Skip to main content



Turkey Hunting Regulations

WHAT'S NEW: 2023

▶ AIR GUN ADDED TO METHODS OF TAKE: Precharged pneumatic air guns .25 caliber or larger are allowed during the fall or late season ONLY.

▶ YOUTH EXTENDED FALL SEASON MODIFIED: Youth under 18 with an UNFILLED FALL turkey license can hunt turkey from the Sat. before Thanksgiving to the Sun. after Thanksgiving in the units listed on their original fall license. See page 6.

▶ FISHERS PEAK STATE PARK HUNTING OPPORTUNITIES ADDED: Up to 5 hunters will have the opportunity to hunt turkey on Fishers Peak in Spring 2023. Access is by permit only, issued by drawing. For more details, go to:

▶ LICENSE EXCHANGE FEE UPDATE: All license exchanges will be charged a $5 fee.

▶ MULTIPLE GMU BOUNDARIES MODIFIED: GMUs 3, 4, 11, 12, 13, 22, 23, 32, 33, 211 and 301 are affected.

▶ A BRIEF PERIOD TO SURRENDER YOUR LICENSE AFTER THE DRAW IS NOW AVAIL- ABLE:Once the draw is complete, CPW will send emails to customers who are successful in the draw and provide them with a short period when they can decide to surrender their license if they no longer want it, receiving preference point restoration to the pre-draw level, a refund of the license fee and removal of the license from the customer’s account. The deadline for the Spring Turkey surrender period is Fri., Feb. 17, at 11:59 p.m. MT. The deadline for the Fall Turkey surrender period is Tues., June 6, at 11:59 p.m. MT.

▶ MULTIPLE GMU BOUNDARIES MAY BE UPDATED SOON: GMUs may be reconfigured pending Parks and Wildlife Commission approval after publication. Check the online version of this brochure in early 2023 for possible updated descriptions of the GMU boundaries:


1. PROPER IDENTIFICATION and PROOF of residency (for Colorado residents).

2. PROOF of hunter education.

3. HABITAT STAMP: A 2023 ($11.50) or lifetime ($345.36) Habitat Stamp is required prior to buying a license for anyone ages 18–64.

    NOTE: A Social Security number is required for hunters age 12 and older, per federal law.


    1. Small-game licenses are not valid for turkeys. A turkey license is required to take wild turkey.

    2. Limited licenses are available for spring and fall seasons by draw, valid only for specific dates and units (see pages 4−7). Apply online: Go to and click “Buy and Apply.”

    ▶ Only one application is allowed per season. Hunters must apply for spring and fall turkey licenses separately. Fall applications are NOT accepted before MAY 1. The purchasing system will NOT let you submit a fall application during the spring turkey application process.

    3. Over-the-counter (OTC) licenses are also available for spring and fall seasons, and can be purchased online, by phone or in person at CPW offices, state parks and sales agents around the state. See the back cover of this brochure for the dates when those licenses go on sale.

    4. Licenses are valid for and expire after the season printed on them. Licenses are not transferable.

    5. False statements made in buying licenses or altering licenses are illegal, and doing so voids licenses.

    6. Turkey hunters do not need to register with the Harvest Info. Program (HIP)



      Youth under age 18 can buy or apply for a reduced-cost turkey license. All hunters, including those younger than 18, must meet hunter education requirements. Those under 16 must also be accompanied by a mentor while hunting. There is no minimum age to hunt turkey, as long as these requirements are met. A mentor must be 18 or older and must meet hunter education requirements. Mentors aren’t required to hunt. While hunting, youth and mentors must be able to see and hear each other without binoculars, radios or other aids.

      Youth younger than 18 can buy an adult license as long as they meet hunter education requirements. At age 18, youth must buy an adult license. Youth are considered to be the age they are on the date they submit their draw application. For example, if a 17-year-old submits an application and then turns 18 prior to the start of the turkey season for which they applied, they are still considered a youth and qualify for the youth license.


      Outreach licenses for youth are offered to qualified organizations sponsoring educational youth hunting activities. A maximum of 200 licenses are offered for private land and are limited to youth under 18 years of age. Learn more at

      Outreach licenses for novice adults are now offered to qualified organizations sponsoring novice adult hunting activities. A maximum of 200 licenses are offered on a first-come, first-served basis to organizations and are limited to novice adult hunters. A novice adult hunter is a Colorado resident age 18 or older, who has either no turkey license purchase history, only held a turkey license(s) in the previous year or has no turkey license purchase history in the previous five years. Organizations and novice adult hunters can learn more at


      Ten licenses are offered for qualified hunters with mobility impairments for the spring season, valid only on private land in units 91, 92 and 96 for specific dates. Go to for more information on the program and how to apply.

      NOTE: In Spanish Peaks SWA, hunters with mobility impairments can hunt after the second weekend of the spring turkey season on Wed., Thurs. and Fri. by permit only. Permits are issued free on a first-come, first-served basis from CPW Licensing, 6060 Broadway, Denver CO 80216. Permits are limited to two people for each of the Wed.–Fri. time periods during the spring season.



      ▶ The physical residence address you give to buy or apply for a license must be the same as the address given for Colorado state income tax purposes.

      ▶ You terminate your Colorado residency if you apply for, buy or accept a resident hunting, fishing or trapping license issued by another state or foreign country, register to vote outside Colorado or accept a driver’s license that shows an address other than in Colorado.

      ▶ Go online for more information:


        1. Requirements: You must live in Colorado for at least 6 consecutive months immediately prior to buying or applying for any resident CPW product, have your primary residence in Colorado and have not applied for or purchased a resident license or pass outside of Colorado in the last 6 months.
        2. Proof: Current and valid Colorado driver’s license/ID with a Colorado address issued 6 or more months prior. If the Colorado driver’s license/ID is not 6 months old, you must provide at least two forms of additional residency proof, as outlined in “Additional Residency Proofs” below.
        1. Requirements: You must be attending school full time at an accredited Colorado school starting at least 6 months prior to buying or applying for any resident CPW product.
        2. Proof: Student ID, name of institution, date you became a full-time student, school transcript showing full-time status.
        1. Requirements: You must meet Colorado residency requirements and be attending an accredited school outside of Colorado, paying nonresident tuition.
        2. Proof: Student ID, name of institution, date you became a full-time student, proof of out-of-state tuition payment.
        1. Requirements: You must be active-duty military stationed in Colorado. Military Member's spouse and/or dependents share the same residency status. Residency begins the date the orders begin.
        2. Proof: Military ID and orders.
        1. Requirements: You must be active-duty military stationed outside of Colorado, but with Colorado as your home of record, paying income tax as a Colorado resident. Military Member's spouse and/or dependents share the same residency status.
        2. Proof: Military ID and orders.
      6. YOUTH
        1. Children under the age of 18 have the same residency status as their parent, legal guardian or person with whom they live the majority of the time per court order.


      1. ADDITIONAL RESIDENCY PROOFS If you otherwise meet residency requirements but your Colorado driver’s license or ID was issued or renewed less than 6 months ago, or you have a CPW-approved religious exemption to photo identification on your record, you must provide at least two additional proofs of residency showing 6 consecutive months of Colorado residency immediately prior to buying or applying for a license. Those proofs showing 6 consecutive months of Colorado residency include: income sources (pay stubs), utility bills, state income tax documents (as a full-time resident), lease agreements/ rent receipts, motor vehicle registration, voter registration.
      2. MULTIPLE HOMES If you have a home in Colorado and another location, call 303-297-1192 to make sure you comply with Colorado residency requirements before obtaining a CPW license or state park pass.



      1. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1949, must have a hunter education card to hunt in Colorado.
      2. A hunter education card is needed to apply for/buy a license.
      3. Your hunter education card must be carried while hunting, unless it is verified and your license is marked with a “V.” To get your hunter education card verified, take your hunter education card to a CPW office (listed on inside front cover) or state park.
      4. CPW honors hunter education cards from other states, provinces and countries.


      1. Individuals over age 50 or active-duty U.S. military and veterans can obtain a hunter education certificate by testing out of hunter education:
      2. An apprentice certificate can be obtained for hunters who are at least 10 years old and who must be accompanied by a mentor in the field. This hunter education waiver can be obtained twice in a lifetime: apprentice-certificate 2 HUNTER EDUCATION


      Habitat Stamps are REQUIRED for hunters and cost $11.50. Only one is required per person, per year for anyone ages 18–64. Habitat Stamps are valid March 1–March 31 of the following year (13 months).

      ▶ A lifetime stamp is $345.36.

      ▶ Anyone who is approved in the Columbine, Blue Spruce, Independence and/or Big Game Mobility programs is exempt from the Habitat Stamp requirement. See

      ▶ For more information, go to:



      Legal hunting hours for turkey are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Go to for a link to sunrise/sunset tables and more information.



      1. Post, sign or indicate that public lands (except if under an exclusive-control lease) are private.
      2. Hunt on private land without first obtaining permission from land-owner or person in charge.
      3. Hunt on state trust lands (STLs) without permission of lessee, except those open for wildlife recreation.
      4. Have a loaded (in the chamber) rifle or shotgun in or on any motor vehicle.
      5. Shoot from or use a motor vehicle, motorcycle, off-highway vehicle, snowmobile or aircraft to hunt, intercept, chase, harass or drive wildlife.
      6. Hunt under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
      7. Use any artificial light as an aid in hunting wildlife.
      8. Fail to reasonably dress, care for and prepare edible wildlife meat for human consumption. Internal organs are not considered edible portions.
      9. Party hunt: harvest someone else’s game or let someone harvest yours.
      10. Use recorded or electronically amplified calls.
      11. Use bait to hunt turkeys. Baiting is placing or scattering salt, mineral, grain or other feed to attract wildlife.
      12. Erect permanent blinds or tree stands on state wildlife areas (SWAs). Only portable blinds or tree stands may be erected on SWAs. These must be removed at the end of the day they are used. No nails may be driven into trees. The hunter's Customer Identification number (CID) and dates of use must be visible on the outside of blinds or underside of stands. Placement of blinds or stands does not reserve them for personal use; they may be used by the public on a first-come, first- served basis.
      13. Use the Internet or other computer-assisted remote technology while hunting or fishing. This includes unmanned or remote-control drones used to look for wildlife. Hunters must be physically in the immediate vicinity while hunting or fishing.
      14. Use live-action game cameras to locate, surveil, or aid or assist in locating or surveiling game wildlife in order to take/try to take game wildlife during the same or following day. "Live-action game camera" is any device capable of recording and transmitting photographic/ video data wirelessly to a remote device (such as a computer or smart phone). This doesn't include game cameras that record photographic/ video data and store such data for later use, as long as the device cannot transmit data wirelessly.



      State law requires a Social Security number to buy a license. It is not displayed on the license but is provided, if requested, to Child Support Enforcement authorities. Hunting and fishing licenses are not issued to those suspended for noncompliance with child support. Any current licenses become invalid if held by an individual who is noncompliant with child support.


      Colorado and federal laws prohibit people convicted of certain crimes, such as domestic violence, from possessing weapons even for hunting. If you’ve been convicted of a crime, check with the appropriate law enforce- ment authority to find out how the laws apply to you.


      1. Bag and possession limit for each season:

      2 BEARDED turkeys in the spring. One must be taken with a limited license, the other must be taken with an over-the-counter license.

      1 EITHER-SEX turkey in the fall.

      2 BEARDLESS turkeys in the late season.


      1. After harvesting a turkey, hunters must immediately detach, sign and date the carcass tag (bottom section of license) and attach it to the animal. Tags must stay attached while the carcass is transported, in camp, in storage or in your possession.

      2. If the carcass tag is accidentally detached from the license, lost or destroyed, you must get a duplicate before hunting and prove the loss, detachment or destruction was accidental. Duplicates can be obtained by furnishing proof of accidental detachment, loss or destruction to a CPW area office (listed on inside front cover).


      1. SHOTGUNS, including muzzleloading shotguns: maximum 10-gauge allowed and cannot be capable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells must be plugged. Shot must be size #2 (lead or steel) or smaller. Single slugs are illegal.
      3. CROSSBOWS
        1. SPRING SEASON: Rifles and handguns are illegal.
        2. FALL AND LATE SEASONS ONLY: Rifles and handguns can be muzzleloading, centerfire or rim fire, and bullets must be a minimum 17 grains with manufacturer’s energy rating of at least 110 foot-pounds at 100 yards from muzzle.
      5. NEW AIR GUNS, precharged pneumatic air guns .25 caliber or larger, during the fall or late season ONLY.

      NOTE: Turkeys can be taken over standing crops or feed scattered solely for agricultural purposes.

      NOTE: Artificial decoys and manual calls are permitted. Recorded or elec- tronically amplified calls are illegal.

      Turkey Beard

      In partnership with:

      Turkey Hunting Nation Logo