Guest post by Robbie Monsma
Hunting will soon take place in almost every area the Colorado Mountain Club recreates throughout the state, so it’s time to get to know the planning resources you’ll need to avoid hunters and shooting. A “Hunting Activity Today” notice is rarely posted at trailheads, so add this info to your trip planning checklist. For extra safety, it’s always a good idea to wear “hunter orange” or “hunter pink” whenever you enter the backcountry during hunting season. That includes dogs, too.
Most Colorado hunting takes place in September and October although some eastern plains hunting is allowed in late August through December. A few areas are designated open to hunting Memorial Day to Labor Day. All dates are posted at Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Big Game Hunting Planner, which is updated each year.
However, as a hiker or backpacker, you will want to know about the places where there will be NO hunting while you are there. That will vary each year by where CPW wants hunting to happen or not. It may also vary by proximity to roads and trailheads. For example, local rangers may assure you that hunters are way up the mountain from your intended trail.
For up-to-date information, call the friendly folks at the Hunter Outreach Line: 303-291-7526 or write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They may steer you away from your intended area and suggest another area nearby where hunting is prohibited. If in doubt, you can also call the specific area ranger.