Get yourself a tag and join the elk hunt


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Portrait of majestic Red deer (Cervus elaphus) stag in winter, Noble Red Deer. Unusual antlers.

Colton A. Dombrowski

Elk hunting is a one-time experience that doesn’t need to be complicated. Hunters are given three approaches to fit their style of hunt through either archery, muzzleloader, or rifle. These choices enable a larger base of hunters to come to Colorado and hunt elk. 

“I have been going out to Colorado for more than 20 years now. I have not once regretted going and plan to go for the rest of my life,” said Allen Dombrowski, a local Amherst resident who has made more than 20 lucrative hunts to Colorado. Once you try it, you’ll want to go every year. Hunting the wildlife game elk is an exhilarating experience that anyone can experience by applying for an elk license.

There are three main types of big game license to apply for in Colorado. The first license is archery with a season that runs around the first day of September to the last. Each year’s date can vary slightly. The muzzleloader season starts on the second Saturday of September and ends on the next Sunday, going for nine days. The last type of license is for rifles which have four seasons, one after the other. Each of the four seasons vary in days but all go for around a week. The first starts in the middle of October, the second follows late October, the third is in the middle of November, and the fourth is late November.

If you are interested in going Elk hunting using a bow, get an archery license by simply buying it over the counter at an appropriate DNR station or online. For either sex, it will cost $700.98 according Huntin’ Fool (2022). For just a cow (female elk), not a bull (male elk), it will cost $526.17. If the buyer is under 18, they can get a Youth Big Game license for only $107.43. Going archery hunting is an excellent choice for those who did not draw a tag for muzzleloader or rifle but still want to go hunting.

As mentioned, in order to get a muzzleloader tag, you need to draw it with preference points. Each year there are two drawings, the first starting in March and ending in April, and the second going from June to July. You apply online and if chosen, you have the option to buy an elk license (the same cost as archery) or choose a preference point. Many people choose a preference point if they are unable to go hunting that year and wish to increase their odds for next year. The more preference points, the higher chance you have to be chosen. If you applied for a license but were not chosen, you will get a preference point.

Similarly, in order to get a rifle license you will have to apply online just like for a muzzleloader license. (Only the first and fourth rifle seasons require you to get a tag via online drawing.) The second and third rifle season license does not require a drawing, but rather they can be bought over the counter, similar to an archery license. This type of license allows more flexibility and creates a more diverse hunting experience.

Elk hunting is flexible which allows everyone to experience this extraordinary hunt. There are many different time frames to go hunting, so whichever aligns with the hunter’s wish is readily available to be purchased on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website or at a DNR station. “Although I’ve been privileged to hunt and hear many bugling bulls over the years, each time seems like the first. A majestic bull elk with his head lifted skyward, antlers tipped toward the ground, cold breath steaming to the heavens — a cry of power and strength, of rut and kingship, an awe-inspiring expression of the wild” (Neal, 2014).  



Huntin’ Fool. (2022). Colorado Elk Hunting 2022. Retrieved September 19, 2022, from

Neal, J. L. (2014, January 23). Hunting With ‘A Man Made Of Elk’. Colorado Outdoors. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from