The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the State of Colorado are pleased to offer several programs to active duty members of the military and to those who served our country and are disabled. Colorado has the best hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities and the CPW wants to make those opportunities available to as many people as possible. Thank you for your service.
Benefits for Active Duty Military
Resident Fishing on Temporary Leave
Colorado residents who are on active duty and permanently stationed outside of the state may fish without a license while in Colorado on temporary leave. The military member must carry a copy of their leave papers with them while fishing and cannot use this exemption for more than 30 days a year.
Military personnel stationed in Colorado on active duty and their family members can qualify to purchase hunting and fishing licenses at the Colorado resident rates. Personnel (and their dependents) qualify for residency if they are on active duty in Colorado under permanent orders. This includes people who were Colorado residents when they entered the armed services and maintain Colorado as their home of record (unless they change their home of record to another state). Military personnel here on active duty must show proof by presenting official military documentation (military orders) when purchasing resident licenses. Active duty does not include reserve status or National Guard.
Any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces stationed at any military facility in Colorado and actively deployed outside the United States or any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces who is a Colorado resident and is deployed outside the United States during the license application deadline period can apply to receive a preference point for a future hunt. A military preference point application must be completed and restrictions apply. Download the military preference point application.
Active duty members of the military are exempt from the $25 preference point fee. Members must pay the $25 preference point fee, and then submit a refund request form to receive a fee refund. To receive a refund for the preference point fee, please submit a refund request form along with a copy of current military orders OR a copy of a current military ID.
License Refund and Point Return if Deployed After Application
Active duty service members who are deployed overseas and cannot use a license that they applied for and received can get a refund of the license purchase and get any preference points returned by returning the license with a copy of deployment orders. For information, contact Limited Licensing at (303) 291-7381.
Advance Purchase of Leftover Licenses
Active duty military members who are deployed outside of the United States and are stationed in Colorado or a Colorado resident can purchase leftover licenses after the regular draw process and prior to the annual leftover license day. Please check the leftover list for those leftover hunt codes that are available. Download the military leftover application.
Wounded Warrior Program
In 2010, the governor of Colorado signed a bill authorizing the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to issue licenses for the US Armed Forces "Wounded Warrior" program. In response, the Wildlife Commission set aside a number of free licenses for members of the Wounded Warrior or Safe Harbor program. While there are limits on the number of licenses that can be issued (100 each female deer, elk and pronghorn and 100 total male deer, elk and pronghorn), the goal of the CPW is to issue as many of these licenses as possible to qualified members of the Wounded Warrior program.
Wounded Warrior Program requirements include:
- Must be a member of the US Armed Forces and a Colorado resident or stationed in Colorado.
- Must be returning from post-Sept. 11, 2001 overseas contingency operation.
- Must be assigned to a military medical treatment facility at the time of application.
- Must be a qualifying member of the United States Armed Services Wounded Warrior or Safe Harbor Program (see application for details).
Applications for the Wounded Warrior program are available from the CPW Limited Licensing Unit at (303) 291-7380.
Benefits for Veterans with Disabilities
Veteran's Lifetime Combination Small Game Hunting/Fishing License (VA Combo License)
For Colorado residents who are also disabled veterans, the CPW offers a Free Lifetime VA Combo License. To qualify for this license, a disabled veteran must provide the following documentation:
- Proof of a service-connected disability of 60% or more, as rated by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
- Any person born on or after January 1st, 1949, must have completed a hunter’s safety course before applying for the VA Combo License.
- Purple Heart recipients, who can provide documented proof, are also eligible for a VA Combo License.
For more information about the small game/fishing license, or to obtain an application, please call (303) 291-7235 or to download, click on the application below:
Licenses for Persons with Mobility-impairments and Accommodation Permits
The CPW has programs available to assist all customers with disabilities - not just veterans. For details on big game mobility-impaired licenses or accommodation permits for persons with disabilities, see the Disabled Accessibility page.