By Shandi Martinez, License Application Service Manager, March 2015
This year is going by quicker than I prefer, and a few big deadlines have already passed. However, that doesn’t mean we’re slowing down at all as there are still a lot of deadlines to come in the next few months.
We consider Colorado to be a "must apply for" state, but there are a few things about Colorado’s application system that are frustrating for customers. The biggest one is that Colorado doesn’t offer an online application for nonresidents for Bighorn sheep, moose, or Mountain goat. These species have to be applied for by an original paper application, meaning you have to request the regulations containing the applications from Colorado. I would recommend ordering them now if you haven’t already as it has to be postmarked by April 7th. Payment for paper applications has to be a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order, which is tough for some applicants since you have to front the full tag fees to apply. You have to be careful filling out and sending your paper applications as they are very specific about how it has to be done. You have to use a black pen and all capital letters, and the application forms are species specific. Each application must be sent in a separate envelope with a separate check to a separate address. For the past several years, Colorado has put printable applications on their website a few days before the deadline. They only recommend that you use this if you absolutely have to as they use a machine to read the paper applications and they can’t guarantee a good scan. If you use these, note that the address to send them to is different than the regular addresses and can be found on the same page of their website as the printable applications.
It’s important to remember that Colorado requires all applicants born on or after 1/1/1949 to have hunter education prior to applying. Unless you go to Colorado and verify your hunter education number with them, you have to re-enter the number every year online. On paper, you just have to check a box saying that you have one.
If you apply for Points Only for elk, it will show up as “Antlerless Elk.” This is nothing to worry about as elk points count toward either sex, and they’re actually saving you money up front by only requiring the antlerless fee. Every year I get guys calling in a panic thinking they applied for a cow elk point, but now that you’ve read this, you can save yourself the stress!
Idaho doesn’t allow you to apply for every species like the other states do. You have to choose between Bighorn sheep, moose, or Mountain goat, and if you choose one of those three, you can’t apply for deer, elk, or antelope. The advantage to this system is that they have better odds for Bighorn sheep, moose, and Mountain goat than any other state. Another thing helping those odds is the fact that Idaho doesn’t implement a point system, but they still require you to buy a non-refundable hunting license and pay all the tag fees up front. They do have an online system in which you can pay with a credit card, but they require a 3% transaction fee when applying online. This ends up costing the applicant about $65 more and it’s non-refundable, so if you can afford to send them a check, it will save you some money to apply on paper.
Applying online can be a little bit confusing as you have to purchase your license and apply in two separate transactions. If you apply on paper, you can buy the license and apply for the tag at the same time with one envelope and one check.
Kentucky probably has the easiest application system out there. You have to apply online, but all you really have to do is enter your personal information and select which lotteries you want to apply for. If you are only after a bull elk, you can choose between Antlered Firearm and Antlered Archery permits, or you can do both for $10 each. You don’t even have to select units on your application. If you’re a fast typer, you could apply yourself in under a minute!
Life gets so busy sometimes that it’s hard to keep up with all the deadlines. In fact, even though applying for hunts is my job, I get so wrapped up in applying my clients sometimes that I almost forget to apply myself! If your job keeps you too busy to think about hunting applications, sign up for our License Application Service; I will put your applications before my own!