Important Changes in the Colorado Big Game Application Process

Posted January 24, 2018 by Dave Hoshour in General


There are several important changes in the Colorado application process in 2018 that need your attention before you apply for 2018 licenses.

The CPW has gone to a single, integrated purchasing system. Hunters that were in the previous system must now look up their previous account and set up their profile in the new system. It is not automatically moved over and depends on you doing it yourself.

Every hunter, including youth, other members of families and members of hunting groups will need to have their own CPW account and each person must enter their own unique email, no exceptions. Your email becomes your account login along with a password you create.

All limited license applications are now paperless, including the trophy species that up until last year, could only be sent in by paper. You must apply at

Good news – hunters for any species will not have to pay for the license(s) when they apply but they must still put in their payment information so that the card can be charged when they are successful in getting drawn.

But, if there is a problem with the payment, you must clear it up before the new payment deadline listed in the brochure that is due out on February 8. If you are not paying attention and do not pay by the payment deadline, you surrender your license and you lose both the license and the preference points. Hopefully, you will get an email alerting you to that fact. Make sure your email doesn’t have a typo and if for some reason the address changes you need to contact them.

The group application process has also changed. Now, the group leader must apply BEFORE the rest of the group submit their applications. With all these changes and the flood of activity the last week before the deadline, procrastination is not an option this year.

Last, OTC licenses will not go on sale until after the leftover licenses in early August.

For more information, see You can also call 800-244-5613 for help. There is also a video to walk you through the new process at




About the Author

Dave Hoshour


    Steve Hilde

    How about giving the Colorado Bowhunters Association a little credit in your alert?


    Thanks, Guys!. That is a very easy to understand summary when, quite often, the instructions on the Government web sites are a little convoluted or confusion.

    Joe Denning

    Be prepared to spend a couple days with this process if you have recently renewed your drivers license and you are Colorado resident. You will need to email a copy of your drivers license, vehicle registration and 6 months consecutive pay stubs to prove that you are a resident. You are also unable to have a shared email, it must be unique to you.


    Do you still have to pay up front for cow tag if you are just getting points?

    David Peck

    Another nail in the coffin for those of us that have been putting in $6000 per year for Sheep, Moose, and Mountain Goat. SMH


    Heads up that the system has been known to assign new/incorrect customer numbers when you set up your account. It happened to me, but was easily fixed by reaching out to CPW and letting them know the issue. Lesson: don’t wait until the app deadline to set up an account!

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