Predators & Small Game
Season Dates: In 2012 Colorado’s archery season runs from Oct. 1 to 26 and then reopens from Nov. 7 to Dec. 31, depending on the unit hunted. Muzzleloading season runs from Oct. 13 to 21, and the rifle season runs from Oct. 27 through Nov. 6.
The Grade: B
Colorado is no doubt known as a mule deer state and is arguably the best mule deer hunting destination in the Lower 48. However, in the last couple of decades whitetails have taken up residency along the river bottoms in eastern Colorado and are slowly creeping westward. Although most of this part of Colorado is privately owned and because whitetails are relatively new, access can be gained with a polite knock at the door, especially for the archery hunter. There are an estimated 40,000 acres of public access along the South Platte and Arkansas river drainages that are prime whitetail locations, and since the Colorado Division of Wildlife limits the number of licenses sold annually, these can provide a quality experience. There are also numerous other large and small tracts of state and federal land that hold an ample supply of whitetails.
Antler Nation Knowledge: Although Colorado’s B&C trophy buck numbers are small when compared to many other states, if you look closely most of the record book brutes have come in recent years. In fact, 30 of Colorado’s typical bucks have fallen in the last 27 years, and all of the non-typical bucks listed were killed during that same time frame as well. This, no doubt, makes Colorado’s overlooked whitetails a potential hot spot in the near future.
Record B&C Typical
Taken by Eddie Kinney in El Paso County in 2003 and is currently ranked No. 91 of all time.
Total B&C Typical Entries
Record B&C Non-Typical
Taken by Michael Okray in Cheyenne County in 1992 and is currently ranked No. 44 of all time.
Total B&C Non-Typical Entries
Est. Whitetail Population
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Deer to Hunter Ratio
Resident license and permit