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Smoke from the Pine Gulch fire is visible from Upper Carr Creek on Aug. 18, 2020. 

With hunting seasons starting or beginning to start, across the west many hunters are ensuring their gear is dialed and their bows, muzzleloaders, and rifles are ready. For some, though, hunting plans are quickly eroding and going up in flames, quite literally. Major forest fires are currently burning across much of western Colorado and enormous areas of habitat have been destroyed or shut down in the wake. Because of this, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is providing options for hunters who are holding permits for areas directly impacted by these fires.

Hunters holding licenses in GMU’s impacted by the fires may be able to request a refund and reinstatement of preference points used to draw the license. Additionally, CPW is offering an extra point on top. Not all licenses and permits in the affected areas are eligible for returns, however, as many of these are also valid in unaffected areas.

If your unit or hunt is not listed it may be because your license allows hunting in multiple other units. This is a dynamic and changing situation and as the fire’s grow, new areas and permits may become affected. Please check back often for updates.

Securing your refund

To receive a refund and restoration of points, hunters must turn in their request form in person at any CPW location or by mail. Any mailed in requests must be postmarked by 5 p.m. the day before the start of their season. Refunds cannot be requested once the season has begun. There is a $15 processing fee for the refunds and qualifying licenses are not refundable.

Find the refund form HERE.

Reminder from CPW about public access

The CPW wants to remind hunters that the agency does not control access to most public lands in Colorado. Access into some areas may be impacted by fires, timber operations, road construction, weather, and many other factors. Before heading out, check with land management agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management or the US Forest Service, for the latest information about public land access and closures.

To view the full press release, click here

Written by:Dave Barnett

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