Colorado Landowner Tags and What You Need To Know

We often get asked about landowner tags when working with buyers who want to buy a ranch for hunting. In Colorado, in order to apply for Landowner Preference Program (LPP) the property must be at least 160 acres. This program was created to provide an opportunity for landowners to have a preference to draw tags and incentivize private landholders to improve habitat for wildlife. The landowner must apply by registering the deeded land with Colorado Parks and Wildlife prior to December 1st to be eligible for the coming year drawing and the land registration is good for 5 years.

A landowner must be able to meet the following requirements in order to qualify:

  1. Parcel must be minimum of 160 acres of private agriculture land.
  2. The land must be inhabited by the wildlife the landowner is applying for and in significant numbers year round or substantial numbers for short periods.
  3. Must provide wintering habitat, transitional habitat, calving grounds, migration corridor, solitude areas, or forage sources.
  4. Document history of game damage or huntable population for species applying for.
  5. Land must be in a GMU where all rifle license are only available through draw for the species applying for.

There are only 3 species that the LPP program is available for; Deer, Elk and Pronghorn. The quota for a species that qualifies for LPP is as follows:

For all GMUs west of I-25

  1. General Quota- 10% of total general public quota
  2. Restricted Quota – 10% of all general public quota and is restricted to private land only

For all GMUs east of I-25

  1. General Quota- 15% of total general public quota
  2. Restricted Quota – 10% of all general public quota and is restricted to private land only and may only be transferred to an immediate family member or youth.

The number of applications that a landowner receives is determined by the number of private deeded acres the landowner owns.
For example:

  1. 160 up to 639 acres receives 1 application
  2. 639 acres to 1239 acres receives 1 application and 1 private land only application
  3. 1240 acres to 1839 acres receives 2 applications.

And so on. See CPW website for full table of acreages and application totals.

A landowner can maximize the number of applications by splitting ownership. For example, if a landowner only owns 320 acres they can split the acreage into 2, 160-acre parcels and title 1 in their name and the other in a legal entity or their spouse’s name and thereby they would qualify for 2 applications whereas if left as one 320 acre parcel they would only get one application.

Buying a ranch that qualifies for the LPP can be a great way to be able to trophy hunt on a regular basis. However, do not assume that you will draw a tag every year. We help our buyers research the drawing statistics so they have an understanding of how often they can expect to hunt a ranch if they were to buy it.

If you are looking to buy a ranch to hunt in Colorado give us a call and let us help you find a hunting ranch that fits your needs. View all Colorado Ranches For Sale.

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