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Colorado orange regs?
Will be heading out after elk opening week. The unit I have a tag in also has rifle and archery bear tags with the season running the same as archery elk. I was thinking about picking up a rifle bear tag and taking the rifle out in case I was seeing some bears. I was going to take the rifle out so if I did decide to try for a bear that I could do it fairly quick and get back to elk hunting. I will not be packing the rifle with me elk hunting(it will stay in the truck until I find an area with bear activity). My question is, could I get in trouble elk hunting with just my bow while having a rifle bear tag in my pocket without having orange on? Since archery equipment is legal to take a bear with the rifle tag. I would just buy the archery bear tag and not worry about it. But I would be happy to shoot one with a rifle and get back to the elk.
From the CPW
Thank you for contacting Colorado Parks and Wildlife. I understand you are inquiring about hunter orange requirements.
Are you using archery equipment for your elk hunt and a rifle for your bear hunt? If you are in possession of a rifle for your bear hunt, you must wear daylight fluorescent orange. If you are only using archery equipment for your elk and bear hunt you would not be required to wear daylight fluorescent orange.
Ok. Good deal. Thanks. So I could even shoot a bear (without orange on) with my bow if I see one while elk hunting with the rifle tag as long as rifle isn't in my possession? I was interpreting the regs differently.
See plenty of guys every year in this country toting a rifle and a bow with no orange. Got a bow elk tag and a rifle bear tag.
Usually the bow is strapped on the pack and the rifle is on their shoulder or in their hands.
The usually get their elk....
Reminds me of the time I bumped into an early high country rifle deer hunter and a muzzleloader elk hunter together. They got into some elk not far from us on the same ridge. That guy was really fast reloading his muzzleloader. Almost unbelievable how close together the 3 shots were.
Well, before guys go to thinking that's what I am asking for is so I can shoot an elk with my rifle. It would stay in the truck unless I was after a bear. And the only reason I was going to get a rifle bear tag was the last time I was in Colorado elk hunting I watched a bear come out on a rock slide/shoot about 3-400yds above our truck camp a couple of evenings. Would have been and easy chance to fill a bear tag without interrupting the elk hunt much.
A short carbine like a Ruger Ranch rifle with a suppressor would be ideal for this situation..
The gun I was planning on taking is the exact opposite of that. I was going to take a model 700 in 300RUM with a brake on it
Sorry to muddy the water, but I think the hunter orange requirement is determined by the method of take ON THE TAG you have in your pocket. So it should be legal to kill a bear with a bow even though your tag is for a rifle. However, i think you would have to be wearing orange to be legal on taking a bear. As long as you don’t have the rifle in possession and you are only hunting elk with your bow, you should be fine not wearing orange
Same thing would apply if you were hunting elk in first rifle season but using a bow instead of a gun. It is legal to do that, but you would have to wear orange.
To not have to wear orange, tag would have to say “archery”
And here is another interesting side note. It would NOT be legal to shoot an elk with a bow using a muzzleloading tag. Has to be a Muzzy
CPW officer said if you are hunting during a firearm season with a license for that season you must wear the required florescent orange while hunting no matter the weapon you have in your hand.
If you're hunting on a rifle or muzzleloader tag you have to wear orange, cnelk's response from CPW is not accurate unfortunately...
tx58 is right. it's what your tag says. Elk can't see orange anyway.
I called the CPW Area Manager for where I hunt and asked the same question. She told me to carry my orange, and if I shoot a bear with a bow on a rifle tag (while not carrying a rifle or handgun) to take hero photos with my orange on and I would be fine. She said that if I am primarily hunting elk and carrying a bear tag, no wearing of orange is needed.
I really don’t understand the logic behind the bear season structure. Rifle is right over every day of archery season. Muzzle loader bear is limited to muzzle loader season (in competition with archery and rifle bear).
Why could the rifle bear season be after archery to 1st season rifle?
Get the high power rifles out of archery!
With an any methods bear tag, if you are hunting bear, you must wear flo orange. Doesn't matter if you're carrying you bow or rifle. If you are hunting elk and have a any methods bear tag, and shoot a bear with your bow, you must be wearing flo orange. It's that easy. Having a any methods bear tag and you're bear hunting without your orange on, you're breaking the law.
As far as rifles in archery season for bear, it's never going to change, period!! So why complain about it? Complaining only makes the CPW mad. Just be grateful you have almost 30 days to bowhunter, instead of 15 days or 14 days like NM.
Part of the problem. Colorado bowhunters need to pull together and fix this BS.
Its too far gone. Bear season should be primarily May and June with the fall being open to hunt along with whatever other big game tag you have. Tags should be OTC.
I'll go with what my Area Manager told me, since her WCOs will be the ones writing tickets.
Jaq, sounds like you would be fine doing what she says, but I doubt she would put that answer in writing.
Personally, I am wearing pink this year. :-)
Guys we have hit this several times. The bear tag in and of itself does not require orange unless you are actually hunting or carrying a rifle. The statute says something about a regular season requirement, but the bear lic. is in fact a special license and as such an archery hunter who possess the rifle bear tag does not need orange if they are only using archery equipment. But if you are in fact packing a firearm you better have orange with you and when you pull the trigger it better be on. This has came up about every other year for the last 6 years. At one point we had a formal letter from the legal department of CPW here stating this... I will look for it again as it came straight from the a CPW legal definitions person.
Yup this has been argued a bunch of times. There's no good logic to it either way actually. So I can understand why there's so much confusion. You can bow-hunt deer or elk on a rifle tag in a rifle season, but you definitely must wear orange. Them there are PLO rifle cow elk licenses that run concurrent with the archery elk season, so if you have that extra B-list tag in your pocket and arrow a cow, do you need to be wearing orange? I wonder if anyone bow-hunting elk or bear in September on a rifle tag has ever been cited for not wearing orange?
That second paragraph is pretty clear.
Actually the brochure is not that clear, unfortunately, and that continues to be the problem. Where the brochure states "It also includes archery hunters who hunt during rifle season". That statement can only be referring to the orange-requirement for bow-hunting on an October or November rifle season deer/elk tag. Otherwise, the statement would mean every bowhunter would have to wear orange in September archery elk & deer seasons, since many "rifle seasons" are underway in September. Such as rifle high country deer, rifle bear, rifle cow elk, and others. So it's still not all that clear unfortunately, if you have only the brochure to follow.
You could always tell the Law Enforcement Officer that the guys on Bowsite said it was OK.
Sticksender, the sentence after the one you quoted addresses the scenario you feel is confusing.
Orange requirement is tag dependent. Seems straightforward to me. If you have a rifle tag, have to wear orange regardless of weapon choice. If you have an archery tag, don’t have to wear orange but is suggested you consider wearing it for safety.
This is email a email I received inquiring on this issue. It was in 2012:
You and me both. But you should not worry, As I read it and was explained to me if you were bear hunting with a rifle license you are not required to wear orange.
Jim Jim Baker
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Denver, CO. 80216
Jethro, the sentence you cited discusses the times when archers need not wear orange, but frankly there's no confusion about that. I think we all understand that when hunting on an archery license for any species in Colorado, no hunter orange is required. So no, unfortunately as best I can tell, the brochure itself doesn't provide clarification on the particular issue raised by the OP.