Special Note: Based on a recommendation from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and in partnership with the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas, there will be six pronghorn doe special access hunting permits for use on portions of Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space.
Hunting at the open space is managed by the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources and the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas.
Big game hunting opportunities will occur during the weekdays of the second, third, fourth, and late cow seasons. Late season doe pronghorn hunting will occur on both weekdays and weekends. You must have a Larimer County/City of Fort Collins special access hunting permit to hunt. Permits can be obtained on the Larimer County Website 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, buck deer, or doe pronghorn), 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 2015, you will not be allowed to submit an application for bull elk in future years, but you may submit applications for cow elk, buck deer, or doe pronghorn.
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. If you do not receive a phone call you were not successful. 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, six buck deer special access hunting permits for Red Mountain Open Space, and six doe pronghorn special access permits for Red Mountain Open Space and Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. Hunters may submit only one application for each of the four drawings. These special access hunting permits will only be valid for hunting on Red Mountain Open Space or Soapstone Prairie Natural Area.
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.
Below are Colorado Parks and Wildlife big game drawing statistics that may help applicants evaluate odds of drawing a particular license that will allow them to exercise their special access permit. Remember, CPW license levels change yearly, as do applications rates for each hunt, so the information below is intended to help guide applicant expectations, not as a guarantee of future CPW drawing odds
Buck Deer: Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt codes DM009O2R, DM009O3R and DM009O3R. Recent increases in CPW draw applications for buck deer licenses require applicants to use a LIMITED DRAW FIRST CHOICE to have the best odds of drawing a DM009 license. In 2016 all CPW FIRST CHOICE applicants drew 2ndor 3rd second buck licenses (even with no preference points) but 4th season applicants only had a 71% chance of drawing with a first choice and no preference points. In 2016 all CPW draw applicants with one or more preference points drew 2nd, 3rd or 4th season licenses. Therefore, if you successfully acquire a Larimer County Special Access Hunting Permit for buck deer, you are advised to apply for that hunting license in the CPW draw with a FIRST CHOICE to stand the best odds of acquiring the necessary CPW big game hunting license.
Cow and Bull Elk: Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt codes EM009O2R, EM009O3R, EM009O4R and EF009L1R. Historically GMU 9 has been an undersubscribed unit for bull and cow elk since it is almost entirely private land. That means that historical odds of drawing a GMU 9 bull or cow license with any choice in the CPW big game license draw have been 100%, since there are licenses leftover after the draw.
Late-season Doe Pronghorn: Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt codes AF009L1R. Based on 2016 application levels, this CPW hunt required a LIMITED DRAW FIRST CHOICE with ONE PREFERENCE POINT to have the best odds of drawing a AF009L1R license. However, seventy-five (75%) percent of first-choice, zero preference point applicants drew the license in 2016. Therefore, if you successfully acquire a Larimer County/City of Fort Collins Special Access Hunting Permit for doe pronghorn, you are advised to apply for that hunting license in the CPW draw with a FIRST CHOICE AND HAVE AT LEAST ONE PREFERENCE POINT to stand the best odds of acquiring the necessary CPW big game hunting license.
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. The doe pronghorn will occur in the late season from December 1st to December 16th on weekdays and weekends. 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' and City of Fort Collins Natural Areas' 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, except for the late season doe pronghorn. 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.