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Rifle Hunting Season Kicks Off in Colorado: Important Precautions for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Colorado’s much-anticipated rifle hunting season is upon us, and as residents and tourists alike prepare to hit the trails, it’s crucial for everyone to understand the additional safety precautions necessary during this time. This year, the rifle hunting season is set to run from:

  • First season: Oct. 14-18
  • Second season: Oct. 28 to Nov. 4
  • Third season: Nov. 11-17
  • Fourth season: Nov. 22-26

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department is urging everyone to remember that public lands are multi-use areas that serve various outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and hunting.

Hunting isn’t just a pastime in Colorado; it plays an essential role in wildlife management and the preservation of natural habitats. Fees from hunting licenses go directly into conservation efforts and maintaining the natural balance of various animal populations. Understanding and respecting the role of hunting in Colorado can enhance the coexistence of different outdoor activities, thereby promoting a more harmonious experience for all.

Public lands are designated as multi-use, meaning they cater to a wide range of outdoor activities. While there’s no need to limit your outdoor pursuits during the hunting season, awareness and precaution can go a long way in ensuring everyone’s safety.

Tips for Hikers and Other Outdoor Enthusiasts

  • Wear Bright Clothing: Opt for bright, easily visible colors like neon or blaze orange to make yourself noticeable.

  • Make Noise: A little noise can be good. The sound of your voice, your footsteps, or a bell can alert hunters to your presence.

  • Stay on Designated Trails: Straying off the beaten path can increase the likelihood of wandering into a hunting zone.

  • Check Schedules and Zones: Before heading out, consult local resources or the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website for hunting zones and schedules.

  • Be Mindful of Pets: Keep dogs leashed and also clad in bright colors to ensure their safety.

Tips for Hunters

  • Be Sure of Your Target: Always be 100% certain of what you are shooting at and what is behind it.

  • Proper Signaling: Use established signals and wear orange to signify your presence to other hunters and outdoor users.

  • Check for Other Users: Before setting up, always check the immediate area for signs of other outdoor activities.

With the rifle hunting season now open, it’s more important than ever for all outdoor enthusiasts to exercise caution and respect for one another. Let’s remember that the great outdoors is a shared space, where awareness and preparation can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Learn more in our comprehensive mountain safety guide.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

Learn more about how we protect public lands and prevent SAR calls through education & advocacy.

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