Back to Blog Published: April 5, 2024

2024 Colorado Big Game Regulations

Please take a look at the changes and let us know if you need any help applying for or purchasing your license for your upcoming hunt.

Key Changes for 2024

Nonresident license allocation modified
Big-game license allocation for bear, deer, elk and pronghorn has been modified from 65% for residents and 35% for nonresidents to 75% for residents and 25% for nonresidents for most hunt codes. High-demand hunt codes remain at 80% for residents and 20% for nonresidents.

Mandatory testing for chronic wasting disease
In 2024, CPW will require mandatory submission of CWD test samples (heads) from all deer harvested during rifle seasons from specific hunt codes. Not all hunt codes in a unit were selected for mandatory CWD testing. Hunters that harvest a deer in the specified hunt codes will be required to submit their deer head to a CPW submission site for testing. There will be no charge for mandatory testing. Get more information about where and how to submit a CWD sample at

If a hunter is not selected for mandatory testing but wants to know whether their harvested deer or elk has CWD, they can submit their animal’s head and pay a testing fee of $25. In 2024, testing fees for voluntary submissions will be waived for all moose statewide and all deer from hunt codes that were not selected for mandatory testing but are within the same GMUs that were selected for mandatory testing. Voluntary submissions are accepted annually statewide.

Gray wolves and coyotes: how to spot the differences
Be aware that gray wolves are now another one of the more than 960 wildlife species on the landscape in some areas of Colorado. CPW reintroduced 10 wolves to Colorado in December 2023 as part of the implementation of the Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan. Coyotes and gray wolves can look similar from a distance, so CPW created this handout to help you spot the differences.

Remember that the gray wolf in Colorado is protected by the federal Endangered Species Act and state law. Penalties for illegally killing a gray wolf can vary and can include fines up to $100,000, jail time and loss of hunting privileges.

IMPORTANT: Northwest Severe Winter Zone
Effects of the severe winter of 2022-2023 are still being felt by wildlife. In response, CPW has implemented several changes for this hunting season. See the digital big game brochure and this CPW fact sheet for details.