Refunds available for Colorado hunters

Refunds available for Colorado hunters

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Wildfires continue to scorch the West, resulting in canceled hunts and possible refunds for impacted hunters. In Colorado, eight fires are creating havoc on public lands, interrupting hunts in Game Management Units (GMU) 6, 7, 8, 9, 19, 20, 191, S1, S40, 20, 29, 18, 28, 140, 30, 31, 24 and 25, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). 

However, not every license is eligible for a refund due to access to other GMUs or because the licenses are valid in multiple units. If that’s the case, CPW suggests moving to another unit that isn’t impacted by fire. Those who do have licenses for impacted GMUs that are eligible can request a refund, as well as a reinstatement of preference points (+1), used during the license draw.

“Colorado has more than 23 million acres of public land and the fires are on a small portion of that land,” said JT Romatzke, Regional Manager for CPW in northwest Colorado. “We are trying to provide flexibility for hunters while also letting them know that the wildlife is still out there. If a hunter has a license that allows them to hunt in multiple units, those licenses are not currently eligible for this more lenient refund policy.”

 Email from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Per CPW, here’s details on Colorado wildfires impacting the season:

  • Cameron Peak Fire: Currently burning over 206,000 acres in Larimer County and restricting public access to public lands in GMUs 6, 7, 8, 9, 19, 20, 191 and S1 and S40.
  • Calwood Fire: Currently impacting over 9,916 acres in Boulder County with evacuation orders prohibiting public land access in portions of GMU 20. The Forest Service closure starts at the Cameron Peak Fire Closure area and runs south to Highway 119 and from the Forest boundary on the east to the Peak to Peak highway on the west.
  • Lefthand Canyon Fire: Impacting 460 acres in Boulder County with evacuation orders prohibiting public land access in portions of GMU 20 and the northern border of GMU 29.
  • East Troublesome Fire: This has grown to over 12,000 acres and is considered a “fast moving fire,” resulting in increased closures and evacuations in the area north of Hot Sulphur Springs and east toward Lake Granby. Hunters with licenses for GMU 18 should seek refund.
  • Williams Fork Fire. This 14,000+ acre fire is burning east of Green Mountain Reservoir in remote terrain south of Hot Sulphur Springs and north of Silverthorne and impacting GMU 28.
  • East Fork Fire. The 1,682-acre fire is southeast of Trinidad and has restricted access in GMU 140 (Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area and parts of the James M. John State Wildlife Area). Lake Dorothey SWA is closed to all hunting until further notice. James M. John SWA will be closed through the end of September.
  • Pine Gulch Fire: Over 139,000 acres were scorched in GMU 30 and 31 in Mesa and Garfield counties, north of the community of Grand Junction. While the fire is now contained, there are still closures in burned areas.
  • Grizzly Creek Fire. This fire burned over 32,000 acres in Glenwood Canyon east of Glenwood Springs in Garfield County and could still impact travel on I-70 and access roads into GMU 34 as well as some access into GMU 24 and 25. The fire is mostly contained, but CPW anticipates mud and rock slides if it rains or snows.

If your hunt is impacted and you cannot hunt in multiple units based upon your license requirements, you can request a refund and restoration of points by visiting a CPW location and/or mailing your license and request by 5 p.m. the day before the start of the season. Click here for more details on the refund process. Please note that there is a $15 processing fee and qualifying licenses are nonrefundable.

Per CPW, here is a list of hunt codes that have been approved for the fire refund application:

Hunt codes that have been approved for the fire refund application

Pine Gulch Fire


Hunt code

Weapon Type

Deer(private land only)DM031P2RRifle
Deer(private land only)DM031P3RRifle
Elk(private land only)EE021P1RRifle
Elk(private land only)EF022P5RRifle
Black Bear(private land only)BE031P1RRifle
Black Bear(private land only)BE031P5RRifle

Grizzly Creek Fire

Deer(private land only)DE034P2RRifle
Deer(private land only)DE034O3RRifle
Elk(private land only)EF034P5RRifle
Elk(private land only)EE011P1RRifle
Black BearBE034O1AArchery
Black BearBE034O1MMuzzleloader
Black BearBE034O1RRifle
Black Bear(private land only)BE034P1RRifle
Black Bear(private land only)BE034P5RRifle
Bighorn SheepSMS74O1RRifle
Bighorn SheepSMS44O1AArchery
Bighorn SheepSMS44O1RRifle

Williams Fork Fire

MooseMM028O1XSeason Choice
Rocky Mountain GoatGEG15O1RRifle
Rocky Mountain GoatGFG15O1RRifle
Rocky Mountain GoatGEG15O2RRifle
Rocky Mountain GoatGEG15O3RRifle
Rocky Mountain GoatGEG15O4RRifle

If your unit or hunt is not listed it may be because your license allows hunting in multiple other units. This is a dynamic and changing situation and as the fire’s grow, new areas and permits may become affected. Please check back often for updates.

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