in Colorado.
The season opens with coyote and the Wyoming ground squirrel moving into marmot. By October rabbit, fox, fine squirrel seasons open, followed by badger, fox, mink, skunk in November. Bobcat season is in December. Bird seasons begin September 1 with dove season and end in January.
For exact dates, visit the Colorado State Parks website or call (303) 291-7526 for help planning your hunt.
Steps for Engaging in Small Game Hunting in Colorado
Even if you have your own hunting property, you’ll need to complete these steps before you can engage in hunting on your land. Below we’ve outlined what you need to do in order to take advantage of small game hunting in Colorado
1. Invest in Hunter Education
Before you can start hunting on your Colorado property, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the right certifications.
Persons younger than 70 must take Hunter Education certification. Hunter’s education in Colorado available in classrooms and online. If you are already certified from out-of-state, your certificate is valid for Colorado hunting. Some groups such as the military can test out of the course. Apprentice Certificates are also available depending on what you’re looking for.
2. Select a Species
Decide on a small-game species and learn about the hunting regulations involved. A great place to start is the Colorado State Parks Website, which lists the different species available for hunting, their season, and how to obtain tags.
You’ll also need to figure out what your caps are (ie how many animals you can kill). Remember, hunting ethics play a huge role in keeping small game hunting in Colorado a respected option for recreation, so do your homework before you shoot.
3. Find Places to Hunt in Colorado
In Colorado, small-game habitat extends from the fields of the Eastern Plains to river bottoms and mountainsides. Every location presents its own challenges. In addition to private ranches in Colorado, the Colorado Parks & Wildlife manages hunting on public lands. CPW offers walk-in access on some registered private lands. These are marked with signs. Be sure to obtain maps and brochures of these areas.
4. Choose Your Firearms and Archery Equipment
Legal methods for Colorado hunting include a variety of firearms such as a shotgun and small-caliber rifle as well as archery equipment.
Learning about these introduces novice hunters to sound safety measures. The law regulates the type of method for each species. Remember, different seasons are for different weapons, so again, make sure you have a clear hunting plan before you head out.
Small Game Checklist
So, it is time to hustle to get in on the 2019 season. Colorado Parks & Wildlife published the following checklist to get you started.
- Hunter education
- Small-game license
- Harvest Information Program (HIP)
- Waterfowl stamps (state and federal)
- Regulation brochure (S)
- Essential gear
- Market on your family calendar
Find Your Premier Colorado Hunting Ranch Real Estate Brokers
Get your dream hunting property in Colorado without the stress. As expert land brokers and avid hunters, we understand your lifestyle. Let us find you the perfect ranch without the stress.
To find out about hunting ranches for sale in Colorado, call Dave Harrigan or Hunter Harrigan at Harrigan Land Company at (800) 524-1818. As avid outdoorsmen, we specialize in large ranch and recreational properties in Colorado.