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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2020: Colorado Mule Deer

Colorado's 2020 mule deer application overview

Jump to: NEW FOR 2020 State Information Draw System Mule Deer Breakdown

Colorado has a larger mule deer population than any other state and the trophy potential is generally really good. Nowhere else in the West can you easily draw a permit and have a reasonable expectation to see and hunt a mature buck. Colorado offers a variety of seasons: archery, muzzleloader, early rifle and second, third and fourth rifle seasons that run well into the rut. Colorado has so many areas and seasons that anyone can draw a tag and hunt no matter where you fall in the point scheme. Whether you have been applying for years—or if you have never applied and want to hunt mule deer for the first time—there are good opportunities in Colorado in 2020. Below, we will cover all the changes for 2020, outline the details of how to apply and give you the inside track on how to find an opportunity this year.

Let’s be honest: mule deer are king in Colorado, but whitetail inhabit most of the eastern plains and there are always a few really good bucks harvested most years. The critical factor is finding a place to hunt. Most of eastern Colorado is private land and most of the public land is either tough to access or just doesn’t hold deer. If you can book a hunt with an outfitter or find some access, consider whitetail hunting in Colorado. If you are interested in hunting eastern plains deer or whitetail, utilize the tools within Filtering 2.0 and the Unit Profiles to find the best opportunity. Remember a guide is your best bet in the plains for a good buck.

Note: The application deadline for all Colorado species is 8:00 p.m. MST on April 7, 2020. You can apply online here.

New for 2020

  • New secondary big game drawing will replace the leftover draw. Licenses remaining after the primary drawing will be available in the secondary drawing. The secondary drawing is open to anyone — whether they applied in the primary drawing or not (more on the secondary drawing under the draw system section below).
  • Every applicant must purchase a qualifying license to apply in a big game draw (primary or secondary). The annual qualifying license and habitat stamp will now be valid from March 1 to 31 of the following year (i.e. for 13 months). 
  • The new 2020 to 2024 big game season structure starts in 2020. Be aware that season dates fluctuate. In the table below, review the dates for the hunts that you are planning to apply for to make sure they meet your objectives. 
  • New this year: there are some archery and muzzleloader bear licenses available in unlimited numbers as an “add on” license. You can add one of these licenses if you have a deer or elk license for the same method of take and at least one unit overlaps. Look for the “bear paw” symbol in the 2020 regulations brochure for those opportunities.
  • The Big Game Walk-In Access Program will now offer big game hunting on many properties across eastern Colorado. See page 12 and the current Regular Walk-In Atlas for more details.
  • Archery deer licenses in Units 48, 56, 481, 561 are now valid for male-only instead of either-sex.
  • There is mandatory chronic wasting disease testing for all deer harvested during the rifle seasons from select units (see pg 21 of the CPW guidebook for more details).

State information

To view important information and an overview of Colorado’s rules/regulations, the draw system and preference points, tag and license fees and an interactive boundary line map, check out our State Profile. You can also view the Species Profiles to access historical and statistical data to help you find trophy units.

Colorado is a fairly easy state to apply in. You will have to create an online account if you have not previously done so. That can be done by going here. Or you can call 1-800-244-5613 for help getting an account.

Colorado State Profile Mule Deer Profile Whitetail Deer Profile Draw Odds Filtering 2.0

Important dates and information

  • The deadline to apply for all species in Colorado is 8:00 p.m. MST on April 7, 2020.
  • You can only apply online here or by calling 1-800-244-5613.
  • Draw results will be available roughly June 3 to 7, 2020.
  • All applicants, including youth, must purchase a qualifying license before applying for the big game draw(s).
  • A qualifying license is one of the following:
    • Residents or Nonresidents
      • 2020 annual resident or nonresident spring turkey
      • 2020 annual small game license
      • 2020 annual youth small game license
    • Residents Only
      • 2020 annual resident combination small game/fishing license
      • Veteran's lifetime resident combination small game/fishing license
      • New in 2020: annual resident senior combo small game/fishing
      • New in 2020: disabled resident first responder lifetime combo small game/fishing
  • Applicants do not have to front the cost of the licenses that they are applying for.
  • Applicants born after Jan. 1, 1949 must have completed an approved hunter’s education course before applying and you must carry your hunter’s education card with you while you hunt.
  • Hunters over the age of 50 or military personnel who have not completed hunter’s education can take a one-time online test to test out. The cost is $24.50 and you must pass with 90%.
  • Colorado is a preference point state for deer, elk and antelope (more on points below).
  • If you draw a license and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is unable to charge the credit card on file, you must pay for the license online or by phone or at a CPW office by June 19. If you do not, your license is surrendered and you lose both the license and any preference points you used to draw it.
  • If you drew a license you would like to return, payment for the license is still required first. You can then return it for a refund or preference point restoration. You must relinquish your license and carcass tag at least 30 days before the opening day of the season for which the license is valid.

Cost to apply

Application fee$7.00$9.00
Qualifying license/annual
small game hunt license
Youth qualifying license/annual
small game hunt license
Habitat stamp$10.13$10.13
Deer adult*$40.24$401.83
Deer youth*$15.83$102.78
*License cost will only be charged if you are successful in the draw.
Total cost for an adult nonresident to apply will be $92.91 plus $9 per species.

The seasons

Dates for deer seasons in 2020*

ArcherySept. 2 to 30
MuzzleloaderSept. 12 to 20
Second rifle deer seasonOct. 24 to Nov. 1
Third rifle deer seasonNov. 7 to 13
Fourth rifle deer seasonNov. 18 to 22
Plains rifle seasonOct. 24 to Nov. 3

Be aware that some units may have slightly different dates. Review the CPW brochure for details of the hunts you plan to apply for.

Colorado statewide deer harvest- Updated 2020

The draw system

Understanding the draw

For deer, nonresidents are limited to up to 35% of the total permit numbers for each hunt unless the hunt has taken residents six years or more to draw. In these instances, nonresidents will be allocated up to 20% of the licenses.

Percent of COLORADO DEER TAGS DRAWN 1ST - 4TH CHOICE - updated 2020


Point system

Colorado utilizes a true preference point system to allocate deer licenses, meaning the applicants with the most points draw the licenses for each hunt. There is no random draw for licenses. There are also no over-the-counter (OTC) mule deer licenses in Colorado. 

Preference points are acquired by either being unsuccessful in the draw for your first hunt choice or simply using the preference only code as your first hunt choice. Colorado considers every applicant's first choice before moving to subsequent choices. You can draw a hunt as a second, third or fourth choice and still build a preference point for that year. You cannot build more than one preference point per year. If you draw your first hunt choice, your preference points will be purged. If you fail to apply for a species or have not purchased a license for ten consecutive years, then all accumulated preference points for that species will be purged.

Deer preference point only code: D-P-999-99-P

Group applications

Group applications of any number are accepted for deer. Residents and nonresidents can apply together. One person must be the group leader and all applications in that group are linked together with that group leader’s CID. Every member of the group must apply for the same hunt at each choice. The group application will go into the draw with the lowest number of preference points of any single member of the group. This means that if a group of three apply and they have four, nine and 14 points, the application will go into the draw with four points. CPW will not over allocate licenses to cover a group application if there are not enough permits left.

Second drawing

Licenses remaining after the primary drawing will be available in the secondary drawing. The secondary drawing is open to anyone — whether they applied in the primary drawing or not. Applicants must have purchased a qualifying license to apply for the secondary draw. The secondary draw does not use preference points and you cannot apply for preference points. Any licenses remaining after the secondary draw will be placed on the leftover list and available for purchase on leftover day, starting Aug. 4 at 9 a.m. Learn more here.

Returned and reissued licenses 

Most limited licenses that have been returned will be made available to other hunters through a reissue process. Returned limited licenses that took five or more preference points to draw will be offered to the next applicant in line — up to five applicants. Those that took four or fewer preference points to draw will be available to the public on the leftover list. Any additional reissued hunt codes that are not on the initial list will be added starting Aug. 11 and periodically thereafter.

Colorado's 2020 mule deer breakdown

Colorado still has the largest mule deer herd and every year there will be a few jaw dropping bucks killed. The reality is that those big mature bucks that Colorado has been known for are going to become much more rare over the next decade, especially within units that have been relatively easy to draw. Colorado will still be a good place to go deer hunting, but the outlook is average at best beyond the next couple years.

Last year was, by most accounts, a very tough hunt for mature bucks and, with the restructured season dates continuing for the next five years (2020 to 2024), it’s not going to help the situation improve. This is why: mule deer rut from early November through the early weeks of December and, coincidentally, mature bucks are most vulnerable during that window. The rut is about the only time of year a mature buck will seemingly ignore their instincts and drift out into the open to rut. 

In the past, Colorado’s season structure was such that the second rifle season was prior to the rut. Bucks were harder to find and kill and harvest rates typically reflected that. The third rifle season was early in November, often ending prior to the rut peaking. In some years, with cold weather and an early snowstorm, the third rifle season has given hunters the chance to see a few of the bigger bucks starting to rut and slipping out into the open. The third rifle season has offered the opportunity and hope of harvesting a bigger buck with draw odds that were still quite good in a lot of areas. Harvest rates were still conservative enough that, year after year, a fair number of the bigger bucks made it through. The fourth rifle season has had good rut days, but CPW has limited the number of permits and hunt days (5) to help reduce harvest.

Now, let’s look into the future. This year, the second rifle season dates are Oct. 24 to Nov. 1. In 2021, the third rifle season dates will be Nov. 13 to 19. The fourth rifle season dates will be Nov. 18 to 22 and Nov. 24 to 28 in 2020 and 2021. In essence, the seven-day third rifle season will occur over the next few years during what have been prime fourth season dates. Harvest rates are going to surge on on all age classes of bucks and, overall, buck to doe ratios are likely to tank. In turn, bucks that are harvested on winter range will be unavailable for archery and muzzleloader hunters the following years on summer range. From 2022 to 2024, the seasons will roll back one day each year, but the dates are still great rut dates. Honestly, the future of Colorado’s mule deer herds could be a bleak one for the following decade. 

What to do in 2020 and 2021?

Given the probable fallout of the following two seasons, we would suggest that INSIDERs strongly consider evaluating their points and try to draw a permit in the next two years. As stated, the third rifle season dates will be good in 2020 and, in 2021, they will be as good as they have ever been. Granted, 2020 will have taken somewhat of a toll already, but the dates are phenomenal for mule deer hunting. Even the second rifle season dates in 2021 will run through Nov. 7. 

If you have been dreaming of a high country archery or muzzleloader hunt, once again, we would advise you review the unit(s) you are considering and try to go hunting before the buck:doe ratios dip. The only exceptions to this are areas that are either extremely limited in permit numbers or public land/access during the rifle seasons. Those areas should retain some quality for early season hunters. Either way, it’s worth digging in and doing some research into your personal Colorado deer strategy. 

We have had a number of inquiries about how the odds will change over the next two years and although we cannot say how much, certainly point creep is going to increase. For example, Unit 70 required three points to guarantee a third rifle season permit in 2019. The same unit required 12 points to draw the fourth rifle season. Now, consider that in 2021 the third season dates are the same as what have been the four season dates, but now three days longer! In 2020 and 2021, there will be more people willing to off-load a higher number of points for those third and, probably, even the second rifle season hunts. 

Deer population

Colorado post hunt deer population estimate - Updated 2020

Colorado’s deer population has been relatively stable over the past 13 years. The most recent data set of 2018 actually suggests that the population is up to 433,130. For quick reference, we have included the 2018 estimated population and buck:doe ratios, which is the most recent published estimate.

Colorado mule deer populations by unit - updated 2020


Top hit list hunt units to consider for 190" or better bucks

UnitTrophy potentialBuck:doe ratioResident pointsNonresident points
21190”+34:100Archery - 3 (51%)
Muzzleloader - 4 (83%)
2nd rifle - 3 (88%)
3rd rifle - 11 (100%)
Archery - 8 (67%)
Muzzleloader - 9 (67%)
2nd rifle - 7 (3%)
3rd rifle - 21 (100%)
44190”+40:100Archery - 1 (91%)
Muzzleloader - 0 (42%)
2nd rifle - 2 (33%)
3rd rifle - 14 (41%)
4th rifle - 18 (77%)
Archery - 1 (100%)
Muzzleloader - 0 (50%)
2nd rifle - 6 (29%)
3rd rifle - 22 (100%)
4th rifle - 24 (67%)
54190”+40:100Archery - 1 (77%)
Muzzleloader - 2 (100%)
2nd rifle - 1 (59%)
3rd rifle - 4 (33%)
4th rifle - 11 (67%)
Archery - 3 (50%)
Muzzleloader - 3 (100%)
2nd rifle - 1 (74%)
3rd rifle - 12 (54%)
4th rifle - 20 (100%)
55190”+39:100Archery - 4 (74%)
Muzzleloader - 3 (54%)
2nd rifle - 3 (59%)
3rd rifle - 5 (31%)
4th rifle - 9 (100%)
Archery - 7 (14%)
Muzzleloader - 11 (29%)
2nd rifle - 3 (38%)
3rd rifle - 13 (71%)
4th rifle - 20 (100%)
66190”+40:100Archery - 2 (35%)
Muzzleloader - 3 (14%)
2nd rifle - 3 (30%)
3rd rifle - 10 (43%)
4th rifle - 18 (100%)
Archery - 8 (88%)
Muzzleloader - 5 (33%)
2nd rifle - 6 (22%)
3rd rifle - 17 (83%)
4th rifle - 23 (75%)
67190”+40:100Archery - 2 (92%)
Muzzleloader - 2 (74%)
2nd rifle - 3 (97%)
3rd rifle - 5 (28%)
4th rifle - 11 (75%)
Archery - 3 (25%)
Muzzleloader - 2 (60%)
2nd rifle - 4 (25%)
3rd rifle - 14 (63%)
4th rifle - 21 (100%)
65180”+30:100Archery - 0 (48%)
Muzzleloader - 1 (72%)
Early Rifle - 7 (50%)
2nd rifle - 0 (100%)
3rd rifle - 0 (82%)
4th rifle - 3 (50%)
Archery - 1 (91%)
Muzzleloader - 2 (100%)
Early Rifle - 10 (50%)
2nd rifle - 0 (100%)
3rd rifle - 0 (78%)
4th rifle - 4 (40%)
10180”+54:100Archery - 7 (67%)
Muzzleloader - 4 (100%)
2nd rifle - 9 (64%)
3rd rifle - 14 (100%)
Archery - 10 (33%)
Muzzleloader - 7 (100%)
2nd rifle - 19 (80%)
3rd rifle - 23 (100%)
22180”+33:1002nd rifle - 1 (13%)
3rd rifle - 3 (94%)
4th rifle - 13 (25%)
2nd rifle - 4 (20%)
3rd rifle - 9 (6%)
4th rifle - 20 (100%)
61180”+31:100Archery - 5 (71%)
Muzzleloader - 6 (50%)
2nd rifle - 4 (53%)
3rd rifle - 5 (100%)
Archery - 9 (20%)
Muzzleloader - 10 (100%)
2nd rifle - 7 (89%)
3rd rifle - 11 (33%)
1180”+36:100Archery - 2 (100%)
Muzzleloader - 11 (100%)
2nd rifle - 4 (67%)
3rd rifle - 8 (33%)
2nd rifle - 12 (67%)
3rd rifle - 14 (33%)
2180”+26:100Archery - 7 (33%)
Muzzleloader - 8 (50%)
2nd rifle - 12 (25%)
3rd rifle - 16 (86%)
Archery - 8 (100%)
Muzzleloader - 18 (100%)
2nd rifle - 21 (100%)
3rd rifle - 21 (100%)
201180”+26:100Archery - 6 (50%)
Muzzleloader - 6 (25%)
2nd rifle - 11 (89%)
3rd rifle - 15 (63%)
4th rifle - 21 (50%)
Archery - 13 (50%)
Muzzleloader - 18 (100%)
2nd rifle - 20 (25%)
3rd rifle - 23 (67%)
4th rifle - 21 (100%)

Snowpack map


Colorado water precipitation 2020
Colorado snow water equivalent update as of March 11, 2020. Source: National Resources Conservation Service


March 2019 Colorado snow water equivalent percent of normal

Colorado snow water equivalent update as of March 11, 2019. Source: National Resources Conservation Service


Colorado snow water equivalent as of March 2018
Colorado snow water equivalent update as of March 9, 2018. Source: National Resources Conservation Service

How to uncover hidden gem units

The goHUNT hit list above is really just a drop in the bucket of what Colorado has to offer and even if there is not a hunt listed that works for your number of preference points or style of hunting, there is a hunt for you in Colorado. There are many hunts to explore and even though, historically, the hunts listed above have been the best options to harvest a trophy buck, the reality is that great bucks are taken in almost every unit in the state. That opportunity to see and kill a trophy buck on easier to draw units is slipping for sure, but for the next couple years there should still be good hunting within some of the mid to low tier units. 

Some of these areas have good populations, good buck to doe ratios and can produce a trophy buck with work and good luck. In those areas, the trophy potential is there, but the hunting pressure can be very heavy for the second and third rifle seasons.

When looking for hidden gems, consider the archery, muzzleloader and the second rifle seasons. Early season archery and muzzleloader hunts on summer range can be great hunts for a mature buck if you are willing to backpack hunt for multiple days. The second season rifle permits have been easier to draw and, moving into 2020 and 2021, those season dates are later as well. 

There are far fewer hidden gems in the third and fourth rifle seasons, but, once again, consider the dates for third season over the next two years. For example, for a nonresident, the third and fourth rifle seasons in 68, 681, 682 required 7 and 19 points respectively. That is 12 point spread and, with the dates in 2020 and 2021, third season rifle hunters are going to be hunting what is typically fourth season dates, especially in 2021. There will be some point creep and it’s impossible to know how much, but those types of hunts are worth some research. 

Utilize goHUNT's standalone Draw Odds, trophy filters, unit profiles and the information in this article to find those tucked away hidden gems. There are going to be some in the next few years.

B&C entry trends for Colorado mule deer

Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are included if any part of the district is found within the county. Data provided below courtesy of the Boone and Crockett Club.

Colorado's top Boone & Crockett producing counties since 2010 for typical mule deer

CountyNo. of
Units found within county
Eagle1815, 25, 26, 34, 35, 36, 43,
44, 45, 47, 361, 444
Garfield1312, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31,
32, 33, 34, 42, 43, 231, 421, 444
Archuleta1277, 78, 81, 751, 771
Rio Blanco710, 11, 12, 21, 22, 23,
24, 31, 211, 231
Mesa730, 31, 41, 42, 421, 60, 61, 62
Las Animas685, 128, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137,
140, 141, 142, 143, 147, 851
Delta6411, 52, 521, 53, 62, 63, 64

Map of Colorado's typical mule deer deer B&C all time entries 2020

Top B&C typical mule deer locations since 2015 - Colorado 2020

Colorado Book Mule Deer Typicals 1990-2019 with precip - updated 2020

Colorado Book Typicals 1965-1989 with precip - updated 2018

Colorado's top Boone & Crockett producing counties since 2010 for nontypical mule deer

CountyNo. of
Units found within county
Eagle615, 25, 26, 34, 35, 36, 43,
44, 45, 47, 361, 444
Garfield512, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31,
32, 33, 34, 42, 43, 231, 421, 444
Morgan495, 96, 97, 99, 100, 951
Grand414, 15, 18, 28, 181, 361

Top B&C nontypical mule deer locations since 2015 - Colorado 2020

Map of Colorado's nontypical mule deer deer B&C all time entries 2020

The points system

The preference point race

2020 maximum preference points for deer: 31

Colorado resident deer preference points going into the 2020 draw

Colorado nonresident deer preference points going into the 2020 draw

Deer points going into the 2020 draw


Managing points and expectations

Keep in mind that most of the land east of I-25 is private. Obtaining landowner permission prior to applying is highly recommended.

Before you proceed, consider once again that the restructured second, third and fourth rifle season dates are going to increase point creep. It’s impossible to suggest how much, but you might consider hunts that could have been drawn at a couple of points less than what has been available at your current level. 

I have 0 to 2 deer points. What can I expect?

Applicants applying with few points have a few options. We will explore several of those below. 

  • Apply with the preference point only code as your first choice, D-P-999-99-P. This will allow you to gain a preference point and set you up for potentially a better hunt in the future. Although, as we previously noted, the season structure for the next five years is going to negatively impact the buck:doe ratios and the likelihood of killing a trophy buck. It may be worth it to build a point in 2020 and try to hunt in 2021. 
  • Apply for a point only as your first choice with the code D-P-999-99-P and use the standalone Draw Odds in your INSIDER account to explore options of drawing a hunt as a second choice. This will grant you a point for this application and possibly get you a permit to go hunting. There are many archery, muzzleloader, second season and even some third season rifle hunts available as a second choice.
  • There are ample hunts for every season/weapon that can be drawn with zero to two points. Use the Draw Odds and Filtering 2.0 filters to find the hunt that meets your objectives. Once again, consider the later dates for the second rifle season. Many second and some third rifle seasons have been available to hunters with very few points. 

Note: If you take the third approach to your application strategy, make sure you check the odds of the hunt you plan to apply for as a second choice before applying for it as a first choice. It may be that you can draw the hunt as a second choice, which would allow you to get a preference point for the future and the permit to go hunting. 

Find your resident mule deer 2nd choice draw odds here

Find your nonresident mule deer 2nd choice draw odds here

Find your resident mule deer draw odds with zero points here

Find your nonresident mule deer draw odds with zero points here

What can I do with 3 or 4 deer points?

If you fall within this point level, we strongly urge applicants to look at the odds and hunt options before building too many more. Point creep is an issue in Colorado in many of the mid-tier hunts and you could be chasing the hunt you want for years to come. Once again, with the season structure changes, we would advise applicants to go hunting sooner rather than later. 

We advise INSIDERs to use Filtering 2.0 to help them explore the hunts. For example, go to Colorado > Mule deer > 180”+ trophy potential > draw odds > First choice > 4 points > 100% draw odds. To narrow that down even further you can select the weapon you’re looking for in the select your season dropdown menu. Manipulate the harvest success and public land percentage to find the best option. You can then click on each unit and research the unit profiles for more information.


For a resident, almost every archery hunt is available, including 21/30, 54, 55, 66, 67, and 76. The muzzleloader hunt in Unit 10, 21/30, 55, 66 and 83 are worth some research. There are many good rifle hunts, including early rifle season in 43 or 36 and second rifle seasons in 6, 21, 22, 44, 55, 61, 66, 67 and possibly 76. The third rifle hunts in 22, 53, 63, 68/681/682, 76 and, perhaps, 40 and 54 are intriguing. There are far fewer fourth seasons but consider 3/301, 11/211, 15, 18/28/37/371, 43/47/471, 64/65, and 71/711


Nonresidents might consider archery hunting Unit 54, 67 or 8. The muzzleloader hunts in Unit 52/411/521, 53, 54, 62, 63, 66, 67 or 83 are good options. Early rifle hunts in 6, 36 and 161 are interesting. Likely the best second rifle season hunts in this range are 30, 53, 55 and, perhaps, 161. Third rifle season in 50/500/501, 52/411/521, 62 and, perhaps, 63 are worth researching. Unit 70 and 80/81 are also good options for a third season hunt. Unit 15 fourth rifle can be good as can 18/28/37/371 and 25/26. Be aware that late season hunts will require some added research into public land and access. 



What can I expect with 5 or 8 deer points?


Residents might consider archery hunts in 1, 2 or 10 if they are at the eight point level. At the five point level, archery hunts in Unit 55, 76 and, perhaps 61 are good. Unit 201 archery is a good option at seven points. Muzzleloader hunters might consider 21/30, 61, 76, 83 and 201. Rife hunters: the early season in 12/24/25/26/231, 44/45/444, 65, 74 and 82/86/861 are great options. Unit 61, 76 and 83 second rifle hunts are worth a look. Third season rifle hunts in 6, 40, 54, 55, 61, 67, 83 and, perhaps, 551 should be considered. There are also good fourth season hunts in 4/14/214/441, 11/211, 35/36/45/361, 52/411/521 and Unit 70 and 80/81.


Nonresidents might look at archery hunts in Unit 2, 21/30, 55, 66, 76. Unit 10 and 40 muzzleloader hunts are good options. Early rifle hunts on 12/24/25/26/231, 43 and 44/45/44 are worth a look for an early season rifle hunt. Unit 21, 22, 61, 66, 67, 76 and 44 second rifle hunts are good options. The third rifle hunt in 68/681/682 is a good hunt at seven or eight points. 



What can I expect with 9 or 12 deer points?


Every archery hunt should be available to residents at the nine point level. Every muzzleloader hunt is available as well except for Unit 1, which required 11 points. Rifle hunters should consider the second season in Unit 10 and 201 and third seasons in 1, 22 and 66. Fourth rifle seasons in 6/16/17/161/171, 54, 63, 67, 68/681/682 and 83 are the best options. 


Nonresidents might consider Unit 10, 21/30, 61, 66 and 851 archery. Muzzleloader hunts in 21/30, 55, 62 and 76 are good. The best early rifle options are 65 and 82/86/861. The second rifle season in Unit 1 is close, but may be another year out. Unit 22, 61 and, perhaps, 54 are the better third season hunts. Units 12/13/23/24, 70 and 501 offer good fourth season rifle hunts in this range.



What can I expect with 13 to 15 points? 


For residents, Unit 2 and 201 second rifle seasons are good hunts. Third season rifle hunts in Unit 10, 44 and, perhaps, 201 are worth considering. Fourth season rifle hunts in Unit 22 and 53 are good within this point range. 


The archery hunt in 201 is a good option for nonresidents. Unit 55 muzzleloader is worth a look. The early rifle hunt in Unit 74 is a great option. Second rifle season in Unit 2 should be considered as should third rifle seasons in Unit 1, 53, 54, 55, 61 and 67. The better fourth rifle seasons for this range are in Unit 5, 11/211 and, perhaps, 551



What can I expect with 16 to 20 points? 


For the select few that have waited this long to draw a deer tag in Colorado you can draw most hunts, but you are likely only considering a few. Unit 2 third season rifle required 17 points, Unit 44 fourth rifle required nineteen and Unit 66 fourth rifle required eighteen. Unit 201 fourth rifle required 22 points. All other hunts were available to residents.


Unit 10, 201 second rifle and 21, 66 third rifle fall within this range of points. Fourth rifle hunts in 22, 35/36/45/361, 53, 54, 55, 68/681/682 are all within range and good options. 

Find your resident mule deer draw odds with 20 points here

Find your nonresident mule deer draw odds with 20 points here


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