The official start date of the 2018 Hunting Season begins on August 15, 2018. Take a look at Colorado Parks & Wildlife's Big Game Hunting Planner for more information on open seasons in 2018.
Make sure you know how to identify the species and sex your are legally allowed to hunt. Colorado Parks & Wildlife has created a helpful chart to assist hunters.
Legal hunting hours for big game in Colorado are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hours after sunset, unless specifically noted in your hunting area. Please review the Big Game Hunting Brochure for more details.
Colorado law requires all hunters to wear at least 500 square inches of Solid Day-Light Fluorescent Orange or Pink above the waist while hunting with any firearm license. A fluorescent hat is also required.
It is illegal to have or transport big game carcasses without evidence of sex that is naturally attached. Do not detach your evidence of sex after a kill.
To verify evidence of sex on a Buck/Bull the head with horns/antlers or testicle/scrotum/penis needs to be attached to the carcass.
To verify evidence of sex on a Doe/Cow the head, udder or vulva must be attached to the carcass.
To verify evidence of sex on a Black Bear the testicles or penis needs to be attached to a male carcass or the vulva needs to be attached to the female carcass.
If the head is detached from the carcass another form of evidence of sex must be naturally attached to the carcass.
A carcass tag must be attached to the animals that are killed per instructions on the tag. All tags must be signed, dated and detached from the license immediately upon kill. Tags need to be attached to the carcass NOT the antlers, hides, horns or carried by the hunter. Tags must stay on the meat until it is processed and then remain with the meat until it is consumed. Rocky Mountain Meats will collect your carcass tag at the time of drop off and will return it to you when your order is picked up. For additonal information please refer to the 2018 Big Game Brochure.
Properly handling your game animal in the field is one of the most important things you can do to help increase your yields and have your animal taste its best. Here are few steps you can take to help us get you a better yield.
1. Take a Good Shot
Where you shoot your animal does effect how much meat you will yield from your animal. Multiple shots also will effect the yield.
2. Get the Guts Out
Timely removal of the animal's guts is key to keeping your meat free from bacteria growth. Work fast but also with care. Cutting into the entrails will lead to spoilage and possible destruction of your entire animal.
The animal's hide is their winter coat so to speak and helps create warmth to help the animal survive. Getting the hide off as soon as possible helps prevent spoilage and bacteria growth. After you skin the animal, cover it with a game cloth or a bed sheet to help absorb the blood and protect the carcass. Tarps and plastic bags can actually attach to the meat and create loss due to cutting.
4. Cool Your Meat Down
Removing the guts and hide will begin the cooling process but in warm weather, the meat will still be subject to loss. The ideal temperature your meat should be kept at is 32 to 40 degrees. At this temperature, you are less likely to experience bacteria growth. Store your meat in a cooler or on top of ice packs or bottles of frozen water. Placing ice inside the cavity can also lead to bacterial growth and effect the texture of your meat.