Potential 2020 Colorado elk, antelope, moose, and black bear license changes

Colorado hunting license recommendations 2020

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Earlier today I released a standalone look at Colorado's 2020 mule deer license recommendations. You can check out that article here.

Below is going to be a quick summary of other species license recommendations by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). More detailed information for each species can be found in the report here. Note: bighorn sheep and mountain goat are not listed below because those licenses were already set in the 2020 regulations book.

Note: If you would like to make comments on these recommendations, you can learn more at the link below by May 1. These recommendations will be looked at during a May 6-7 meeting.

Info to submit comments here

The May 6-7 meeting information and a link to watch the meeting can be found here.


  • CPW is recommending 129,500 limited elk licenses, up 3,000 licenses from last year. However, the limitation of archery hunting in elk DAUs E-16 (Frying Pan), E-24 (Disappointment), E-30 (Hermosa), and E-31 (San Juan) complicates the explanation of total limited license recommendations. Converting what were previously over-the-counter unlimited licenses to limited licenses recommendations results in an increase of 9,000 limited licenses for 2020.
  • Continuing with a 17-year trend, rifle elk license recommendations are reduced from last year by 5,200 (-5%) to 102,000.
  • Elk license reductions are the result of a combination of herds achieving population objectives through antlerless harvest and low calf/cow ratios reducing population productivity


  • CPW is recommending 25,000 limited antelope licenses, down 700 (-3%) licenses from last year.
  • The majority of this reduction is in the Southeast Region where the license recommendation is 17,000, down 800 licenses (-5%) from last year. Reductions were made to manage to HMP objectives and to reduce hunter crowding on some public lands.
  • The Northeast was the only Region to recommend antelope license increases.


  • CPW is recommending 520 limited moose licenses, an increase of 12 (+2%) from last year.
  • This recommendation includes 227 bull and either-sex licenses and 293 cow licenses.
  • The recommended cow moose licenses are designed to manage moose populations toward objectives and keep moose populations within the capability of their habitat. Additionally, cow licenses have lower success rates than bull licenses.

Black bear

  • CPW is recommending 20,500 limited bear licenses for 2020. Under the new 2020-2024 BGSS, 10 bear DAUs will have unlimited OTC licenses available during archery, muzzleloader, in 2020 concurrent rifle, and PLO seasons. Since these licenses are no longer “capped” (limited) in number, it is not possible to show a fair comparison of 2019 and 2020 limited licenses.
  • 2020 license sales are projected to be higher than 2019 because of the availability of unlimited OTC licenses, unlimited Add-on licenses for hunters that possess qualifying deer and elk licenses, and limited license numbers being similar to 2019.
  • CPW continues to encourage bear hunting on private property. All PLO licenses are sold unlimited OTC in all bear DAUs.
  • The price of a non-resident bear license continues to be $100 in 2020. This change was made in 2019 to encourage nonresident participation in bear hunting and resulted in the sale of an additional 6,000 bear licenses in 2019, with over 90% of that increase coming from nonresident sales. Additionally, resident bear licenses are discounted and we have created a new youth bear license for 2020.




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