Preference Points

It's been said that the Colorado Big Game Draw is complicated, I like to call it unique, but here is what you need to know.  We've broken this down into 2 sections.  The first section is straight from the 2015 Big Game booklet from the Division of Wildlife.  The second is some extra information from us to help clarify exactly how this process works so you know exactly what you're getting into each and every draw season.

Gaining and Using Preference Points - Division of Wildlife 

1. One preference point is awarded to hunters who apply properly and are unsuccessful in drawing a license for a first-choice hunt code for all big-game species. You may also apply for a preference point as your first-choice hunt code. Hunters who make an application error, including on first-choice hunt codes, do not get a point.

2. Youths can apply for a point if they turn 12 by Dec. 31 of the application year.

3. If you are issued a first-choice license, all accumulated preference points for that species become void and return to zero.

4. If unsuccessful for a first choice, your accumulated points will be listed on your refund, leftover drawing application or other-choice license.

5. Points accumulate until you draw a first-choice license. If you fail to apply for or have not purchased a license during a 10-year period, all accumulated points for that species are purged from your record and become void.

6. Priority goes to those with the most points, except when the license quota or nonresident cap would be exceeded.

7. Group application priority is based on the member with the fewest points. See box at right for more group hunt details.

8. Second-, third- and fourth-choice hunts don’t use or generate points.

9. $40 preference point fee Hunters will be automatically assessed $40 per species ($30 for resident deer and pronghorn) for a preference point unless they have purchased one of the following: an annual fishing, small-game, resident combination small-game and fishing, furbearer, or a big-game license in the previous year; or a current limited license in the draw for the same species for which they seek a point.

The point fee is also waived for youths, lifetime license holders, free senior annual fishing license holders and Colorado residents who are in the military on active duty outside Colorado.

10. Weighted pr eference increases your probability of drawing. It is calculated by converting your application number into a different, random application number, then dividing that new application number by the amount of weighted points you have, plus one. This generates another new application number. Applications are sorted by this new number from lowest to highest and low numbers for each hunt code are awarded licenses.

The maximum points you can accumulate for moose is three. If you have three points for moose and you fail to draw a first-choice license, you will receive weighted preference for that species.

11. Preference points are not transferable. Points are awarded for specific species, not by hunt codes or method of take.

12. Active duty U.S. military stationed in Colorado but deployed outside Colorado are eligible, when they return home, to apply for a preference point for a limited license offered in this year’s drawing.

Youth Preference - a minimum of 15 percent of the number of the limited doe pronghorn licenses, limited either-sex and antlerless deer licenses and limited antlerless elk licenses established for each GMU shall be made available for purchase by qualified youth applicants. Licenses shall be available through application and computer selection from the Division headquarters, 6060 80216. Licenses not allocated to youth shall be made available to the general public in the remaining drawings.

1. Any eligible hunter, ages 12-17 is entitled to youth hunt preference for all seasons and methods of take for the license types listed in the preceding paragraph, except that public Ranching for Wildlife and Air Force Academy licenses shall not be included in this preference. The applicant must submit an individual application for the desired, eligible license on forms provided by the Division. Group applications will not be accepted for youth preference. Where more than one (1) hunt code choice is shown on the application, all hunt codes must be youth preferenceeligible hunt codes.

2. Youth preference will be set at 50% for all antlerless deer licenses in GMUs 55, 66, 67, and 551.