Changing Aspen Leaves - RMNP

Larimer County Offices, Courts, District Attorney, Landfill, Household Hazardous Waste, and Recycle Center are all closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015.
County Offices are also closed on Friday, November 27 while the Courts, District Attorney, Landfill, Household Hazardous Waste, and Recycle Center are open. Critical services at Larimer County will not be disrupted by this closure.


Hunting at Red Mountain Open Space (GMU 9)

Special Note: Based on a recommendation from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the amount of bull elk and buck deer special access permits were increased for 2015. We will now be offering four bull elk special access permits and six buck deer special access permits.

Hunting at the open space is managed by the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources.

Big game hunting opportunities will occur during the weekdays of the second, third, fourth and late cow season.

You must have a Larimer County Special Access Hunting Permit to hunt at the Red Mountain Open Space. Permits can be obtained through the Larimer County Special Access Hunting Permit Application process in February.

Once a hunter has successfully drawn a special access permit for a species (bull elk, cow elk, or buck deer), they can not submit an application for that species in future years. For example, if you drew a special access permit for bull elk in 2013, you will not be allowed to submit an application for bull elk in future years, but you may submit applications for cow elk and buck deer.

The Hunting Access Permit Application will be available on-line; applications must be completed by the end of February to qualify for the drawing. A $10.00 non-refundable application fee will be charged to cover administrative costs. Successful hunters will be notified by phone and email immediately after the drawing has occurred. Unsuccessful applicants will only be notified by email. The drawing will be conducted by a Notary Public using a random number generator program (please see link below) for four bull elk Special Access Hunting Permits, three cow elk Special Access Hunting Permits and six buck deer Special Access Hunting Permits for Red Mountain Open Space. Hunters may submit only one application for each of the three drawings. These Special Access Hunting Permits will only be valid for hunting on Red Mountain Open Space.

The drawing will occur the first week of March.

How the Drawing Works

Successful applicants will then have to apply for their license in the Colorado Limited Big Game draw process. Please refer to hunt codes: Elk-EM00902R, EM00903R, EM00904R, EF009L1R and Deer-DM00902R, DM00903R, DM00904R. Historically GMU 9 has been an undersubscribed unit, particularly for elk. That means that historical odds of drawing a GMU 9 bull or cow license with any choice in the draw have been 100%, since there are licenses leftover after the draw. Recent increases in CPW draw applications for buck deer licenses however require applicants to use a LIMITED DRAW FIRST CHOICE to have the best odds of drawing a DM009 license. In 2014 all CPW FIRST CHOICE applicants drew 2nd or 3rd second buck licenses but 4th season applicants only had an 87% chance of drawing with a first choice. All CPW draw applicants with one or more preference points drew the license. If you successfully acquire a Larimer County Special Access Hunting Permit, particularly for buck deer, you are advised to apply for that license in the CPW draw with a FIRST CHOICE to stand the best odds of acquiring the necessary CPW big game hunting license. CPW draw statistics are available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hunting regulations

Special Access Hunting Permits are not transferable. Hunting will occur during portions of the second, third and fourth rifle seasons. The cow elk hunt will occur on weekdays during the late season. You must pick which season you wish to hunt when applying for your license during the CPW draw process. Hunters must attend a mandatory orientation meeting with the Larimer County Department Natural Resources' staff prior to the hunt. The mandatory orientation meeting will be in September. Hunters must have a valid CPW license for the unit and season. These licenses are available only through the CPW draw process. There will be no hunting allowed at Red Mountain Open Space on weekends. There is no camping allowed on site. Any hunters using horses must stay on trail. There is no vehicle access to the open space beyond the trailhead for hunting or animal retrieval.

Background Image: Changing Aspen Leaves in Rocky Mountain National Park by Jeremy Hollis. All rights reserved.