Online hunting license application: timely, fewer errors

The 2012 Colorado big-game hunting brochure is available online and the interactive version offers more than 25 videos aimed at improving your hunting experience. The brochure also offers a link to an web-based license application, which last year was used by 75 percent of big-game licenses applicants.



The return of spring means different things to different people, but for big-game hunters it is the signal to send in that big-game license application.

Send it in, that is, through the Internet.

The April 3 deadline for big-game applications always comes sooner than most hunters realize, whether they are newcomers to the state, old-timers looking for a new area to hunt or simply experienced procrastinators caught in a time lag.

By applying online, hunters can ensure their applications not only are received in a timely fashion but also improve their chances of having the application approved by having all the blanks filled in correctly.

There are few things more frustrating than seeing your big-game application rejected because you forgot how to spell your last name or how many preference points you have.

Hunters aren’t perfect, and sometimes an easy-to-remedy error means a late-night call from Colorado Parks and Wildlife trying to save your hunting season.

Last year, license clerks called more than 15,000 applicants, trying to decipher more than 45,000 errors with license applications, said Henrietta Turner, Colorado Parks and Wildlife license administration manager.

Only 25 calls went to online applicants.

Turner said most of the errors — wrong hunt codes or birth dates to incorrect Social Security numbers — are caught by the online application, which immediately lets you know when something isn’t right.

“Our online system is easy, convenient and it keeps you from making some of the more common mistakes that could affect success in the drawing,” Turner said. “A lot of our resident hunters forget to give us their state of residence, which would be caught by the online form.”

The website, along with the new interactive big-game brochure, offers “a wealth of resources for hunters looking to plan a memorable hunt,” she said.

Turner said of the estimated 450,000 hunters applying for a license last year, about 75 percent of them used the online application.

“That’s up from 61 percent in 2010, but we’d still like it to be 100 percent online,” she said.

Don’t worry if the kids have the home computer tied up: Parks and Wildlife offices in Grand Junction and Montrose offer Internet terminals for hunters to use.

Plus, the secure application site can be reached through any public Internet terminal, including libraries, coffee shops and cyber-cafes.

The most-entertaining way to read the brochure is to click the smartphone QR code on the bottom left corner of the online brochure and access the interactive version.

On page two, you will find more than 25 videos offering tips on a wide range of hunting topics, including the newest regulations changes.

To help you fill out that license correctly, the Parks and Wildlife office in Montrose is offering a workshop on big-game licenses March 22.

Topics will include how the draw and preference point system works, how to determine your odds of drawing a limited license, the difference between limited and over-the-counter licenses and more.


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