Special Access Hunting Permit Application

New Pronghorn Doe Permits: Based on recommendations from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), and in partnership with Larimer County Department of Natural Resources and City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, pronghorn doe special access hunting permits are now available for use on portions of Red Mountain Open Space and Soapstone Prairie Natural Area.

Hunting on Red Mountain Open Space and Soapstone Prairie Natural Area is managed by Larimer County Natural Resources and City of Fort Collins Natural Areas.

Big game hunting opportunities will occur during the weekdays of the second, third, fourth and late cow seasons. Late-season doe pronghorn hunting will occur on both weekdays and weekends after December 1 when Red Mountain and Soapstone close to the general public. You must have a Larimer County/City of Fort Collins special access hunting permit to hunt. Permits can be obtained via Larimer County's website through the Larimer County special access hunting permit application process in February.

Once you have successfully drawn a special access permit for a species (bull elk, cow elk, buck deer or doe pronghorn), you cannot submit an application for that species in future years. For example, if you drew a special access permit for bull elk in 2015, you will not be allowed to submit an application for bull elk in future years, but you may submit applications for cow elk, buck deer or doe pronghorn.

Hunting Access Permit Application Process

The Hunting Access Permit Application is available online annually in February, with the drawing in the first week of March. Applications must be completed by the end of February to qualify for the drawing. A $10.00 non-refundable application fee will be charged to cover administrative costs. Successful hunters will be notified by phone and email immediately after the drawing has occurred. Unsuccessful applicants will only be notified by email. If you do not receive a phone call, you were not successful.

The drawing will be conducted by a Notary Public using a random number generator program for 4 bull elk special access hunting permits, 3 cow elk special access hunting permits and 6 buck deer special access hunting permits for Red Mountain Open Space; and 10 doe pronghorn special access permits for Red Mountain Open Space and Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. Hunters need to submit only one application for each of the four drawings. These special access hunting permits will only be valid for hunting on Red Mountain Open Space or Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. Please submit one application per person. You do not need a separate application for each animal type.

Learn more about how the drawing works.

Hunting License Information

Successful applicants who receive a special access hunting permit will then have to apply for their license in the Colorado Limited Big Game draw process.

Below are Colorado Parks and Wildlife big game drawing statistics that may help applicants evaluate odds of drawing a particular license that will allow them to exercise their special access permit. Remember, CPW license levels change yearly, as do applications rates for each hunt, so the information below is intended to help guide applicant expectations, not as a guarantee of future CPW drawing odds.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt codes DM009O2R, DM009O3R and DM009O3R. Recent increases in CPW draw applications for buck deer licenses require applicants to use a LIMITED DRAW FIRST CHOICE to have the best odds of drawing a DM009 license. In 2017, all CPW FIRST CHOICE applicants drew 2nd or 3rd season buck licenses (even with no preference points) but 4th season applicants only had a 61% chance of drawing with a first choice and no preference points. In 2017, all CPW draw applicants with one or more preference points drew 2nd, 3rd or 4th season licenses. Therefore, if you successfully acquire a Larimer County Special Access Hunting Permit for buck deer, you are advised to apply for that hunting license in the CPW draw with a FIRST CHOICE to stand the best odds of acquiring the necessary CPW big game hunting license. View CPW deer hunting statistics.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt codes EM009O2R, EM009O3R, EM009O4R and EF009L1R. Historically, GMU 9 has been an undersubscribed unit for bull and cow elk since it is almost entirely private land. That means that historical odds of drawing a GMU 9 bull or cow license with any choice in the CPW big game license draw have been 100%, since there are licenses leftover after the draw. View CPW elk hunting statistics.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt code AF009L1R. Based on 2017 application levels, this CPW hunt required a LIMITED DRAW FIRST CHOICE to have the best odds of drawing a AF009L1R license. Ninety-two percent (92%) of first-choice, zero preference point applicants drew the license in 2017. Therefore, if you successfully acquire a Larimer County/City of Fort Collins Special Access Hunting Permit for doe pronghorn, you are advised to apply for that hunting license in the CPW draw with a FIRST CHOICE to stand the best odds of acquiring the necessary CPW big game hunting license. View CPW pronghorn hunting statistics.

Special access hunting permits are not transferable. Hunting will occur during portions of the second, third, and fourth rifle seasons. The cow elk hunt will occur on weekdays during the late season. The doe pronghorn will occur in the late season from December 1st to December 16th on weekdays and weekends. You must pick which season you wish to hunt when applying for your license during the CPW draw process. Hunters must attend a mandatory orientation meeting with the Larimer County Department Natural Resources' and City of Fort Collins Natural Areas' staff prior to the hunt. The mandatory orientation meeting will be in September. Hunters must have a valid CPW license for the unit and season. These licenses are available only through the CPW draw process. There will be no hunting allowed at Red Mountain Open Space on weekends, except for the late season doe pronghorn. There is no camping allowed on site. Any hunters using horses must stay on trail. There is no vehicle access to the open space beyond the trailhead for hunting or animal retrieval.

FAQs

  1. You can apply for a Special Access Hunting Permit through our on line application process during the month of February.

  2. The drawing will be held in the first week of March.

  3. Staff will notify you via phone and or email. You will then be required to attend a pre-hunt meeting in September.

  4. The cost to apply is $10 per species/sex that you wish to apply for.

  5. The number of Special Access Hunting Permits given out each year fluctuates depending on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife recommendation.

  6. Camping is not allowed at Red Mountain Open Space or Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. Hunters will be allowed to access one hour prior to sunrise and will be allowed to depart as late as one hour after sun set.

  7. Vehicles may only drive on the entry road that leads to the trailhead, and may only park at the trailhead. Harvested animals must be packed out or the use of a game cart.

  8. Horses may be used on the hunt.

  9. Red Mountain Open Space and Soapstone Prairie Natural Area are located approximately 25 miles north of Fort Collins. Red Mountain is approximately 15,000 acres of Open Space and Soapstone is approximately 22,000 acres.

  10. Yes, in addition to the Special Access Hunting Permit, you do need to apply for a Colorado Parks and Wildlife big game hunting license for the species/sex and season you wish to hunt for in Game Management Unit 9.

  11. You will have the option to choose from four elk seasons (Elk-EM00902R, EM00903R, EM00904R, EF009L1R) , three deer seasons (Deer- DM00902R, DM00903R, DM00904R), and one pronghorn late season (AF009L1R).

  12. Hunting at Red Mountain Open Space is only allowed on weekdays, and there is no hunting on Saturday or Sunday, except for pronghorn, which you can hunt 7 days a week from December 1st through December 16th.

  13. Hunting opportunities occur only during the rifle seasons, but you may choose to hunt with a bow or muzzleloader during the rifle season.

    • Bull elk: near 50%
    • Cow elk: less than 20%
    • Buck deer: near 80%
    • Doe pronghorn: near 50%